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winter thoughts (2019)

Publié le par Charly C.

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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A disappointing school festival a la japonais in Bucharest

Publié le par Charly C.

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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Romanian style spinach - with milk!

Publié le par Charly C.

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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Mac&Cheese recipe

Publié le par Charly C.

Towards the end of the month of November we decided to have some Mac and Cheese, but like the real deal. And yes, there is a non-real version too. So I asked A to search for the recipe as I never made this and I tend to just whip some dishes up, with no recipe and the result is not always good, as you can imagine. 

One of the things I need to improve is my willingness to follow recipes and the presentation. Sometimes I'm also under the impression the taste is not the one I imagine it to be. Since we have no reference point, we just have to think the food tastes good. However, the good news is that I plan on cooking more in 2019, even if I won't share everything I cook.

Enough babbling, on with the recipe! 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250 g macaroni;
  • 125 g (real) butter;
  • 150 g cheese - we used a local cheese called "telemea" 
  • some salt 
  • some ground black pepper
Mac&Cheese recipeMac&Cheese recipeMac&Cheese recipe

METHOD

Boil water with some salt, and add the pasta. Let it boil according the instructions on the package - usually some 10 minutes. 

Dice the butter and shred the cheese. This way, the butter will melt faster. 
When the time is up, drain the water, add the butter and the cheese and mix.

mac and cheese

Let everything in the pot, on the fire for 2 extra minutes, then turn off the fire. 

When the time is up, add the black pepper on top. You can eat it right away, but better wait some 5 to 10 minutes so it will cool down a bit, with a lid on top. 

mac&cheese recipe

Let me tell you that this was the best pasta I had in a very long time. This is why I decided to share this recipe with all of you. Also, if you never tried Mac and Cheese before, this is a great chance to try it out. I know some folks prefer to make recipes that have been cooked by others before, and that were successful. 

Mac&Cheese recipe

Earlier I mentioned I used the cheese telemea. It's a Romanian cheese similar to feta, if I'm not mistaken. You're better off learning more about it from its Wiki page. It's usually salty or very salty, though less salty varieties have been made too. Nowadays, most telemea cheese on the market is made of cows milk, probably because it's easier to come by. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Oriental salad - Romanian version

Publié le par Charly C.

I haven't posted a recipe in a very long time, i believe. I think it's time I shared something - a salad this time! It's easy to make, pretty good for the upcoming holidays, delicious in my opinion, and is also vegan friendly! 

Well, ok, what I'll share is not vegan friendly because I used eggs, BUT keep the eggs out and you can safely enjoy it! If you're wondering why I had to specify this is a Romanian version of the salad, is because Google showed me a different type of salad when I searched for the name of this dish. 

I'm not exactly sure what's the story behind this salad, all I know is that it's pretty easy to make, and that it's never enough. 

Oriental salad - Romanian version

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 200 g black olives (for color; use seedless ones)
  • 200 g pickles
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 eggs (you can skip them for a vegan salad)
  • aromatic herbs  - parsley (fresh or dry), dill (i skipped it)
  • some salt and ground black pepper
  • oil and vinegar

This is the list of ingredients for a basic salad I found on a Romanian website. I know some people add more stuff in this salad. One of the most common ingredients is sliced onion, but you must know we don't eat it. Other ingredients I noticed were shredded cabbage, raw cucumbers (along the pickled ones), and pickled beet, and the salad becomes a bit pinkish. 

Do not add any type of meat in this salad, because then you'll make something else. 

Oriental salad - Romanian versionOriental salad - Romanian version

METHOD

Start by peeling and dicing the potatoes. Then throw them in a pot with water, and place on medium heat. Don't forget to add some salt - I used some pink salt, not that it really matters, but we were curious. I boiled the potatoes for some 30 minutes, but I don't think I had 1 kg.

The next step is to slice or dice the rest of the ingredients, including the olives and eggs. Don't forget about the other ingredients you want to add. 

Next, when the potatoes are done, rinse them with some cold water, and mix them with the ingredients. Of course,don't forget to add oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and the herbs. 

Oriental salad - Romanian version

Look at those vibrant colors! This salad is eaten usually by itself or sometimes maybe with steak or chicken. There's no need for bread when eating this dish. You might need to eat other dishes before or after it to feel completely full. 

