Shopping trip failure – vlog

Hello!

So, as mentioned in last Sunday’s entry, today I will post a vlog video, with a little explanation.

I think YouTube is messing up the audio of the videos. So, if you don’t hear well, blame both the beginner me and YouTube. You get to see glimpses of Bucharest that you don’t usually see in travel blogs and magazines, along with random Romanians going about their way. yay?

As I’m trying to explain in this video, my friend ordered a product online, and she was supposed to go pick it up. I went along and recorded the adventure. It took us some 45 minutes to the [mini]mall where the place [called eMag] was. We were told to wait in line, and after some half an hour they said their server crashed O.O and that it would probably last some 45 minutes to fix it.

And so we waited, as we hoped it would be true. So we tried out this cafe place with a really nice view. I had a sandwich as I was starving – and it was pretty good. Don’t ask about its name as I forgot it and I don’t even remember seeing it posted anywhere.

My friend went back to the store – we later realized it was a showroom only, and the server worked for some 5 to 20 minutes and crashed again. Some 20 minutes before closing time! (at 9pm – most other stores close at 10 pm) We still stayed, as we weren’t the only people needing to pay for stuff. Of course we waited in vain.

The video ends with me complaining about their customer service and just how generally uncool this [mini]mall was. They were supposed to call her the next day, but didn’t. As expected.

While this shopping trip seemed like a failure, it was actually a blessing in disguise. Some days later we found the product she wanted at another store and the full price wasn’t even the one eMag mentioned! They said they were selling it for 50% off – full price being some 190 Lei? The store we found was selling it for just 120 Lei full price [tax included, as in Romania the ta is included in the shown price].

My friend ended with getting another similar product that was on sale, from the second store. Happy ending!

What I didn’t mention in the video was that while we were waiting in line the first time around, we decided to get a mouse as well – it was pretty cheap. Except the guy told me I would have to go back the next day or the day after to pay and pick it up: they didn’t have it in stock!

Adventures in July

I actually wanted to have such an entry almost every month, but this wasn’t really possible, especially if I had something else to say, or if I didn’t have enough time.

Unlike July 2016, this one was quite full. I had a pretty big task to write at the beginning of the month, and then 2 smaller ones. Well, this is not really something you might really be interested in, so, no pics to show off.

I also managed to stick more to a posting schedule, all thanks to my bullet journal. If it looks messy, it’s because I have yet to discover a journaling method that works for me. Or that looks less messy. An if you think this is not a proper bullet journal notebook, you’re right: it is an agenda used as a daily planner with no monthly spreads, with dedicated pages for each day, so on. It might serve better as  a diary, if you were to write every day, a single page. I use the date written on the page, as page-number.

What stood out the most, was Ciel my pet crow being more active, coming to me to play, and all that jazz. I was really scared that he might be depressed, but I guess he’s not. His favorite things to play with are items that are long and thin – line pens, pencils, drinking straws. He likes to play with pens so much, he learned where I keep them and goes to them to steal them. It’s actually quite hilarious!

He knows which pens I don’t want him to play with, and those are the ones he wants the most. Of course! Last night, when we returned from a stroll in the park, I found ALL the pens missing from their place, a bird dancing on the table, and the floor covered in pens. That was quite something to clean, HAHA!

This video is from the first day he started playing so much.  I thought he’s hilarious! He would keep on coming back for more pens! And, yes, I have several looking identical, for no good reason.

We also went out to have ice cream. And we did it as often as we could. What you need to know is that we found a few places selling really good ice cream. For instance, Ana Baking has one of the best salted caramel ice creams! Guys! You HAVE to go there if you ever visit Romania. Just don’t order coffee or coffee based drinks: our tasted like something nasty, and we won’t get that again.

Another awesome ice-cream we had was at this place called Caffeol. The ice cream came in a cone, dipped in a milkshake! We ordered the coconut flavor one which was inspired by the Raffaello bonbons. It even had one bonbon on top! Guys! One such drink is more than enough for 2 people! Sadly, if you want to order soy milk in your drink, you have to pay more 😦

up close: Raffaello Maddness. picture by @calinescu_alexandru on instagram.

