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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Travel in books…what a dream fantasy!

picture via amazon

Recently, I read this book by Jasper Fforde with the catching name “The Eyre Affair”. I want to resist to make a book review, because I want to dwell on another point of the book. I guess it had just the right amount of romance, crime, fantasy, girl power and everything. I kind of disliked the end because it just had to end with a wedding even though the point of the whole book before that was to be emancipated. Or I missed the point. And of course I like romance, but it could have ended with just the two of them getting together, not marry on the spot! But that’s only me…

What I actually want to talk about is this:

This Jasper Fforde guy has a wild fantasy and one includes visiting the world of real books which is such a marvelous idea! It’s like Pleasantville but only with books. In the book there even was a tourist guide who made trips with clients to favorite book scenes and everything. Mr. Rochester took them on a tour of Thornfield Hall. How cool is that! The only flaw was not to disturb the first-person narrator otherwise one could change the storyline. It would be wonderful to plan such trips. Imagine going to a travel agency booking trips to your favorite books! I would literally die of excitement!

I am such a girl here but only think of the chances you could have! I am only thinking about happy books here 😉   I wouldn’t visit books about pain and misery…after all, you want to walk into a fantasy!

Of course it would be nice to check out Jane Eyre and see the real Mr. Rochester…in all the TV adaptations he is rather beautiful whereas in the book he is supposed to be, well, not as gorgeous as the 2006 BBC adaptation Mr. Rochester…

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Only imagine to dance at the Netherfield ball!

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Or even attend the wedding!

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I would visit all of the Jane Austen books naturally, considering those are all fantasy novels and all of them have a happy ending 🙂 My other favorite, besides pride and prejudice, would be persuasion!


Or visit one of your favorite books you read as a child! For me that would be this one “Pony, bear and evening star”:

picture via amazon

Isn’t it lovely? Strolling through the night with a bear (I am a sucker for bears ;-)) and a pony, chasing the evening star. What else could a girl wish for?

Hop into short stories just for a quick fix! Maybe you could get a discount from the travel agency for stories shorter than, say, 30 pages 😉

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Or hide behind your favorite detective!

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I would choose the stories of the “Famous Five”, nothing too dangerous in there 😉

Or talk to a person who wrote an amazing autobiography. (Maybe this would go against the rule of contact to the first-person narrator but it would be definitely cool!) I would love to talk to a former spy agent or something 🙂


Or even understand one of your scholarly books better through a visit…


Or self help books…I eat those up 😉 Get firsthand help from the author!

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Hop into the classic 😉

Or even crawl into one of your language learning books…talk to one of the “Tims” and “Marias” firsthand!

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Check out your favorite cookbooks 🙂

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I would choose one of my Chinese cookbooks…yummy!

Get first-hand experience from history books.

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Maybe I would check out what the buzz about Elizabeth, the then empress of Austria was and still is all about.

Visit places all over the world through travel books…

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Beautiful, isn’t it?

It’s just too amazing to be true ;-(

So, where would you go, given the chance?


Easter gossip

Easter holiday. Visiting my mom. Going to church and almost dying of boredom. Eating way too much chocolate. Seeing people I haven’t seen in a while and getting sentimental.

The only funny thing while sitting in church was the priest grumbling at his altar boys and girls (not even my splendid service I did as a kid could change his character, bless his heart) and my mom pointing out to a former student of hers sitting in front of us where we are in the church song book. The former student surely was thrilled getting instructions from my mom years after leaving school 🙂 It seems like you can get the teacher out of school, but the school doesn’t leave the teacher…or something like that.

It is almost always the same when it’s time to visit my family. Since it’s always the same old, you know what to expect and I’m cool with that. But this time, my grandma was agitated when her brother pointed out to her that I wasn’t featured in the yearly report of the area in the section of people graduating or accomplishing something else in their life. Because of him, she now worries that the whole township is gossiping about me and my eternal studies and living off of my mom’s money. “If he is already talking about this to me, imagine what other people are saying!” she cried out to me! THE horror!! My grandma is deeply concerned about the reputation of my family 😉 She surely imagines people whispering behind her back: “You know how their girl studies until she’s thirty and still won’t get anything done.” Or: “You know, I was told that someone saw her there and there sipping cocktails/buying expensive clothes/eating in a fancy restaurant. The nerve of that girl when she didn’t even earn her own money yet.” Or “My child is working ten years already while this kid just lives her life without any concern for the community she lives in!” And surely she imagines them discrediting my upbringing: “Boy did they do a job on that girl!” Or “Boy, what could they have done to deserve such a slouch of a girl.” I was very amused, but when the neighbor started to ask me the same questions my grandma was worried about, I started to wonder, is my grandma on to something here? Do you only get a pass in your early 20s, but when you reach 25 without a degree, people get suspicious? Even a friend of mine who normally isn’t interested in anything I’m doing sat there expecting answers from me. And the questions kept going on when I was going out. It’s exhausting. “How is your thesis going?”, “What’s the topic of your thesis?”, “When are you planning on handing in your thesis?”, “When are you finally finished with your studies?”, “How do we call you then?” (In a country like Austria where titles are the ticket to being worshiped this is exceedingly important to ask!), “What are you planning on doing then?”, “You surely start working there or there, right?”  Blablabla…  Scary! Especially because I don’t know a good answer to any of these questions. And especially because I dread the time when I really graduate more than anyone else and I am profoundly dreading the time searching for jobs when I don’t have any hope of finding a decent one.

