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Going out for some drinks when the restrictions lift

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all!

It's been a while since i posted. Well, i do blog for fun, not really for money, and I'm a freelancer, so this makes sense. 

We all know what happened in 2020. the lockdown wasn't easy and hit Romania in mid-March.
I don't think I need to explain what the lockdown means - we all know at this point. The only open places were supermarkets, drugstores, hospitals, along with some restaurants that do deliveries, such as pizza places. 

Walking the dog, taking a short stroll around our buildings, especially those with dogs, and helping the elderly were the main activities that we were allowed to partake in. It goes without saying that buying groceries, meds, or doctor appointments were also allowed but had to be restricted to the minimum. Going to work, for 'essential workers' was also allowed, of course. 

The times were hard on everyone. How hard was it for me? read here -link to post 1 of struggles. 

We also had to write a document stating where we went and why. This was a nightmare in itself. Why couldn't we just send a text or something to some call center or I don't know, somehow make things easy like in South Korea? Those without the paper risked heavy fines. 

When restrictions lifted, things became more bearable. clothes stores opened later than restaurants and cafes, of course. Even these places opened only if they gave food/drinks as a takeaway. 

the streets were eerie and empty the first time we ventured further away from home for a coffee:

The city looked beautiful, despite it being deserted. It looks as if the zombie apocalypse just hit or ended. The messed-up sidewalk is a sight to behold. Welcome to Bucharest, baby!

These two images are the 'entrance' so to speak, of the Old Town. Everyone gathers here during the weekend, but not only. When there's no pandemic or restrictions, of course. 

Of course, not everyone dared to go out just yet. I like the image above the most. It is also in the BEST area in the country to own property (aka an apartment). Some 5 years ago it used to look different. The blue building on the left didn't even exist.

This is another area of the city, across the street from the University of Bucharest. There are maybe 4 statues there? of various important historical people. 

These 2 images are from the Old Town. It'd obviously the same street from 2 different points.

The coffee we got was from Tedd's. I remember it as being just meh, but after 2 months of confinement, it felt like some sort of luxury. 

That's not the only place where we could find something to drink. Somewhere close to the University of Bucharest, there's a small bar called Rainbow. It serves cocktails and coffees, and not only. Most of the stuff they serve is take-away. 

I believe this is the first time we found it and we had to order something. A frappe, a fresh fruit juice, and a mojito, i believe. Drinking in public is allowed in Romania. You could get in trouble if you're getting very drunk/wasted. Besides, it's difficult to tell what the transparent drink is - perhaps some tonic water with lemon/lime, ice, and some mint for kicks, haha. 

The fresh juice is of catina (Seaberry?). It's apparently rich in Vitamin C and this helps fight this virus that messed up our lives. It' one of the best fresh juices I tasted, and it's amazing on a hot summer day. 

We couldn't sit at any table, just on benches or wherever else we could. 

I remember ordering some food from this fancier restaurant, Van Gogh. Here are some pics of the place:

Cases started increasing as soon as people were allowed to go places and do things, due to the rules relaxing further. 

One of the first things we purchased after the lockdown, was a VERY cute backpack. It's cute in my opinion, at least.

In July, we were allowed to sit at terraces with appropriate distancing. We had a raspberry gin tonic i believe and a very traditional Romanian dish.

The dish is polenta mixed with cheese, bacon, and eggs. I forgot if it had anything else added. It was delicious, rather a large portion and I was barely able to finish it. Polenta is rather filling, to begin with. 

Going out for some drinks when the restrictions liftGoing out for some drinks when the restrictions liftGoing out for some drinks when the restrictions lift

Over the winter, most restaurants were again closed for the most part, as well as the theatres. There were no events taking place either. Especially not the Christmas market. We thought we might have it at first, but then it was confirmed they canceled it. 

As the weather improved this year, the authorities started allowing more and more businesses to restart their activities as well. Even events started to slowly take place. 

We finally went and sat at cafes this year, after getting vaccinated. We had both cocktails and coffee-based drinks, just like before.

I missed this matcha latte! I only found one other place that makes it, Handsome Monk. I did order it from there once, but it sucked. :( 

I just don't understand why they don't bring napkins anymore, now that they started having customers again. The napkins you can barely see in the picture above with our drinks? I had to ask for them! 

One of the most exciting things we did this year after everything opened, was going to see a movie! 

The movie we saw was The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

At the movies, there was just one more couple. This place didn't run any ads before the movie, and it was pitch black. Also quite cold inside. I started shaking and not out of fear. I was actually not really scared.

