niedziela, 30 grudnia 2012

Number nine in progress

I know, I was slacking lately. I haven't written a single post for a MONTH and I can't even find a good excuse. I guess that watching first and second season of Game of Thrones is not convincing enough. Well, believe it or not, I had a lot to do. Like making dream number nine, which is See the Northern Lights, come true. 

My friend Milena found out that this year Northern Lights will be at the peakest peak of its activity for 50 years. Okay, I must admit, I was a bit skeptical in the beginning and found quite contradictory statements on some scientific sites, but it turns out that she was right. I joined their group, we did some research, we chose Tromso in Norway instead of Rovaniemi in Finland, we saw way too many Northern Lights time-lapse videos and I was all like this:

And then I did some maths. And I got all like this:

Just because Norway is so damn expensive and what I was gonna pay for flights there and back could feed a small African country for a year. So I spend few sleepless nights imagining all the fun that Milena and the gang would have without me, and trying to calculate the value of my kidneys. Because, people, we are talking about a country where a combo meal at McDo costs 90 NOK, which is around 50 PLN, or 17$ or 13 EUR. Now try to imagine prices of trains, flights and accomodation. So I gave up, trying not to think about all this fun I'm missing, living in a rustic red Norwgian cabin with small white windows, wearing hand-made nordic sweaters, hanging out with reindeers and seing awesome Northern Lights.

And then my mom convinced me that I should go. Because I can always earn it back, and it may be difficult to find another group of people who'd like to go, and the next ocassion for such spctacular lights will be around 2063. So I decided to go. And then miracle happened. I got the only seat in Ryanair flight from Warsaw to Oslo that costed 1,02 PLN. I'm serious. It's like 0,25 EUR. And it was the only flight I could book. And then, Norwegian dropped their prices for the flight from Oslo to Tromso for like 40%. And I found a scandiblonde CSer, who is willing to host me in Oslo. Apparently, the world wants me to hang out with reindeers. 6 February, people, a little more than a month to go. Yay!

piątek, 30 listopada 2012

Ten: done!

Yeah, some of you may say I'm cheating and it doesn't count. I was wondering if it counts and the answer is, that I need to express my goals more carefully.

Because, as I said, what I wanted is pretty much independence and having a horse to care for. And, thanks to my friend Ula, my dream came true. Ula is a cousin of my friend from high school. She got Kropka in early spring this year, but short after purchasing the horse it turned out that she won't be able to ride it for the next six months. And here came one of the greatest surprises ever. She asked me to take care of her horse.

Which meant becoming familiar with all this specialistic stuff. Like ummm... martingale. Or applying birch-tar on her hoofs (and sitting alone in the back of the train on my way home, because I smelled with it so much that no one wanted to sit next to me). Or giving her legs a massage with a cooling balm. And discovering later that doing it with bare hands in November may make give you frostbites. Okay. Not a serious frostbites, but it felt like it. Like... ummm... I couldn't feel that I actually had hands.

for all the pain you get when a 700 kgs animal steps on your foot, and doesn't want to move...
for all the embarassment you feel when you have to clean up 3 kilograms of warm, steamy poo, which your horse fancied to have, right in front of local Tesco, during your afternoon ride...
for putting your hand into her mouth to make her take a bit...

you get a wind in your hair when you're galloping trough an open field. And that's it.

Well, you also get a super classy look once or twice a year, but I'm telling you, wind in your hair is better:

You can't really see a wind here, but I can assure you that we heard some buzzing in our ears anyway. I'd blame mulled wine they served. Kropka enjoyed a sip as well.

wtorek, 9 października 2012

Task fifteen: Learn to code

Recently I had a fight with my friend Ozmen. We discussed about female programmers. Ozmen said that girls are capable to code, but they shouldn't be doing this, because it's not girly. According to Ozmen it's like driving a truck, which is also not girly. Because you know, when a girl codes and drives a truck, no guy wants to date her (indeed, I don't really recommend doing it simultaneously). We ended up with me saying he's a sexist jerk and trust me, I usually am nice to people. 

And no, I'm not gonna prove anything to anyone. I really want to know how to code, because first of all, I believe that soon it's gonna be like writing and reading. A must. No one was ever encouraging me to develop my left cereblar hemisphere. I'm not sure if it happened because I'm a math-ignorant and I can count to potato or if it didn't happen because I'm a girl.

And girls should draw, dance, write and drive strollers and trolleys.

I want to check it. I want to be able to create any website I want. I don't have to do it, but I want to know I can do it. And if I won't like it, then I'll go back to my usual drawing, writing, arty, creative activities.

And if it's gonna make this topic any easier to Ozmen, who is a web developer himself, I can use girly accesories. Such as:

piątek, 21 września 2012

Eight: done!

