pyjamas my best friend … ;)

School times. The day of the exam or test. Not very well prepared. Praying for a cold. (Un)fortunately, we didn’t have Uncle Google back then to teach us how to stimulate the fever. Now kids have it easier, though I am not sure if this is a good way. Well, it is not. 20 years after – we are praying not to be sick. I have just experienced (second time in my life) being on sickness leave. So I have now realized how it is to be on off sick abroad and you can treat this post as a survival kit for those hard times.

So what happens. You go to sleep and then wake up in the midle of the night. Eyes wide open, but still blurred sight. What the hell is happening? Ahh yeah.. I can feel it. Pain in the throat, shivers. Hello again my dearest friend fever! Living on your own has pros and cons. In this situation – a great con; at 2 a.m. in the morning you have no one to wake up and with Shrek’s Cat eyes asking for some pills and care. No way! You need to move your ass, turn on the light and dig for this thermometer that you’ve used the last time few years ago and only had it because your Mum was obsessed before moving abroad and have equipped you with the whole pharmacy. You were laughing then, but saying how much you love her in your head now. The nightmare is happening. You are sick. It really doesn’t matter if this is just cold or flu or any other difficult latin word, you still have 6 hours before you can make the first call to your Friends here and try to get to the doctor, who obviously doesn’t speak any language you do.

Survived till morning. Ufff… now things will go smoothly. But actually – what are the procedures of going to the doctor or even calling off sick in the new country? Trust me, I’ve lived in three countries by now and seems like in each of them the policy is completely different! Just to help us all out 😉 The good thing is that one message in the morning and seems that everything got miracolously sorted out. Yes, I am lucky to have amazing people around here and basically I’ve had a delivery to the door with the first supply of paracetamol along with the set appointment at the doctor’s. But yeah… then the doctor. Trying to convince that I can really leave the house while being on antibiotics did not work out well and the elder lady just looked at me with a pity and said.. Vai a letto. ahh.. grazie…

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania quotes about being sick

So in the pharmacy. I went with the piece of paper. Surprisingly the note was readable even for myself, so with the smile at the counter I said: “Buongiorno!” and simply passed the piece of paper. It happens. The pharmacist asks the question.. oh dear… getting red. He repeats. No.. giving up. I didn’t understand a word and he didn’t speak English. By gestures though, I understood that I could have chosen if I wanted tablets or pills. I would say this is more C1 language proficiency and I am not quite there yet! 😉

Anyway, have you thought what to do closed in an empty flat for few days? I had those amazing plans. While being in bed I can read books, study italian, watch some movies. Each attempt has finished with a nap after 10 min. Like really… I didn’t even notice that I was on my own for so many hours. The only problem started when my Friend called me and I needed to speak. I have completely lost my voice, so the first two minutes I just sounded ridicolous. After three days I have probably caught up with all polish movies released since I’ve moved abroad and my phone was dying after few hours of usage as I went through all possible online shopping portals (and haven’t bought a thing btw.) and interrupted my Friends all over the world by texting at the most random times with the most random stories. Obviously for me all of them were really important at that particular moment. I have planned every weekend until the end of the year and also made plans on how I’d like to arrange the flat and which displays to see shortly. I’ve also cooked my mum’s soup that is the best cure for any illness! All this lasted 4 days. Now I have 4 more days ahead and I start wondering, why haven’t I decided to live again in the shared house, that would make things more sociable now, I suppose. Well maybe an idea for the next post – pros and cons of living in a shared house?

Anyway, what’s the conclusion – being sick sucks, no matter where you are! & I simply love not taking off pyjamas all day long! 😉

 

why not?

Why do we like some places? Because of beautiful architecture? Stunning landscapes? Interesting people? Probably the mixture of it all, however, I have noticed that myself I can’t actually explain why I like some places more than other. Usually because I had some really good moments there that I’d like to remember or come back to. Sometimes, because of the stunning places that make me feel peacuful or give me some inspiration on what I would like to be doing. Other times simply because it made me feel good. Why? I have no idea.

 I have decided to share those thoughts, not because I am now going to touch the most obvious and re-written subject of any expat/travel blogger – ‘why did I end up here?’. I am living in Italy for four months now. Already and only. I have noticed that I still feel as if I were a tourist myself. Figuring out my life is possibly getting slower than it should go in some areas, but faster in others. Maybe this is called a balance? Or simply reality.