I hope you like it if you make it!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

 

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I embroidered my jeans jacket

Publié le par Charly C.

As you already know I like doing things with my hands. I like coloring, or I like "improving" my clothes like I did these pants

The jacket I decided to embroider is off white, and from H&M, but from at least 2 years back. I doubt you'll still find it - when i bought it, it was sales season. I also haven't seen anything similar anymore. This jacket is pretty long, as it reaches below my butt. Its fabric also feels sturdy, and doesn't really let the wind through. I wish it had a hoodie - maybe I can MAKE one in the future? LOL. 

So the jacket has 4 large pockets on the front. The 2 on the chest have a flap, while the ones on the lower part have a bit of a different shape. I thought the jacket looks too plain and that I needed to do something to cheer it up, give it a bit of a fresh air. What better way to do this if not with some embroidery? And not just any type of embroidery, but specifically Romanian.

I embroidered my jeans jacket

So i searched for something in the book with Romanian embroidery I own and I also searched online. And I found the above design, completely black, originating from the Moldova area. 

I can only remember finding it on a Romanian online book store, and they were showing pictures of a few pages from inside the books they had listed. And U copied the model on paper. 

I embroidered my jeans jacket

I had no idea to start to embroider the design. It looks easy enough, especially if only one color is used. Another problem was the fabric as it is woven, but it uses a special type of weaving that makes it hard to count the threads. And if there's one thing to know about Romanian embroidery, is that it counts the threads in order to make a pretty, even design.

I decided to put the paper on the pocket, and to proceed with sewing through the paper. I didn't want to break the paper, at first, but i really had no idea or indication anywhere, on how to do it. 

As you can tell from the image above, it worked pretty well. Except for when i was done,and i had to break the paper. Can you guess what happened? The thread was loose. If you'll look carefully at the next 2 pictures, you'll see what I mean.

I embroidered my jeans jacket

Since I already embroidered one pocket, I had a better idea on how to proceed with the design, on the next ones. I didn't take pictures, but I'll try my best to explain if you want to reproduce it - but please give credit to the Romanian people.

If you'll use a fabric on which counting the threads is easy, it's even better. You basically need a 20 * 20 grid, as there are 20 rows and 20 columns.

If you use 2 colors:

Start with any of the red squares, but not the middle one. You embroider 2 rows of 2 crosses, then jump to the design in the corner that would be above it, and embroider in the same direction. When done, jump to another square, then another corner, then another square, then the 3rd corner, another square, then the one in the middle, and then the last corner.

You'd have to turn the fabric almost with each jump from the corner to the square. A lot of turning would happen when working on the second color as well. 

If you look closely, you'll notice 2 rectangles that intersect one another. I found it easier to work on them if I stat with the longer section, then the edge, then the shorter section, then jump to the next longer section, and so on. 

   the final look :)

the final look :)

If you use a single color:

I suppose that for when embroidering in a single color, the design would be easier, since you'd have to work on rows. I didn't want to work it all in black because I thought it would look too austere in a way. 

As you can see, i managed to finish the embroidery. It was pretty easy too, once I got used to it. But of course I also cheated a little bit. With the design copied on a different paper, i poked holes with a pencil, to mark the fabric with a visual guide. 

I didn't cheat perfectly, as you can probably tell. The crosses are not all the same size and are not perfectly aligned either. It took me 4 days in total to complete, with just a few hours per day. I'm pretty happy with the design, i think it's cute and cheerful, and that it looks quite authentic. I have nothing to compare it to, so i'll just stop here.

See you guys!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Fighting Consumerism

Publié le par Charly Cross

We all know we live in a highly consumerist society, or era better said. This can easily be said about technology, clothes and even food. 

Technology these days is poorly made ON PURPOSE to be replaced often. Why do you think Apple releases a new iPhone every 6 months or so? their excuse is: "we added a little fix" or "we improved this little thing," and so on.

The same can be said about clothes - at least about what we call fast fashion. Except their excuse is "that you MUST keep up with the trends." There are of course several other aspects in our lives where we're told "this season you MUST buy this or that in order to impress" and the list goes on and on. 

You know what? you must not keep up with any trend! you must not impress anyone with newly bought stuff either! 

