Do something good every day

I was planning to write this post since one last Vilhelmsro party long time ago (already 2 months since I left JKPG?!) back in Sweden, but I realized that the moment of exceeding 6 000 individual readers and 300 likes on my Facebook fanpage (are you a fan yet?!) will be appropriate. Plus during summer and holiday season people are more warm-hearted…

 

Back in Sweden I have met a really interesting, intelligent, sexy and beautiful girl – Stella Barbieri-Schwaeble. Raised in UK by Italian mother and German father (or other way round?) Stella was one of the exchange student together with me during the Erasmus semester.

One night, on this more-less memorable party, Stella told me about the child of her best friend – little 7-months-old Ella.

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Just in March this year Ella received the heartbreaking diagnosis of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Type 1, which is so far an incurable condition and means that she may never be able to sit up right unsupported and may not reach her second birthday.

Parents Leah and Matt are motivated to do anything to make Ella’s life as comfortable as possible and to create beautiful memories as a family. Treatment is difficult to get in the UK but there may be some hope with some treatment in Paris that could help Ella, but this comes at the cost of £10,000. With parents being only 22 and 25 they do not have this money at hand. This is why a just giving page has been created to help them with some financial support for medical expenses and precious memories such as a family holiday for the three of them.

Please show some support by donating at little as £5 or even just sharing this post to help find more donors. 🙏🏻
Ellas just giving page can be found at

www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/EllasBubble?utm_term=nZzWeRRag

As soon as I heard the story, my heart was broken. Does god really exist? – I thought at that moment.

I know, I am also just a poor student, do not make my own money and do not have much experience, knowledge or network to help anyhow…

Stella is planning to pay for her explorer escapade to Mount Everest and find sponsors for Ella’s treatment. She is mostly likely to do it in September next year, when I – hopefully – will already find a job in Germany and will be able to help.

What can I do FOR NOW? As I like very much all the body modifications, I am dreaming of another couple of piercings since some time. I wanna get myself a septum – the one in a nose which is similar to those which cows wear. Additionally Stella has one too, and she looks gorgeous with it.

I was also thinking of getting a tragus and piercing my belly button one day. Maybe I could start a cooperation with my favorite tatto&piercing studio in my hometown Lodz – HARD TO FORGET – to get this money (and maybe money of some more customers?) donated for Ella? That would be awesome.

You guys know what to do. In the meantime I am departing today for another IAESTE trip to a mountain village called Coorg. See you after the weekend!

My religious background

For most of my life I was an atheist.

I was born and raised in Poland, which basically means that catholic religion was, is and will be the huge part of my cultural background, they are mostly blended together. My Mom is an atheist, my Father is pretty indifferent, I was baptized in the age of 4 just because my Grandparents forced my Parents to do it, promised to pay for everything, but ‘This child must be baptized’. Majority of my family is catholic or atheist, most of my friends are agnostic, I also know many Muslim and Hindu. Everyone agrees that people are nowadays getting less and less religious.

I used to attend religion classes (in Poland of course CATHOLIC religion, to option for world religions or ethics) until the age of 10, when we got a new nun teaching us and immediately disliked her.

I’ve done the sacrament of the first communion, though, but it was more for the family party and many gifts, and because all the other kids in school were going to do it. Not much religious value.

As I quitted religion classes at 4th grade, I haven’t done the third sacrament – confirmation, which means that I cannot marry in the church and I cannot become a Godmother.

I was already asked twice to do this sacrament, as both of my closest cousins have little kids, but I definitely refused. Being a GODmother is the last thing I should be. This person is supposed to help to raise the kid in the catholic religion, I am not able to do that. I can be an amazing auntie, though, buying them alcohol behind the back of their parents, doing the safe-sex-lectures and being there for them if they need to talk to an adult.

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Milan 2014, when we were still a 4, not 3+3, we were young and innocent 😉

That is what I currently have with my 18yo cousin Marta, and I feel great with it. Well, I catch such situations like a magnet… I talk both to Marta and her Mom on equal level, not exchanging the information between them, of course. Here in India I also have such a Mom-Son couple – he confides in me (most of my Indian friends here are around 18-19 so I am able to advice them from the older sister perspective), his Mom whom I met in Mumbai and later in Manipal, told me things she has never told anyone before. And I am fine with it, I am there for all those people.