Realizing that you can’t call any place your current home is a bit difficult. When people ask me where am I from it usually depends on with who I speak. With Polish people – ‘I am from Jaworze.’, with Italians – ‘Polish but I live in Como.’, others – ‘It is complicated.’ followed by laughter. In the end it is probably simpler than I present it, but I just tend to overcomplicate things. However, the observation syndrome is my super-power, so I have noticed few things, that change a person that lives abroad and there’s no coming back. So having said that, maybe I should mention the ‘Heart of Darkness’ that popped up some time ago in one of my posts? What do I mean? Let’s focus on Why theoretically speaking you shouldn’t become an expat?

Have you ever thought that you are fed up with your Family and Friends? They pissed you off and you feel like #idgaf (i don’t give a f*ck – if you missed previous posts). Of course you did. Who didn’t? Being an expat – first weeks, if you are lucky and everything goes smoothly, you enjoy the freedom and independency. Then you realize that a homemade soup is a pretty decent Sunday dinner and definitely tastes better than defrosted pizza with some vegetables of uncertain origin with a dose of flavor mainly composed of E ingredients. Then you have first major problem. WTF. You need your Mum’s advice, Dad’s superhero ability to fix everything and Friends’ skill to take out this crazy and stupid idea from your head. How do you end up? Playing avoidance. Having broken fridge for a week and asking yourself why have you done something. Should you regret it? No. Just enjoy every minute of it. This is your own script of your own life. Let’s 0call it Your Name – A series of  Unfortunate Events.

Weekend in a new place. You go shopping. You go travelling. You go out. You want to share those moments with your best friends, but you can’t. You will have those moments when you will simply feel lonely. No matter how many new people you have met, you would really like to find this one or two people that you can text anytime about a small stupid thing. And no. I don’t mean to get into relationship and create a family – I would say the opposite. To actually find someone completely objective but fully understanding your position, desires and complexity of life choices – yes, even groceries in a new country is like a big maze. But hey – before you meet this person – trust me. You will feel lonely. No matter how often you go out and how much time you spend on the phone texting. In the end it is the real contact here and now that you need in your new home. Let’s play Finding Nemo.

You have met this great and best friend. Then you move to another country or he/she does. You both try to make it work. You text. Less and less. You stop. Well, I hope you didn’t expect that all  of your relationships will last forever. They won’t. As an expat you should really realize that as soon as possible and not feel guilty that some things simply don’t work out. Long distance relationships are maybe even more difficult for friendships than the romantic ones. The second ones – you kind of feel more obliged to take care of them, whereas the first ones, you potentially could put on the second track. (I don’t say you should. You actually should not.) Please don’t make your life the How to lose Friends and alienate People kind of thing, but do text a bit more and show a bit of attention if you care. If you don’t. Just leave it. Be honest with yourself and the other human being.

Short one. Can you have a dog? No. Can you have a cat? No. Unless, you are lucky and you work from home, but then why would you move 1,2k km away? So in the end, you can’t have a pet. Welcome to the Castaway.

You feel like moving abroad is like running away from your problems. Is it really? Is the whole moving part worth it? Probably not, but you realize it too late. Then you do the same mistake? Simply speaking – you got addicted to being on the move. Always being in trouble of settling yourself but also having this amazing feeling of the blank page. Now, admit it. How often could you do that? Neverending story.

Does it sound scary? Did I put you off from moving abroad or made you think like why the hell she said recently she was actually happy? I am happy. I am very happy, because if you read those paragraphs again and think about actually how much you are learning from all of those obstacles, you realize that living abroad is something everyone should at least try. To get to know yourself. To get to know your real friends. To get to know new people. To get to know new places and appreciate your previous homes. In the end it is all worth a hassle and despite having your ass kicked, you will actually get much more benefits from the situation. Above all you will learn how not to be lonely when you’re alone.

 

the Bologna Code

Yes, I finally fell in love. Those butterflies in my stomach. I can’t fall asleep as the reality seems better than the dream. I am dreaming about new plans. I am trying new things and discovering new interests.

You already know me, so I bet you realize it. I fell in love with another city.

Bologna – a great chapter that has just started three weeks ago. Unexpectedly. Very spontaneously bought train tickets and went away. With no significant plan. Just to walk around. Read a book. Chill. Maybe meet some people. Did I expect that the city will have such a great impact on myself? Not at all.

