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How to break up with a friend?

I didn’t want to write such “downer” entries anymore, but this bothers me a lot. So here goes… 😉

via parlourmagazine.com

Just received a mail of an old friend of mine. Every time I hear something from her, I get sad. And think about her for days. We spent much of our teens together and were BFF at the time. It was nice enough, and I really liked her. But then, when we grew older, she changed a lot. She had a lot of boyfriends, and with every new boyfriend she changed her personality. One liked to wear leather pants, that’s why she immediately bought one pair for herself too. There’s nothing wrong with leather pants. But I don’t think she would have bought them without him. Another guy liked her to be the cute sidekick, so she started to wear short skirts and dresses, trying to be quiet and cute all the time. The last one is very rude to her, but I think he’s a keeper, because he lasted the longest and she’s still with him. I find she has very low self-esteem to be like that but I couldn’t help her. She wouldn’t listen to me, because I didn’t have boyfriends at the time. So how am I one to talk?!

When we left for university and lived together, she started to annoy me. She always complained about her workload and only told me about her problems. I regularly wonder if she always was that way, and if it was only me that had changed. It bothers me that I was so close to her when I hate people like her nowadays. I wonder if she had treated me that way in our teens too, or if I only became aware of it when I was older. And if she always treated me like that, what does that say about my personality?

The toughest time was when my dad died. I wanted to be left alone and cry the whole time, but because we shared a room I couldn’t do it. I was a wreck, more like a ghost than a human and I couldn’t get anything done. I don’t know if she is aware of it, but there are so many instances when she hurt me with her remarks and I didn’t have the strength to counter them. I couldn’t believe that she would complain to me about her silly little problems when I couldn’t even handle my life. There was some kind of academic competition going on. While only one-sided, she consistently wanted to make sure she does more than me, gets better grades than me, is more successful than me. I never cared for that and it was easy for her to accomplish more than me at those days. It was an exhausting time. I blocked to talk about my dad, but I thought she would be sensitive enough to see that I didn’t have the mind to console her. Maybe there should be a manual for how to deal with people who just lost someone. You can never say the right thing, but you can act the right way. I also make mistakes when dealing with people who mourn, but I hope I am more aware of their feelings than she was of mine. I felt so worn out because of her, I was extremely happy when she left to study abroad for a year. That gave me time… Then I went abroad myself and I didn’t have to “see” her for a few years, but we still wrote each other mails. Luckily, I could escape the skype calls 😉

When I came back I met up with her, but it was still the same. And awkward. I once told her via mail how much she sucked me dry at that time and how I felt let down by her. But we didn’t talk about it in person. She wanted to hold on to me and still thought about our friendship as something special. She still wanted to relive the old times with me. After a few meetings, I managed to avoid contact and now we only send each other little birthday messages. Which is silly, considering we don’t talk to each other anymore. I guess you cannot make a clear cut with a friendship like you can with a relationship. When a relationship is done, it’s done. But how do you know when a friendship is done? There should also be a manual for that…

I know this might not fit here, but I dig the picture 😉 via fromgirltogirl.com

In her mail today she asks me what I’m doing now and so on. She attached a picture of old classmates of ours she recently visited. Told me she got a job. I guess she won the academic competition since I’m still here writing my thesis… Maybe she can take some comfort in that. The tone of the mail is somehow whiny. She added this smiley when she said that she didn’t hear from me in a while:  :-((((((((((((((((((( She always makes me feel guilty when she does that. And I really don’t know how to react to that. On the one hand, I feel sorry for her. I guess she doesn’t understand the impact of her demeanor on me at that time. But I cannot be around her anymore without hating on her. What’s worrying me, is she the scapegoat for my dad’s death or is she really that person? I think that’s why I cannot make a clear cut. There are many questions left unanswered. While I wanted to go on with my life without having to deal with those downers, I guess I cannot escape. The past always comes back…If only I knew how to answer her mail now.