I was an atheist since I was aware of my religious consciousness. Parent of my childhood friends wanted to help, offered me to go to the church on Sundays with their families. I am always open, though. I tried to explore buddhism at some point of my life. I was in a one-year strong and solid, serious relationship with a Muslim guy and I dare to claim that I know Quran more than Bible. I never wanted to convert but he would prefer me being Christian than atheist. Anyway, we broke up more because of character than culture difference. He is still love of my life and the most noble person I know.

With the knowledge and experience I have now, I can openly say that I am not against any religion itself. They all – in more or less similar ways – aim at being a good person. Christianity and Islam are so similar in many aspects! I do not understand the huge conflict between them, neither the hate which started in Poland (maybe Europe?) after 2015 refugees crisis. I hope it has more economical than religious background!

I came to India with an open mind, didn’t really know what to expect. And now I do know. On my meditation classes I believed in something. After talking to people and visiting great temples, I can admit that I feel that Hinduism is made for me. That I wanna be a Hindu, finally have a path to follow. For now I will explore and learn as much as I can, when I come back to Poland I will become a Hindu on paper.

I am planning to co-write a huge text about Hinduism with my great Indian friend, and amazing blogger from M.A.D. – Manas (Ananas) Dresswalla (Swallalala!). Stay tuned!

Last night chat

– Many people are jealous of what you do now, Zuza!
– You think so? I just have here the school of living, experience, spirituality and personal development. And I have a lot of fun here. After two days in India I had such relationships with people like after two MONTHS on Erasmus. I think this tough conditions bring us closer together, physically and mentally.
– And what about your Bachelor thesis Master studies?
– I already know it 🙂 And the ideas for life.
– Congrats!
– Well, we girls just probably overthink much more than you.
– Maybe… Well, Zuza, we will meet in some years on the party in penhouse and we will talk about our careers!
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Think like a proton…

There is not much of extensive writing here. I would just like to publish a Facebook post, which my Mexican friend, Raul Bravo, whom I met last year during my internship in Germany, wrote some time ago. It is a good social experiment and I am glad so many clever people responded to it!

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I would like to dedicate this post to my friend Alicia Parthoens from the Fika is Religion blog, a really nice one! Girl, I do not know what your issues are but EVERYONE HAS ISSUES. It does not justify being negative. Think about it.

And now I am planning to close my laptop and go enjoy my hometown, spend time with Parents and Friends and just STAY POSITIVE, or rather BE positive as I always am.

Happiness in Rome
Rome – probably most positive place and most positive moment of my life

Elżbieta Dworak – another personal hero

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Ela’s private Facebook profile

Who is this gorgeous woman? No, this time not my mom or any girl crush. It is my Mother’s friend, for far longer than 20 years of my life.

Elżbieta Dworak – traveller, photographer, mother, friend, faithful widow, feminist, cool girl, woman – how should I shuffle this words? Well, no words needed. She is just the most artistically talented photographer I have met in person (Szori, ucz się!), and at the same a friend of my Dad or Mom (who was first?).

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Związek Polskich Fotografików Przyrody, ZPFP’s online resources

Far before her 60s, Elżbieta, or Ela, or Ciocia (Auntie) for me – she was, remains and always will be what I call STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN. Kobita for Polish speakers.

And mainly for me in this particular crazy time – HUGE TRAVELLER, FIRST OF ALL! She already stopped counting how many countries she has visited. That’s how HUGE it is.

Ela usually travels for a month per year to ‘exotic, alternative’ places with her handsome 34 years old (looking 16, according to my Dad) son Mateusz, talented start-up owner in the field of IT (still single!).

For me – the best aunt (in Poland we call ‘aunt’ the close friends of your parents, but not parents of your friends). Parent but not parent, mother but not mother, friend AND friend. And a strong woman to look up to.

Originally from Poznan (miasto doznań!), Poland – quite a big city told to raise up the most mean, tight-fisted and economical humans of Polish land. My Mom always jokes about it, but – believe it or not – it is super TRUE. That is why (which is a good idea, indeed), they usually buy good travel guide books, such as ‘Lonely Planet’ or ‘Rough Guide’ (can pls someone find it for me online for India to put it on my iPhone?) and then sell them away after the trip. Souvenirs remain in your head 4ever.

Currently living in Lodz – made her photographer’s career here, as a fashion photographer, together with her Husband. I still have in my family archives shoots from that day, and I wasn’t even born back then! Anyway – ŁDZ now. Spotted? Often seen in Foto Cafe 102 and Piotrkowska street. Slide shows and exhibitions in ŁTF (Lodz Association of Photographers, my translation), part of ZPAF (Association of Polish photographers). On private? Prefers KEJA Pub to Daleko Blisko, because of guests attendance’s proportion to size of the room provided.

