Publié le 29 Janvier 2019

winter thoughts (2019)

Desolate. 
Naked bushes scattered on the shalow snow
Make me feel as frozen as the air. 
The cold deserted scenery makes feel welcomed
Others pay no attention -
too much in a hurry to reach their destination
This is how winter nests itself in our hearts. 

winter thoughts (2019)winter thoughts (2019)

Everything is quiet, cold and white. 
In the night, yellow and white lights show the roads blanketed by heavy snow. 
Hungry beasts bear their teeth at anyone daring to venture in the darkness. 

winter thoughts (2019)winter thoughts (2019)
winter thoughts (2019)winter thoughts (2019)

December just started as I start typing this. But knowing me, it will take a while for me to gather my thoughts and finish it.  -As I post this is already the end of January. lack of inspiration.-

However, I need some sort of a conclusion for 2018. It will help me with remembering things when I'll be older. Placing events according to a time frame is not my strongest point.  It does seem like I have many weaknesses, doesn't it? At the very least, one of my biggest weaknesses is (still) cleaning, as we all remember.

I'm sure you remember i drew a couple conclusions at the end of the past years. I'll link the 2017 one here, mostly for myself ... and to be able to compare the 2 years better. 

Last December I made my first resolution for the new year - you know the stuff I'd like to accomplish in 2018. I'll show a picture of it, and then talk about how I did.

winter thoughts (2019)winter thoughts (2019)winter thoughts (2019)

The first picture is last year's resolutions. In the second picture I recorded my workout progress or efforts, along with how much i weigh at the end of the month. The last picture shows my resolutions for 2019. 

I think I did pretty well with working out. It didn't turn into a routine, but I did work out more than I expected. I hope to continue on a similar note and to improve. However, so far throughout January, I failed. I also did pretty well with studying Chinese last year. I think the worst was the calligraphy as I practiced nothing in that regard, though I did write by hand throughout the year. Just not for this specific purpose. 

I also did pretty well with less swearing - while i didn't record myself talking, I always tried to censor out all cuss words. I still feel like cussing a lot, and a times i do let out some cuss words. I was cussing a lot in 2017 - this year, so far I think i cussed once or twice. 

snowmen and frozen naturesnowmen and frozen nature
snowmen and frozen naturesnowmen and frozen nature

snowmen and frozen nature

This winter came early - the first snow fell at the end of November. Of course people had to make snowmen. The 2nd one seen above, was actually VERY small -maybe smaller than the length of my palm? I had to squat to take a picture at its level. 

This winter didn't only come early, but it's also quite extreme. Last week it rained and there was a strong wind that turned the water into instant ice. It froze the grass, the trees, the fences, the parked cars, everything. Some tree branches even broke because of the weight of the ice.  

It looked beautiful - like a forbidden frozen city from a magical land where people were somehow transported. Yesterday, it all started slowly melting. I'm glad I took some pics. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #adventures, #bucharest, #impressions, #life experience, #story, #winter, #snow

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Publié le 23 Janvier 2019

So, first things first. This entry is WAAAAY overdue, oops, as the event took place in March 2018. I was so disappointed with it made me delaying talking about it. But I still have the pictures, and I think the idea was rather cute, though some might find it  a bit ... of a cultural appropriation, and you'll see why in just a second. 

A bit of a background

In February of last year, I saw the ad for a school festival, done in Japanese style. In Japanese, "bunkasai" means "Cultural festival ." I believe this was the 2nd or 3rd edition of this bunkasai, and was inspired by the school-life of Japan - most likely because this is the only school in Bucharest teaching Japanese. I learned about the event from Facebook, and it seemed interesting enough to go check it out. Gotta say that such festivals are not done over here, unless things have changed, and I didn't get the memo. 

inside and around the schoolinside and around the schoolinside and around the school

inside and around the school

As you can see fro the above pictures, there was snow on the ground because a couple of days before, a snow storm hit us. 

About the Event

The Facebook ad was mentioning all sorts of attractions at this festival, such as sushi, a haunted house, workshops with origami, caligraphy, drawing and not only, as well as (maid) cafes - basically what you'd expect to see in an authentic event in a Japanese school.

Everything sounded great, at least on screen. But of course, the reality was ... different to say the least.  It was disappointing ... and a bit cringy. Mostly because it looked like a cheap imitation of the real thing - with which i'm familiar only from manga and anime, where it looks different. Add to this, the fact that some of the students organizing the whole thing, were wearing yukata (=a type of kimono worn in summer, made of thin fabrics) in winter! Just no! 

We went there towards the end of the day, and this meant that most of the stuff were over or sold out, if you wanted to buy something. This added to the disappointment. To enter the haunted house [or room, better said] we had to wait in a long line, and we just didn't feel like waiting. 