There are a few other things I want to share in the (hopefully near) future, such as the visit to the City Hall. OOOH!

The entry will come maybe next week or in 2 weeks. 

until next time, bye~~~

©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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Blog-March: 7 Challenges

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all!

So, in my previous post, I told you about the challenge with the subjects to write about in March. 

This time, I have to update you on 7 challenges. However, some of them have no signification for me, so the entries would have been too short. I'm not particularly fond of very short entries, so here I am. 

First, let's see again which are the challenges or topics I'm supposed to write about, and right after that, I can start completing the tasks. 

March 16 - International day of being nice while driving

I don't really know how else to translate that. 

What can I say? I don't drive. I did notice how some drivers thank one another for being left in front, so I imitate that when drivers let me pass. 

What I appreciate more than anything, is silent cars. Please, if you drive, don't blast the music that can be heard a mile away. Also, you don't need a very upset engine with a loud exhaust pipe or whatever it's called. That's very disturbing for passers-by. 

If I ever learn how to drive and get a car, I'll search for the most silent car. 

March 17 - Saint Patrick's day

We don't celebrate this in Romania. I have no idea what this celebration is all about. All I know is that people like to wear green if they celebrate. 

-15 minutes later- reading about him, I learned he brought Christianity to the Irish people and he explained the Holy Trinity with a shamrock. 

Despite all this, I was prepared to celebrate it because the previous day I had just completed the following skirt!

I should probably retake the photos of this skirt because the color is blue-ish here. But the real color is a deep BEAUTIFUL green. And I should also press the skirt. 

On the upside, this picture was taken on this day, March 17. 

March 18 - World tourism fair

I have nothing to say about this day. Going on a trip is a bit difficult currently. Travel has more purposes - relaxation, helping one refind some inspiration, and discover places. 

I can't travel so I'll share 2 pictures instead. I think these pictures can help with discovering places and find some inspiration. 

This is a street in the heart of Bucharest. I walk on this street a few times per month. This is the view to home. The date was Nov. 2020. 

This picture was taken back in Aug. 2017 when we visited a cemetery near the city. 

March 20 - World happiness day 

I think this is what the French means. 

These days I can get at least more cheerful when seeing certain items. That I received as a gift for this past Christmas. They are actually 2 items.

The first of them is a plate covered in strawberries, made by CLAYRE & EEF. This is NOT an affiliate link. This is a link to the official page of the brand. I wasn't able to find the plate there anymore. 

While the above plate cheers me up while eating, it has nothing on the next item:

This picture doesn't come close to telling you how stinkin' cute these Christmas avocadoes are. They SO. FRICKIN'. ADORABLE!!!! I really have no words to express myself. 

And since these are socks, the avocadoes become larger on the feet, then they return to the original size. These socks are from H&M. I wouldn't have bought them if I were looking to buy socks. But, BOY AM I GLAD I got them as a gift! 

I hope you can cheer up seeing their happy faces.. I'm losing my mind over here... 

March 21 - Spring Equinox

Welcome spring! I really feel and think spring came when I can see these flowers in bloom - see below.

These are not cherry blossoms, but very similar. They have a faint, nice smell that I can't have enough of. 

March 22 - International Water Day

Water is important for life. Correct. But lately, I only had bad luck with water... I have nothing to say more about this. 

March 25 -World Procrastination Day

How ironic that precisely on this day I get to post such a long entry. But that's because I use almost the whole year to procrastinate. 

This is it for now. Most likely, the remaining challenges will be grouped in a single entry as well. 

See you then! 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas - days 15, 16, and 17

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everybody!

Today is the 17th day of Blogmas and you perhaps wonder why didn't I post daily as promised, especially lately.

The answer is pretty simple: not all the challenges were created to writing something. Or if I could have written something, it would have been too short. 

Personally, I don't like very short entries - we have Twitter for that. I also don't read very long entries, and I'm pretty sure nobody really is either. 

Let's have a look at the challenges for the missing days!

DAY 15

For blogmas day 15, we were supposed to make a Christmas wreath. You may wonder why, since for the 5th day of blogmas we had to decorate for the holidays. I mean, it does include putting out a wreath as well, right?  

And you may also remember from the same entry that we don't really have any such decors. 

Well, at the time you may be reading this entry, you may not know, but I have some updates for that blogmas day ;) 

However, I also completed the challenge for the 15th day as well. Well, sort of.... 