Let’s start from the beginning. As any bigger city in Italy, Bologna has its unique adjectives that sum up her soul. Why do I assume it’s a Lady? Because despite all very specific and sometimes even dark corners of the city, I can feel the feminine side of it. So Bologna is just a proper Lady for me 😉 So what are the adjectives for her? ‘La rossa, La dotta, La Grassa’. In other words, eductated, red and fat. It describes the place to the point. The city is full of very wise people, that even within 3 mintue conversation have something interesting to say that will leave you hanging with a thought till the end of the day. They also love having a drink and a dinner under beautiful cloth halls with red roof tiles (which are actually the big advantage of the city, as both times I have been there it rained). Funny thing is that in regards to the cuisine, I have discovered that actually spaghetti bolognese does not exist. I mean not in a worldwide known form, so with pasta spaghetti and ragu al bolognese sauce. Simply because this type of pasta is too thin and destroys under the heavy sauce. Now we know why it is simply impossible to be eaten and for us to remain without stains!

Following my interest in everything that is less usual, I have made my own investigation, almost like the one from the da Vinci code, and followed the well-known secrets (nice oxymoron, isn’t it?!) of Bologna. You’d be surprised how many of them appear in this, yes I will say it, slightly communist city.

First one is connected with my first weekend there and is about the Il Portico di San Luca. The longest portico in the world. It leads us straight to the sanctuary on the top of the hill. Unfortunately, the view from it is slightly disappointing, but on the way you can see an old stadium and just a big of panorama at the city. Anyway, what is so mysterious about this place? The number. The diabolic number 666. It reflects the number of all arcades that belong to this portico. It is a bit strange that in the end it leads to such a religious place. Or maybe it is just me? Bologna definitely is the city that breaks rules and she doesn’t care about what is perceived as normal.

san-luca-portici-bologna

Let’s see another proof of that. Fontana del Nettuno. At first sight very normal. Actually, I haven’t noticed anything abnormal, but the second time I have visited the city, I have noticed it from another angle. The thumb. The thumb that is, just saying it very politely, the extension of the male’s attribute. Of course the first thing I did was to google it! Was it only me having this connotaion?! Thank god no. There are more of us.

fontananettunobologna

Fontana_del_Nettuno_a_Bologna_(Visuale_curiosa

Actually it was done on purpose. The sculpture didn’t get the permission to make the penis as long as he believed it should be, so.. he has decided to place the thumb in the strategic area. It worked. Obviously! To add up to this. It is placed in the square straight to the window of window that used to be a building of nun’s. Apparantly, they have been so gutted about the view that they have covered the window completely. Is it true? We can’t be sure. But definitely sounds provocative. Like the whole city.

Another quite rebellious story is connected with the affair. How could it be different?! Portico Corte Isolani. It supposedly has 3 arrows stuck in it. I haven’t seen them. I was standing and staring and have seen nothing. In any case, they are supposed to be there after the big scene made after the husband got to know his wife was cheating on him! He has paid three archers to kill the lover, however, the wife has shown her breast during the execution to distract the men. They all missed it and the beau remained alive.

Bologna-porticato-Corte-Isolani

Panis vita, canabis protectio, vinum laetitia. That smell of the city. It reminded me the smell of Amsterdam, Berlin and UK. The smell of marihuana. Maybe this fresco is not meant to mean what it means today, but it adds this freedom feeling to the city. In the past cannabis meant simply the fibre or canvas. Let me believe in this independent meaning though.

canabis-protectio

Can you hear those whispers? I have heard a lot of italian swear words while standing on the other side of Palazzo di Podesta! The walls of this place are created in a way to enable the listener on the other side to hear what the other person is saying while standing on the opposite. It is said it was created like that on purpose. To allow leprotic people to confess. I don’t know if this is the truth, but I would definitely love to try this one out with one of my friends or… to ‘mishear’ some crazy story of another person. Admit it… you would love to hear something like that as well! Everyone loves other people’s secrets!

4

I admit it. I took all of the photos from the internet this time. Mainly because I got so caught up in the moment of the city that I spent most of the time witouht my camera and the phone almost dead, as I kept on forgetting to recharge it. I met amazing people, that I really hope to keep in touch with.

Now, can you guess why do I love this city that much? What are the main adjectives that come to your mind that me and Lady Bologna have in common? Or maybe which ones I aim to achieve and build up my life on that this mysterious city insipired me with?

To make it easier for you, I will share some of the feelings that this city is giving to me. First of all, it is inspiring. You see the art everywhere. In every corner. In people. In the walls. Modern art shaken with medieval memories. It gives a kick to the creativity, but also makes me feel calm. Just sitting on some square and reading. I feel outside my zone. Because it is far enough for me to disattach from my current home, but close enough to go there every other weekend to create my own space. What I have always looking for in my life was this place that will allow me to build up a separate world, where I can fully focus on my personal plans and to look for inspirations and motivations to proceed with my adventure. It used to be Spain for a while. Then come back to Poland.