Shared her top-5-places-to-see of the world, and I haven’t known ANY of them!!! Will remain secret to me.

Biggest current occupation? Decorating and arranging her son’s new house. Their relationship is deep and special, although he has spent almost 10 years in Warsaw (120 km away), working.

No demand for photography, she claimed, made me sour about iPhone, Millenials culture and how easy the technology and fast-pace can deprive you of a talent. But the greatest thing she could have told me – and did – is that she really enjoys telling the stories of her travels, cause it lets her to re-live it over and over again. I found it beautiful, Paola?

Ela, similarly to me, enjoys being at the big airports. For her it is the greatest melting pot you can ever see. For me – the scene of hellos and goodbyes, kissing, tears and EMOTIONS. I know, I am romantic sometimes, srsly!

And the thing which really surprised me about her: There are not many people like us, but I do not see the world by its tastes. We are not tempted by that. We just light sightseeing independently on human needs, we can wake up in the middle of the night for a sunrise. We eat not to be hungry, not to live and love. I do not have to cook fancy meals for myself or for Mateusz, no marvels nor prodigies, I don’t need that. SO OPPOSITE TO ME!

I can repeat it, share, spam, subscribe and shout on the street: I 300% STILL SUPPORT ELZBIETA DWORAK = PHOTOGRAPHER’S CAREER. And the portrait exhibition in Lodz is about to happen. And I will the first one to spread a word about it, promise.

This year they did not have a chance to travel anywhere far because of Mati’s house renovation, but for last 3 years they have been to Vietnam, Japan, Kenya, Israel and Romania (this one Ela with girl friends alone = girl power!).

And my conclusion after the 5-hours conversation and 4000 words of rough draft notes? I still just hope for nice roommates and good yoga school with female teacher.

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ŁTF online, Ela 3rd from the left, ppl I know: friend’s grandpa, Iza and Mariusz from the right xD

And just look at this photo: isn’t she beautiful with her hard face bones structure and dark colors? She really reminds me what I lose being a really chubby Blondie.

Moreover – from my point of view she looks like one of the prettiest females of this word will look like in 40 years. Effy Stonem from Skins, Carina from Pirated of the Caribbean (which I’ve seen yesterday evening finally! And almost vommited in 3D), or on private Kaya Scodelario – English Brazilian actress. Just look at her two most famous creations! How different they are! And it’s just make-up and clothes, not even hair or plastic surgeries…

And as a post scriptum, I am again aiming at Polish speakers… Enjoy!

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Sh*t of life

It has already been some time after my Erasmus exchange and I still cannot get over it! I cannot believe that it finished so quickly. I still remember leaving Lodz in the beginning of January! And a hard winter in Sweden. And when I didn’t have friends yet (well, that was not a long period).

Time flies very very fast. And what I call the sh*t of life is actually also its beauty. It is amazing that since a year (or maybe since I started to study and travel) I am living time of my life! It is exactly what I was dreaming about for such a long time!

Why shit? Because it hurts. A LOT. Every time I go for a new adventure, I have to say good-bye to my parents (and I am an only child), my friends, colleagues, favorite bars (102!) and restaurants, little streets and distinct places which have special meaning for me. And then I arrive to a new spot and I usually immediately fall in love. I loved Santa Pola, I loved Karlsruhe, I loooved Jonkoping. And I maybe miss Lodz for a week or two, but then I build my new life so quickly! I had my favorite beach in Spain, favorite bakery in Germany and favorite pub in Sweden. I just get used to things and familiarize very easily. Do you know the saying Your home is where your feet are standing? The post about it is yet to come, but it definitely applies to me in 100%. After living in a city for a month I already have occupation, social life, friends, spots I go to when I wanna be alone and favorite products in the supermarket. And my life is great again. Until I need to leave… And that is where the sh*t start. Because when I already feel somewhere at home, leaving hurts much more than leaving Lodz. I was born there, it is like family. New places are like friends – you chose them so leaving them all hurts even more. And when you know you are leaving the place and the only possibility to come back are some holidays next autumn, to visit a couple of people who will still be there (most of my friends were also exchange students!), it tears your heart apart.

There are the two worst prices I pay for having a life I always wanted.