This place also sells some lemonades: some 5 flavors? there is classic lemonade, lemonade with melon, with strawberry, and I forgot what else. I managed to order a melon lemonade without lemon [say that 3 times fast!] and it tasted so good! It basically contains melon or strawberry, orange and lemon, so you can give up the lemon or orange if you really want. My partner has a sensitive stomach and citrus fruits, especially lemons are REALLY bad for their stomach.

that’s one of their lemonades and a Snickers Maddness frappe. pic by @foodofromania on instagram

Sadly I lost my pictures of the drinks, so I had to search them up. Caffeol has 3 locations: one in the Historical Center of Bucharest – where we went, one in Brasov and another one in Ploiesti. Check them out if you visit Romania!

We wanted to go to the pool, however we didn’t manage to get around to it. Hopefully, this month, we will go there. The thing is, we have a couple water parks, and lake sides where we could go to swim or relax, however it is not safe to go there, health-wise. Those waters are not as monitored, and since so many people go there, the waters are more likely to be contaminated with all sorts of bacteria and viruses. Going to a pool club of sorts, is more fancy and safe as far as your health goes. Here are a couple of pictures from 2 years ago.

This is actually a health center with a gym, sauna, swimming pool, and there is a restaurant as well. The place is located by a lake, but the pool is covered and not connected to the lake. It’s really quiet and peaceful. Too bad the entrance fee is rather high in local currency.

This month also marked the first time I wrote something in Chinese, all by myself. I’m so proud of myself: I started studying Mandarin last year, but I was never consistent about it. However I do have something to show for it. Maybe I will post a separate entry with all the characters I DO know. Until then, this is what I wrote:

In all fairness, the “nice to meet you” line [the one before the short break] I wrote by looking it up and I have yet to learn how to say it without looking at the pronunciation. I can post a comment with the reading and translation if you want, just say so below 😉

There is one more thing that happened, right on the last day of July, but please stay tuned for that one, as I have a vlog about it. I will post it separately because this already became too long, and I need to write a few more explanations for the vlog.

Until next Sunday~~


(c) 2013 – present  The Owner Travels To. all rights reserved.

we’re all parrots

This may sound like a weird title or subject to write about, however, when you really thinking about it, you’ll see this is true.

As adults we might think that parroting is something of an insult, but honestly this is how we learn things! Everything we know is more or less parroting others and their knowledge.

Think about it: when we’re toddlers, how do we learn how to talk? by parroting our parents, or whoever is around us. How do we learn how to write in primary school? By imitating and drawing the letters we’re shown. Later on, many learn how to apply makeup or to style their hair by imitating others – these days “others” simply means beauty gurus on YouTube and other platforms.

The same goes for singing or dancing. Any type of singing or dancing.

So, why do we take so much offense when we’re told we’re just imitating what we saw or heard? Why are many people so offended when told they lack imagination, that they’re not original?

People have been roaming the planet for tens of thousands of years. It is VERY difficult to come up with something new and original.

Even this blog is imitating other blogs. Why do I think it is original? because in a way it is all over the place. But, then again, so are other blogs and even books.

That is all I had to say for now.


©2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

My failed Nail Polish Challenge

I like painting my nails these days. It’s relaxing and fun. I tried challenging myself to see for how long can I keep my manicure. The answer? not too long.

I suspect it may have something to do with using cheap polishes, or not being a professional, or even with the fact that I use my fingers and nails a little too much.

In any case, this entry will have quite a few nail pictures, with little explanations.

FIRST ATTEMPT – remember I’m not a nail professional

day 1: 

day 2: nail polish called Revers MatriXL, shade unknown

day 3: oh, my cat! lol

day 4: still pretty-ish

day 5: oh the horror, the chipping started. Challenge aborted. LOL

SECOND ATTEMPT

day 1: Brand: WJcon cosmetics or something.

day 2: learn more about this deck here and here

day 3: I use this agenda as my bullet journal.

day 4:

THIRD ATTEMPT

day 1:

day 2: oh, I need glasses. I’m short sighted.

This is where I gave up. One of the reasons I gave up was that I forgot to take pictures of my nails.

BONUS PICTURES:

and

And if you want to see more pictures, that don’t have nails in them, checkout my instagram account!