This Lady is rebbelious and is not scared to go her own way. I don’t know if I am there yet, but surely I want to be this independent person that overcomes the fears and some established rules. Yes, this is slightly liberal lifestyle – somehow a getaway from the normality. This Lady helps me to have smile on my face and feeling better in my own skin. It is open minded and proves that the normality simply does not exist.

So yes, I fell in love again.

kla

Middle place

How does it feel to be in your ‘middle’ place? Since I moved out it was already four and a half months. Not much. I agree. However, it seems like forever. I will say it again – thanks to the great surrounding, my hard work to organize life pretty quickly and my luck. Since this is my third country to live in, I was wondering how would it be to be back in my ‘second’ home (?). The time has come…

I am back at the Heathrow & the familar smell of dumpness hit my nostrils again. 

It felt weird. Weirdly good and just weird. Inside I felt some kind of calmness. I was in the place well known to me. Something that was my world for over two years. Culture. People. Nature. City. Rush. The language used around was familiar. I even heard some polish people talking. I felt closer to my Friends. Saw few familiar brands. Typical English pubs. British people in shorts in 10° C. Girls full of makeup. Any age range sitting in the pub laughing with their mates. The same grey sky that almost never changes. A bit of a light wind and a chill on your face. 

It didn’t feel like home though. Felt like something inbetween. Inbetween Poland and Italy. Like a short passage I did in order to find my place. Something that is needed but doesn’t seem like a real thing. 

After getting to the hotel and realizing – I am back home tomorrow! – I was back to normal. Good to see some familiar faces from the past but feels even better to be back in present – Italy.

Now sitting on the plane, I am realizing one very typical thing for expats…

It is not due to the time, you start calling a place your Home. You either feel it from the start or you just move forward.

I’m a legal alien…

To all my fellow expats – I bet you have had a feeling, when you have felt weird. Akward. Not comfortable. Alienated. Well – good news! This is completely normal. Sometimes every person wants to simply hide in their own four corners and become invisible to the world. Why does it happen to the foreigners more often? Probably because what is the most difficult is to melt with others. To get to know, understand and acquire the new culture. You may say ‘What does she know, she has been travelling only within Europe?’. Trust me, crossing the boarder makes a difference everywhere.
As we are people full of energy who need to explore what’s new and unknown, I can also confirm that even if we have those moments (or at least myself), we still make ourselves to move our ass and go forward. Thanks to that, I have actually discovered what is the best about being a ‘stranger’ and how to use this to my advantage.
It’s a new day, It’s a new world
You have one and only (or sometimes few of them 😉 !) chance to have a fresh start and change what you didn’t like about yourself or maybe were not motivated enough to work on in the past. I have noticed that I seem to be interested in much different things than only few months back (and shortly you will get to know what that is). I am discovering new things and try not to go into too mainstream places, but want to explore what is hidden and usually slightly different. Have I ever considered myself as the art lover? No. Do I enjoy going to the modern art exibitions now? Yes. Why? Because it is new for me. Exactly as I am new for others here. This means a perfect time to work on my flaws and try to be the person I have always wanted to be rather than a #grumpycat. I am not talking about the change of personality, but small things. In my case… people can feel free while talking to me in the morning now. I will not freeze anyone with my sight 😉
2. I am not the only one…
Sometimes feeling like… OMG! People must think I am crazy! At least I thought so. Changing places so often. Travelling even when I am dead tired. Meeting new people and going out with them. Loving long train trips and getting lost in every place. Surprise! There are more people like that. In my case, I have actually realized that others can be much more spontaneous, much more courageous and have so much interesting life experience I would like to learn from them! I have found people who have the same sense of humor, the same need of adventure and the same need for craziness in their life! The fact that you are also the only one that cannot settle is also quite comforting.
3. I got these fresh eyes ….
While for locals everything seems simple and boring, for me there is nothing homogeneous. I see everything almost with child’s eyes. Small things can make me really excited. On the other hand, big things can make no difference, as potentially I have already seen it somewhere else. Those are the little moments that make the biggest impact and make me the happiest! Wow.. just realized another positive… I see much more things that are worth being noticed and admired! Though… I must say it now. Every time I see somewhere a thing from Poland, I will go mental and make sure that everyone around sees that and is aware how proud I am at that second.
4. We can help you, We’re gonna help you
This is amazing! Obviously being blond, blue eyes, short girl is an advantage and definitely brings more empathy. But now imagine adding to that being a foreigner and not knowing the local language, habits and area. Checkmate! Even if you don’t need help, you will always find 5 people on your way that will help you despite. There is something amazing about the fact how much in some cultures, people feel responsible for expats and how badly they want to help. I appreciate it and cannot be more happy, greatful for that. Although, there are moments when I’d like to say.. ‘Hey! I am not 5 years old. I can handle it.’ This is only due to my pride though… 😉 (maybe I should look at point 1 and try to get rid of it).
5. These are things I don’t understand
How many ridicolous misunderstandings have I have since I moved out of Poland? A LOT! My favourite is curva. My face is more or less like that everytime I hear it –>>>
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania oops cat
curva – a turn in italian. In Polish – just google it! 😉
But my motto would be.. Do you want to see the world in a different way?’. Trust me there is nothing more inspiring than being in a new place and once you try moving around, you will always have this need to go beyond your own capabilities. In the end impossible doesn’t exist. There are less and less things that scare me and more and more things I’d like to experience, because opening for the ‘newness’ is what I am craving in my life.
Coming up next ->> The Heart of Darkness?
A presto!

