Where is my time?

I suffer from the chronic lack of time. At first I thought it happens just back in Poland – where I have university, extensive social life, some family life, every day duties, extra courses… I was studying in Sweden for one semester and I also had university + social life + traveling + house keeping… So it seemed normal too.

Here in India I am just for 12 weeks, my social group is limited to less than 100 people, I have pretty flexible working hours and a lot of freedom. Why I don’t have time again?

I guess it is just my personality, the fear of missing out (Millenials again), curiosity, energy. I am trying to live my life in 300% and do not want to skip any moment or opportunity.

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(c) Bence Fejes

That is why – apart from working – I start every day with yoga at 7AM, go to each lunch and dinner with other interns or coworkers, attend every party until the late night, and as always – volunteer.

I just love volunteering. I wish I could do it in more noble way, but I haven’t found a proper opportunity yet. Last year at my previous work I volunteered to organize a company barbecue… I kept doing that until the end of the summer, every second week on average. I am just a master when it comes to planning and organization. If I wasn’t an engineer to be, I am sure I would become an event planner.

It’s Saturday 10AM for me, I should be sleeping, as I partied yesterday second day in a row. Why am I up? Cause we just had our dancing rehearsal. Yes, I volunteer here too. This weekend – together with IAESTE and other interns – we celebrate Namaste Manipal, International week full of activities for all of us. And most of us volunteered to perform an Indian dance, as well as walk on a catwalk wearing clothes from different regions of India. It’s gonna be so much fun!

Apart from that we also had a dinner with saree wraping competition, ranguli powder painting, soon I am going out for the campus hare and hounds, in the evening we all party at Bollywood night. And yesterday I survived the whole party and dancing wearing a saree. And I honestly do not know how Indian women do it in their every day life!

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(c) Bence Fejes

Coming back to the point – I do not have time for anything. I should sleep more, read more, take a rest, catch up with my series. But I just cannot miss any second of my stay in India! Fear of missing out joined with hyper-productivity.

Productivity is a very trendy word. I am not a fan of it. Probably you can read more constructive things about it if you read THE POST of my uni friend – Paulina Paullajna Wyrwas.

I am productive, effective, organized and active. And I could write a book about it (which by the way I promised to so many people recently… Pradeepa – my yoga guru, Alan, Pablo…), but why? Each of us has their own – more or less succesful – way to manage their time. And I think that it does not matter if you hand in an assignment 3 days or 5 minutes before the deadline, as long as it is done. I do it both ways, depending on my current situation, and never suffered any problems because of it.

I am quite happy about my productivity and little-time-I-have management. I am happy with what I do and achieve, I do not fall behind with studies or work, I am a good friend, fair flatmate and not-bad daughter. I do what satisfies me and still have some room for mistakes. Yes, time is mine.

India and what next?

I am here, in India, for already 40 out of 86 days and I cannot imagine being anywhere else this summer. It is exactly what I needed in this time of my life, probably the last student holidays for some time!

But in October I need to come back to grey reality of Poland and studies and I have to survive. Although I am fully conscious that this time has to come and I do settle my commitments back at home (Bachelor thesis, university, another internship, place to live, travels) I am still not prepared for that – I cannot imagine being back in my origin for the first time in almost a year. And I need to talk it through with my friends, people back at home and my current friends here in India. And I am so glad I have someone to talk it through. Someone who asks if I am fine (– Everything alright? You were quiet for last couple of days!), promises to help and makes me laugh every day.

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(c) Bence Fejes

First of all – I need to move out. Since my Mom moved out, our relationship became much better. We meet around twice a week and we finally have this quality time. Far from domestic quarells about washing dishes, we are finally able to talk like a woman with a woman and it is GREAT, I wish that to everyone. I am currently living with my Dad and Grandma and it hovers between mediocre and bad. But since I am abroad, I really have better relationship with my Dad too! We don’t talk much at home, but here I have an urge to call him and tell him about something what happened almost every day! Not to mention all the photos and little reports I send him on WhatsApp.