I had these magnets on the entrance door. and they were placed in a chaotic manner. 

Now, they're arranged (in no particular) order. But they form a circle more or less, that can be reminiscent of a wreath. a very stylized wreath, if you will. 

Can I get a T for "I tried?" ;p 

DAY 16

To be completely honest with you, I haven't even seen the challenge for this day. Like I mentioned, the challenges are posted on Facebook

Even if I did see it, I wouldn't have been able to write anything because I was out and about for most of the day. This involved a lot of walking. 

When we got home I was tired, I had to write for my day job, as well as cook some food. I also decided to write a review for a beer on my BeingObscure.com website

Writing for my blog would have been impossible. 

In any case, when I finally discovered what the challenge was, I realized I couldn't write much about it anyway. The challenge was to "be positive the whole day."

This challenge did make me think of this entry from about 2 and a half years ago. I can't believe it's been so long since I wrote it. 

I believe we'll have to change our perspective on this year and everything that happened. it's been tough, but we made it. Those who didn't ... let's pray for them and let's not forget them if they were close to us. We can only hope their suffering ended and that they are in a better place, I suppose. Let's not take our lives for granted. 

However, to keep in the spirit of the challenge even more, I'll share with you something that manages to make me feel better and more positive: some nice hot coffee.

a cup of matcha latte from maybe may 2018? december 2019? i forgot.

DAY 17

Today's challenge is to update old entries. This is good practice for bloggers. Over-blog suggests a few ways in which we can do this: 

👉 Update your old items regularly
👉 Create an article on a theme that comes back regularly on your blog
👉 Submit a Best-of-Your-Read Best-of-Your-Best-Read Articles
👉 Link your articles
👉 Repost/share old articles on your social media

I, in fact, recently updated an old entry. It's a recipe and you can see it here

Most of my articles have links - either to other entries on my blog or to other sites, as you can see in this entry. 

Well, this is it for now! see you tomorrow!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas days 12, 13, and 14

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

Today's entry is another combined entry. And you'll soon learn why, when i talk about the challenges.

DAY 12

For the 12th day of the challenge, we were instructed to watch a movie. 

We didn't watch any movie, but we do watch a Chinese historical drama called, in English, Ruyi Royal Love in the Palace. You can watch this show on youtube for now. 

We are actually kind of binge-watching it because I'm playing about 2 episodes at once. 

Before the show though, i had to work on the project at hand with the deadline on December 31st. The current project is rather boring, and I'm dragging myself to write it, thus wasting quite a lot of time, sadly. 

We also went to the store and bought some stuff, including some minced meat that became meatballs. I have a recipe for meatballs over here

This time, instead of frying the meatballs, i actually cooked them in the oven. This way, i can cook more at once - this time, all of them, thus saving time. They also turn out less oily, which is better. However I didn't take any pictures, so i'm using the old one.

That day I also made doughnuts. You already know the recipe from here

DAY 13

For the 13th day of the challenge, we had another contest at hand. This meant we didn't need to write any entry. 

Due to some events, ahem/procrastination/ahem, this entry was thought of on this day. I wasn't able to finish it on time, sadly. 

Oh, the result of the contest? Again I didn't win. Maybe next time? 

DAY 14

On the 14th day of blogmas, we're supposed to write an ABOUT ME page. 

OOPS. I just realized i don't have such a page, but now i will have to write one. However, i need to think it out well enough, so i can't publish it for now. 

Once the blogmas challenge is done, I will write such a page and it will be linked at the top, like the others. 

Thank you for your patience with no entries for 2 days in a row. I just condensed 3 shorter entries in a single one. 

See you tomorrow. hopefully.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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I Bought a New Tarot!

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

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 buy any of the linked items, the decision to do so or not, belongs to you. Thank you for reading!  

We learned that last week, on aug 22 and 23, a yard sale would take place. 

What is a yard sale?

A yard sale here is organized as a gathering of various artisans or authorized sellers. These folks sell either stuff they made or things they don't need anymore, that was collected over time. So a yard sale is more like a small fair or a flea market.

What happened?

So, Anna tells me about this fair taking place at Address1, but then the next day (aka, today) she tells me that the event is at Address2. And This Address2 was closer to us, so we decide to go there. 

And what do you know? There was NOTHING going on at this 2nd location! NOTHING! The place was a decent looking house with a yard. In the yard, i could see some sort of gazebos? made of wood or metal. So they were pretty permanent. The gates were under chains and locks, everything was quiet and almost eerie. 