klaet you have had a feeling, when you have felt weird. Akward. Not comfortable. Alienated. Well – good news! This is completely normal. Sometimes every person wants to simply hide in their own four corners and become invisible to the world. Why does it happen to the foreigners more often? Probably because what is the most difficult is to melt with others. To get to know, understand and acquire the new culture. You may say ‘What does she know, she has been travelling only within Europe?’. Trust me, crossing the boarder makes a difference everywhere.

As we are people full of energy who need to explore what’s new and unknown, I can also confirm that even if we have those moments (or at least myself), we still make ourselves to move our ass and go forward. Thanks to that, I have actually discovered what is the best about being a ‘stranger’ and how to use this to my advantage.

  1. It’s a new day, It’s a new world

You have one and only (or sometimes few of them 😉 !) chance to have a fresh start and change what you didn’t like about yourself or maybe were not motivated enough to work on in the past. I have noticed that I seem to be interested in much different things than only few months back (and shortly you will get to know what that is). I am discovering new things and try not to go into too mainstream places, but want to explore what is hidden and usually slightly different. Have I ever considered myself as the art lover? No. Do I enjoy going to the modern art exibitions now? Yes. Why? Because it is new for me. Exactly as I am new for others here. This means a perfect time to work on my flaws and try to be the person I have always wanted to be rather than a #grumpycat. I am not talking about the change of personality, but small things. In my case… people can feel free while talking to me in the morning now. I will not freeze anyone with my sight 😉

2. I am not the only one…

Sometimes feeling like… OMG! People must think I am crazy! At least I thought so. Changing places so often. Travelling even when I am dead tired. Meeting new people and going out with them. Loving long train trips and getting lost in every place. Surprise! There are more people like that. In my case, I have actually realized that others can be much more spontaneous, much more courageous and have so much interesting life experience I would like to learn from them! I have found people who have the same sense of humor, the same need of adventure and the same need for craziness in their life! The fact that you are also the only one that cannot settle is also quite comforting.

3. I got these fresh eyes ….

While for locals everything seems simple and boring, for me there is nothing homogeneous. I see everything almost with child’s eyes. Small things can make me really excited. On the other hand, big things can make no difference, as potentially I have already seen it somewhere else. Those are the little moments that make the biggest impact and make me the happiest! Wow.. just realized another positive… I see much more things that are worth being noticed and admired! Though… I must say it now. Every time I see somewhere a thing from Poland, I will go mental and make sure that everyone around sees that and is aware how proud I am at that second.

4. We can help you, We’re gonna help you

This is amazing! Obviously being blond, blue eyes, short girl is an advantage and definitely brings more empathy. But now imagine adding to that being a foreigner and not knowing the local language, habits and area. Checkmate! Even if you don’t need help, you will always find 5 people on your way that will help you despite. There is something amazing about the fact how much in some cultures, people feel responsible for expats and how badly they want to help. I appreciate it and cannot be more happy, greatful for that. Although, there are moments when I’d like to say.. ‘Hey! I am not 5 years old. I can handle it.’ This is only due to my pride though… 😉 (maybe I should look at point 1 and try to get rid of it).

5. What do you mean?!

How many ridicolous misunderstandings have I have since I moved out of Poland? A LOT! My favourite is curva. My face is more or less like that everytime I hear it –>>>

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania oops cat

curva – a turn in italian. In Polish – just google it! 😉

But my motto would be.. Do you want to see the world in a different way?’. Trust me there is nothing more inspiring than being in a new place and once you try moving around, you will always have this need to go beyond your own capabilities. In the end impossible doesn’t exist. There are less and less things that scare me and more and more things I’d like to experience, because opening for the ‘newness’ is what I am craving in my life.