First of all – I get attached pretty easily. I get used to people. I am neurotic and easily fall in love. Every love and feeling is different, but I could already realize that I love the person I was with in Sweden after a month, and pronounced it aloud after two. And it was for real. The worst thing is that every time I fall for someone, it is time to leave. Happened to my second or third time already (although both of my ex-boyfriends stayed in Poland for me and now live successful life!) and it still hurts the same. I cannot stay with a person, try to build a happy relationship and work on it. Currently I am very afraid that I won’t be able to build a normal, long-term relationship. It is so easy and convenient to get used to this instant, couple-of-months-long relationships with all the butterflies in the stomach, pink glasses, romantic evenings and great sex that I AM NOT SURE if and when I will ever be ready to drop it and start something serious. It is said that in our grandparents’ times you didn’t throw things away but tried to repair them, unlike today. I think I have to call myself a Millennial again. But there is a hope for me… I think that if I was to stay in Sweden, I would stay with that guy.

Second thing – you don’t feel at home anywhere anymore. I cannot say that Lodz, Poland is my home anymore, and my father is about to sell the house I grew up in soon anyway. I cannot say that I live in Poland, if parts of my heart live in Germany and Sweden, why little pieces of my soul are with my friends like grains of the sand EVERYWHERE in the world. Once you move out of house – you never really know where your house is. Very strange feeling.

And although this price is huge and sometimes, crying myself to sleep, I would prefer just to live my whole life in a little village in Polish mountains, deep inside I know that I love my life and already got used to it. I never say good-bye. I always say – see you sooner or later. A few days ago I was crying that I need to leave Jonkoping. Now I already know that I will be back this autumn (October or November) to visit Per, Paola, Margareta, Amy, Kelly-Ann and lovely couple in there 70ties (who I met on my flight back), at least for a couple of days! I will go to India alone and make many new friends there. And then I will go to Istanbul to meet my friends from Germany and Sweden. And then to Prague, the Netherlands and Mexico to do exactly the same! And if my Auntie Dorota is cool enough, I will take with me to Mexico my little (well, not that little… She is taller and more mature than me!) cousin Marta to also show her some corners of this planet.

MY LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. And I want to share it with everyone. And encourage to try living similar! You cannot imagine how it enriches your soul and mind, even if my wallet gets super poor…

(This time featured photo from Schwarzwald, Baden-Wuttemberg, Germany 🙂 )

Some time in Poland, finally

I am now in the middle of my 3-weeks holidays in Poland and it is the longest period in what I used to call home this year. I was so terrified of living for 22 days with my Dad again that I booked a holiday in Rome for the middle of my stay here xD.

But to be honest – for now it is just amazing! I am in Lodz already for a couple of days and we still didn’t have any argument! And it’s a lot of fun to be home. I am sleeping a lot, eating delicious things, meeting friends and family, going out, arranging some things before my trip to India. It is just nice!

I wrote about it a few posts back – it is hard to feel at home after you live abroad for some time. Part of my heart is already in Germany, part of it in Sweden, and many small pieces are spread around the world with all the friends I met during last few years. Anyway – I could not have better life. What is happening is exactly what I was dreaming about since ALWAYS, and I am going to enjoy it for as long as I can (next 18 months + 2 years, to be precise).

Back in Sweden we had a lecture about it, in the very beginning of the semester, so I almost already forgot about it. But that is exactly what is happening – reverse culture shock. You change a lot during your exchange experience, but the world at home also changes. Everyone is simply living their life and not necessarily wait for you. And when you are back – of course – everyone is happy, but it is impossible to talk about this experience and describe it in the couple of sentences. That is why it is so hard to tell everyone at home what has really happened to you during last months… You, and everyone else, just feels that everything is different now.

I really feel like I has been transformed intellectually and personally, learnt how to co-exist with people who at first were not even my friends. Roommates were not my parents or Tibor (guy I was living with in Germany – chimera between a father, boyfriend, brother and best friend), university was completely different and I had to get food for yourself every day, as I could not even afford an emergency kebab. And at some moments it is hard to combine the old me with this new person I became.

More about it in the following graph.

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Source: http://www.gooverseas.com

Luckily, as my time back in Poland is limited, full of fun and the new overseas adventure is to come soon, I guess that at least the post-Erasmus depression will omit me. First world’s problem.

Nationality unknown. I am European now. Or I am even maybe a world citizen. Can I say that in my next passport application? That passport should have the rainbow colors!

As someone said: Don’t cry that it is over, smile that it happened on the first place. And that sounds god damn right.

And at the end – song of my evening a couple of days ago… Great Polish rap singer – Taco Hemingway – with an Indian beat in the background (in my perception at least, I might be wrong).

And just to laugh out loud at myself… It’s incredible, this temperature will kill me. Or at least I will lose some weight (or water).

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