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Treasures from my grandmother’s house

So, I’ve been to the house and took out a few things that I liked. Some of it very tacky. Stuff I wouldn’t buy myself, but since I know that one of my grandparents owned it, it’s making it cool by association! It’s a lot more meaningful to me than I thought. It’s not that much of a burden anymore. It rather became fun. And I still discover new things about my grandparents. They must have been lots of fun to be around. And I still get messages from my grandmother 😉 I’ve taken home a cute little vase and inside I found the letter: “This vase is not waterproof” to warn future owners. It cracked me up. So thoughtful!

To the three readers who read my post about the secretary 🙂 This is the one:

In my imagination, the secretary was in much better shape. And as it turns out, there is no built-in ceramic picture. I don’t know where that came from. Maybe it was just a picture standing there? I don’t know. It’s just weird. I’m actually even more glad now that my cousin took it, since future people who would rent the house would have definitely thrown it out. And I would have been overwhelmed with the work of restoring it. Instead, I took lots of pictures! (As I realized just now, blurry ones, but you get an impression…I hope) An item I took out of the secretary: A stapler that’s very beautiful to look at. And fully functional! Just saw a similar one in a store for 65€. Can you believe that?!

This kitchen scale is very dirty, but very cool! I won’t use it, I think. I display it in my bookshelf right now.

This is something I never would have known. This “box” was standing in my grandmother’s bedroom where I also spent some nights as a child.

But I never knew what it was, let alone noticed it.

It’s a sewing machine 🙂 Very clever!

We found this love letter from 1939 that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother. It is beyond romantic and I never knew this side of him. As I understand it, he was a very quiet man, somehow artsy and he supposedly never talked about his feelings. My mom has inherited this quality. She probably never heard one “I love you” from him, but he certainly showed his affection in other ways much more meaningful. She oftentimes tells me this wonderful story of the two of them going to church. Every Sunday after church, my grandfather treated my mom to a pair of sausages at the local inn. He only drank a glass of cheap wine or something, since money was scarce. He must have been hungry himself, after all, they had to go by foot for about half an hour or something. But he let her gain strength, since the journey home was much more arduous as they lived on a mountain. I think that’s why my mom is so persistent in going to church every Sunday her whole life. It makes me beyond sad that he died so early so that I didn’t know him. Not for me, but for my mom. She always wanted us to know what a person he was, but I, being an ignorant child, didn’t sense the scope of her sadness. But through the process of clearing out the house, I hope my mom knows that I care now. You see, I also inherited the thing to communicate feelings through actions rather than through words 😉 Moving on 🙂

That china was standing somewhere in the house for decades and nobody paid attention. It was too precious to use. Somehow, my mom doesn’t even know where it’s from but she insisted on me taking it and almost yelled at me when I said that I don’t care much for it. I don’t even drink coffee. But since she didn’t want one of my cousins to take it, it just changed location and is now standing in my old room at my mom’s house. Makes sense 😉

Surprisingly enough, one of my cousins asked me for exactly that porcelain when the family had its last getting together in the house. That was very strange and my mom was delighted and gave me the “I told you so!” face for having had the foresight to force me to take it. Lastly, that button box is just too cute and I’m sure my grandfather made it himself.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of the wonderful nature in August 🙂

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!

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…

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?

Aliens to me

image via cartoonstock.com

There are not many people I don’t like, loathe or even hate. However, there are some. I always try to think that everybody has somebody who loves them, cares for them and that everybody has good sides. Still there are some people who disturb me. Yesterday I discovered that one of the guys whom I particularly don’t like…don’t want to say “hate” because that comes off too strong….landed a dream job at a University in China. The thing with this guy is, I only met him two or three times, but the loathing was mutual. He is one of those guys who think highly of themselves only because their father is a doctor (add lawyer or anything else where you need a degree…in Austria you are godlike). This isn’t their fault. They are brought up that way and don’t get to see the whole picture, I get that. But what I don’t understand is when those guys hold up their views of superiority well into their 20s. He is one of those guys who smile into your face and you can see clearly what they think of you…which is the complete opposite. He is one of those guys who think that it isn’t the fault of society but the fault of individuals to be homeless, failing in school or not earning much money. He is one of those guys who don’t broaden their horizon, enjoy every possible advantage in life and don’t care about people outside of their world. They move in a society where everything is managed by nepotism, friends and the people they know. He is one of those guys who look down on Chinese although living there for three years, who still buy “European” bread there although this means a 3 hour ride to the outskirts of the city because “Chinese don’t know how to make bread”, who go to Western clubs in China and are angry if anybody assumed they are native English speakers because they are white and who have a Chinese girlfriend not because of love but to learn the language. Maybe they don’t even learn Chinese, just study a few phrases to pick up girls and only have Western friends there, but still moan about foreigners in their native country who cannot speak the country’s language, or who only move in their circles and don’t adapt to the society they live in. He looks down on you for having other views, he eats your food without thanking you, he talks loudly and doesn’t care if you want to make a point. However, if you are friends with some “hot” girls, he is fast to be your best friend and wants to weasel his way to them through you. He is just arrogant and doesn’t give you any hint of a good side. He is not afraid to approach professors or any bigwigs because he was brought up to think they are as good as him, not better than you, like the average Austrian is taught to think. And because of this attitude, he comes off as intelligent or as a “man of action”. I tend to think this is only because foreigners cannot classify this species. Especially Chinese cannot differ which attitude is just plain arrogant or which smile is sincere. After all, arrogance is perceived different in different cultures, so I can understand.

image via cartoonstock.com

Still I hate that he weaseled his way into such a great job. I know I cannot judge, but how the heck does he get on with people?! I know that only qualifications count, and I am sure his are good. But when I think about him doing research on social inequality or something, I have to barf.

I want to add that I don’t want to generalize. I met a lot of sweet people who don’t think highly of themselves only because of their parents. Nevertheless, I want to stress that the chance of becoming arrogant with this group of people is higher than the average, especially in Austria, where people with degrees are treated different from other groups of people. This is a special group of people and I met this type a lot of times already, and this also applies to girls by the way, and the pattern is always the same. Or it is just my experience.