Coming up next ->> The Heart of Darkness?

A presto!

kla

straight to La Dolce Vita

So far from home – Too high to know – Are you really there – Or is it just they told me so

Sometimes I ask myself a question – how the heck I made it all the way to Italy? It can’t be only hard work, but it is definitely not purely luck. Was it always easy? Hell no! My way to Dolce Vita had a bit of turbulences, some pebbly roads and spiky nets to went through. I was a bit off those days – not because of bad mood or something in particular happened in my life, but after 4 months in a new place, I have realized that I have again reached the point where I have to settle. Stop being a tourist, but to make this place my home and to organize my life. Probably you have already realized that this is not the easiest thing for me, but actually for the first time this seems right for me (believe it or not I have changed houses 12 times in the last 8 years). Constant Traveller’s Mood is good, but.. to some extent. Then I need to also have my own place. My own ‘palazzo’.

Why is it different this time? Probably thanks to the people I have met. I was always lucky and had great Friends and colleagues around, however, for the first time I can literally feel the motivation and constant having my ass kicked in order to move forward. What is the best about it is that they do it naturally. Possibly they don’t know what a great impact they have on my life now. Well… if they read this post, they will finally realize. Maybe I should be less Polish here and simply share what I think more openly? This is another story.

Few weeks back, one of my friends here asked me what has changed in my life after the move. Surprisingly, that was one of the most difficult questions. Because at that stage, I thought that probably only the place around me, the job, the culture has been different. How wrong I was? Completely wrong. As extremely stubborn person, I would have never thought how I could have changed in 4 months. All thanks to the #ladolcevita.

First of all, I have started to listen to others. I always liked having those two or three people I look up to and to follow them, but now it seems stronger and I strive for it. It is not because I have suddenly stopped being confident or lost my energy. It is because I really feel that they care and they put themselves in my situation. When seeing me down, they will always cheer me up – usually by saying something super ridicolous in Polish or provide me with some ‘literal’ meanings of some ‘unliteral’ words. In any case – both is working. What has also changed is that for the first time, I am not trying to influence what is happening around me or people’s action. I am surprised myself how I am accepting the reality and I don’t fight it. Seems I am weaker? I think smarter.

Still remaining a spontaneous soul, I have recently went out to Milan to meet other expats living in Italy. I made the decisions within 5 minutes to meet completely unknown to me people and basically I didn’t know anything about them. My friends of course were a bit worried, but they know me. I am crazy but within limits (or not?). The first feeling I had when I met them was – great sense of humor! Extremely ironic and with no boundaries. This is what I like! During the conversation, I have also realized how creative they are, and also how similar experiences we have. Seems they have had the similar feeling with me as they have invited me to join their Team of the Cool Kids Club in Milan and now I am organizing the coolest group of expats in Milano along with them. Gives a kick. Gives motivation. Gives energy. The coolest thing about is that they really treat it seriously and I am learning so much from them, but at the same time I really feel like we get along well and this has a very good basis for a long-term friendship. What brought us closer is what took us further from our Friends from our countries – the will to discover and the need to move around. Getting to know new people. Organizing events. Creating social media. That will take my nights in the next months and I can’t wait for that!

I would have lied if I have said that I don’t strive still for new experiences, places, people. I am travelling a lot around and I am still not scared to go somewhere on my own. This allows me to discover my new world. I love it trip by trip more. Again thanks to marvellous views, cities but… above all… people. Recently I have gone for a trip to Bologna. Booked a hostel for a change. To meet new people and check out how hostels have changed since last time I went to one (few years back on my road trip to Benelux). First moments – a bit dissapointing. One extremely boring guy that didn’t even say Hi back and another one who didn’t even notice me in the common area. Yaaay! I rushed out immidiately. The last thing I wanted to do is to try to make any contact with such friendly people. So I went out. Surprisingly I haven’t met much people this time, but I also didn’t try myself to make any contact. After the disappointment in the first hour, I thought that I can’t be bothered.

