Love: In All Phases

It is  February 14! I know that for some it is just a big ploy for consumerism. But, hey!  why can’t we just use this event to reflect and deal with love? Are you ready to be vulnerable?

v.png

Enjoy Single Life

Yes, being single is very different in various phases. Regardless of your status (No Boyfriend/Girlfriend Since Birth, Third Wheel, or Single due to a bad break-up or divorce), the best choice is to accept, embrace, and be thankful for your freedom.

Honestly, the most common mistake that you might commit is to blame yourself. This is actually suicidal or may cause sadness or even depression. Acknowledging and improving one’s bad personality can be a good move, but focusing on every negative thing that you can think of about yourself is really dangerous. So, please stop the negativity and welcome happy thoughts 🙂

The freedom that comes from being single gives enough space for you to find who you really are, what do you still want to do in your life, and enjoy every possibility that you can achieve without asking for permission or considering someone if he or she will agree with your choice.

Dating or Hanging-Out is More Fun than You Expect

I believe that dating or hanging out is not just about chasing or playing. I think it can also be seen as a learning opportunity about other people’s passion, experiences, culture, hobbies, and interests. It is always a win-win situation especially if you are happy to be open and get to know someone in a much deeper level.

Well, it is up to you to decide on whatever lines you would want to cross. Just take note, never ever change or assume something at this phase. Just enjoy and be yourself! Get to know the person and who you really are— in relation to your date. You’ll be surprised about what you can discover about yourself!

You Can’t Force nor Stop Love

When love comes into your life, you cannot really fight it! You might deny it or even want to postpone it but sometimes love gracefully enters whenever you are ready.

Ready means that you are not just lonely, playing around, or searching for love. Sometimes love just really comes unexpectedly during the time when you fully embrace and love yourself —that energy radiates and attracts the right person.

You can have a list of standards about what you like or don’t like about a partner but when love hits you, you’ll just know it.

THE RELATIONSHIP

People from different cultures have various notions about how should a romantic relationship work.

Being in a relationship can be happy, fulfilling, and really fun! You can both travel, spend major occasions together, and have various dates. You can also have a chance to be a part of each other’s social circle, and most importantly, family.

The fact that there is someone who loves you and has the willingness to be your partner is such a blessing or maybe one of the best stages that can happen to one’s life.

However, love is not just about being in a constant state of euphoria. Relationship is also about hard work, acceptance, and respect. Differences will always be a given factor but it takes hard work to reconcile each of these differences and acceptance to those things that both of you can’t change.

True love is accepting and respecting the worst side of your partner. Love is choosing to stay through the best and especially the tough times.

As a priest in Rome states in his homily, “your ability to love is determined by your capacity to suffer.”

Learn to Let Go

If the relationship reaches its dead end, be thankful and just let go. Never blame anyone, especially yourself. Don’t be bitter as well.

Be happy that you experience that kind of love, and welcome the possibility of a new beginning.

Advertisements

City of Passion

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

This is the first country in Europe that I really wanted to see.  Last 2013, I had a vacation in Paris and indeed the city is really lovely!

Transportation

At first, any tourist might be confused, since there a lot of train lines in Paris but I find Paris’ public transportation very useful, especially if you want to go from one tourist spot to the other within a matter of minutes. Therefore, it is really needed to get a map once you are in the city.

DSC_0196.JPG

 

Arc de Triomphe

This famous tourist spot is situated at the center  of Place Charles de Gaulle, where you can also find some shops nearby. This monument commemorates all those people who died during the French revolution and Napoleonic war.

DSC_0334.JPG

 

Eiffel Tower

If we talk about Paris, it’s a must to see the Eiffel tower. It is really romantic especially at night, with its sparkling white light.

DSC_0431.JPGDSC_0472.JPGDSC_0506.JPG

However, I really recommend that it’s worth it to see the city at the top of Eiffel tower. The view is indeed majestic! There might be a long line using the elevator going up, so it is better just to walk. The ticket is also cheaper when you choose this option. Aside from that, there are also a lot of trivias which you can read while walking up.

DSC_0664.JPGDSC_0676.JPG

 

Notre Dame

When I was here, the child in me was hoping to see Quasimodo or Esmeralda. However, I found more than what I expect. Notre Dame is  big compare to a normal church and its structure and design are really worth your attention. It’s also a great place to reflect and be closer to God.

DSC_0700.JPGDSC_0792.JPG

DSC_0742.JPG

Sacre Coeur

Aside from the fact that there are a lot of hostels and restaurants near Sacre Coeur, this elevated point gives you a view of the city. There were also street performers that we saw outside of the church.