Fighting Consumerism

You know what? I've had it! a long time ago. And as a result I did all I could to stop buying new items. At least on full price. There are only a few exceptions, because I can't find everything discounted or as second hand. I also started sharing with A coats, shoes, scarves, tshirts - mostly because that's all we can share, since A is much tinier than me. 

Below are some of the stuff A gave me - i chose to show you 3 pairs of pants. One of the pairs is pink and thick sweat pants, which is one of the most recent "gifts". The oldest is the pink silk pair with an over-sized upper part, while the black pair are some ripped jeans for which i must lose some weight. 

Fighting Consumerism

I started buying clothes only when there are sales, or from discounted boutiques - so basically the stuff other people didn't like anymore. Let me give you some examples below: 3 pairs of jeans from an discount outlet and 2 tshirts on clearance from a known store (fast fashion, which I'm not very proud of, but I figure that sometimes it's ok if there's an item that we really really like. it's more wasteful if the stuff gets destroyed, in my opinion, and a shame for the work of someone.) 

And yes, 2 of those pairs of jeans are identical, because they fit me so well, and they are so comfortable. The material and the seams seem of pretty good quality as well, and the price was unbeatable - 10 lei a pair! (about 2.5 USD?) The darker large pair is also made of a good quality fabric - thick and heavy, and not stretchy at all. I thought they're designer, but i think they're fakes. Meh! 

I also checked the clearance section of another fast fashion store, but the men's section. I found 2 pairs of jeans that i really like how they look and feel. See them below as well, in the 3rd picture.

Fighting Consumerism
Fighting Consumerism
Fighting Consumerism

I also got some clothes and footwear for free, from a "swap shop" event I found on facebook. There's a jeans jacket, 2 pairs of boots, and some tshirts.  A got a few dresses as well, and a flannel shirt. I'll include a pic of a few of the items, not everything. 

One of the tshirts I got had a few holes in it, that I didn't see when i chose it. I didn't think much about them, and I decided to mend them somehow. 

Speaking of free stuff, remember my post about the expensive stuff I simply found? That's another way I fight consumerism. or by using facebook groups like freecycle, where people give away for free, the items they don't need or want anymore. 

Fighting ConsumerismFighting Consumerism

I mentioned earlier I mended some clothes. Luckily, these days fashion is very permissive and allows patches over patches as well as destroyed garments. 

On the tshirt with little holes, I used some clear nail polish to prevent the holes from getting bigger. Then i proceeded to sew on, by hand, some small patches or (printed) ribbon. The ribbon was used as a tag on some other item A got from another outlet (i think). 

Fighting ConsumerismFighting ConsumerismFighting Consumerism

Another way we saved some money and fought consumerism, was to share some of the clothes we own.  The easiest is to share the jackets and the shoes, like in the picture below. But granted, we can't share all the shoes nor all the jackets. 

The home clothes and socks are other items we share, just because it's more convenient this way. 

Fighting Consumerism

I want to hear from you, how do YOU fight against consumerism, and if you have any other tips for me. :)

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Seaside adventures in August

Publié le par Charly C.

We wanted to relax for a bit and get out of city. Since we have Ciel we can't go on a vacation like most people: Ciel needs someone at all times and it's not familiar with strangers. He also barely eats by himself.

We decided to leave for the seaside in the morning and return at night. With all the preparations I still had to return to get a scarf I forgot. When we got to the train station we learned the train would be 45 minutes late, but in reality it was an hour late.

While we waited, we got some pretzels for the road, as to avoid spending a lot of money on food.

Seaside adventures in August

The train was also over sold so we had to stand because there were no more seats available. Luckily A found a chair in first class and sat for most of the ride. Our tickets were for 2nd class. The train was also fast and had some air conditioning.

 

When we got to the resort, we found the beach quite fast. We had to find a seat as this was one of the most popular resorts at the seaside, so it was packed!

The first views of the Black Sea. there was a small lake in the resort, by the beach.The first views of the Black Sea. there was a small lake in the resort, by the beach.The first views of the Black Sea. there was a small lake in the resort, by the beach.

The first views of the Black Sea. there was a small lake in the resort, by the beach.