Okay, remember how I wrote, that I want to do something moderately crazy with my hair? Moderately enough to find a job? Don't expect any sort of Rhianna or Lady Gaga style, I just dyed part of my hair blue. Electric blue. And actually I have a job and new offers keep coming! Maybe this is what brings me luck, probably I should dye it all pink and blue.

It all took 24 PLN for a toner and 30 PLN for whitening my hair. It's my green-haired sister and I:

czwartek, 13 września 2012

Task 14: Get a professional photo shoot done

Because who said it's all gonna be for higher purpose?

Wait, I think it was me.

Anyway. I won't be 24 again, and I imagine myself sitting in an old armchair, and looking at pictures from when I was 24 and still had my own teeth. When I was 8 I wanted to be a war correspondent, taking pics in the heat of battle, I never had those dreams of being a model or even a singer (I had a crush for Prince William though, I would be a perfect princess, Kate Middleton is a tough competition). So... with all the vanity I have, yes, I want to have a nice picture of myself taken. Does anybody know a good photographer?

niedziela, 9 września 2012

A short manual about how to sell everything, hit the road and find love

Well, I'm not gonna tell you how to sell everything, hit the road and find love, but Luis will, if you start following his story. I found out about him from Leila (who is by the way my infinite source of cool stories). Luis is a sketcher, who started his awesome World Sketching Tour. He aims to travel the world and sketch what he sees, to set his foot on five continents within five years. 

You can't really see it, but this guy has a bounce in his step

I took him to Fotoplastikon and then (the weather was awful) we had hot chocolate in Wedel, where we sketched a bit together. Well, I was a big fan of this project, now I'm even bigger one. I'm inspired and excited about his journey. I got some really cool advices concerning drawing and shared my long-distance-relationship experiences (it's not as terrible as people say). Oh, and he sketched me! Yay!

That's me, cool, huh? 

I'm not gonna say anything more. Check this guy out, follow him and let him inspire you.

Good luck, boy, for you and your beautiful girlfriend!

What was the most inspiring person you ever met? Come on, share your experience!

poniedziałek, 27 sierpnia 2012

What are your plans for today?

Look what I found:

See? I was serious about filters and stuff.

A sticker.

I thought it's cool and empowering, so I just sticked it on my laptop. But then I realized that it's not really that cool. It was a day like this when Marco Polo left for China, but no pressure, dude. This is one of those traps. Whatever you do, there will always be an Asian third-grader doing it gazillion times better. Or Marco Polo (who hit the road for the first time at the age of 17 and had nothing to say, because his father decided for him). 

There is no point in comparing yourself to others. Just do your job, make your mistakes, fall down, stand up and fall down again. There are you and your aim. If Hussein Bolt was checking where are other runners, he wouldn't be Hussein Bolt.

piątek, 24 sierpnia 2012

Thirteen: Come back to Japan

I have managed to spend 20 hours in Tokyo, while I was having a very complicated trip from Chiang Mai to Mexico City. The trip was a part of a pretty big adventure, a week before I changed my plans totally and decided to quit a year-long trip in Asia and go for the Unknown. In a strange country engulfed with a civil war, with a man I loved madly. Well, it's a long story. 

I managed to set my foot on a Japanese soil which was a unique experience. There are places in the world, which make you feel like in a different reality. I remember feeling like this on my first day in India. After I left my hotel, suddenly I felt like I am in the middle of 4D National Geography documentary. 

And Japan is just different.

It's silent and clean. And people are super nice. And I managed not to get lost. And everything was clean, did I mention this? It was so clean, that you could lick pavements. There are ladies wearing real kimonos, and there are real hand-pulled rickshaws. You go to a country, having all those stereotypes in your head, knowing that these are only stereotypes you shouldn't follow and yeah, surely all those tales about cows in India and kimonos in Japan... let's be serious, no one does it anymore. And suddenly, it turns out that they actually do it. Surprise.

A Lady wearing kimono! Just like this, going to a grocery store or I dunno, to buy a new katana or to rake her zen garden.

A hand-pulled rickshaw! And it's not even a Hokusai's print!

I felt so zen there. Super calm, no hurry. Probably because I was just high with a drug called love, but I bet Japan itself had something to do with it too. I want to see Hanami, and sleep in a house with a paper walls and go to Kyoto and just get lost in Tokyo like Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanson in Lost in Translation

wtorek, 21 sierpnia 2012

Super-duper depth of field

Apparently I have some catching-up with my blog to do, right? I was wondering if I should write about it, but I don't think I can resist: I got a new camera and it's awesome. Which means that now all my dreams will be photographed with a super-duper brand new digital SLR camera. And an automatic mode, unless I learn how to use it properly. The day I brought it home, I took a picture of every single flower I found, all my fingers (and toes), books, and pretty much everything I found, including that awesome lamp I didn't even know is that awesome before:

Yay! That's me! Everything looks prettier with a depth of field, even me!