DSC_0826.JPGDSC_0845.JPG

Louvre

Second to the Eiffel Tower, I just want to see Mona Lisa in Paris and I did it! Louvre has some ticket discounts depending on your age so how I wish that I should visit it when I was a little bit younger.

I recommend to spend a whole day here if you are really an art enthusiast. The museum is so big that I s had the chance to see some of the artworks which we had in our textbooks back in grade-and high school.

DSC_0916.JPGDSC_0965.JPGDSC_1020.JPGDSC_0040.JPGDSC_0071.JPGDSC_0099.JPGDSC_0173.JPGDSC_0182.JPGDSC_0246.JPG

Moulin Rouge

If there’s a French sentence that I can say, it is definitely one of the lines in Lady Marmalade. However, it would be definitely be off if you walk along the streets of Paris’ red light district. The nearest metro station is Blanche and once you are there yiu can see a lot of adult shops and who wouldn’t miss the famous  cabaret, Moulin Rouge! Just book a ticket reservation beforehand, if you want to see the show.

DSC_0265.JPG

Drinks

Aside from croissants and other French bread or dishes, what surprised me is the taste of French coffee. It’s a mixture of coffee, alcohol, and cream and I didn’t just know how to distinguish the taste when I tried it. Go, have a drink and taste for yourself!

DSC_0800.JPG

 

There are a lot of exciting tourist spots that I would love to see when I come back in Paris! I’ll come back that is for sure!

Cheeky Guide To German Culture: “German Men Sit Down To Pee”

When one lives in another country, one will be confronted with a lot of cultural differences or some unique things, which one will be confused whether to accept or shrug off. I also have my fair share of these scenarios as well.

Calling a Medical  Clinic

I needed to call  a medical clinic to book an appointment. Since the lady who received my call cannot speak English and I didn’t have that good German proficiency at that time, she really did not understand me. As a result, she just dropped the call. I was thinking that if this is an emergency situation and they cannot speak English or don’t have any patience in understanding a person who has a bad German proficiency, would they care to save a life?

Fried Rice for Breakfast

We Asians are rice lovers since we eat it with every meal. A warm fried rice with a lot of garlic is our staple breakfast meal paired with fried eggs, tapas or any other fried meat. Some Germans find it awful having rice for breakfast as well as the smell of garlic early in the morning.

At the End of Class Presentations or Sessions

After one finishes a class presentation or after a seminar or lecture,  it seems so weird for me to knock on the desk. I just go with the flow every time most of the Germans do it but I exactly don’t know why they do it.

Asian and German Pairing

When I arrived in Germany, most of the Germans asked me whether  my  ex- boyfriend and I met on the internet. I don’t have something against  people meeting on the internet. Most of them do really have successful relationships. However, I need to admit that the stigma of mail-ordered-brides or an Asian woman marrying a white Guy just for money  is still there.

It is really difficult to comprehend these situations. I always question myself whether I’m wrong or not. How much of my own culture or traditions do I need to change just to adhere to German traditions? What can I do to belong and how can a foreigner delineate Germans’ directness and rudeness?

German Men Sit Down to Pee - Nik Frank, James Cave.jpg

This book German Men Sit Down to Pee, which is written by Niklas Frank and James Cave, may not answer every question that I have. However, reading this book is a  good starting point in understanding the German culture.

 “The problem  with stereotypes is that they’re limiting”(10).

They begin the book  by pointing out that there also stereotypes that have been associated with Germans throughout different time periods. One of which is: “Planning is such a big part  of the German psyche that everyone expects everyone else to be organized as well” (106-07). However, I meet a lot of  Germans who just chose  not to be organized.

As foreign readers, the book gives us a lot of perspectives about German life, culture, tradition, celebration, entertainment, food, drinks, etc. There are also some trivia which I never knew before like:”April Fool’s Day… is said to have originated in Germany” (34).

The book has also an in-depth explanation about some interesting German terms such as Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis, Freikörperkultur, etc. The book has many different short chapters, which makes it easier for readers to understand and remember the content. The information in the book is short, concise, and  direct with some given historical or social context.

As a reader, I highly recommend this book because it is useful if one can read this before they embark their journey to Germany or if one still want to try to make sense of the German culture. There are a lot of interesting information here and you will basically know the truth  and the reason whether German men really sit down and pee 🙂

The Authors are currently working on a printed version of the book. Interested readers can find more information  at www.germansbook.com.

Spinach and Mushroom Cream Pasta

Here’s another recipe which everyone can enjoy without feeling guilty that it’s not healthy. I’ve incorporated  spinach and mushroom as the  primary ingredients to the cream sauce so rest-assured that you would have the necessary nutrients in this dish.