I thought that my apartment is settled – I was supposed to move in with a girl from my university, ex-classmate of my best friends. Unfortunately the flat belongs to her brother, and his friend is moving in soon, so I got abandoned.

Currently I am begging, crying and threatening my best male friend (male version of me and the best Arabic brother ever) to let me move in with him and his mate. Even though I would be sleeping on a couch with a hamster around (I’m allergic!), it would be great to live with them. And it’s much closer to the university and the city centre. And they need some female hand an accent in this apartment! Living with Philippe would also mean…

Living closer to yoga! No, he is not a guru, but his apartment is very close to Stacja Joga office, where I used to do yoga last autumn (and really liked it).

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(c) Bence Fejes

That is my main goal – after coming back from India not to stop things which make me feel good. Do not eat after sunset, keep doing yoga. I really feel the difference when I start the day with yoga session at 7AM, short breathing exercises, fresh non-masala breakfast and a coffee. And I know that physical excercises will keep my body and soul in a good shape, reduce my weight and not let depression come back.

German – my educational priority almost as high as getting a diploma. I wanna move to Germany in one year time and I must be ready. Although I hope on finding a job in English, as I did last year, I am fully conscious that I need fluency in their language to develop my career.

Little thing – I am dreaming of developing some talent which I can show on public. I mean – writing is being shown to public, but I cannot perform with it in any talent shows. I am really dreaming of coming back to music! Becoming a DJ seems too complicated, but I used to play piano when I was 7 to 12, and then guitar 12 to 16. And now I am dreaming of playing drums! Just because. Just because it looks cool! And I want to be cool like Adam Marszałkowski (great drummer of Polish band Coma), Rob Bourdon or Dave Grohl.

And last but not least – I wanna keep writing. It will not be Suzana INDIANA anymore, but I will of course keep the name. I still have many travels to happen and many thoughts to share. And I promised my doctor not to stop writing to keep my good state and monitor my emotions. Amen.

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Wishes to the gold fish

Sometimes I am a dreamer, everyone is. And I am a little girl with the big big dreams.

Some women dream just about starting a family, becoming a mom, having a house with a garden and a dog… Fortunately my Mother raised me differently and I already know that having a child is not what would make me a real woman and the only things I should care about are my own dreams, goals and well-being, no matter how much it costs. Same thing with being married or in relationship. It would be amazing to be in a happy one but if not – it’s not the end of the world and I really can imagine being single. Well, I am a single. Although it would be awesome to have someone by my side, someone forever and for 100%, I just do not have time for it. I travel, I study, I realize myself and do a lot of planning FOR MYSELF. Maybe in a year or two, when my life becomes more settled… And my Mom doesn’t feel like becoming a Grandma anyway 😀

By the way, it surprises me so much that some of my friends – intelligent and beautiful, ambitious engineering students, dream mostly about moving in and starting families with their long-term, met in young age boyfriends! They want to work 9 to 5, cook dinners, watch tv, babysit while the husbands watch football and drink beer. This picture terrifies me! Please, think it over, girls!

When I was younger, every day before falling asleep I was picturing all the good things which could happen to me and what I was dreaming to have or achieve. Now – to my own harm – I rather tend just to worry about what bad could happen and how I would handle that right here right now. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes is helps, because I am already mentally prepared for so many situations! But maybe you can’t really prepare for everything just in theory? Why women tend to over-think while men tend to over-react? I know I am still full of fears and anxieties, but I try to talk about it and sooth it. And I am lucky to be surrounded with some people who really can listen and understand.

Anyway, I still DO have the dreams. So many! From silly to really serious ones.

I wish someone would paint me one day. No, not this creepy cartoons or caricatures which you can find in summer towns in Polish seaside (and pretty much anywhere else). I dream of like Ruben’s style painting, you know? I just love his art and this type of normal, curved women.