And all the pics have cool depth of field, so I should probably put some filter on them, add something about love in helvetica and start a fanpage "Ten Awesome Years Photography" on Facebook.

poniedziałek, 13 sierpnia 2012

Twelve: Run a hostel

I did many jobs so far. I was an event manager. I was a kindergarten teacher. I was a marketing trainee. I was a human rights educator. But the best of my jobs so far was being a receptionist in a hostel. I loved it. I loved meeting people.
Like that guy, who stopped in Warsaw during his trip from Amsterdam to Beijing on a horizontal bike.
Or that Dutch girl, Wytske, who was researching on Polish Jews
Or Ale, a geeky Italian, who became my best friend
Or Raffaella, the cutest sweetest little babe ever.
Or the University Orchestra from Coimbra in Portugal
Or those elder ladies from Israel, who came back to Poland after 60 years in search of the country of their childhood.
Or Ayesh, Josh and Andrew, Australians who are just an example on how one can crash an album-release-party of one of the most popular Polish rappers and steal all Red Bulls from the frigde.

It was just fun. And my bosses were honest and carying for us. And I love taking care of other people.    And it helped me to get rid of my shyness. And Iąm still coming back there and hanging out with receptionists and guests and suddenly realizing that I just wanted to visit the hostel and for some reason it's 5 am and I'm coming back barefoot from a party.

That's why I want to run a hostel. I was wondering if it's not too big aim for the next 10 years, but... aim high, right? If it won't work, it won't. But if it will, it's gonna be legen - wait for it - dary. I'm totally able to make my hostel the best one in Europe. If you have spare 30 000 euros, now you totally know how to invest it.

wtorek, 7 sierpnia 2012

23-year road trip. Mr. Holtorf, you are my top inspiration!

You might have heard about this guy already. Back in 1989, when the communism in central Europe collapsed, Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine decided to go to Africa for an 18-month trip. They packed what they needed into their blue Mercedes Benz Wagon and... never came back. Christine passed away some time ago, but Gunther continues their trip, which so far took 23 years and 800 000 km (500 000 miles). He is 74 now, doesn't use a Facebook, Twitter and digital camera. He owns two super retro Leicas and travels by the very same car.

Isn't it mind-blowing? It's one of those things that make me super excited, and unable to find words to describe how cool it is. How is it possible, that no one has heard about him before!? It's such a story, and he managed to escape from all those media predators, sponsors, blogs (ekhm), breakfast TV shows, glossy magazines... If this guy is 74 now, it means that he started the trip when he was 51. (The next person who says "I'd love to do it, but I'm too old for it" gets a high five. In the face. With a chair). He repairs the car when it gets broken (which doesn't happen often, they have never had any major accident, long live German technology). He is perfectly fine without Internet (and, ekhem, let's say blogging). He was travelling with a love of his life. How cool is that!? You can read more about him here:

czwartek, 2 sierpnia 2012

How it all started

I can't say there was one big factor that made me start this project, but I can surely say, that Bronnie Ware, a paliative nurse from Australia was one of the biggest. I've read an article about her and her blog. Bronnie takes care of people in last weeks of their lives and asks them about what they regret. The answers are surprisingly similar and I will let myself quote them:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."

This is mind-blowing. After I read it, my head was spinning, I had all those questions and doubts. I still have them. Should I leave everything and go travel? What would happen with my social security then? Should I put all my effort into becoming an illustrator even though I know that only the best ones can make the ends meet? Should I quit my job here and go to Mexico, where I spent six happiest months of my life? It still is spinning to be honest. I've no idea about what to do, but I also think, that an extremely important thing is to keep your eye on your goals constantly. CONSTANTLY. That's why I run this project.

sobota, 28 lipca 2012

A friend of mine asked me to translate this article for him for his university classes. I did it and I benefited from this myself. It's really empowering and I think that it may be useful for you too. The author is Craig Nathanson, who quit his job in a big corporation in order to help people discover what their passions are.

How do you discover and live your passion?

This is a question we all want to answer, especially in mid-life where everything is suddenly up for questioning. Especially after age 40, when you get this nagging feeling that what you do isn’t really fulfilling and meaningful anymore. Especially when your support structure continues to be more concerned with the mundane aspects of life than with happiness and fulfillment.