Bologna is beautiful. The atmosphere, old buildings, history and… students. I think I am still a student inside. Definitely didn’t grow up yet and I am not even closer. When people ask me how old I am, I simply tend to be surprised myself, that I am over 22! 😀 After 25km of walking I went back to the hostel in the late evening. Hoping not to meet those two intersting guys and have my peace in bed to fall asleep. I opened the door and saw 3 girls from Germany. First sentence – exchange of names. Second – inviting me for a night out with them. YES! I was extremely tired, but put my grip together, shower, super elegant outfit (vans shoes and t-shirt) and yes, I am ready for a night out! When I met them in the city, it appeared that they have already met italian group of students, which didn’t surprise me as in Italy it would have been unusual not to meet anyone. This time though, I had a really good feeling about them from the first sight. A bit of craziness mixed with seriousness and ‘not giving a f*ck’ (my personal favourite!) approach. 10 minutes with them and I already found a common ground. And again irony was in the air! Really open and easy going, therefore, we have finished the night actually in the morning, going through the most random topics that were surprisingly sophisticated considering the time and.. % (americano! 😉 ) I must admit, I have learnt quite a few things from them. and have noticed the interest of experiencing new things. Same feeling I have day by day, but maybe in different areas. What I have noticed though is that… they almost did not use their phones while showing us around. How badly I am addicted to the social media? Especially now while having the new project open? EXTREMELY. The girls I met in the hostel were also really fun and they remind myself from the Uni. Full of energy, brave and open for new experience. Ahh wait… this hasn’t changed at all, but I am happy to see that there are more crazy girls around as I know how happy and achieved they will feel in few years time!

So what is my plan for the next months? Settle? Yes. In my own weird way, namely:

  • every weekend new city or new place in the city
  • stay active
  • … not sleep.

Hope to see you all in the Cool Kids Club! ->>> https://sites.google.com/view/ckcmilan/home or find us on FB!

A presto!

Kla

‘don’t blink’

…and I don’t listen to Salvador Dali. I blink.

My holiday is officially gone. Not that I can complain as this year, I have been travelling quite a bit and have managed  to visit a lot of new places and I am still planning some weekend gateways in Italy, but … as always, holiday is always too short. Anyone is brave enough to say I am wrong? Well, please share your days off with me. I perfectly know what to do with them.

This year, as I have just moved to another country, I have invited my best Friends and we have decided to do some explorling around the area I am currently settling in. I was kind of responsible for organizing the trip – our schedule, hotels, being a driver etc. Was I perfect? No… I failed a lot of times. Have changed the plan uncountable amount of times and got lost at least once every time we were going somewhere. In the end though, I think we had a great time. Personally, I have forgotten about all the stress linked with the move, new challenges and have simply disconnected from my everyday life. Just enjoying having my Friends around. We don’t see too often, so I just had to take the most out of those days.

There we go… I picked my Friend Ewa from the airport last Thursday and unfortunately, the weather completely messed up with our plans from the very start. I wrote in the past, I don’t like having plan. In this case, I did have it and.. had to change it. Instead of a nice walk at the Lake, we had delayed plane due to storms, huge lightning, heavy rain and bedtime at 2 a.m. We woke up… another storm  coming. Nervous checking of the weather forecast was not very promising. Crazy idea in one second. Let’s try Torino! Weather forecast seemed fine. Ok. Let’s go. Only 2 hours of drive, so we can easily make it a one-day trip. Almost the whole way the clouds were heavy and dark. First 30minutes in the city was kind of a nightmare, that led us to the nervous laughter and a feeling of giving up! But we didn’t! After looking for few supermarkets, getting lost in the not very beautiful and safe looking park.. we have made it to a beautiful square, had really late lunch and… the sun came out! Our day has started… Our trip has started. Since then everything must have gone right. Next day we picked up Asia and Happy T(h)ree Friends were together again!

Torino by night

I don’t want to bore anyone with all the trips we took, sights we have seen and all the mishaps that ended up in a great adventures. What I want to write about today is my feeling from the first exploring of the place which will be my home for at least next few years. What is exciting, what is scary, what I have learned by now and what is still in the learning phase. Because any expat knows that first few months are only the surviving moments and only after that you can start actually learning the new world around you. Frankly speaking, despite being few years in the UK, I still don’t feel like I have been completely adapted to that world. But this is for another story.

Ewa, myself and Asia

Italy – country of love, food, landscapes, family… Seems like a paradise and I must admit it is very close to that. I have experienced only positive energy while being here and even small problems that occur with the whole bureaucratic world do not change this feeling. What I have experienced those days is that no matter where you go and which way you take, there is always something to look at. No.. sorry, to stare at. The beauty of the country is just not to be described. I have already seen a lot of places in Europe, but never so much beauty crammed in one place. We were walking many kilometers a day. Doing some trips by car. Taking train, cable cars. Walking up the hill. None of this was boring and none of this waste of time or… our energy, which trust me was very limited in the heat we have experienced. Every day while coming back home, I was just stunned and couldn’t believe that this is my new place to live and where to go next. My Friends shared the same feeling and experience with me. They were happy for me, probably calmed down, as they remembered my first quite difficult months when I first moved abroad. Both them and myself have discovered that I am simply another person. With a smile on my face. 24h/7days/week.