So we decide to go to the Address1, hoping that the event may happen there. We hop on the tram as it the fastest way to get there, by a weird coincidence. What can i say, public transportation is like that here.

By tram, we only traveled 3 stops, and we reached the general area in which the event was taking place. It would have been quite difficult to go there on foot mostly because of the heat.

We get there, and lo and behold! the event IS happening! But we nearly missed it by passing it by, hahaha. It was hosted in a VERY narrow and long yard. 

There were quite a few people attending as well, so the place felt cramped. Everyone was wearing a mask due to the current situation. Anna didn't have the courage to browse, but i did. 

I saw the work of this local artisan. She made very unique necklaces out of leather and some large beads, as well as some hand-painted greeting cards. I wasn't enticed by anything, especially not her chatty personality. 

Ok, she was trying to make me buy, as she needs the money, yada-yada-yada. But i had no use for any of that stuff. I only wanted to buy something if i REALLY liked it or needed it. Her items, as unique as they were, didn't fit the bill. 

I walked further into the yard and i found this other girl selling a few things. The one thing that stood out to me was her Tarot de los Angeles. Angel Tarot?  

She was asking less than 10 USD for it (40 lei). And i wanted already to buy another deck. And in the only store where I saw a variety of decks being sold, the cheapest was 15 USD? (60 lei). You ight say the difference in price is not big, but every penny matters. 

I thought it would also be a good purchase for my site, BeingObscure.com where i currently offer some interpretations for the Shadowscapes Tarot deck

Why is that? because when I'll be done with the Shadowscapes, I'll need something else to write about. Yes, I do own an oracle deck, but i feel no connection to it, whatsoever.  

In this picture, you can see me comparing it to the (barely visible) Shadowscape Tarot. I must say, this new tarot being smaller, is easier to handle. As such, it feels lighter as well. 

The downsides is that it's in Spanish. See this card? It says "Tronos" not "Cronos" as i see it. So, yea, they really messed it up with the chosen font. 

The deck is complete and in very good condition. The package has some signs of tear and wear, but I can fix that, I believe with some glue and/or clear tape. 

If you're interested in checking out this deck, you can use this affiliate link.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Exploring Bucharest - Carol Park (Mausoleum)

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello. This is part 1. Part 2 will soon follow.

So with all this pandemic, scamdemic, going on and having to stay indoors, all we want is to go out. But we can't. 

This reminded me that last year, or so, we went to Carol Park in Bucharest, and I took LOTS of photos. You can read more about this park on its wikipedia page, which has decent info about it. 

So, in 2004, this public park was designated a historical monument, as it is currently 120 years old (it was created in 1900 by Édouard Redont). The park is also the place where the Mausoleum dedicated to the Unknown Soldier is found. The structure is pretty tall and probably is one most people in Bucharest would recognize. 

There are a few other attractions in the park, as you can read on the wiki page, but you can't really approach any of them. I don't think Romanians really know how to take advantage of their treasures. What a shame.

When we visited, on May 25, 2019, they were organizing a lights event on the steps leading up to the Mausoleum.

We were hoping to see the lights on, but we went there too early. When we got in the park, there didn't seem to be many people. But by the time we left, maybe an hour and a half later? There were many more people coming. 

In case you're wondering about the Mausoleum itself, You can't visit it. 

You can just go near it, take a few pictures, and this is it. There are guards there with guns, who make sure people don't go too close to the monument. 

I was mindful not to take pics of the guards, but this sign pretty much says "no tress passing." I'm not sure if we can go up to the sign or not as i didn't feel like trying my chances of getting shot. I'm fairly certain the guards would have tried to stop me verbally first, then physically, and they'd most likely try to shoot as last resort. 

These signs are on both sides of the Mausoleum, and there's also an eternal flame burning. Or there is supposed to be one. I can't remember it, and it doesn't seem like I took a pic of it either. 

There are also 2 of these war guns on each side of the monument. At least 2. 

Curious as i am, i went up to them and took a closer look and touched them. Even snapped a picture of part of the control mechanism.

It was smelling like heavy machinery oil. I didn't try to operate this thing, though it was pretty fascinating to be close to it. I could almost hear it in my head. I could almost see soldiers around me, trying to operate it, defend their country, and trying their best to keep the enemy at bay. 

Of course, the area around the Mausoleum is no playground, and at least 1 plaque tells you so. Just in Romanian. 

