People-Watching & Plane-Talking

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Listening to the newest Mixofrenia radio show and sipping my coffee, admiring the sun and reflecting on the people and places of June. It goes like this… Two hours spent cooped up in a Belgrade gate waiting for another Air Serbia delay. I say in, not at, because the gate was a separate room with security check at the door in front of all the waiting passengers, and no toilets. I felt like I was back in the 90s as a tall, done-up woman went around one-by-one to check passports. However, the stunning view of the city situated right on the Danube, with its strategically-placed buildings, houses on the water, and hilly green backdrop made up for the airport. But that’s another story…one to be created, as I hopefully will have the occasion to go back and explore that country so rich in history. Looking around, my eyes darting back and forth to two Slovakian tattooed male models who caught my same flight out of Bucharest, I managed to fixate on an older couple. I love trying to pin-point where people are from. Dark features, prominent noses, leather loafers for him and cork wedges with red straps for her, matching their … Continue reading

Observing, wishing, living

Travel gives you a unique perspective into the lives of others and how so many of us have such different paths all under the same sky. This past month I have been on 9 planes, numerous trains and buses, and it makes distance seem so minor. I am but an observer, a speck in this large cosmic entanglement of emotions, actions, and consequences. Despite distances and environments, humans are fundamentally the same. We tend to drift monotonously through life, as if with our eyes closed, trapped in a bubble of self-importance. But at the core, the majority of us have good intentions. We love to love and love to be loved. A smile feels better than a frown. A compliment can make our day, and being desired is wonderful. Above all, we have a deep strength and the ability to adapt and overcome dire situations. We also have the power to change – the power to look within ourselves, sort right from wrong, and set goals. I seek inner peace and an abolishment of labels. I have no identity. I sell myself for work, for passions, for friends. But my true self has no identity. All I know is I … Continue reading

Soul Spotlight: Donny

This guy. This guy right here. A hustler in the truest sense, Donny is relentless with an innate capacity for hard work. He proves time and time again that he can overcome any obstacle, no matter how rough the circumstance. With an infectious smile and a warm heart, he seeks to know everyone for who they really are and holds off on judgments. If you need help, he is the first you should call – although he may not like me saying that. Donny is one of the realest guys I know, and extremely easy to be around. Every hang out seems to lead to an all-day adventure with an excess of food. Armed with a sharp mind, an education in radio broadcasting and a voice fit for any auditory medium, he also has a knack for combining patterns and overall looking fly. Plus, a growing collection of Pumas. We should all take a page from D’s book, not just for fashion, but for his unique perspective in life. He appreciates the simple things, is wise beyond words (but also modest), and is content with his efforts and the life he has created all on his own. It’s only the … Continue reading

Copenhagen Casual

If there is one word to describe Copenhagen, it would be “cool”. Cool to the last drop. Cool starts from the city’s foundation, seeping into all the cracks, all the nooks and crannies, and flowing upward, flourishing and molding itself with the surroundings. It sprinkles upward to the sky, forming an umbrella of cool, encapsulating the city in its entirety. That may be an exaggeration. However, upon landing and waiting for my [longest, first best] friend’s Barcelona flight to land, I had a couple hours free to indulge myself in my favourite activity: people-watching. With a delicious Baresso cappuccino in hand, I immediately noticed a distinction that made certain people stick out from the rest. “Higher than usual” would be a good term to describe them. Their height? Higher than usual. Cheekbones? Higher than usual. Fashion? Higher than usual. Haut. Cool factor? Higher than usual.  Yep, these must be Danes. Why cool? Because it’s effortless. The entire vibe of the city seems effortless…almost nonchalant. Where other major cities emit a loud energy, trying to prove something, Copenhagen – in stark contrast – is comfortable with itself. This is reflected in its infrastructure, values, and people. Traffic flows with immense ease … Continue reading

[Haphazard] Short Story: The Path to Change

Her life has been a self-inflicted battle with her demons. A game of tug-of-war. She tried so desperately to change to her ways, to somehow be like everyone else. She battled it to the end and left behind scraps of her diary – a look into the inner workings of her mind. The struggle ensued as follows: ———————————————————- “The taste of cold coffee is one thing I can never learn to like – no matter how many times it happens. I sip my coffee while I do work in the morning before the world wakes up, yet I never finish it before I have to move on. Move on. Keep moving. This has been my mantra for the past years. It’s amazing how you make a decision that you think is best for you, yet when it isn’t, your stubbornness doesn’t want you to let it go. It’s my own fault, really. The best way to put it is like being caught in a storm of thoughts that push you around like bullies on a playground. One direction represents my dreams (those ones deep down that we rarely admit to and probably never pursued because of f-e-a-r) and the other … Continue reading