Peter Paul Rubens ‘Woman with a mirror’

It is obvious, but I also dream about traveling the word. I have already showed it on Facebook, but that is what I’ve found recently in a fortune cookie in a Thai restaurant in Sweden:

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And I have already been to 33 countries (was able to count that just because of Couch Surfing) and lived in 5 of them! I have a world map tattooed on my ribs and friends coming from major part of the world?!

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Created with http://www.amcharts.com – big pity that it does not calculate the %

I do not know what I want, but I know what I do not want. I don’t want routine, boredom, monotonous life. I don’t need to have the best car, fanciest apartment, jewellery and designer clothes. I just want to travel for 2-weeks holiday every 3 months (hopefully such job exists). And I do not want to spend vacation in Polish seaside, I want to be able to afford Singapore, Japan, Brasil… That is why I am moving to Germany, their salaries will let me do it. I am not moving there for better life, but for the life I deserve, as an ambitious woman, engineer, traveler.

And I simply just want to be happy. Is that a lot?

Humans of Manipal vol.2

I always claim that I am very lucky in my life! I cannot complain about my situation – I am healthy (well, not in India… Hello, fever, muscle pains and flitzekacka!), loved and respected, supported, can afford to cover my needs, I can study. But my biggest luck and fortune are the people I encounter in my life. I think it’s just some 6th sense or a good karma.

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by Bence Fejes

I constantly meet new people. Family, childhood friends, kindergarten, primary, secondary, high school… Finally university, incoming Erasmus, people from my exchanges, co-workers, couchsurfers, travelers, people I meet on the street (yes, I make friends on the street too…), and all those random people who come just out of nowhere and stay – for a minute or for the rest of my life. Of course, sometimes the relationships get loose and disappear, but for now I just lost one close friend, and consciously cut out any bonds with two other people. With the rest of people in my life I have only positive experiences – good, great, amazing, awesome, enriching, developing, supportive.

Manipal is just another of my student exchanges (hopefully not the last one), and of course I immediately met many other students – both Indians and Internationals. But I meet other people too.

After how lovely this morning was, I would like to talk about my yoga guru – Pradeepa.

Pradeepa, as one of 4 sisters, comes from Sri Lanka and graduated from Physical Education. She can teach martial arts, yoga, fitness and do personal training, as well as meditation. She is my hero, too. Today I came to class slightly late, with sore throat and hardly any force. I was not able to do exercises which I was doing easily a few days back. Pradeepa has healing abilities, too. After light yoga training she told me to lay down, just touched my forehead and used her natural mineral stones. I remained restless for around 15 minutes and really felt much better. Maybe it’s placebo, maybe I just believed it… I am a daughter of a doctor and a future engineer – I still believe in paracethamol, tea and staying in bed, but if laying down with cold stones on my chakras is not pure pleasure, tell me what is.

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by Bence Fejes

Pradeepa is like my Indian mother, too. Just entering her 40ties, very sportive (who can do the splits at that age?!), funny, intelligent, wise, curious, supportive, talks openly about many things which the rest of the Indians do not even think about. After yoga session I usually take a shower there to go to work directly after, and when I’m done Pradeepa welcomes me with scrambled eggs, toast bread, NOT SPICY chutney and black coffee with NO SUGAR. Isn’t it lovely? I need to fill her fridge up to full before I go!

And I am not perfect. Usually I am couple of minutes late, I complain a lot. Sometimes I over sleep, I am sick or my yoga pants are not dry after laundry. But Pradeepa, apart from laughing at me, accepts and understands. And this motivates me even more to move my ass and achieve my goal – yoga every morning in Manipal!

Another very important person I’ve mentioned already a couple of times is my Indian brother Hriday. I am officially accepted as his sister by his girlfriend and mother, to whom I gossip behind his back (- Ritika – mom – could you make Hriday wear his helmet when he drives the scooter? He doesn’t listen to me.).