Now I returned to my little haven in the city with no gossip and no one is interested in my studies! What relief 😉 But not for long, Mother’s Day is around the corner. I wonder what the next visit will bring…

How to look like an ajumma

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So, I went to the hairdresser the other day to get a new cut for summer. Who doesn’t want to look radiant and fresh and ready for summer?!

First, I want to say that never in my life did I get the “perfect cut” and never in my life did I have the “perfect hair”. Going to the hairdresser is a necessity for me, it is not something where I expect some miracle hairdo or something. But apart from that, even I have some standards. With my new do I lost my mojo completely. I wonder, do more expensive hairdressers actually listen to you? Because if so, next time I will shill out some money for not having to run around with awkward hair for a few months. But since I can only afford quantity, the hairdresser of the cheap category of hairdressers just didn’t listen to me and just cut away. Recklessly, with no chance to object. The thing is, yeah, this hairdresser is doing her job at bad pay, cutting countless heads a day and for her it must feel like just another ugly head coming by. I understand! This was not the kind of hairdresser where they massage your head for half an hour, talk about your wishes for another half hour and serve coffee in between. But wouldn’t it be nice if students like me could also get a fabulous haircut for little money?

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To be sure, I don’t worry about my hair all day long and instead focus on my thesis. The way it should be 😉 But trying to fix my haircut every morning and looking at this thing on my head everyday is just frustrating. At first I didn’t even mind, after all if it is shorter I don’t need to go to the hairdresser that often (one has to be positive 😉 ) I tend to think of myself as being not too vain (I am aware that I am totally contradicting myself here with this post…well…) I generally don’t have issues with short hair. But what I wanted is very different from what I got.

The normal deviation from my wishes and the actual do is about 30%. In this case, it was like 90%, which is a new low for me. Even my five-year old me, who already experienced fugly haircuts, is crying out! I wanted to have some kind of pixie cut, but only as short as my neck. Then I wanted layers and said that they should  not be shorter than my ears. Well, now the first layer is like 5cm. Which is pretty short and far away from my ears. It was not what I wanted and it’s just hopeless.

I knew something was wrong when even others pointed out the peculiarity of my haircut, even after an hour of styling trying to look somewhat “normal”. When one of my classmates pointed out that I looked like an “ajumma” (that’s what you call Korean middle-aged women) I was actually thankful to him. This pretty much sums up how I look right now!

PS: I know apologies are due that I write about something as vain as my hairstyle. Even the positive side in me has weak moments. And I realize that if I had put as much energy in my thesis as I put in complaining about my hair, I would already have graduated three times. But complaining about haircuts is so much easier 😉 And it really bugs me that this bugs me so much, but unfortunately it does…waiting for my mojo to come back…


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So, now it is already April and my deadline was set for April 26. Like my subconsciousness sees it, deadlines are there to be broken. Especially the ones I set for myself. Why is it that I cannot stick to my own deadlines? If some authority, like a teacher 😉 , gives deadlines, I follow those religiously. But the minute I do it for myself, my expectations go out the window. Together with my self-confidence. Sometimes I feel like I am some drama heroine. Some bad drama heroine who you want to punch in the face whenever she comes on the screen because of the stupid decisions she makes. My decisions are really not the best but can I punch myself and therefor punish myself? Oh my…. OK, so my thesis is now approaching 40 pages, which is good actually, but I am afraid I cannot write another forty until April 26. Which is quite a failure. And considering that I still don’t know what I am doing 40 pages is maybe quite good?! I cannot decide. Since my mom has already given up on asking how my work is going on, that should give me a breather. But the deep fear of failure is always weighing on my head. Oh how I wish for the day when I can throw my fear of failure out the window…

I really need that!!!