Let me show you some more pics from that event, though they're not great in any way.

the halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted roomthe halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted room
the halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted roomthe halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted room
the halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted roomthe halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted room

the halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted room

I hope any future similar events will improve. I also think other schools could get inspiration from it and make their own unique events, or events that are more connected to Romania's identity and cultural heritage. 

We didn't spend a lot of time there, so we left. We went to McDonalds at Unirii Square. We got some fries that we gave to the seagulls on the river. It took them a couple of seconds to eat the fries. I don't have enough pics, and the ones I have are not even good enough, but I hope you like seeing some birds.

A disappointing school festival a la japonais in BucharestA disappointing school festival a la japonais in BucharestA disappointing school festival a la japonais in Bucharest

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #adventures, #bucharest, #impressions, #life experience, #people, #review

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Publié le 18 Janvier 2019

This is the first entry for 2019, so happy new year! I will try to update you soon (fingers crossed) with how I managed to keep my last year's new year resolutions, and which are the new ones. 

You know I have (paid) work to do when I start writing or doing anything else out of stress. .. as long as I can get some stuff done, I should be forgiven? no? only if I meet the deadline on Friday? I'll meet it. ;) 

And now on with the recipe! First I have to tell you that this recipe first appeared on my old blog, back in March 2017. However, last night I re-made it and took more pictures, so I post this as a fresh entry, but with both old and new pictures.

They say spinach is very healthy for you, but not everyone likes it. I must say I REALLY like spinach for some reason. Too bad I'm not eating more of it, though.

I'll not go into why is it good for you, or give one hundred reasons to eat it. I'll just advise you to try new recipes for the foods you don't really like.. or better-said vegetables you like least. I'll share a rather simple recipe that hopefully will make you curious enough to try it out. Perhaps you'll even like it.

Romanian style spinach - with milk!

There is a bit of garlic in this Romanian recipe - in the original version which I want you to try. You probably know by now I don't eat or cook with onions or garlic, but I will share this recipe exactly how it is done - as I believe most of you will like it better this way. Let's say that you can easily get nauseous because of this food if you don't add garlic, and you can't use onion instead either.

INGREDIENTS: (4 servings)

  • 1 kg (2 pounds) fresh spinach *
  • 5-6 tablespoons oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 3-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 800 ml cold milk
  • salt [to taste]
  • 8 eggs [2 for each serving]

METHOD:

  • Wash your spinach well, several times if needed. Make sure you have only nice looking leaves in there. [skip this step if you use a frozen product like me]
  • Boil it for a few minutes in salted water. It should look cooked. Strain.
  • Grab your wooden chop board and a non-metal spatula or spoon** and finely chop your spinach. [you'll skip this step for frozen products, as they might already be chopped]
Romanian style spinach - with milk!Romanian style spinach - with milk!Romanian style spinach - with milk!
  • Heat oil in a pot large enough to hold 4 pounds of food, as you'll add all the ingredients in here. Chop or mince your garlic*** and add it in to cook a bit. The garlic should become a bit translucent not brown (or the food becomes bitter) just enough to give some flavor.
  • Add your flour and mix well and wait for it to become a bit brown.
  • Add half of your milk and let it simmer for about a minute - you should have a white [thick] sauce at this point. Mine was a bit lumpy because I didn't mix/stir well enough. Avoid lumps in your sauce [if you can].
  • Add your chopped spinach and stir.
Romanian style spinach - with milk!Romanian style spinach - with milk!
Romanian style spinach - with milk!Romanian style spinach - with milk!
  • Add the remaining milk until you get the desired consistency. Don't forget to add salt. Let cook until it becomes steamy again. I personally didn't feel I needed etra milk.
  • OPTIONAL:  add a teaspoon of sugar and vinegar (or juice from a half lemon). I didn't add these, so I'm not sure if it will taste better. Apparently, some older women cook it this way. ****
  • Fry your eggs sunny side up, and place 2 on each serving, and serve!
Romanian style spinach - with milk!Romanian style spinach - with milk!

Bon-appetit!

You can also serve with fried chicken liver like seen below, but it simply tastes better with eggs. We eat fried liver in Romania - chicken and pork liver are most popular and delicious when hot!

NOTES:

*I used frozen spinach because it is impossible to find fresh one in December, around here.

**we have special butcher knives made of wood or silicone. 

***I'm not sure if there is a taste difference, but the idea is not to use the garlic cloves as they are.

****The first time around I didn't add neither lemon nor sugar. Last night I added lemon. I used the juice from half a lemon for the whole quantity of food.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #Cooking, #advice, #recipe, #main dish, #Romanian food

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