Needless to say, there were plenty small children and their parents, running around and playing. 

The view from the monument is beautiful as well. Sadly, I only have something partial, taken from a side. It's still pretty though.

And only just now I realized that the Palace of the Parliament can be seen in the distance. In all fairness, this park is not that far from the Palace. 

Next entry about the park will have a few snippets with the various structures and attractions found in this park.

Stay tuned!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Life is weird

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all. 

This post is some sort of an update until I receive the instructions for my current writing gig. I have 2 part in this update: 

  • health related
  • found treasures

I want to write another entry about some of my adventures in the parks of Bucharest. I was also working on an entry about how I changed the sleeves on a jacket, a horror movie review and a TV show review. These last 3, I already started writing, but my writing gig and some lack of inspiration prevented me from actually sitting and finishing them. 

i still wear them around the house until i can get new ones

i still wear them around the house until i can get new ones

Health Related Updates

Those were my 'good' eyes. i'm nearsighted. Long story short, I tripped in my long pants, fell onto the asphalt, hit my head, broke my glasses, and injured my dominant hand. OUCH!

This happened on the evening of July 2nd. mostly because i didn't dare suggest A to withdraw money on the mastercard instead of the visa, when mother refused to pass by. 

Apparently the head is fine. Or as fine as it can be, given the circumstances. 

This is from that evening, in the hospital. Later on, the cheek was swollen a mile out! in the morning it was somewhat better. Ciel looked at me with very curious  eyes - he saw there was something wrong with my face. 

Today, the face looks pretty much the same. the bruise just started to form. I tried to drink more water than normal, to ensure my blood doesn't clot much, and so on. I had to sleep on my back or on my left side. (why is my left eye so fallen? o.o guess it's just the angle.) 

I have to stay with this cast on for a week. It ends before reaching the elbow, about where it doesn't fit in the picture anymore. I hurt a LOT the first night. Then i took some painkillers and it passed. I'm still getting some sharp pains when instinctively i try to move this hand in ways i'm not supposed to. 

The weird thing about all of this is that I could have prevented it. And i didn't listen to my gut feeling. AGAIN! will i ever learn my lesson?? So first, mother said she couldn't come, and i did think about the easier solution, i just kept silent. Then, I also had a supernatural experience - the first one i can remember. While being on the computer, in the morning, i SAW with the corner of my eyes, a brilliant entity sitting on the chair, looking at me and smirking. The whole corner where the entity was sitting, was engulfed in a VERY strong light. This was a sign/message to be careful. i was not. i pray next time, i will pay more attention. 

new found treasures

A while back, i talked about what's trash for someone, it's a treasure for someone else. Since then, my trash-found treasures increased. 

I found some Burda Style magazines and other vintage patterns, along with some crocheting tools and yarn. The yarn came later though. Also several books with knitting and crocheting. I gave some away, because knitting especially, didn't keep me interested. I got bored when i tried it. Crocheting seems easier, so I will practice with that. The crocheting yarn i will try give away as well, to the person who took the tools. 

Some of the books I found. Yes old - about 40 years old. The pics inside are not clear either. But I wouldn't go out of my way to buy these nor anything else similar. 

This is a pile of various things: 2 old notebooks, a photoalbum, a pile of various handmade crafts with 2 unfinished ones. In the plastic bag, there's some crocheting  yarn and some crocheted ropes that are used in the Romanian point lace needlework. You can see one peeking from under the blue cloth. The blue cloth has one of the unfinished handcrafts, with Romanian point lace. 

A close-up of the nearly finished work. The unfinished part is in the upper part in this image.

A close-up of the photo album. Covered in silk. I saw something similar sold for some 20 dollars (or was it euros?) I think it's gorgeous. It's brand new too, in a box. Can't wait to use it - I'd like to use it, I mean. The color is more vibrant in reality. golden.

Here I was boiling some cutlery I found at the same time with the handcrafts and photo album. It's a set for 12 people: 12 knives, 12 spoons, 12 teaspoons, 12 smaller forks (are these for fish or something? i have no idea), a soup ladle and a bigger serving spoon. They were made in Japan if I'm to believe the inscription on them. Stainless steel, not silver, though they're tarnished. :( 

I searched online and saw a similar set. It was dated around 1940s? 1950s? I forgot exactly, and sold for about 170 euros? I don't have the money to spend on cutlery. The cutlery we were using was all mismatched and ugly. Away it went. 

My injured hand prevented me from editing the images with watermarks. :/ 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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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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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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