© 2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

I experienced a reality shift

Sadly, this is not a recent occurrence. It happened in January of 2015, most likely on the 1st, maybe 2nd. I apparently didn’t write about it right away, but I can’t be sure why. This entry is an identical reproduction of what I wrote in my handwritten diary/dream journal – yes, i record in it both dreams and various daily life that affected me in some way. Here it goes:

I believe this was the date. It was pretty late at night and I went to buy some stuff we still needed.

On my way home, when I was passing the street across [note: at the traffic lights, with no incoming cars], I suddenly lost sense of time and place. Reaching the other side I realized I had no idea where I was, what time it was, nor what was I doing there. It felt as if several centuries passed by me in matter of seconds. 

Reaching home, A. told me she felt the same.

I’m disappointed I didn’t write more regarding what happened, however I have a rather vivid memory of that night. So what happened was this:

I was in the middle of the street when suddenly I couldn’t move my body, everything started spinning, and I SAW how the night turned into light, people walking by me, cars too, and everything was happening so-so fast. Whatever I saw was passing by me so fast, I felt like in a tunnel – everything and everyone was warping around me. It also felt like a HUGE amount of time warped..

Gotta mention that it was a snowy January that year, and it snowed since December the previous year. While time was warping the snow was also gone, the cold sensation wasn’t there anymore [as if the snow was fake, like in a dream]…

And when I made it to the other side of the street everything seemed “back to normal” but I’m not sure it was or that it is. I wonder why did I have that short memory loss? I couldn’t even figure out who I was, nor my surroundings, nothing at all. 

I was lucky there was no incoming traffic, like mentioned earlier, though most likely they would have honked or detour me.

The warping tunnel was not going back in time, nor going forwards in time… maybe more like a repetition of everything that happened till that moment?? And if we see time like a straight street along which we walk, what i saw was more like a street to the right that we suddenly decide to take to reach a street that is parallel to the one we were walking on – and on this side street we decide to walk like crabs instead of walking like humans. (I’m not sure if this makes any sense.)


I wrote this entry because I experienced the Mandela Effect – we all know now he died in 2013, but I remember him dying back in the 1990s (maybe in the 1980s, in prison), either way not in 2013.

For me, the title of the movie is “Interview with A vampire.” I can’t talk about anything else that people usually associate with the Mandela Effect because I wasn’t exposed to them. I didn’t have books with those Bernstein Bears [note: my auto-correct suggested this spelling, I’m not sure which one is the correct one with “a” or with “e”), I didn’t watch Star Wars, nor Forrest Gump, and I wasn’t exposed to any products, events, or commercials others include in ME.


©2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Thoughts after 6 months

Dear readers,
6 months have [almost] passed as I type this, and by the time it will go up, the situation wouldn’t have changed.
I think this is a type for freelancers and bloggers alike to draw a line to see if the they follow the plan they set at the beginning of the year. It’s a time to think about what we learned, lost, and gained. It s also a time to try and reset goals for the 2nd half of the year, if the results are not the ones you expected. If you’re not a business, you’ll probably have a harder time setting quarterly goals.

WHAT I GAINED

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think I gained much – except for a lot of weight, OOPS . When 2016 ended, all I wanted was a ‘different’ year, with hopes for a better one. Well, so far so good – it was better than the previous one. I gained 10 kg in about 2 weeks, back in January. As June comes to an end, I still haven’t lost 1 kg. Maybe I should go back to this post and remind myself on how that’s done. 😉

I also gained a bit of insight into how I can keep myself on a more productive line: bullet journaling.  You can read about me discovering it in this post. I can’t really have an opinion on how this goes since not even a month passed since I started it, but I think that if I keep at it, I will have more results by the end of the year.

I also gained some insight that proves I’m not as mature as I’d like to be. For instance, it seems that when I decide I want something, I want it RIGHT NOW, despite some other factors clearly stating it is impossible to get. What do I mean? Last year we decided we’ll move to either Canada or France, with later deciding on France – closer to Romania, therefore easier and cheaper to do. I thought we’ll be doing this in 2 months tops… but, haha 6 months later and we still have to buy tickets and stuff. It turns out, leaving for another country is more work than I previously anticipated. This pill is a bit hard to swallow, to be honest and only someone who is still immature will not see it.