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Sounds like an ad, but really ;) This thing saves me time, teary eyes and annoyances in the kitchen

Unlike most people here on WordPress, I don’t like to cook. I always feel somehow inadequate when looking at all those yummy dishes prepared almost every day by some people around here. I also have to cook every day, but I don’t do it with as much passion as them, I only do it out of necessity and because I am hungry. I sure enough like to eat, but the process of cooking feels just tiresome, time-consuming and long to me. If I had the money to go out eating every day I’d do it. And I don’t say this just like that. When I was in China with my boyfriend, we only used our kitchen there for breakfast. And then just the few times to whip up some Austrian food for people who wanted to try it, and that was not often. It was heaven! In China you can eat everywhere whenever you want. And because for us it was so cheap there, we could live like a king! Well, but now back to our present lifestyle…

Recently, the mom of my boyfriend presented us with this little baby:

via tupperware.co.at

Perhaps you know this thing, for me it was a revelation. It is a turbo chopper. With an “easy-pull cord mechanism”. What amuses me is that it is called “Speedy boy” in Austria and in the US “Chop ‘N Prep Chef”. I really would like to know why they renamed it when in the end it has an English name again. Sure enough, everybody can translate “Speedy boy” into German. It’s possibly just cooler to have an English name…but why a different name? It really confuses me. Maybe it’s just a marketing thingy.

But back to cooking. The basis of almost every dish here is onion, for which I like this tool the most. With this thing it’s easy as pie 😉 But apart from onion, you can basically chop everything you like, and this is what I am doing now for almost every meal. You can whip up vegetable pancakes just like that. It’s such a time-saving tool! Somehow, cooking became a little less tiresome and a little more fun.

that's how most of my meals look like now 🙂 via cookuk.co.uk

If only we had a dishwasher now, then my life would be perfect!

The missing piece in my resume

picture via hs-heilbronn.de

Since I’m almost finished writing my thesis, the topic of what I should do next is coming up every so often. In a few months, my “student” status will have expired and then I have to face the tough “real” world. My plan is to just quietly apply for jobs and quietly getting rejections. I am normally very optimistic and don’t worry that much, but whenever people talk to me about it, I brood for days on end. The reason I am brooding is that I am afraid of the job market because I think I have no qualifications whatsoever and I never did an internship. This is basically the kiss of death for a 26 year old first-time job seeker. People happily point that out to me. What annoys me is that nobody makes suggestions how to succeed despite this flaw. I cannot change it anymore, so why people persist on dwelling on this point so much is beyond me. I am also not immune to taking pleasure in others’ misfortune sometimes. But it is annoying. Well, maybe I can take comfort in that it helps other people feeling less inadequate and better prepared for the job market through me 😉

The thing is, I never worked. I had two summer jobs once. One was in the summer of 2003, the other in the summer of 2004. Then my dad died. Most people assume that I am a lazy person just riding on my mom’s money because I didn’t work afterwards anymore. And in a way that is true. But the reality is, I didn’t even dare to do an internship during my holidays after that. Because holidays meant I had to go home and help my mom. If my mom’s house were in the city, it would have been no problem to do an internship and help her out at the same time. But since my family lives on the countryside, far away from any city, far away from anything really, I didn’t have the opportunity to do it both. I don’t like to explain myself when I am accused of doing nothing. But yesterday, when a girl suggested I am “the worst” because I never worked in a joking manner, I replied that my mom preferred me helping her with my grandma instead of working on my career. My grandma is almost blind and she cannot walk very well anymore. This has been getting worse over the years. She needs help 24/7 and my mom is by her side the whole year round. Everybody who cares for older people knows how exhausting this can be. My mom doesn’t complain and she just gracefully accepts the situation. She deserves a medal and I am always amazed at how patient she is! Naturally, when I am at home she takes every opportunity to get out, meeting up with friends, going to exhibitions and so on. There are no other people whom she can call to help her out. It’s basically just me and my mom. Nowadays I’m very guilt-ridden since I don’t help her out that much anymore.