Here, we have too pay for chairs and umbrella, but not if we sit directly on the sand. However, we need umbrella and they're only available next to the chairs. The price was some $6 for a chair and they only take cash. The guy charging for the seats was gypsy and we suspect him off having stolen my phone.

 

I had the phone on me some 5 minutes before finding the right place, and I noticed it gone after the guy left. I also kinda felt something.. Like something was sliding up at the back of my pants, but I ignored the feeling.

 

The guy returned to see if we found cash, and in telling him we don't have cash, just the card, he started to be verbally agressive. Then we openly accused him off stealing, and he insulted us. We left and I managed to use A's phone to lock mine. Then I asked a to text my phone and ask for it to be returned. A lifeguard called us and met A and returned the phone. But! The lifeguard had no business to be in the place where it went missing. I literally walked between other chairs and the lifeguard has no reason to do so. Here claimed he found it.

 

I think the phone was returned because they couldn't use it or resell if it was blocked. I'm glad I have my phone back, but I lost some videos I took in the train, for I also erased it's data.

Seaside adventures in AugustSeaside adventures in August

In the end we managed to find some other chairs and we didn't pay for those. We stayed some 2 hours there I think.

 

We managed to go in the water and it felt nice as it was warm, despite the rather dangerous waves. Lifeguards were constantly on the lookout for people going too far and calling them back. The limit to the deep water was set pretty close to the shore too.

 

We found a place to eat and rest and recharge the phone a bit. Then we went on the beach again. This time we went in a different area and were forced to pay for chairs as there was no sand, just smashed seashells that were cutting into our feet. We spend some extra 2 hours there with constant visits to the shore. Of course I collected some seashells too.

Seaside adventures in AugustSeaside adventures in AugustSeaside adventures in August

Then it was time for us to return. Before leaving, we bought a bag, some sun glasses for A's mom, some sewing needles for me, a rabbit keychain, and some bracelets.

 

The return train had seats for us, but it was smelly! There was little luggage space too though we only had 2 bags and As purse. The trip was also longer and most of it happened in the night. There was a really beautiful sunset though. Once in the city, some 3 hours later, we managed to catch the last bus home too.

 

 

Seaside adventures in AugustSeaside adventures in August
Seaside adventures in AugustSeaside adventures in August

I fell asleep as soon as I got home, after checking on Ciel and seeing he actually ate by himself. He does that when he stays alone for too long.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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One man's trash is another's treasure

Publié le par Charly C.

I don't know why thrifting is (at least for some) addictive. If you don't know what thrifting is, let me tell you: buying pre-worn/used or second hand clothes and items. Gross? maybe a little bit, but once you give your clothes a good wash, who's going to know? The worst is with stuff you can't really clean like electronics or books, but many other things can be easily washed.

DISCLAIMER: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. I used these affiliate links to give you the option to check the book out, for yourself, if you so wish, through a well trusted seller. While I will be very glad if you decide to buy any linked item, the decision to do so or not, belongs to you. Thank you for reading!  

At the beginning of October I found some plates at the trash. Most of them were broken, but i did find a whole one, another one chipped and cracked a little, but seems to still be good for use, or at least as decoration, and a coffee or tea cup without a handle. I took them. In fact this is not the first time I found used porcelain pieces thrown away. But these ones are special because they're branded Zepter and ... well, Zepter stuff is VERY expensive, as you can see from the link. The chipped and cracked plate alone costs some 100 Pounds (that's more than 100 Dollars, and a bit more than 100 Euro). The cup costs almost 100 Dollars if i remember correctly, and the other plate was the cheapest, at some 22 Dollars maybe. 

These are part of some china sets for 12 people, with more than 60 pieces per set. Each set has all the plates needed to serve a meal, and apparently are made by hand. The bottom line is that I would never pay so much for my plates, no matter how much i like them. 

These items were brand new, but full of dust, making me think they broke in storage or during transportation. Regardless, they were trash for whomever threw them away, and a treasure for me since I can't afford them and wouldn't buy them even if i did afford to.

Out of these items, the chipped plate has yet to be used. I'm waiting for some special occasion of sorts. You can have a peak at them in the pics below:

One man's trash is another's treasureOne man's trash is another's treasureOne man's trash is another's treasure

Now I want to talk about a few other ceramics I found thrown away. First there is a tea pot for 2 cups of tea. I didn't have one till then, and I have been using it almost all the time since. The teapot linked is very similar to the one I found.

