Thoughts

How to Adore Mondays

“It’s Monday again”, “Well, it’s Monday”, “How are you?” – “It’s Monday.” The latter is a response I get pretty often in Germany. In the meantime, I’ve become increasingly attached to Mondays, especially since I’ve finished school, then later on university and became increasingly independent in the years that followed. Here’s why.

Mondays are like small New Year’s Days that happen every single week. No matter what happened before, you can always decide this is your fresh start right now. Or you don’t decide anything, just go out into a new week, because you never know what nice things might happen. I’d say there’s enough people and media currently telling us about the bad things that might happen, so no harm in making mental room for the opposite.

Supermarkets are usually less crowded, bordering on peaceful, because the majority of your neighborhood is still stocked up on groceries from their Friday and Saturday shopping sessions. It’s nice to stop by after work and just get a few more things for some cooking at home. While wearing a mask has become more automatic these days, it still makes for more efficient planning and shopping, because browsing does make for a sweaty face. So there you have it, a nice, quick Monday supermarket trip.

Even if it feels like you messed up the day or something happened to make it go differently than you wished, there’s still enough left of the week to do better. Or to forget what happened. There’s still enough time to get a project done, come up with a good idea, hide under the blanket for a while, figure out birthday presents. One bad Monday doesn’t a whole week make.

Monday definitely gets a lot of attention. It also sometimes sounds like there is no other option but to be displeased with Mondays, sometimes just because it’s the day that directly follows a weekend, which was, of course, too short and went by too quickly.

The truth is that Mondays can be as different as any other day of the week, depending on what happened the day before, what happened that morning, what’s happening right now, what a person is going through or how long the to-do list is. The day of the week doesn’t even matter that much, because, surprise, surprise, weekends might just as easily turn into a busy, even challenging time with little or no rest, just as a weekday may suddenly be relaxed. Maybe if a Monday feels adores, it’ll adore you right back.

 

Standard
Seen/Heard/Read

Labyrinth Quotes to Unsettle Annoying People

Just a bit of studying to remember these and take your pick! Or maybe you already know the movie by heart? Predictably, many gems will come from Jareth, the one and only goblin king. Quotes listed in no particular order.  Extra points if your delivery includes accents, voices, voice switches if it’s a dialogue and tunes if it’s a lyric.

“Sarah, beware. I have been generous up ’til now. I can be cruel.” Substitute Sarah’s name with whichever you need in the moment.

“How you turn my world, you precious thing.”

“What’s said is said.” – “But, I didn’t mean it.” – “Oh, you didn’t?”

“Ha ha ha… well? laugh!”

“I thought they did nice things, like… Like granting wishes.” Substitute “they” with “you”.

“That’s not it! Where did she get that rubbish? It doesn’t even start with “I wish!” ” Substitute “she” with “you”.

“SMELL BAD!”

“What’s the matter, my dear, don’t you like your toys?”

“You have no power over me!”

Standard
Thoughts

Things Siberians Say to Other People When They Don’t Live in Siberia

(We don’t have to say it in Siberia, because, attention, everyone knows their stuff.)

Let’s be fair, it goes both ways. Things are said to us as soon as we say where we’re from, we say something in return, but we also transfer our Siberian ways to our conversations without needing prompts from others after we reveal our roots.

Actually, the cold bothered and bothers me personally quite a bit, but that’s another story.

Things we might say to you

“I love summer! What heat wave?”

“It’s so nice to sit on the grass! No ticks!”

“I don’t need to go on a ski holiday, I’ve seen enough snow in my time.”

“Let’s just sit together for a little while.”

“No, I’m not cold” / “No, it’s not that cold”/ “Wow, snow, finally!” (I don’t say this, but it’s a matter of preference)

“My bike is locked up, there’s ice on the road. Yes, it can be dangerous to cycle on ice.”

“Well, it’s a good idea to wear a hat when it’s below zero outside.”

“I’m quite used to the forest, there was a lot of it where I grew up.”

“Yes, I have worn a fur coat before. Real fur.”

“Do you know pelmeni? No, they aren’t completely the same as pierogi.”

To guests: “Would you like some house slippers or warm socks?”

My personal favorite: “Actually, I don’t know anything about vodka.”

“I could see my breath this morning, it’s cold.”

“Don’t you have gloves with you?”

Almost said many times: “Is hunching into your scarf really all that helpful in staying warm?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard
Seen/Heard/Read

Emily in Paris: Some Possibly Unsaid Things

What can I add that hasn’t been said already… Well, just in case, I could add the trailer.

The internet was talking about this so much, I just couldn’t stand aside, though I’m often able to, content to wait until the noise dies down and it’s quiet enough for me to think for myself. I got wind of the reactions and reviews before I’d even seen the trailer or had any clue Emily in Paris existed. I was enjoying the stuff people were posting and writing so much, I just had to see what it was all about. Luckily, with only ten episodes available to stream so far, this was doable in less than a week. Paris is, fortunately, a big part of my life, and I miss it very much these days. This was part of the reason, as it might have been for many others, that I dived right in. I’m neither French or American, but here’s what I have to say. Warning, minor spoilers ahead.