How do you discover your passion in your work? Another tough question. For me, it was in the middle of teaching a workshop years ago while I was still working in corporate America. I got this sudden awareness that my life had to change. It was in the middle of ANOTHER Powerpoint presentation. I felt dizzy, light-headed. My boss thought perhaps I was getting sick and we should reschedule. I remember thinking to myself; I was sick all right, sick of this job and what I must do now is reschedule my life!

Start by writing down what gets you the most excited about life. Is it riding your bike on Sunday mornings, spending time alone with your books, or doing the budget back at the office on Thursday afternoons? The answer is different for each of us. Think deeply and write down what excites you most. Start to imagine what your life would be like if you spent the majority of your day actually doing what you love; what a concept! Most people are unable to do this because they immediately jump to the conclusion that they couldn’t support themselves and their families doing what they love. Sadly, they wait until they retire. Then something happens and they die. Then it IS too late.

The next best step is to meet and hang around people who love what you love. Discussing it with these like-minded people will give you ideas. If you love books, start attending book fairs and libraries; meet with publishers, authors and editors and visit book stores. Meet and observe others who spend their days with books. If you love to work with numbers, start to meet and hang around with similar people. Subscribe to financial publications, talk to accountants, controllers, people who work with money and spreadsheets all day. Learn what they do, how they do it and why they do it. You will get new ideas!

Build a life roadmap. Determine what is most important to you in your life. Figure out what you need to do each and every day to align your actions with what is most important. Establish key goals 3-5 years from now that align with what is most important to you. Make sure they align with your passions, too.

What is vocational passion? Imagine it’s Sunday night and you can’t get to sleep. You toss and turn all night pondering your work. You wake up and glance at the clock and notice it’s still only 2:00 am and then 4:00 am and finally 5:00 am. You can’t stand it anymore. You jump out of bed thinking about all the work you must accomplish on Monday. The difference is that, when your work is also your vocational passion, you’ll love every minute of it.

Just recently I gave a talk to a large group about how to discover and follow your passion. As I was waiting off-stage and being introduced, I noticed my usual pre-talk feelings overwhelm me. I felt dizzy, a little light-headed, and my body felt a rush of breath. Although I am in great shape for my age (almost 50) I worried that I was having a stroke and would die shortly into my talk. Then I thought to myself, “I hope it doesn’t happen until the end of my talk or at least the funny parts”. Then my thoughts were interrupted as I heard, “And here is Craig Nathanson, The Vocational Coach”. Within seconds, thoughts of an impending heart attack or stroke left me and as I saw my audience I suddenly, once again, felt my purpose in the world.

This inner experience happens EVERY time I speak and just before meeting with my clients, and I have come to realize that this is the rush of vocational passion. Then I am sure once again that somehow, someway, I have figured out a way to continue living an authentic life doing what I love.

Do you toss and turn on Sunday night, excited about Monday morning? Do you jump out of bed on Monday morning and race to work? Is Monday your best day of the week and Friday the worst because you have to wait until the following Monday to resume your life’s work? Believe it or not, this really IS possible!

How do you live your vocational passion? Sounds simple and yet this is the most challenging thing you will ever do; take action. Despite all the people who tell you you’re crazy; you’ll starve; you’re selfish; you’ll become homeless; you do it anyway. You start to take action with the INTENTION of figuring out a way to make this work.

After leaving a senior management position in corporate America over four years ago, it was always an interesting experience telling people what I did. To the usual party question, “So what do you do?” I would simply say, “I work with people over forty to help them discover and do what they love!” The look in their eyes always said something between, “You fool!” and “I am jealous!”

My first talk was supposed to be in front of a big crowd as part of a job fair at Harry’s Hoff Brau in San Jose California. As I entered the room about five minutes before my talk, I wondered if I was in the wrong room — it was empty. Around 6 pm when my talk was about to start, a sweet elderly woman in her late 80’s wandered in and asked if the show was about to begin. She was recently widowed after 50 years of marriage and she was still carrying around a lot of sadness. She thought this free show might cheer her up.

I sat down next to her and just listened to her talk about her life. Although I didn’t give my planned speech, when she hugged me and told me I had cheered her up, I thought to myself that it had been a perfect first show!

What matters most is that you START! Following your vocational passion, especially after forty, is a lonely experience at first. Soon, however, you will become so involved in doing what you love that you will start to wonder why it took you so long to get started. One day recently I went to pick up my seven year-old from school. As I waited for him, a woman drove up and asked, ‘’Are you the guy in the paper recently who helps people discover and do what they love?” With a little embarrassment, I said, “Well yes I am.”
She said, “I noticed you the other day before the article came up and I thought to myself, ‘There is a man with bounce in his step.'" I picked up my son and as we drove away, I thought to myself, “That’s what happens when you live an authentic life—you get that bounce in your step!”