Spinach and Mushroom Cream Pasta 

12476933_10153955587414777_2097485_o.jpg

  • 5 cloves          garlic
  • 1  piece           onion
  • 1 bowl             spinach
  • 250 grams     mushroom
  • 200 grams     cream
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon  chili flakes
  • vegetable oil
  • pasta
  • fried ham
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sauté chopped onion and garlic in vegetable oil. Add mushroom and add a little bit of water. Let it simmer for around 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the cream sauce and cream cheese. You may also add salt and pepper to taste and chili flakes to have that tang. Mix the sauce and let it simmer for 6 minutes then add the  spinach. Turn off the heat after a minute.  If you are not a vegetarian, then you can also add fried ham or bacon on top.

Mung Bean Soup

During the Lenten season, my grandmother would always prepare Ginisang Munggo or Mung Bean Soup. We usually eat this every Friday, because we believe that it is a part of fasting. Not eating meat (chicken, pork, or beef)  can be considered as a part of one’s repentance or sacrifice. Since this is the first Friday of Lent, I try  to recreate this tradition by cooking my own version of this dish.

Ginisang Munggo  or Mung Bean Soup

12695303_10153942357524777_720720233_o.jpg

 

  • 2 pieces       tomato
  • 2 pieces       onion
  • 5 cloves        garlic
  • 1 plate           fresh Spinach
  • 100 grams   small shrimp
  • 200 gram     Mung Bean
  • smoked mackerel
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika powder (sweet)
  • olive oil

Boil the Mung Beans with water. Usually, it takes around 1 hour or more to make it soft. Others also soak the beans first for 30 minutes to an hour before boiling them.

In another pot, put olive oil and sauté chopped onions and garlic. Add  the shrimps and tomatoes. You may also want to put a pinch of salt, pepper, and paprika powder to taste.

After  2- 3 minutes, pour the pre-boiled beans to the pot  and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, or paprika powder depending on your preferred taste. Turn off the heat and put the washed spinach  and stir the soup.

Serve hot and put smoked Mackerel as your topping.

 

Dramarasmus: Transit

I’ve just watched my first ever play in German language.

Transit is a one and a half hour play presented by Dramarasmus, which is a theater project for international and local students. It is interesting to see different actors from all around the globe share their passion on one stage, speak their own language, and also, act in German. I definitely understand that it is really hard to erase the accent and I commend most of the actors for speaking clearly. Since I think most of them are not native speakers, it helps that most of the time they speak slowly. As an effect, a non-native audience like me  can really follow and somehow grasp the story.  I also love that there are some movements in between. This serves as a good transition from one play to the other. The last part is really powerful when the actors spoke German and their own native language alternately.

However, here are some points for improvement:

Acting

When it comes to acting, I personally look for the “truth.” This means that every movement that an actor does on stage should be justified and through characterization, it would be easy for an actor to differentiate the roles that he or she plays. Voice can also be used as a tool to further deepen the character so it is really a must to project one’s voice well.

If a wife removes her wedding ring in front of her husband, will she feel pain or relief? Does she feel regret or freedom?

If someone points a gun at you, what will be your expression? Will you be brave to face death or afraid that you just want to run away?

If you are a mother and wife who has some issues with your husband and there’s a chance to talk to him again, what will you feel? Do you still love him or you just want to lie?

When I watch a play, I always want to connect to the story through the actors’ acting. I want to forget that I am not in the theater, but I am with the character on his or her journey.

I think Jonas Lunte, Aleksandar Zekic, and Ana Brinzila really did a great performance.

Technicals

I think, it would be great to play a background sound or music to establish the location of the scene while it is still dark and the actors are still preparing.  This will also help the audience to better understand the scene.

I really love theater and this experience really brings a lot of memories to me. Congratulations to the whole team in Dramarasmus and maybe next time practice the curtain call 🙂 You deserve all the applause for all your hard work 🙂

If you are all in Marburg, Transit will still have shows in Wagonhalle on February 1 and 2 at 8 pm.

 

Beef Nilaga

Yes, it is really cold outside. The common saying that it’s better late than never might be definitely right considering the snowfall this winter season.  I think you would agree with me that one way to fight cold and the feeling of depression is to have a good warm soup. This recipe  is just perfect for this season!

Beef Nilaga

2016-01-21 18.02.33.png

1/2 kg        Beef (ideal with bones)

2  pieces   onions

1 clove       garlic

2 pieces    corn (cut into three)

3 cubes      beef broth

5 pieces     potatoes

1/2              China Kohl/ Cabbage

2016-01-21 18.01.08.png

Boil the beef with onions and garlic for 2 hours using medium heat, if you don’t have a pressure cooker. I always prefer to make the meat softer and easier to chew. Put the corn, potatoes, and beef broth and wait for 10 minutes before adding the China Kohl or Cabbage.

Serve hot.