image via squidoo.com

So yesterday, when I said that the reason for not doing “anything” was to help out my mom, I was met with embarrassed silence. Did I overburden them with private family matters? Nowadays nobody wants to hear of the sick and the old, but I didn’t say that to gain sympathy. I just stated the facts. The reaction irritated me. I don’t know why they were embarrassed and it still bugs me that they reacted that way. Since I was too stunned I couldn’t react properly and the topic changed very quickly. I take it that they either pity me, feel sorry for me, think of their grandparents, think of my decision to put my grandma before my career as stupid or just don’t know how to handle someone actually having a grandma at home. I really don’t know. If they pity me, I think it very strange. Yeah, my grandma is very annoying if you don’t tend to her the minute she wants something. There were times when it was exhausting and frightening to be alone with her when she was sick and I didn’t know what to do to the point of pitying myself. But she is very lively for her age. While she remembers stuff she did on a particular day, let’s say, in 1942, I cannot for the life of me remember the stuff I did yesterday properly.  What amazes me the most is that even though she already told me stories on every possible subject and on every possible stage of her life, every time I visit she still knows a new story I never heard of. Through her I get to know every family member in every possible way. She tells me stuff nobody else would dare to tell me, juicy family secrets and the like. I discover things through her stories which I would have never known. There are new stories every time and I even hear new things about my dad from time to time. I love that! It’s astonishing. Listening to her is like a live-cast of history. To conclude this, it’s not a burden to care for her.

I think the reaction annoys me that much because I got a taste of my future job interviews. When future employers will ask me about the missing spots in my resume, I will have to tell them the same. And because I didn’t even think about such strange reactions, I never thought about my “holiday work” as a problem. Since this was what I got, I am more afraid of strange feedback than ever. I cannot process their reaction, don’t know what it’s about and don’t know how to cope with it. And most of all, I don’t know how to make such situations less awkward. Let’s just hope nobody asks 😉

Eurovision and procrastination come in handy

It’s May and that means Eurovision time! Yay! And what better excuse to procrastinate than watching Eurovision? Last week I took a tiny little holiday from my thesis, which I now regret of course, but it was good! Watching Eurovision is a must! It’s trashtastic, it’s shout-singing, it’s eurotrash, it’s so bad that it only can be good. It has everything: flashy costumes, wind machines, political messages that no one understands and a little scandal. This year the scandal was Lukashenko suspecting some conspiracy behind the fact that his country’s song, fittingly called “I love Belarus”, didn’t make it to the finals. And every year someone, especially contestants that were there from the beginning, suspects “political voting”. Since nowadays there are already 43 countries participating, it gets more interesting every year. I particularly like seeing how other nations want to represent themselves. And it also gives me some kind of “united fuzzy” feeling. Although the countries of Europe don’t feel particularly united normally, it’s actually a good feeling to be nice to each other once a year. Even if it’s only for a trashy singing competition. I always think that everybody in Europe is watching it. But I was proven wrong when I went to Malta a few years ago and wanted to impress my host’s boy by my ultimate Eurovision knowledge and telling him how much I enjoyed the Maltese act that year. He wasn’t impressed. I think that only now it’s becoming less embarrassing to admit to watching it 🙂 This year Azerbaijan made it, only in the 4th year of participation! It should be very interesting next year. Watching Eurovision in Azerbaijan can be dangerous actually. In 2009 43 or 44 (sources differ) people were put on a list as “potential threats to the country” and one was even interrogated by police after voting for Armenia. That prompted the Eurovision committee to change the rules. Serious stuff!

That's Nadine Beiler for Austria via derstandard.at

In Austria everybody is always rooting for its song despite being regularly bad if not awful. And when we don’t make it, it’s always the fault of others. Austria won the contest only once in 1966 and the guy is our national hero now. This time reporters and TV execs are pissed again because we only made it to place 18 out of 25 but it’s the first time in six years that we even made it to the finals. I hope those TV execs aren’t acting like a baby again and are offended only because Europe couldn’t see the “brilliantness” of Austria’s song and punish us viewers again by not participating, as has happened the last three years. As I was not that desperate to actually write a protest letter to the national TV station, I am not one to talk. But it was rough those three years without Austria anyway.

