Life Choice # 4: Mountains or Beach?

We’re all craving for a little bit of vacation and leaving ourĀ  own dull country that’s either too hot or too cold, right? I feel like I’ve got more than enough time, but unfortunately too little money to explore the world. I do like traveling a whole lot though. A few weeks ago, I leaned out of a window, it had just rained, and I smelt Austria. Something nostalgic inside me began to ache and long to return. We’ve been to Austria for five years. I mean, one week every year, a different place every time. We always went to all-in hotels, but I was too young to really take advantage of that at the time… There’s not so much to do over there, we were always walking. We crossed forests and bridges and small little mountain rivers. Somehow, the weather was always nice. Rain during the night, which left the world fresh and with a nice scent, and sun during the day. But never so hot you feel like you’re breathing rocks.
We saw sheep, donkeys, cows and squirrels. Nothing exotic, but still. Once I even fed a squirrel, he quickly took a nut from my hand. It was probably one of the most exciting things happening during these holidays. Next to what happened in the hotel. It always felt like we were one big family, though we didn’t speak to anyone or just a few people. Still, the faces were familiar. Somehow you just know the people, and if they leave, you’re sad. The ‘new’ people are never as familiar as the old ones. They’re invaders. Only a little bit, but still. And yes, we were aware of the fact that we had been new people as well. Sometimes, we even gave them names. Or got a crush. But that was just embarrassing, when it happened. So let’s not talk about that.

Austria

Green peace, literally, small villages, great mountains.

So these holidays were just fresh air, walking around in the mountains and going to the hotel bar without having to pay every single time. O, and don’t forget the cake at 4. And the swimming pool. Nothing spectacular happened, but that was okay. It was like living in our own small world which we shared with cows and sheep.

On my last Polish oral exam, the teacher asked me whether I’d on go vacation to the mountains or to the beach. The choice was easily made. Mountains can be really impressive, they can make you feel so small, and if you’re lucky you even find something like the Liechtensteinklamm. While lying down on the beach, just tanning… Nah, that’s way too boring. Besides, I can’t stand staying in the sun for too long. But of course, I didn’t manage to actually say all of this.

Now, what would you choose? Any good memories supporting your arguments? Are you going on a vacation this year?

Dear snow…

First of all, I have to admit I yelled at you, I’ve been angry as hell, cursing and swearing… But understand that you can cause some serious problems and fear. I don’t like falling, but you could have made me do so. That’s why I walk sometimes when you appear. Forgive me for watching you with my most deadly eyes. Because you just made my holiday.

Let me explain. Though you’ve haunted us for two days, you were there, and that quite saved our holiday. University only gives us pathetic beggars seven days to recover from the exhausting hell we’ve been in. Seven days for us hungry dogs to wipe away the memories of stress, frustration, boredom. What’s better to forget everything than running away from everything you know? Leaving it behind for a week. Just to forget and let go and to breathe the freshest air in months.

We ran to the hills. And there were you, extremely white and present (you haven’t left us a single day – only for a few hours). And o dear lord, that feeling, after four long years, of standing on top of a mountain, ready to set off, into the deep. You lay white and lazy in front of us. Dear, dear snow, how on earth could I ever dislike the feeling of speeding down, avoiding piles of snow, avoiding other people, staying upright? After all those years I still don’t know why I like this so much. I tried to figure it out, but you can’t while going down a ski slope. You can’t think of anything. It’s just snow and air and a lift every now and then. Exactly what I needed.

Ahhh, I feel like I haven’t been a part of the ‘real’ world during this week. No internet, no friends, no school. My mind is like a freshly prepared ski slope. In my head I’m still speeding down, I’m still in our cute hotel enjoying great food, I’m still in the ski bus, watching the people I get attached to though I haven’t spoken a single word with them.

Dearest snow, you were great. Now please leave Belgium again – it’s time for some bike riding once more and I still fear falling…

We’re having a picnik and you’re invited!

Looks pretty Belgian.