Can you get the bounce back in your step? I think you can. First imagine what you want and what you are passionate about. Write it down. Talk about it with others. Take one small action and ignore the opinions of others while you are starting out. Measure your progress. Your bounce will surely come back and others will notice. And with each step you take, I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines.

Craig Nathanson is the author of P Is For Perfect: Your Perfect Vocational Day and a coaching expert who works with people over forty. Craig’s systematic approach, the trademark "Ten P" model, helps people break free and move toward the work they love. Visit Craig’s online community at where you can sign up for a class, private coaching or group coaching. Or you can read other stories of mid-life change and renewal.

poniedziałek, 23 lipca 2012

Things I actually did: Go to Cuba

Bad news: No pics. My camera died just before I landed in Havana. Which actually made my trip even more retro. A week without a digital camera, Internet and a cellphone, can you imagine? My dream was to see a communist Cuba before Fidel dies. Cuba without McDo's and Coke. Without iStores, Zaras, H&Ms and Wallmarts.

All my stay in Cuba was sort of a lucky coincidence. When I was coming back to Poland from Mexico, I managed to  find a super cheap (300 €, 400$!) and super complicated (Mexico City - Panama - Havana - Moscow - Warsaw. Long live Aeroflot!) flight with a 4 days stopover in Havana. Cuba is amazing. It's everything you imagine about it multiplied by 100. I managed to find an accomodation in an empty-ish former St. Clara convent. An old lady, who turned out to be a receptionists greeted me with perfect Polish. It turned out later that she came for some time to Poland for a student exchange, when both our countries were still trying to manage to survive having the best of the political systems...

This is what I noted down in my travel diary:
"(...) Shops here are pure poverty and just a sorry sight, one can choose between only two types of toothpaste - the green and the blue, there are portraits of Che at every wall and in a warehouse a female voice from the loudspeakers asks companera Hernandez to come to the backroom. Even buying stupid ice-cream appears to be a problem. You have to go to a huge ice-cream shop, Coppelia, and stay in a queue. No one knows what is in the beginning of this queue, but I remember my mom's memories from the time of communism in Poland, and I know that if there is a queue, there is surely something desirable to buy on the other side of it. I join it. When I manage to move to the beginning, I meet a gentleman, who tells people where to go: upper or ground floor, depending on tables available. I have to go upstairs. A grumpy waiter seats me with a three-persons family, and the fact that I'm not with them has no meaning. Coppelia has a wide variety of desserts: two, three, four or five chocolate scopes. Well, I choose two, I eat, (I pay) and I run away.

There is also a heat. A heat that you can't escape from, because there is almost no AC here. There is a moderately acceptable temperature only in a bar in Obispo street and few warehouses, which I enter in order to research on differences between two types of shoe polish, when the heat gets unbearable. Restaurants look great, however the food they serve is terrible. It doesn't matter if it's a dingy bar in Obispo street or a beautiful newly-renovated house in Plaza Vieja, in every single one of them you'll find  different combinations of a cardboard-like bread, plastic cheese and some other ingredients.

The atmosphere however, is mind-blowing. In every square, in every cafe and from every radio - salsa, mambo and rumba. Chevrolets and buicks from fifties and stunningly beautiful people. People, who in Europe would drag people's attention instantly. Dark, fit boys with perfectly shaped chests and long-legged doe-eyed beauties. And the feeling that time stopped here. Almost no one owns a cellphone here, no one has an access to Internet. Life goes on in the streets and an old-fashioned pianist, just like Sam from Casablanca plays elegant songs in a cafe of hotel Europa."

I would totally love to come back one day.

poniedziałek, 16 lipca 2012

Eleven: Go to Istanbul

Istanbul is one of those cities, which I don't know much about, but they name is like a promise of something special. (Yes, I have a special cathegory for cities like Bombay, Tarragona and Timbouctou). I remember history lessons about Byzantium and Constantinople. I remember reading about Anna Komnene a byzantine princess and scholar, about all those splendid golden cities, habits, architecture, ceremonies, art... There is something fascinating about Istanbul, when I think about it, I have this image of an oriental old city, being mixture of culture and languages, cosmopolitan in an ancient meaning of this word. Recently my Spanish teacher told me, that there is a community of Jews living there, whos ancestors escaped from persecution in medieval Spain and those people still speak Spanish!