At the same time with the tea pot, i found 2 small plates - probably saucers from some coffee set. One I use to feed the cats on, and the other one i kept for human use. I get a lot of use from both, so I'm happy.

The third item found was a ceramic strainer, for tea. It has some Chinese details on it, I used it quite a lot, so yay for me. And the last thing i found at the same time was a coaster made of a weird material that also seems anti-slip. It gets used often, so it's a nice find. You can see below a few pics of my treasures.

One man's trash is another's treasureOne man's trash is another's treasure
One man's trash is another's treasureOne man's trash is another's treasure

I just realized, my findings don't end there. Recently, our neighbors got rid of some stuff, like some old armchairs, some pieces of wood, a mannequin bust, and other stuff. I believe they also installed some wooden flooring. 

I took in some pieces of wood i managed to put together into a small table on which i can also sit, if i need to. Or stretch my legs on when sitting on the couch. It's not stable on all the sides, as you'll be able to tell from the pictures, but it's something I didn't have and that gets used. 

I also got 2 pieces of the wood flooring - they were thrown away, as most likely they needed to adjust the length of some of the board. A smaller one is used as a larger coaster and the other one as support for my laptop when i want to work with it on my lap. 

One man's trash is another's treasureOne man's trash is another's treasureOne man's trash is another's treasure

All in all, I did find trash, but I also found good use for it all, with one exception, as mentioned above. 

One man's trash is another's treasureOne man's trash is another's treasure

Most of the pictures I took today, despite having the items for quite some time. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Halloween in Romania

Publié le par Charly C.

Romania doesn't traditionally celebrate Halloween. However, it so happens that thanks to the movies, series, and kids learning English in schools, this October event made it somehow in our lives as well.

Of course, over here, we only have the more commercial aspect, and so far, nobody goes Trick-or-Treating. Over the past years, I've seen young adults on the streets dressed up and with weird make-up on going to or leaving some Halloween party. 

We never really cared about it - we never dressed up,  never put make up on, never nothing. However, over the past few years, we always did something: going out to eat, or searching for ghosts downtown, or carving pumpkins. 

I will showcase our past October 31st adventures, and hopefully will be able to explain a little as well. Not all the pictures are nice though, so be warned. 

Halloween in RomaniaHalloween in RomaniaHalloween in Romania

The earliest pictures I found date back to 2015. That year, around Halloween, i believe I was working the 2nd job I talked about in this post

Halloween that year was a grim one for Bucharest and for Romania in general, as a fire devastated a nightclub and 64 people died in total. The fire happened on October 30th, and you can read more about it here

I don't remember much else from that year that happened. It seems we went to an Irish pub on the evening of 31st, after the fire. I can't remember what we had, but the place was decorated for the occasion, and I vaguely remember it being full. We barely found a table. I think it was an OK evening out, all in all.

Sadly, for the year 2016, I have no pictures, no memories either. At the time, I was working as cashier in a supermarket. It was a tough job I had no time to go out and have fun. One of the reasons were that the job was also pretty far from home. 

click on them to enlarge themclick on them to enlarge them
click on them to enlarge themclick on them to enlarge themclick on them to enlarge them

click on them to enlarge them

These pictures are from last year, 2017. The big pumpkin is the decoration of a restaurant downtown. I don't think it was real, but I can't be sure as i don't remember if i touched it or not. 

We decided to carve pumpkins, just out of curiosity, and to do something fun. I remember we had a lot of fun while carving them. We took some pictures too, but I can't find them anywhere. I must have lost them somehow. 

One of the pumpkins was already a bit "injured" but we didn't see it before bringing them home. We had to keep them in water with bleach, to try and kill the bacteria, but the black spot still managed to enlarge quite fast. I think we kept them for about a week before we had to get rid of them.

We also tried to go find ghosts downtown, but I can't remember which were those. Perhaps we went before the 31st, or I deleted the pictures. In any case, we didn't find any ghosts because Bucharest is not known for its haunted places. 

This year, I decided not to celebrate Halloween. Mostly because it's a pagan celebration, and it's still this year that i decided to become closer to God. I can't have fun because it's Halloween as it would be against my beliefs. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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