The Creative Energy of Bucharest

As someone who returns to Romania sporadically, the changes I’ve seen in cities such as Bucharest are likely ones that locals are accustomed to, yet to me represent tiny improvements toward a greater collective. This past summer, it felt like Bucharest was coming together and redefining its lost image as “Paris of the East”. Clean streets in the city center (despite the crazy traffic), numerous places to grab a delicious bite and lounge, and tourists out and about with their handy DSLRs. While these were all immediate observations, I couldn’t help but feel something brewing below the surface. A Monday summer’s night in Bucharest’s center is comparable to a Saturday night I’ve spent in other major cities. Weaving in and out of quaint streets, it’s easy to find a place suited to one’s interests, be it jazz lounges, techno dance floors, or classic bars and Irish pubs. One bar in particular, Bicicleta, remains engrained in my memory. It’s a vintage bicycle bar employing a minimalist touch to the interior in an effort to focus attention on its stunning collection of bicycles. Sitting on the balcony atop unique bicycle seat bar stools, accompanied by the pulsating music of the nightlife below, and hearing praises … Continue reading

Vancouver: Wandering and Wondering

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Being one of the top ethnically diverse and densely populated cities in Canada, it is no doubt that Vancouver’s appeal is strong and far-reaching. After recently spending one week there, I was cast under its spell. It is a relief to not have to choose between the mountains and the ocean, as both are present in full effect and contribute to Van City’s laid-back west coast vibe. Upon landing at the airport, I was already inspired. The air is different – more refreshing, crisp, and one cannot help to inhale it in hefty lung-fulls…yes, even at the airport. The unique thing about the weather is that the temperature usually feels exactly as reported, little or no wind chill, so wearing a jacket in 15 degree weather back home is not needed  for the 15 degrees in Vancouver. Making the journey to my friend’s flat, I could not stop inhaling the fresh air, turning my face to the sun, and admiring the lush greenery that I had observed moments ago from the sky. The neighbourhoods are beautifully landscaped, with no shortage of foliage and lovely scents from countless flowers in bloom. The first couple days were spent wandering downtown in the … Continue reading

“Finding” Inspiration

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No matter your prowess, we all need inspiration at times to keep up or improve a craft. Actually, we all need inspiration – period. As the constantly innovative beings that we are, inspiration is the driving force for creativity and for the enjoyment of the daily wonders of life in general. True inspiration doesn’t come from mindlessly scrolling through pictures on the internet or flipping through a magazine. Those actions serve as temporary aesthetic appeals to relax our minds, which most of the time leaves us unfulfilled, a tad jealous, or simply not doing anything constructive with the idea. Inspiration – the kind that leaves you elated and motivated to make a change or start a project – comes from living. In other words, going out there and trusting your feet to take you on a journey, letting your mind wander and your heart absorb the surroundings. Use all your senses to fully appreciate a moment: listen to the birds, smell the flowers on every corner, look not just in front but up and down and behind and side-to-side, pet a dog, taste a new drink…the list goes on and on. Basically, deviate from your path and follow the first thoughts … Continue reading

And the rain, again

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Lately it’s been raining non-stop and, despite such tenacity, I am growing accustomed to the dreary skies and dull light. Nature is intriguing, and perhaps the main reason for my sudden interest in the rain is the silence that it evokes. The rain breeds a stillness in the air, as if all pointless noise is hanging one layer above the ground, suspended and motionless. The world enters a slumber, and its inhabitants march forth with a quieter routine. For me, it’s waking up early and listening to the birds chirp happily as my coffee brews. Two yellow finches, to be exact, playfully chasing each other between the tree branches. Morning is filled with inspiration coming to light via a quiet mind. Much more is absorbed in stillness. Your gaze lies upon that stack of books waiting to be read, and now is the perfect moment to knock it down, one by one. Then comes the gentle pitter-patter of the rain finally breaking through the clouds. It instills a deep craving for fluffy cushions, enthralling conversation, and a general warmth enhanced by the comfort of tea or laughter – sounds and emotions at their peak, embracing you under the deep gray tint … Continue reading

Right now

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She stirs anxiously to the tune of her restless thoughts. It’s the same story with no end – the suppression of desires for a future outcome. In simple terms, “stop dreaming, get to work”. As her dreams once again become invasive and hungry for attention, the music on her laptop stops. It’s now silent between these four walls, other than the sound of the rain on her window that had gone unnoticed. That sweet pitter-patter, how could it be ignored? It is such a gentle march, demanding nothing…expecting nothing. Quite the opposite of these dreams. The rain continues on as she sits and stares, mesmerized by the simple beauty that she so often overlooks. My thoughts whirl around me as my body sits still, quietly scheming. She puts pen to paper, each dream quieted with brisk strokes of ink spelling her true self. Satisfaction guaranteed. There is nowhere else I’d rather be Nowhere else but here, right now The lulling sound of the rain; clothes still in suitcases. Holding onto my dreams, ready for the next adventure. But right now, this is the place. Belly-down on the floor, the smell of garlic Finding its way up the stairs and teasing … Continue reading