(*picnic)
A few nights ago, when I didn’t fall asleep immediately, I started thinking about how mind blowing great it would be to meet each other in real life. As Motherventing is planning a trip to Belgium (pretty pretty Belgium) I suggest you come over here somewhere during the summer. Maybe, if the weather gods have mercy, we’ll see a ray of sun broken by the trees. We could have a picnic in one of the parks in Brussels or in Antwerp,as you please. Imagine us sitting there, surrounded by greenness and a blue sky and a sun shining heavily! If everyone would take something with him/her, then we can have a great picnic. Lisa being a mother, could for example bring some food in a picnic basket, and a blanket to spread out on the ground. There we would sit all together, eating pancakes (who will bring the pancakes? Addie?) and strawberries, and melon at whatever you eat when picnicking. Michael would of course bring his books, with signature. Lily could bring her great sense of judging and her contagious smile, Mooselicker should certainly explain that game of his even better so we can play it. Audrey, do you mind bringing your poetic thoughts and reflections upon life?
Oh, and then we’d walk around and I would tell you all I know about the Belgian beer (please do not try to say that Heineken is Belgian. it’s not true. we’ve got better beer. more beer. oh, like we’ve got beer!). We have a very tasty, pink, light beer that tastes like heaven when it’s warm. And we’ve got plenty of other kinds of beer, for the heavy guys we’ve got heavy beer. And the chocolate is everything you’ve imagined. If you haven’t tasted Belgian chocolate, you haven’t tasted chocolate at all.
Plenty of things to visit too! We have a thing we call the Atomium, but it’s known better as the Belgian Balls. We also offer you a little statue of a little guy peeing. Belgian pride. And old buildings, you’ve never seen old buildings if you haven’t seen ours. The shopping street of Antwerp is widely known and appreciated. If you all turn out to be the most trustworthy people ever, I might even invite you over at my place, and we can watch a movie together (OR we go to a cinema – to the movies, for the American friends).

Oh, the fun we’d have.
When imagining it, I want to organise this so badly!

For the ones I haven’t mentioned: enroll yourself by commenting below and telling what you will take to this picnic!

Oh, and don’t forget to pick a date. (Date as in day, not (wo)man you’re interested in. This picnic is for bloggers only!)

What to take with you to Italy

Last post, I told you about the horror of not finding clothes and shoes, but I didn’t give you any context, which I should have done so that you could understand why that was even more frutrating than normally. So here’s the one and only context:

I’m leaving for Italy in a week and we’ll be staying there for eight days.

Now that changes some things, ain’t it? When you’re on a holiday in a warm country for eight days, you have to take quite a lot of stuff with you. I mean, T-shirts, pants, skirts for when it’s really hot and so on. Good shoes that you can wear all day long without feeling the urge to die straight away. I have these golden sneakers (but not of the big sneaker kind, more subtle), but I already have them for four years (can you imagine? they just keep on fitting, while I grew like 10 cm!) and my mother has a veto. I don’t really have dresses or skirts, by the way, that fit these shoes. And ballerina’s all day long, only the idea hurts me already. Maybe sandals. If the weather is really good.

But, what else to take with you when traveling? I’ll give you a list of stuff I take with me anyway:

* a big bag, for all the following stuff
* an umbrella; Italy is known for rainy weather when all Belgian schools move over there
* a ballpoint.
* another (plastic) bag, because you never, ever know
* scissors. Never underestimate scissors. They always come in handy. My father once forgot his razor blades, and he could use my scissors instead. Or when you buy new clothes over there, you can at least remove the price tag and wear it right away.
* a scarf. Although surrounded by nude paintings and sculptors, the Italiens freak out when they notice that you wear shorts. Be a good catholic girl and cover yourself.
* some knowledge of Italian and French. It’s quite well known that Italians don’t get why you can’t talk their language.
* battery charges for your camera, mobile phone and iPod. We’ll be spending lots of time in a bus, so music is needed.
* patience. Eight days with people, all getting tired and annoying. Have patience with them. Spare them of your sharpest tongue. Just put on your iPod (so don’t forget the charger!)
* tissues. It’s not because it’s a warm country, that you cannot get a cold.
* Tic tacs. Get refreshed. (That is Tic Tac, right?)
* The Belgian Elle. Because for less money, you have the Flemish AND Dutch version, which you might need when everyone around you is bitching because they’re tired.
* all logic stuff. ID, money, blahblah
* playcards. We are card game fans.
* sunglasses. Duh.
* makeup. To cover up your inferiority complex. (Dear Google translate, why do you seem so unreliable sometimes?)
* it might souns silly, but nail clippers. (Do you know what I mean?) For when your nials grow long, or you break one.

With this list, you will have packed half of what you really need. Congratulations!