The whole not speaking French and getting a job in Paris thing…

OK, so the opportunity to go work in Paris for a year basically fell into Emily’s lap unexpectedly, so one could argue that she simply didn’t have time to learn French or never considered she would need to. What’s interesting is that despite the language class she does start attending during the series, or the amount of French she hears around her on a daily basis (because if you go to France, there is NO WAY to avoid hearing French everywhere A LOT, duh), neither seems to be having any visible impact on her. Her Bonjour and Très stubbornly retain the American R in every episode. Sure, some sounds take work to reproduce properly when you’re learning a foreign language. But the implication is also that it’s impossible for her to pronounce things the correct way, which brings me to my next point…

The horribly cliché representation of French people…and of Americans?

Fair point, enough said. But aren’t Americans, through our heroine, also represented in a cliché way? Just like not every single French person exhibits all the, um, qualities depicted in the show, surely not every single American disregards the importance of learning the language of the country they find themselves in, only goes so far as to look for daily interpreters, expects everyone to speak English, treats Paris as a playground and is ready to confidently instruct anyone how to do life and work? I can’t decide whether the show is meant to show actual belief in what Emily represents or her character is supposed to remind us that, yes, such people do still exist, and it’s not the best thing. In fact, I’m wondering, is she full of clichés or is she simply almost fascinatingly clueless? Basically, is the show painting ALL of its characters with the same brush, regardless of their nationality?

But back to French things and Paris

My travel-hungry eyes feasted on every single shot of Paris cleaner than I have ever seen it. Than anyone has ever seen it, probably. The visuals are wonderful and that’s fine. It was also less crowded than I’ve experienced it in tourist areas, which is also a fantasy I’m willing to accept. The city is, of course, about so much more than its visual appeal, which seems to be the only dimension capturing Emily and her phone so far. Paris is a whole world onto itself, and I’m not sure this is possible to convey through the current concept of the series. Maybe that’s not supposed to happen. But still, Emily biting into her first pain au chocolat and reducing it to a “Oh my God, butter and chocolate” combination? Non. Emily rejecting her rare steak because it’s “wrong”, without having done some prior research or politely asking before ordering? Non. Emily making fun of how the French say her last name? See above for Bonjour and Très. Non. Emily wearing berets every chance she gets, because we are clearly expecting this from Paris fashion? Non. I’m surprised the striped shirt hasn’t made an appearance yet. Emily being rudely dictated which roses she is allowed to buy by the lady who sells them? Non.

Then there’s all that stuff about French guys

My impression is that the two recurring points in the online debates on this topic are whether Gabriel is likable and how realistic it is to have an attractive downstairs neighbor when you move into your Parisian apartment. Point two gets a quicker answer: sometimes you have attractive neighbors, sometimes you don’t. But it’s definitely an issue to be addressed for all those ambitious dreamers moving to Paris. As well as the fact that said neighbor should come with the following attributes: either single and honest about it OR taken and honest about it. On the other hand, he might just want his privacy, like any normal person. Now to point one. Is Gabriel likable? He’s very attractive, he’s got that whole smize thing going on, he’s easily confident around women, he considers it a normal reaction to kiss a woman who is not his girlfriend back after she kisses him…this isn’t just a French thing or a French guy. Take away the beautiful language, the seamless flirting (let’s give him that one), and you will find this guy in many, many countries. As well as the guy who told Emily what he liked after the dinner party her friend Mindy threw, the older leering men (not so sure about the lingerie gift delivered to work, though, but hey, it’s fiction), the confident mansplainer.

Finally…

So many shows have provoked questions not dissimilar to those following Emily in Paris. Wow, see what I did there, see it? It’s a fine line between escapism and how far you can suspend disbelief while still being able to relate to characters and events. Because no matter how much switching off happens in the brain, there has to be some connection felt to what’s on the screen. Bottom line, they achieved what they set out to do. I’ve watched it all, I’ve contributed to views, I’m writing way more about it than I intended and I’m probably not even the target audience. Et voilà.

Standard
Thoughts

Tried and Tested Tips for Staying Sane

Because we all need them sometimes and the more information is out there, the better…

Watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory and regularly observe people tell/ ask/ shout at Sheldon that he’s acting or sounds like a crazy person. It’ll put things into perspective. Although, as we all know know, he’s not crazy, his mother had him tested. Plus he’s very keen on hygiene, which is, of course, an inspiration to us all in these times in particular, though I’d still like to think certain standards should always be in place and I don’t wish good things on the person I know left the bathroom at one of my jobs without washing her hands. Off topic, but important to note.

Sarcasm is a fine art worth mastering and it usually helps in any situation, because it takes your mind off the immediateness of it, though there’s a huge difference between being sarcastic and being mean (which is obviously a topic for a whole other blog post). Being sarcastic, when done skillfully, benefits from a connection to humor, which always makes anything better, even if you’re just saying things to yourself (that’s not crazy).

It’s true, breathing helps. So go for it! No paper bags necessary, though I guess that’s a matter of preference. If you’re not sure which technique to pursue, the internet will help.

This is all just material for future novel(s). It’s being given to us, free of charge. All we have to do is absorb, like a sponge. We’re artists in training, creative souls, travelers on the highway of the universe and surely the only reason we have to listen to/ look at/ are currently witnesses to this crap is because it might get some laughs written down.

If all else fails, just laugh at it all. But not in a way that will make people think you are crazy.

Standard