Now, however I have two more reasons to go to Istanbul. First of them is Özmen and second is Muto. I met those guys trough CouchSurfing, and they are such a nice, genuine and fun people, that I really really really have to visit Turkey as soon as it's possible. Well, they brought me lokum, which moves a bit away the prospect of acomplishing task one, but is definetely a delicious guilty pleasure.

sobota, 7 lipca 2012

Tanabata and things I actually did

Do you know what day is today? It's Tanabata, a Japanese festival of "pleading for skills" and I think (I'm not sure however), "pleading in general" :-) People in Japan celebrate it by writing their wishes on small stripes of paper. Isn't it awesome? I wish we had such festival in our culture, I think that it could help people keep on track to make their dreams and plans come true. This could actually be a good habit. Tanabata means "evening of the seventh", and is celebrated only once a year, but imagine how useful would it be, to have a day in a month, let's say an evening of the seventh to sum up everything you did last month to achieve what you want to achieve. Not bad at all, huh?

I think it's a good day to start sharing things which I had done before I came across the idea of this project, dreams that already came true.

I had my moment of bollylove. I love India, I went there twice, and I could go there any minute. I've never felt like something bad can happen to me there, I love the crowd, cows, smells, monkeys, pushy salesmen, all the guys who want marry me instantly, all those beautiful women, kitsch, drama and tikka masala. And Bollywood of course. One of my big dreams was to be an extra in a Bollywood movie. In the end of my second trip in 2010, my friends and I went to Mumbai (which is a mind-blowing city by the way). We were travelling in a group of six, and it happened that I was going to depart few days later than my friends. I was spending those days strolling down the streets of Kala Ghoda, playing cricket in Oval Maidan, window-shopping in The Bombay Store, looking for Shah Rukh Khan's villa and hanging out at Leopold Bar. One day, I was standing in a queue of a Coffee Day cafe, and a stranger approached and asked if I want to be an extra in a (dramatic pause) Farah Khan's movie. Oh boy, I wanted. Even though this guy could potentially cut off my kidney and leave me in some narrow street instead. 

I was supposed to come to Colaba Causeway on the next day at 4.30 am. Sleepy crowd of backpackers awaiting a bus made me sure, that no one is interesed in my kidneys. They took us to a fancy shopping mall, which was playing a role of an airport, and gave us clothes. Stereotypical clothes of white Europeans, which made us look like hookers and pimps. I'd never guess, that a stereotypical European woman wears super high heels, embarassingly short skirt and a heavy make up while taking a long-haul flight. Indian movie industry dispelled my doubts. I got a (very) small black dress, an orang-y make-up and terribly uncomfortable shoes in a size 39 (I wear 36). We were walking back and forth in front of the mall, some blonde Swedish chicks were chosen to be the main character's psycho-fans and loop their arms around his neck. God, I swear, it was the only moment when I wished I was blonde.We were working for few hours, got something like 200 rupees (no contract of course, I could potentially sue them for using my image without permission :-), and a chance to see Farah and Ashkay Kumar. And a chance of taking a picture with him, which I didn't use because I was too shy. 

But I took a picture of Farah, Ashkay and two Americans playing French (?) policemen in a shopping mall in India, which was playing an airport:

So... if you ever happen to watch Tees Maar Khan, focus on the airport scene, that little hooker with black dress and superhigh heels is me!

It's not the only dream I made come true, so... to be continued!

poniedziałek, 25 czerwca 2012

Ten: Own a horse

 I had a dream. It was so big, that I was a bit scared of posting it here. Because owning a horse is a huge thing. It takes time, patience and money. Horses are surprisingly fragile and sensitive animals, but feeling the wind in your hair, when you are galopping trough open fields is priceless. Your blood is pure, sparkling, pink endorphines. For me it's a definition of freedom. 

 I was dreaming about having a horse since I was eight. I just wanted to have it, ride it whenever I want, have a very special understanding betwen me and the animal, care for it, not need to ask anybody for permission to galop trough open fields. Surprisingly, my dream came true in a very unexpected way, even before I managed to write about it here. It turns out that I don't need to own a horse to get what I wanted. This story is going to be continued...;-)

sobota, 23 czerwca 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I saw it yesterday with my friends, because I wanted to see this movie since I found out about it. Well, it's India combined Dev Patel and oh my God, an awesome British cast: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith... This just can't be a bad thing, right? 

You must know that it's a typical feel-good movie, a guilty pleasure. It's guilty, because it's lacking a sensibilty for the post-colonials matters, the main character, a hotel manager Sonny is quoting Kipling... (Yeah, the very same Kipling who wrote "The White's Man Burden"). If you look at this movie from this point of view, it turns out that in general Indians are simply-minded, and naive, so there is nothing wrong in patronising them. Thanks God they have British retirees, who won't let them fail miserably. Also, it's full of the West-meets-East clichees, banalities and slightly too obvious filmmaking tricks.

However, I'm writing about this movie here, because it's also a pleasure. If we leave alone all the post-colonial discourse, we'll get a cheering-up story about some late-bloomers, about the fact that it's never too late. It's never too late for love, for buisness, for quitting a harmful relationship, for struggling for happiness. And it's your duty towards yourself to escape from a bitterness. I know, it sounds trivially, but it's true, and can be confirmed by my grandma, who got married for the second time at the age of 78. 

