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Monthly Archives: November 2010

An old friend

Image via cartoonstock.com

At the library a few days back I met a friend again whom I didn’t meet for a few years already. I was abroad for two years and we had E-mail contact. Coming back we wanted to meet and exchanged new numbers. But it seemed pretty clear that we were busy with other things and meeting wasn’t of priority. She was also abroad in between, and we pretty much had an unspoken agreement to not bother anymore. I didn’t know her long before, and the only thing that was holding us together was the mutual experience of losing a loved one. We held on to each other in a time when we thought nobody else could understand. And now it seems this was the only thing that connected us. If that didn’t happen, we wouldn’t even have cared for each other. As I was meeting her again, it felt pretty strange, unrealistic and even unworldly. I already didn’t expect to meet her ever again. It was a mutual feeling. The awkwardness was topped by meeting at the toilet. It isn’t that we wanted to avoid each other…it is just, we don’t seem to be compatible anymore. It feels like we both moved on, overcame (for the most part) the heartbreak this way or the other, even without the help of each other. Now we don’t know what to do with each other anymore. I gave her my number, and she promised to call and set up a meeting “sometime”. I just hope she doesn’t feel pressured to really meet up when it is not our time anymore. It seems to be true that some relationships aren’t meant to last. At the time we gave each other comfort and we didn’t feel alone in the world. Now, as we seem to have nothing in common anymore, the reality sets in, and that is just two girls having nothing to talk about anymore. What a strange thing.

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To ring the bell or not to ring the bell

Image via yehudamoon.com

Cycling in Vienna isn’t fun. You never know when you are gonna be yelled at, even if you are on a bicycle route. You get yelled at for ringing the bell, for driving at your track but disturbing a jaywalker, for taking up space for a biker with a dog. You get yelled at for not looking forward and “nearly knocking down” a pedestrian one meter away from you or for not letting a pedestrian pass by. I never know who has the right of way, but being yelled at is still a bit harsh. The thing is, I don’t mind being yelled at if there’s a reason. But mostly people yell at me when I am already so far away as not getting the chance to yell back, but as near so I can still hear the name-calling. As they get out the bad ones right away, it just feels mean…which is really disturbing considering that I just drove by. But today topped it all. I am already very casual with my bell because normally no one likes it and you risk being called names for being such a “reckless driver” and acting like wanting to be “king of the road” or something. So today, when two guys walked their dog on the bicycle route, taking up the whole road, I was very careful not to disturb them, slowed down and passed by on the left side, maybe half a meter besideย  one of the guys. For me, I thought I was very nice, nobody was disturbed and they could still use the whole street. My boyfriend was right behind me using the same path as me when one of the guys yelled out “You know you have a bell” really aggressively. My boyfriend- since feeling bad the whole day when being yelled at always in “alarm state” when using the bike-yelled right back that there was enough space so he shouldn’t worry. Which prompted the guy to let the poser hang out, daring my boyfriend to get off the bike and “battle it out” or something. I am really amazed that such tiny things can enrage people so much. Maybe we were wrong, yeah, but does this justify that behavior? People seem to be stressed out all the time and just looking for someone to degrade. It is just annoying and you have a hard time not to become cynical. Can’t we just all get along? I know there are reckless bikers, but as with every group, some are bad and give the whole group a bad name.ย  Why do reckless drivers cast such a big shadow over us careful drivers, who just want to drive to the destination without being yelled at?! Pedestrians and bikers-can’t we just unite and get on with it?!

Inheritance

Image: mdr.de

Today is a slow day again…outside it is raining, it is foggy, and the mood is generally set to be a Sunday. And today I received a letter which basically ended my childhood by having formally received my inheritance. It sounds strange, but I already inherited while my mum still lives…she just wanted to get everything settled so that she can enjoy her retirement without worrying about money or formalities. Now it is settled that the house in which I grew up in belongs to my sister, and I inherited the house where my mother grew up in, which she still owned up to now. It feels strange because I thought this would happen when I am well in my 30ies and I could swallow the idea ofย  owning a house. But now the thought is only terrifying. The problem is, the house is very old, my grandmother died a few years ago and since then it was mostly used as a “garbage bin” which means loading old stuff off, using it for family reunions and as a holiday house for family members.

It is a very nice little house, and I like it very much. I just don’t like the idea of owning it, because in a way everybody owns it. If the house would be in Vienna, I would move in right away. But since the house is in the middle of nowhere…or for me, it seems to be in the middle of nowhere, the situation is a little tougher. I cannot imagine to move there someday, the next city is half an hour away and I already had my share of country life. But since everybody owns a piece of it, I don’t really feel like I can make a decision to either let the house or just sell it. And even if I did sell it, I would freak out at the thought of having money. Not that it is worth much ๐Ÿ˜‰ Of course I need money, but I just couldn’t handle it. Those are my feelings and they also play into the whole thesis thing. I am pressured to get to a decision, but I really would have preferred to have inherited after the finish line of my thesis. It just sucks…This present just comes along with a big prize tag. And despite being 25, it is hard to accept. I am such a whiny baby ๐Ÿ˜‰ But it really just sucks…