WHAT I LEARNED

What did I learn..? Thinking about it, I can’t really tell, but let me try…

I learned some Mandarin Chinese – since my memory is super bad, I can’t remember if I ever mentioned I’m teaching myself Mandarin. I studied mostly grammar aspects, and soon I will have to start with learning the Han characters [this is what I understood they’re called in China].

I also learned that no matter how much I love cats some of them are simply not for me, or that I can’t take care of all of those that come my way. That cat found some human to take care of her, but I will be lying if I said I don’t miss her: she was hilarious to be honest, despite her destructive nature. But, as I accumulate more years, I realize I need calm and peace more than anything.

I also learned that creative people can’t work for other people, at least not in a 9-to-5 environment.  While I may not seem so at first sight, this blog is proof enough I’m creative, as well as some of the drawings/doodles you occasionally saw [there is one right in this post, higher up 😉 ]. You can also see the unedited version below, because I couldn’t decide which one I like more. The cursive is how I really write in my dream journal – should I post pictures of it?

I am learning now to be a bit more flexible. For instance, if I plan something in advance, I must be prepared to change those plans. Freelancers or business owners will probably know this struggle more than other folks.

WHAT DID i LOSE

Well, for starters I lost a stable job, or better said I gave it up, but mostly because it was eating my health away. I didn’t search for a new one. Well, you might think I have less money coming in, and this might be true. However as a ‘freelance writer’ I can tell you I had projects that paid as much as the job I gave up did. Basically a project lasting 2 weeks brought in as much dough as a month slaving away at the job. [I do plan on writing a blog about my experience in the ‘normal’ work-field, but I don’t know when].

PLANS FOR THE UPCOMING 6 MONTHS

I plan on continuing with the bullet journal I started – I really see it as a good way to keep myself organized and on track. I do recommend it to all my readers. I also need to improve it, as the first month planning didn’t impress me. Since I never did this before, I can’t now how to do it in a way that works for me – but I will.

I want to workout more – not really to lose weight [as I’m not sure it will happen], but my body simply asks for it [at least at times]. I will hopefully lose some weight as well.

I will study more French – I can read it, I understand quite a bit, but speaking it… that’s a whole different story. I will obviously continue with Chinese as well, so this will not even be mentioned. After we move to France [it’s a matter of when not if], I will have to find a job [I want to buy a house there, as renting is something I’m done with] and being able to understand and speak the language will be helpful [for obvious reasons]. I also want to apply for the French citizenship [or naturalization] so I will also have to study more about France’ history and culture and so on. This thought actually excites me.

AND YOU?

How was your year so far? what aspects will you improve? or do you have any piece of advice for me?


©2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Exploring Bucharest

This blog entry is LONG overdue. And I mean, 1 year overdue! wow! So, everything you’ll see here was recorded in 2016, but I never got around to do anything with all this material. Today is a good day to show you all that I gathered.

I like looking at old buildings and imagine their history – what did they look like when they were new, what did people think of them, the lives of those that lived in them as well as what did they think of the construction they called “home.”

Some buildings are nicer than others, but I rarely discriminate – I’m usually able to see beauty in the weirdest places and forms. All the images are from Bucharest, but you won’t see them in any travel guide as they’re generally from residential areas. The video will show you both sides of the river splitting  the city in half and was recorded in early spring – March, and then a few weeks or a month later.

The next few houses cannot usually be seen by tourists. Well, I forgot where exactly they are located, sorry.

I know where this one is. On a very quiet street, uptown, in a very posh and expensive area. The street has 2 lanes, one for each direction. In my opinion, the picture doesn’t make it justice, or maybe my memory is bad. The roof covers the sides, like a mountain house. I remember it was love at first sight when I laid my eyes on it the first time around.

The next one must have looked really good at first. I really like that patio in the “tower” – it must be my favorite feature of this house.

I wonder if anyone bought this next house. It looks really bad, but I see a lot of beautifying potential in it. Since [I’m pretty sure] it was on a quiet street, the possibilities are quite many for it.

Next, is an old and rather ugly apartment building. I believe its facade was redone, but it simply is not as impressive in my eyes. I forgot why I took a picture of it – perhaps the creepiness factor was what drove me to it. Maybe it looks better in real life? Anyways, you can easily see this one downtown as it is on one of the main street tourists are taken on a double-decked bus.