So... just watch it. Have my remarks in the back of your head, go to the cinema and watch it, you are going to have fun. Enjoy incredible India, enjoy the witty dialogues (congrats, mr. Parker) and I wouldn't be myself if I didn't write it: Dev Patel 

Here you can read Nikita's Lalawani comment on the movie. Slightly too strong I'd say, but she made her point.

czwartek, 7 czerwca 2012

Nine: See the Northern Lights

Northern Lights must be a pure magic. I can't even say why I want to see it so much, I may simply be like a moth atracted to light. It looks awesome in the picture, it looks even better in a time-lapse video. Just have a look: (btw, good job, Finnland)

środa, 30 maja 2012

Eight: Do something crazy about my hair

...or moderately crazy. You know, something that won't prevent me from having a job that pays taxes. You must know, that the only piercing I have is my ear lobes, I've never had a tattoo, and the craziest colour I ever dyed my hair was copper (badass, right?).

niedziela, 20 maja 2012

Seven: Make a moss graffiti

I can admit that this dream is a little bit on the edge, but I've been amazed by this technique since I saw it for the first time. I get the point of graffiti artists. Some of them. I mean ARTISTS, not blokes who are tagging everything because they have nothing better to do. I also understands the owners of the buildings. Renovating a wall after it's been covered with a graffiti costs fortune, and it really really hurts to see a shitty painting on a new or freshly renovated building. When I saw a (very low quality) Lithuanian graffiti on a wall of a house in Warsaws old town, I felt like I wanted to kill those guys with bare hands (They were nice enough to put their website address as a signature. Douchebags).

On the other hand, seing a nice, colorful, surprising piece of art in a grey, sad and dodgy part of the city is super nice. It means that there are passionate people, who spend their free time improving their skills and making the world a prettier place.

I don't remember when and where I have heard about a moss graffiti for the first time, but I would love to make one. I need to think about it more, I want the technique to reinforce the message, it also has to be made in a right place.

czwartek, 3 maja 2012

Six: Walk El Camino de Santiago

I was 14 when I heard about El Camino for the first time. A higly spiritual friend of a friend decided to run away from home and walk to Santiago de Compostella. The kid has been caught in Germany and delivered back home, but the idea of El Camino de Santiago got stuck in my head forever.

Basically, it's an ancient pilgrim trail, known since the 9th century. The Way of Saint James has many starting points. The most important ones are in France, but one can start from many places, such as Tallin, Istambul, Hamar, Arhus or Lagos. An important part of the trail is Via Regia, a medieval trade road going from Russian Novogrod to Paris. The end and the aim of the pilgrimage is a town of Santiago de Compostela, which is believed to be a place where Saint James the Greater is buried. (It's also believed that he has been miraculously transported there from Jerusalem, in a boat without a crew). In the town there is a huge medieval cathedral, with a chapel containing the Holy Grail... Well, at least one of them.

Why do I want to do it? Because I believe in walking. I've been a scout for 13 years, I was hiking a lot and I can tell you, that walking solves many problems, brings more oxygen to your brain, letting it think clearer and makes your body produce endorphines. Walking this particular trail is also breathing history. We are walking on the footpaths of Charlemagne, Saint Francis of Assisi and Isabella of Castile. It's like touching those legendary times, when people were talking, not tweeting, when they owned as much as they could carry and believed in unicorns because they couldn't google them.

wtorek, 1 maja 2012

Summer is here!

Summer! Homemade all-kind-of-berries-and-yoghurt ice-cream (with a ridiculously low calories level!)! Sun! Walking barefoot in the grass! (And all those in one picture!)

No, seriously, this kind of weather makes me genuinely happy, so I had to share it. 

czwartek, 26 kwietnia 2012

Five: Learn to play the ukulele

I've never played any instrument. When I was in the primary, I was forced to learn how to play piano, but I hate being forced to do things, so it didn't work for me. Then I tried to learn how to play guitar, when I was a scout, but I was lacking motivation so now I can play a half of a song. I bought my ukulele in Mexico, it's still waiting for better days.

wtorek, 24 kwietnia 2012

Bread and Cheetos

My frist goal was to loose weight, so I decided to try the South Beach diet, it doesn't exclude many products. First phase lasts 14 days and basically I can't eat bread, potatos, rice, fruits, coffee, tea, fruit juices and fizzy drinks. Easy, huh?