We have met some people. In the B&B we have rented, on the street, in a restaurant. Each of them with their story. Each of them with different experience and each of them made an impact on me. Even if we only spoke for few minutes, I felt I have taken out something from them. First person that really impressed me was an elderly Lady that had the B&B in Verona (really beautiful city btw though Casa di Giulietta was the biggest disappointment of the trip). She was running this place for few years already. It seemed that she has given her whole heart to this house and guests. Every morning getting up to personally prepare the breakfast, have a chat with each guest. She has decorated the place in a very stylish way that described her passions and personality. She is a person very interested in life and very caring. As all Italians I have met by now. There is a stereotype saying about Italian hospitality and by now I have experienced it in the best possible way. Even on the street, we  had some people stopping us, helping with the way. Once we had a situation when at very late night, me and my Friend were a bit lost, but decided to take some photos. At that stage some strange to us Italian guys came over and started talking. In Poland what you do at midnight… Run. Here, they showed us a way, told us a bit about the history of the place. Nothing intrusive. Probably trying to flirt, which is kind of understandable in the country of love, but nothing uncomfortable. Really funny. 15 minutes of chat and every goes their way. They proved me how easy it is to start talking to people on the street here. This is not that common in any other country I have visited (well, maybe in Spain as well).

The next day, completely devastated after the day in Gardaland (which scared me to death!) and sightseeing all morning in Verona, we have finally made it to Desenzano del Garda. I forgot to mention that from the previous day Ewa has already left for another holiday trip, so it was me and Asia continuing the italian journey.

Me and Asia in Desanzano del Garda

I almost screamed when I finally saw BEACH! After a week of sightseeing in a full sun, it was a great relief and relaxing time. What I loved there was that dogs are allowed on the beach. Not very common approach, but in Italy it is natural that you bring the dog to the store, restaurant, beach. This is what I love about this country as well. They love pets/animals. Obviously, in my head people that love animals are the best kind of people! 😉 The same day we have also met a Band from South America. I must admit that the only way I remembered their name (my Spanish lessons back in a day were not as advanced as I could have thought back then) was thanks to very explicit story on its origin and it actually made me laugh a lot. I will try to look it up and maybe share some links in the future. I’d love to share their energy! In any case, I have thought I was so brave to leave from Poland while not knowing anyone in the UK. Wait a minute.. was I? I had a contract in my hand, help from HR, some relocation package. They have left to another continent, dropping their probably more or less settled lives to come to Europe. Kind of other side of the globe. The only plan is to follow dreams and to show their talent, which I must admit stroke to me. Everyone has different reasons for leaving, but you need to have the courage to follow your dream and they definitely had it. Short moment but made me think. I said I was jealous of that. Some adrenaline in veins, not knowing what’s the next day, instability, lack of settlement. Yes, I am jealous. Not brave enough to do that though. Possibly also not talented in anything enough that would allow me to make any kind of money to survive…

Verona by night

Ok, but what scares me in Italy. One thing, that was not that obvious for me probably in the UK as I was surrounded by other expats, so I felt that such life was normal. But what I seem to be missing is some kind of link to the past. I have felt it with my Friends now. Having spent my whole High School with Asia and having her now here was a great time. Because we understand each other without a word. I know what she wants by only a look I get from her and the other way round. I am not saying I won’t be able to make such close friends in Italy, but in the end we have grew up together and experienced a lot of teenage ‘problems’ and overcame some challenges, which simply made us closer. I miss it. This is why I really wish they will come here as having them close would be so much easier for me to share every moment.

In Menaggio at Lago di Como

Still to learn.. Italian people have time. Time for everything. I don’t. I mean, I have the same time as people here, but I am not used to … use it. In Poland we have learnt to be stressed about everything. Every little thing, but in the end what is the reason of that? To shorten our lives? In this stress, we tend to lose the focus on good things. On happy moments. I really hope to be able to learn this and give up my previous habits. I also want to be that happy with no self-created executioner hanging above my head waiting for me to make a small mistake. Just relax and take things easier than in the past. Not less serious, but with less nervous approach and headache.

Monte Brè

Probably my longest post, so if you have made it till the end, I hope you will also share your experiences on the foreign place you have lived in or visited that made an impact on you. I am really interested if you have similar thoughts on the world surrounding us.

Keep in touch,

kla