I also like mosaics. The one with blue tiles can be seen downtown in Unirii Square, in one of the fountains. I’m not sure if all the fountains have the same mosaic design, because I never really paid close attention. Perhaps they’re just similar? The brownish one was the floor of a shop uptown, in an old building. That’s all I remember.

And if you made it this far, maybe you want to take a short bus ride with me? Tourists don’t really get to see this scenery.

You should let me know if you want more posts like this one. I still have some unpublished pictures.

Until next time, stay safe!

[ps: i just started learning Chinese, so please don’t be too harsh on me]


© the owner travels to 2013-2017. All rights reserved.

bullet journaling and cleaning

If you know me, you know I dislike cleaning the most. However, it’s not something I can escape. Nobody can escape it. To make myself stick to a good cleaning routine I decided to use a bullet journal. It seems like it is a good way to keep people organized and productive. I only just started it now in June simply because I just learned about it.

I tried once in the past year, but I failed at following it. I hope to be more successful this time. The main weekly tasks are cleaning on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I started with Thursday’s task, the stove: it needs a single day, because reasons, see below:

Has your stove ever been this dirty? No? How did you do it? I won’t lie, I’m envious because I never liked cleaning and on top of that, I wasn’t good at maintaining the place clean either I really have no idea how people do it. But now, thanks to my bullet journal I hope to become one of those people.

The first thing I did regarding this mess, was to grab an old knife and start scratching like a scratch card while the stove was cold and dry. The mess is some cream soup that boiled over so my approach worked really well. It was gone in less than 10 minutes and it also worked on the greasy parts – at least some of them. After 20 or 30 minutes of working on it, it looked like this:

Since I’m not as healthy as I used to be, I had to take breaks from time to time. I can’t know for sure how long it took me to clean it to this state, seen below. Maybe a grand total of 2 hours? 2 hours and a half?

Clearly, next week, my pretty stove will not be as dirty, and it will be much more easy [and fast] to clean.

Let’s see some pics – from before and after, for a better understanding:

I do want to mention the cleaning products I used as well, because the end result was not possible with just scrubbing. I used:

  • a piece of old towel,
  • Axion the grease stripper
  • Triumf for stoves and ovens [a Romanian cleaning products brand] – this think strips grease like crazy! and you need to wear gloves when using it, as well as a face mask.

 

So, what is the point of this entry?

I really don’t know. I guess, i just want to tell people that even the most difficult tasks can be taken care of, even if at a slower pace. And that if you need something to keep you motivated, bullet journaling can be quite useful.


© the owner travels to 2013-2017. All rights reserved.

March adventures: flowers, art, and recycling!

Because I don’t plan on posting everything I do on a daily basis, I’ll just update you with some highlights… from March. I skipped February because nothing special happened: I was just waiting for the snow to melt, the weather to become nicer, and my mood to improve. Because March just ended, I can talk all about what happened.

I haven’t talked about this yet, but I ordered some stuff from wish.com – I will write a review about this experience later on.  So in March, I received all the stuff – with one exception. Below you can see the items I did receive:

Then, somehow spring came, and we were surrounded by trees in bloom! and not only. I really like early spring flowers, much more than those of later spring and so on. The early spring flowers are so fragile and pretty, almost like life itself. No wonder Japanese people have a cherry blossom viewing festival in April.

                             their scent is sweet but subtle. i love it!

 

 

                                                                                  the same type of tree, but not the same tree.

On a nice sunny day, we went to have some ice cream. It was really warm that day – some 22 degrees Celsius! we wore short sleeves even! this is amazing because i can’t recall any March till now to have been so warm! We had Italian ice cream [or gelato] and we selected different aromas. We got coffee, kiwi, something nutty … and i sadly forgot the other 2 flavors. I don’t even have pics of them 😦 the biscuit on top is extra and for free!

Then, at a certain moment my friend suggested we went to some galleries to see some art. said and done. except we only managed to see two of them. And one of these wasn’t even that impressive: it had only 6 or 8 pieces of art displayed. To their defense, it looked as i they were still arranging the place, but who knows – maybe this was on purpose?

Must point out the painting here were unsettling. The starry eyes made me think of the darkness many people try hard to hide. At the same time, I remembered reading somewhere that the human eyes contain something in them that can’t be counted: it’s more numerous than the stars in the universe. Should search again to see what that was.

