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.

RIP Chester [Linkin Park]

RIP Chester. I wish you found peace. Sadly you’ll never get to read this. 😦
This entry is beyond serious.
Depression goes hand in hand with suicide.
These two topics are generally taboo. But we need to talk about them, we need to learn how to read the signs. And we need to be more understanding of those suffering from these … I’m not sure how to call them.

If you’re like me, you probably have no idea what depression is. Or how does it feel. How it REALLY feels.

Sometime last year I read about a woman who went to a hair salon wanting to buy some hair products: her hair was a rat’s nest, all tangled up. Poor woman thought that by getting expensive hair care the tangles will magically go away: they would not. Only a careful hand with a comb can do something about that. One of the employees stopped her from shopping and instead invited her for a de-tangling session. The woman only managed to show up a few weeks later after several attempts at making an appointment and then canceling or not showing up. the woman was severely depressed. so much she didn’t care to wash or comb her hair.

Depression is also walking down the street and not realizing a car is about to hit you, or not caring if it does [this happened to me, but I think it was a mistake since i was really upset that day]. Sometimes I get the blues, and it can last for some days. But then it passes.

But you know what? Depression is like a weed that keep growing back, like some mold you don’t notice because it forms behind some furniture. And it spreads slowly. slowly but steady. And when you finally see it, the only solution is to completely remove the wall.

Depression is like a worm in an apple, in a way: you can’t know the apple is rotten until you cut it open. Depressed people are similar because depression is not only tired eyes and black eyeliner. But there are signs. Signs that a trained eye – or another sufferer- is able to see. Fake smiles, flimsy happiness that doesn’t last more than a few hours.

I know depression because my partner is depressed. What scares me the most is that they have almost the same mannerisms as Chester in this short clip. Not to mention a very similar way of talking, intonation and all.

I just watched a few Linkin Park videos. In the end for instance, clearly describes depression and even suicide. I still have a difficult time realizing he’s gone: it’s unreal. He didn’t really mean anything to me, but … I can’t realize what it is.

I even have a confession to make. I knew he would die – just didn’t know how. I have some sort of a 6th sense, or psychic abilities, if you will – that’s why I started posting tarot interpretations. Sometimes I just KNOW things. A few months back I started watching their Breaking the Habit video. In the middle of one session I heard a voice telling me he will die. I brushed it off. I am not sure I would have been able to prevent it. But those close to him could have!

People NEED to start learning about depression more. To recognize it, and also how they can help those suffering from it. Depression doesn’t pass with pills – they just might make things bearable. A therapist doesn’t always help – because they’re also human, and they’re not always good at being a therapist.

What could help more is for friends and family:

  • not to push the sufferer into unpleasant situations, by saying “oh, come on, come with us!” Instead something like “if you change your mind, we’re at….”
  • not to act condescending, by saying “oh, you’ll get over it!” NO they wont! it’s not the blues, not just sadness, but deep shit. so deep your brain can’t comprehend it. A “hang in there” or “i’m here” is sometimes much more helpful. this attitude gets them One Step Closer to the edge..
  • check on the person 24/7, like on an infant, like first time parents do.
  • read forums about mental disorders: they generally talk about depression as well. they can learn more about how sufferers hide it, how to deal with it, and so on.
  • understand that for a depressed person, ANYTHING can be a trigger for suicide – it doesn’t matter how small it is in their peer’s eyes. It could be as small as a Papercut.
  • not to blame the depressed person. see the point above.  telling them calmly something is wrong, but that it’s not serious and it can quite easily be fixed is a better approach.
  • thanking the depressed person for everything they do: joining them for breakfast, for a group activity, or anything they have a really hard time doing.

Please, if you know someone depressed, DO NOT laugh at them, do not tell them they’re weak or cowards when they ‘casually’ talk about suicide. Most definitely DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE tell them to ‘just do it” because in that moment you just took their life away! YOU killed that person! Morally, it won’t be a suicide anymore, but an act of taking another person’s life! If you think you can live with that hanging on your conscience, then you’re a psychopath and you’re a danger to society, and need to be locked up!

All those people complaining Linkin Park’s music changed, THEY KILLED Chester. and sadly, I saw MANY people lately acting the same way: laughing at various popular people, and thinking of themselves they’re better than said popular people.

I hope Chester’s family and friends are strong enough to get over this tragedy.


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

5 Romanian etiquette rules

In my previous post I mentioned I would make an entry related to etiquette in Romania. So, here it is! These are stuff I either saw myself or was told.

1. Shoes – on or off?

In Romania, you take your shoes off when entering your own home, or the home of those close to you – friends and family, unless told otherwise. It helps with keeping the house clean(er).