I actually rooted for Ireland. They were fun. And all in all Eurovision was a great distraction from my thesis. A little flashy distraction 😉

On another note, procrastination is now really kicking in. I always heard that when you’re procrastinating, your apartment is spotless because you spend your time doing the dishes instead of working. That has finally happened to me. While in the last months I didn’t change my cleaning routine because of my thesis, I wash the dishes now twice a day. I even dusted yesterday. Hell, I even tidied my work desk which was already drowning in books, old tea cups and texts. I know, gross. But now it’s all shiny. You can eat from my desk and it’s actually pretty nice. That’s why I wondered why I’m not doing this more. I think it is because it actually takes up a lot of time. I was happy to shed some time that I otherwise would have spent on my thesis, getting a headache. The fantastic mechanisms of one’s brain…I will never understand!

My future job might involve looking at private parts

Well, yesterday I met a friend who recently spent half a year in Shanghai doing an internship. She met lots of expats who, after graduating, found a job there. Some of them had studied Sinology, just like me. Apparently the guys she met were the “not too successful Sinology students”, those who didn’t top their studies with economy or business studies or something else “practical”, just like me. As she told me of the one friend who worked for an Internet site, I saw my future in front of me. That friend is working for a site called po**ing.de, and in German “poppen” is practically having intercourse, to put it elegantly 😉

image via jobboardsites.com

It’s like facebook but on that site people get connected, well, to pop 😉 Now, her job involves looking at pictures people uploaded for approval. And sometimes this means looking at p**n the whole day…so wow! And apparently many men like to take pictures of their p**n from all kind of angles. To her, there’s not much of a difference anymore…the vanity of men…

This is a girl who studied for a few years and ends up looking at p**n… I wonder how far I would go for a job… As I cannot afford to be picky I might end up on a similar job. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but how do you tell your grandma about a job like this? Well, at least the job is in China… This prospect of my future is not too encouraging… Now I am really looking forward to searching for a job  But please, let it be something not too slutty…

Drinking presentation

I am having a presentation tomorrow. I know about this for some time now but naturally, I only began this afternoon. Yeah…it wouldn’t be that hard if the presentation wasn’t in Korean. Sigh…what should become of me?

The presentation is about Korea’s drinking culture. Which is a cool topic. But I don’t know what to say anymore and I am only half through with it. What should I say except that Koreans really like to drink, their national drink is Soju and they believe in drinking as a way to get to know each other better. Which is not too far away from the drinking culture in Austria. Except that the national drinks here are beer and wine. It’s almost embarrassing how proud Austria is of its wine when France is considered the “better” wine country….another blow to Austria’s self-confidence. I like the take of Koreans to get wasted and not be embarrassed of it, vomiting everywhere and getting dragged home. Now that is the way to get wasted!

Well…I hope I am able to pull together a decent presentation tomorrow. Maybe I should fix myself a drink…well…cheers 😉

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…

picture via bbc.co.uk/janeeyre

Only imagine to dance at the Netherfield ball!

picture via colinfirth24-7.com

Or even attend the wedding!

picture via reinamwilliams.blogspot.com

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!

via whsmith.co.uk

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 😉

image via swap.com

Or hide behind your favorite detective!

via amazon

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 🙂

via fantasticfiction.co.uk

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

via fishpond.co.nz

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

iamge via goodreads.com

Hop into the classic 😉

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

picture via amazon

Check out your favorite cookbooks 🙂

image via skyscrapercity.com

I would choose one of my Chinese cookbooks…yummy!

Get first-hand experience from history books.

picture via flickr.com/photos/mrsfujita/3115167521/

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…

image via chinaodysseytours.com

Beautiful, isn’t it?

It’s just too amazing to be true ;-(

So, where would you go, given the chance?