Sissy

image via tyson snow

I am freaking…It’s already the middle of November and I didn’t even get one word down. I just read…which is good too, of course…all my selfhelp-books recommend reading to a certain extent. Which is the point…to a certain extent. I had hoped to be able to write something down too. I have hired a girl to help me in the stages of writing the thesis and she already thought that I would have put something down. Which I haven’t. I also don’t know if she will charge more if I send her something to read ๐Ÿ˜‰ But still, these are her expectations and it seems that I don’t live up to them. Her normal students would have provided her with at least a few pages already. Considering I met her first time in August, this is really embarrassing. She also recommended to just write to the organizations I want to use in my thesis, which I didn’t even consider. I have to push my boundaries a lot with this thesis. Normally I wouldn’t do that because I am such a chicken…I should get off my ass and write a letter ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

But at least I have my Chinese language partner now ๐Ÿ˜‰ She is of great help and already had a hand in my progress. I am now nearly enjoying reading Chinese texts, not only because the words that are used are repeated so often that even I remember them…words that I normally don’t know in Chinese like “natural resources”, “weapons of mass destruction” or “border control”….but I learned to love the language again. Additionally I finished my Drama today which I talked about in this post. The end was really annoying and I didn’t even like the lead, which repeatedly seems to be the case with asian dramas. I always end up to like the friends of the lead more, because they are usually written to be livelier, dare to talk back to guys and are more independent. The lead regularly seems to be a naive, needy, weepy, dependent girly-girl who makes decisions nobody can understand. And I don’t even want to talk about the voice this girl has in this drama, which is deeply annoying. The good thing is, this is not only my view, but the comments weren’t very nice and Chinese girls seem to have a problem with the lead too. And they wrote very nasty things which I don’t even want to translate. Chinese girls don’t hold backย  ๐Ÿ˜‰ The writers don’t seem to know their audience ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tired

chinese idioms

Wow! Today I did a lot and hopefully I’ll have a Chinese dream. I only had a Chinese dream once…it was funny because while dreaming I thought of the correct grammar. The words I used were very easy, and the Chinese talked like me too ๐Ÿ™‚ It was funny but sadly only once. Today I wrote a lot of Chinese characters, watched the “blind date” drama again (I really hate the voice of the main girl, it seems to be dubbed to sound extremely “ladylike”, which is very annoying), listened to Chinese radio stations, learned vocabulary and idioms. I love Chinese idioms. The words which are used are quite easy to understand (mostly ;-), but the real meaning surpasses the words and tells so much about the Chinese mind, which I find very intriguing, fascinating and likeable. Mostly there is always an ancient story to it, and the four characters bear a really deep meaning. From the ones I learned today, I liked this one: ็ฌจๅคด็ฌจ่„‘ the words mean: stupid head stupid mind and the phrase just sums up stupid, or clumsy, and in a really cool way ๐Ÿ™‚ There are much more but I only know a few. There are actually “idiom battles” in China, where they just “hit” the opponent with idioms and then the opponent has to counter with another. If you are a foreigner you are met with great respect for handling idioms that well ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I will go on fighting my lonely fight ๐Ÿ™‚ If you can identify all the idioms on the left, you are an expert ๐Ÿ™‚

Image: http://gulugule.org/bbs/viewthread.php?tid=232&extra=page%3D1

Internet radio, language partner and asian dramas

Basically I am doing a lot to brush up my Chinese recently. I try to listen to Chinese radio stations online while I’m doing stuff. I discovered a great site where you can switch between stations pretty easy: http://www.radioguide.fm/internet_radio_china

Unfortunately, I still didn’t find my “dream station”. Either they only play ๅคไปฃ music, which is very very old fashioned music, they only talk, they only have commercials or they have “radio dramas”, often meant to be funny…but considering my lack of understanding, I don’t find it funny and hence am disappointed…waiting for my first laugh to come up ๐Ÿ™‚

http://video.fashion4us.com/movie-drama-play-single-princesses-and-blind-dates.actionLast week I also met with a Chinese girl to practice a bit…while I wanted to have a Chinese friend here in Vienna for a long time, I was always too busy to actually go and answer an ad. But now I finally did it. She is a very nice girl from Tianjin and studies piano here, which a lot of Asians do. It is somehow ironic that the average Austrian doesn’t care too much for classical music except for the image of the country and then there are girls like her who sacrifice their whole life for music to realize their dream of studying in Vienna. While talking with her I was so let down by my Chinese I really sucked…As I didn’t expect it to be this bad, I wanted to change something and unwrapped a few books which I took with me from China and already collected dust in my shelf… It’s a shame I always only did the exercises on page one…and then gave up ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh my…my attitude sucks really bad….But what I always love are cheesy Asian dramas ๐Ÿ™‚ I love love love Korean ones, nobody can reach the level of drama, guilt, shame and twisted love triangles like they do…but as I want to enhance my Chinese, I had to look for an equivalent, and since China tries to copy Korea, they also don’t lack cheesy dramas now. Which is good for me ๐Ÿ˜‰ The title already sums it up: “Single princesses and blind dates”. It sounds very cheesy which it is, but I hope it actually improves my Chinese. The good thing is, on the site some guys also made German subtitles which could help me if I really had a problem to understand…but for now the plot is still very easy to understand. That is why I only watch cheesy love stories ๐Ÿ˜‰ Besides my love for love, I can talk about love in Chinese, at least ๐Ÿ˜‰ This is the site to watch: http://www.mysoju.com/single-princesses-and-blind-dates/

Okay…and when I am done with that I have to start reading the “hard” stuff about economy, global questions and monetary problems in Chinese…hope I don’t overreach or overestimate myself ๐Ÿ˜‰