You keep your shoes on when you go visit people you’re not very close to – say, if you meet the parents of your partner for the first time. Some of these people you don’t know very well, might ask you to take your shoes off when entering their home.

  • why should I take my shoes off? If it rained, chances are your shoes are dirty and your host doesn’t want their floors or carpets to get dirty, especially if the house looks as clean as a 5 star hotel room.

2. Bring something when you visit someone

In the past, when paying a visit, it was a sign of good manners not to go empty handed. People were usually bringing something symbolic, like flowers, something sweet, or something to drink. The “something sweet” was something home made, but bought stuff were also OK. A casserole of home cooked food also works well – remember this is something symbolic. If the younger generations do this these days, it must be because they grew up seeing their parents do it.

While this habit might seem weird for some, consider that Romania used to be a communist country and during the regime the living conditions were harsh. For some people it would have been a financial burden to receive and entertain guests, so the guests were considerate towards this effort by bringing something to the “party.”

3. Greet your neighbors when meeting them

This applies for when meeting them in the common areas of the apartment building, as many Romanians still live in apartment buildings. If you happen to meet any of your neighbors, they will say “hello” and the polite thing to do is to reply. Easy, right?

When visiting friends, you might encounter their neighbors and they might say “hello” even if they don’t know you. It costs nothing to reply back with a “hello.” Greeting random people they see waiting around their building is not that weird since many Romanians are renting out their apartments. Your friend’s neighbors might think you’re renting a place there and you’re new.

4. Greet your cashier

All cashiers I went to, would say “hello” to all their customers, me included. They would also say “bye bye” after giving them their change and receipt. The client is supposed to answer to both greetings. This gesture sure doesn’t cost nor time nor money. I generally say “thanks” before leaving. I sometimes add “have a nice day” as well.

5. Speaking of the change… Don’t expect it full

Let’ assume you’re supposed to receive 7.37 … well, let’s just say you’ll receive 7.35 instead, and demanding the extra 0.02 is nowadays considered a bit weird, if not quite rude. The cases when you’ll receive your full change is rare (I only saw it happening at one supermarket- Kaufland) The coins of the 0.01 value (1 ban) are generally disregarded by most people. I don’t think the 0.05 coins (5 bani) are too popular either.

Don’t ask me how much money I lost this way. However, you’ll be surprised to learn or see just how many Romanians simply leave all the coins in their change to the cashier. They might take the 0.5 coin (50 bani) but not the 0.1 coins (10 bani).


disclaimer: i don’t own the pictures in this post, they belong to their respective creators. i just found them online.

©2013-2017 TheOwnerTravelsTo. All rights reserved.

LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS TOO

My life has been chaotic the past few months. This is why I haven’t updated this blog in such a long time.

Let’s just say I had a full time job with a weird working schedule.. it got me exhausted. both mentally and physically. The worst part is that even my cats suffered because of this job. One of them gained a lot of weight even though he didn’t eat more than before. [or this is what I think.]

However, talking about this job is not why I’m here, but to mention that I did have friends that saw the effects of this job on me, and they got worried. They told me to quit it or else.. [I will get ill or regret it later..]

Did I listen? NO! of course not! Why would I listen to my friends? Do they care about me, or are worried about me, or even know my needs or desires? Given that they’re my friends, the answer should be “yes” for most, if not all the above questions, right?

It turns out they were right.. the job was bad for my body…and mind. Or at least the effort needed to perform the tasks on the job and the long hours were too tiring.

friendship-day

Image found here

For instance, I had no physical power and no mental energy to deal with or to think about cooking or even cleaning the house. I could only shower, eat a bit, sleep, and wash a couple of dishes [by hand] … and that was it. every. single. day. I also didn’t manage to get enough sleep either, for some reason or another. Seeing my friends or even close family members was also out of the question: I was too tired in my days off to have visitors or to pay visits to people.

I was leaving home at about 1pm and return at about 1am.. daily. With the exception when I had to be there at 7am and still return at 1am for 2 days in a row.. Good luck with that, superman-me! I did it a few times, until my body was too tired to hear the alarm and wake up at the time I had to be leaving out the door.

So, what did I do in the end? I finally quit this soul-sucking job only to realize just how tired I really was.. just like my friends predicted [or already saw].

friendship-whatsapp-status-quotes

Picture found here

My advice for everyone reading this entry is to just listen to your friends, or whoever else you have near you and cares about you when or if you are in a similar situation. Listening to them might just save you from a trip to the hospital, from a situation in which you realize you’re completely alone because you prioritized the wrong thing, or even from the day you realize you live in a pig’s house instead of a house for humans because you had no time or energy to vacuum.