Hm... Not really. It's my third day and I'm already sick of eating eggs and chicken. Seriously, today I was forcing myself to eat a mushroom omlette. Yesterday I needed to take a long bus ride and I had to enjoy a company of a girl carrying a loaf of bread. You know, fresh bread with a crispy crust... smelling like a bakery. Pure torture! Then a guy sat next to me, and he started eating Cheetos. I love Cheetos, I'm pretty sure they add cocaine to it, because I'm a Cheetos-addict. The last part of the food-tease ride was an old lady eating those artificially flavoured strawberry cookies. Why do you people eat on a bus? What's wrong with you? There are people on a diet next to you, show them some empathy!

Ohh... I'm feeling weak and sick and it's still 11 days left!

Update: Today I'm allowed to eat a piece of chocolate. Oh. My. God. Tastes like heaven.

niedziela, 22 kwietnia 2012

Four: Take a stroll down the cherry blossom avenue

This is Herrstrasse in Bonn, Germany. I found this picture somewhere on the Internet and I fell in love with it immediately. 

sobota, 21 kwietnia 2012

Three: Go to Iran

I've wanted to go to Iran since I read a book "Shah of shahs", written by a famous Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuściński. Then I read a comic "Persepolis" and watched a movie based on the comic (the picture above is a scene from the movie). What intrigues me about Iran is the relationship between a political system and a culture. Before the revolution, Iran was pretty much westernized, it was nothing like other countries in the region, women didn't have to cover their heads, they could wear short skirts, drive a car, smoke cigarettes. After the revolution everything changed, everybody knows in which way. I'm not supporting one or the other government - both have blood on their hands, but apparently Iran have always had a problem with democracy. I'm wondering what are the people like there - those high-educated, open-minded, well-traveled Iranians, I want to couch surf there, I want to talk to them. It may sound creepy, but I like travelling to the countries that are lacking democracy, it makes me appreciate all the freedom I have and it keeps me aware of the fact that it's not obvious in some places.

środa, 18 kwietnia 2012

Two: Send my mom to French Polynesia

My mom is the best mom in the whole world. When I was a little girl, she was taking me to museums, theaters, galleries, for long walks. I remember almost every single trip with her. When I got a raw wooden dollhouse, we spent a whole afternoon wallpapering the rooms with the most beautiful wrapping paper she got and stitching curtains and quilts for my dolls. She was supporting me in my drawing, she was getting cold on winter Tuesdays afternoons, when I decided to learn how to ride a horse (not to mention covering the costs of this rather money-consuming hobby). She had a tough life but she gave my sister and me a LOT of love and care.

My mom and I. The fashion of the time of political transformaton - priceless :-)

She has always wanted to travel, but when she was young, crossing the Iron Curtain was almost impossible, you had to have an invitation from abroad, a permission from the local police, they were interviewing you and all your family. She wanted to study geography, but she ended up at the Economic University. The system collapsed a year after she gave birth to me. We took road trips to the Netherlands, France and Spain, but she has never been outside of Europe. When I asked her about where would she like to go (assuming she can go anywhere, no matter the costs and distance), she  said "French Polynesia" (as she speaks French). 

That's my second task: sending her to French Polynesia. It's gonna take a shit load of money but she totally deserves it. I need around 6200 PLN for a ticket and then 300 PLN daily (for let's say 17 days) for an accomodation. Makes around 11 000 PLN in total (=3448 $ or 2632 €). I appreciate all the advices considering investing money, lowering the price of the flight or alternative accomodation in Polynesia.

wtorek, 17 kwietnia 2012

One: Get fit

Not because I dislike my body, it's because I love it. It's the only thing that we posess for all our life and it's our duty to keep it in good condition. I don't want to be 60 and find out that I've 30 years of my life left and I'm going to spend it on a wheelchair or just on a couch, because I was ignoring my body for the past 60 years.


Hello, I'm Marta
I'm 24.
I'm Polish.
In two months I'll be done with my studies.
I like drawing, writing, travelling and horseback riding. I like see-trough glass items in different colours and pretty shiny things. I like lumberjacks and Guy Delisle.

My goal is not to fuck my life up. Not to loose important things. To be happy. Not to wake up one day and ask myself "Hey, what happened with the past ten years?".

I want to make my dreams come true.

In 10 years from now I'll be 34 and I want to be able to say that I had awesome 10 years. I'm gonna make my plans come true one by one. Set up a bucket list, write down my dreams, give them numbers and just do it. 'A whole life' sounds overwhelming, but 10 years seems to be much enough to learn (or at least not forget) how to live my life to the fullest. It's gonna be 3652 high-quality days. Probably not all of them will be that cool, but I'll do my best.

In 10 years from now, on April 17th 2022 I plan to throw a great party, invite my friends and family and share my hapiness with them. You know, a proper big fat party with chinese lanterns, fireworks, a band and a chocolate fountain.