The second gallery had more stuff to offer, and I even liked and kinda understood the artist’s view on things. This artist’s paintings had titles as well, and would go well in an office, or a house with an industrial, modern, futuristic, or minimalist look. This art would clash badly with classic, heavy furniture.

The second painting is called ‘information overload,’ i don’t have the name of the third painting. The last painting is called ‘anxiety amplifier’ and i can see why. I also don’t know the name of the paintings in the first image. I’m sorry about that.

This second gallery also has a boutique where you can buy various stuff: clothes, jewelry, paintings and wall decors, as well as some accessories for your home and games. Below are some examples of what you can purchase. If you’re ever in Bucharest, you can visit this gallery at the following address: C.A.ROSETTI NR. 2-4 street, sector 1.

                 this crown was heavy! were the kings wearing such heavy crowns?! maybe heavier?

I also got to see some cute art on a wall! you can’t really call it graffiti, or can you? as you can see it is really cute and i saw this on a wall next to a cafe, right before entering the first art gallery.

                                                                       a flower shop front

This month i tried to do some cleaning in my closet. I took some clothes I didn’t wear anymore at H&M and they gave me a 5 lei coupon discount for a future purchase of at least 40 lei – from the new collections. Apparently they reuse these clothes to make other stuff. The items I took there were not wearable anymore, and I didn’t want to just throw it away.

On other news, below you can learn what happens to me when I try to recycle other stuff, like papers, plastics, and what not.

This is all for now. See you again next week!


©2013-2017 TheOwnerTravelsTo. All rights reserved.

Snowy January in Bucharest

It is March already, oops. wanted to post this at least in February, but if you read back my posts, you know why this didn’t happen.

So, December, as you might already know, was super cold. But we had no snow. Snow came in January..

I took this picture at night and the only edits I used was cropping and the writing on it. I can use the #nofilter hashtag too. That night we were watching a Korean horror movie. I must say the movie was pretty good. However, at a certain moment I was wondering why is there so much light, even though it was about 3 am.. The answer was rather shocking for me: it was snowing like crazy. The snowstorm continued for a day or two, I believe. In any case, this wasn’t the first snow of the year, but the first snow wasn’t as ferocious, so to say.

Here are some pictures I randomly found on my computer. They are taken last year, still in January. There isn’t much difference if you ask me.

I really wanted to build a snowman. this year. I never got around to. Somebody else build the one you see below. Too bad the wind blew its hat off, as you’d better see the mop as hair.  Like thi, we see the hairstyle is specific to the 1990s era (any Backstreet Boys fans out there?).

In any case, the snow didn’t last very long. The video below will show you what the snow looked like after a few days. The worst part was the ice that formed like magic, as if hoping we would fall and break our feet. Luckily this didn’t happen to anyone I know. I recorded the last part of the video at night, and it seems the light was worse than I thought.

  • [disclaimer] I didn’t record these videos after the same snowfall. We had about 3 in total, this year. I just edited them in the same video to make it easier on myself. I also don’t remember which of my smartphones I used to record.

  • I recorded this video in January 2016. I always wanted to post it on my blog, but I don’t think I did. In any case, this is what it looks like to walk in snow, in Bucharest. because the mayor of the city doesn’t care to send people in the streets to remove the snow.

At a certain moment in January [of this year], me and my friend were walking downtown. I forgot why I decided to do that. Perhaps I just felt the need to move, to feel more active. In any case at a certain moment we came across this stand with bikes for rent.  I didn’t go too close to have a better look, to see how the system works, however I thought it was pretty neat to have this in Bucharest. You can also see the snow, and the lights from the bike stand and bikes themselves looked quite nice as well.

On a different evening, I asked my friend to go out somewhere. We went in the Old Town area – it’s filled with cafés, restaurants, and bars. I have no idea how we stumbled across a sorta steampunk looking café, that seemed to want to take us back in time.

Sadly, the lights weren’t too good, and we couldn’t take much or better pictures. I had a hot tea and my friend had a café latte. Or this is what I remember it being. We weren’t impressed much with the drinks, but we promised we would go again. We have yet to go again. I believe the owner of the place was the bartender there (for now at least).