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Yesterday we had an important celebration – Raksha Bandhan! It is basically a day to commemorate sacred bond between brothers and sister. We tied thread breaceletes (rakhee) on each others’ hands (Hriday already lost his during dancing and I have to get him a new one -_-), I also made a cake for him, which was really hardcore. As you know I do not have kitchen in my room, so I was crushing Oreo with a jar and mixing peanut butter with coconut cream in a plastic cup, with a fork… Do it yourself, version: emergency.

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Hriday is almost a perfect Indian male version of me. I’ve never met a person who talks as much as me and eats as much as me! And with his only 18 years, he is such a lovely and mature men ❤

Coorg 5-6/8

On Friday evening, tired after almost a week (no way for me 😂 ) we departed to the mountain city called Coorg. It was ‘just’ a 6-hours drive and even having 3 seats for myself, I didn’t manage to sleep for longer than half an hour, so the next morning I was pretty wasted.

Coorg is situated in around 1200 m above sea level, but I got a heart attack when the Indians told us that it’s 3500… feet! I was in such attitude just once in my life, skiing in French Alpes, and I almost fainted, hardly managed to slide down the slope and needed a lot of hot chocolate afterwards.

Early morning we arrived to out accommodation, which to our surprise turned out to be too small. I ended up sleeping with 3 people – my lovely Sarah Bubu, Alan Jackie and Hriday – my Indian brother, in a double bad.

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After breakfast we took the bus end went to the elephant sanctuary.

I hated it from the beginning! Using super-polluting boats we crossed the river to meet elephants with chained legs, hit with the sticks. I doubtlessly informed the staff that I would also chained their legs with pleasure but they didn’t quite understand my problem… or English.

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My Turkish friend succeeded also in getting a fine for smoking in the nature park. We were not quick enough to suggest him to bribe the guy…

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Later it was slightly better – I managed to bath an elephant in disgusting dirty river and touch its trunk. It was so lovely! We were discussing a lot if it has bones inside (it doesn’t) or if it is just muscles, lot maybe if it’s just like a human penis… typical western conversation! Anyway – I’m in love with elephants and my next tattoo will be white ink on my breast (place I usually do not sunbath, as this ink gets yellow in sunlight), presenting an elephant and a fox (LIS in Lisowska means FOX). I just need to ask my friends – architects for some inspiration!

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Afterwards we headed for lunch and to the Buddhist temple. I didn’t find it too entertaining so after running quickly through it, I came back to the bus to get some sleep.

Next we were supposed to go to the ‘most gorgeous view in Scotland of India’. Well, maybe it was… we saw nothing apart the fog and rain. The only Scottish accent was the flag which Alan brought, and which happened to be my jacket and umbrella.

Ordering pizza for dinner we headed back to the hotel, buying as always lots of beers on our way. The night was quite crazy, full of laughs and deep conversations. I slept at 2, just to be woken up by Manas M.A.D. who arrived at 4, as he had classes the day before. The four of us slept surprisingly well cuddling and spooning in the little bed.

Next morning it took us a while to wake everybody up and make them go to the bus. Instead of 7:30 we departed at 9… We ate breakfast in the multi cuisine restaurant which service was probably slower than it has ever happened to me before.

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Next we headed to the Wildlife Sanctuary and swam in the waterfall. It was probably the biggest number of white naked people in one place in the whole India! Unfortunately we got injured too… I got bitten by a leech, luckily I haven’t seen it (heart attack). I just saw my T-shirt soaking with blood, which I couldn’t stop for two hours, although I desinfected it and put salt on it. Pretty creepy experience, but luckily leeches do not transmit any diseases apart from injecting hirudin, which ceases clot formation.

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After lunch we all got even worse… 5 people stopping the bus to vomit, at least 5 more suffering from famous Flitzekaka (best wishes to Philipp Kaiser!)… It was a funny journey back home!

In the evening we needed to say ‘see you sooner or later’ (I never say ‘good-bye’) to Sarah Bubu Bellis the Little Scottish, as she went for holidays to Thailand, US and than back to Scotland. We will miss you so much, Baby Girl Drunken Angel!

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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!