Saturday, October 7, 2017

Praha

Life Moves Fast. That was well put by a new fave of mine - Mari :) The months have gone by in a swift and so have we welcomed the "-ber Months" in a blink (and before we know it,  we shall be bidding this year goodbye) But until then, we keep up with the demands of our daily lives - Studies, Job/s, Errands, Deadlines and the list goes on... I am an undeniable OC writing down my "To Do's", planning the week ahead but still finding 24 hours a day not enough. Which is why, I couldn't even squeeze in a visit to my baby blog. Well, meinen Deutschkurs läuft gut, I have a raket during the weekdays, I get to hangout with friends, and as part of my "Wellness Regime", I drag myself to the gym and unearthed an enthusiasm for cooking! Even I am surprised to be as busy as someone with a full time job! Because... life moves fast.


Apart from the tasks I set myself above, I do not forget to spend time executing my dreams. I've read countless romanticized posts about Prague and Czech Republic is a country I've been wanting to visit. Apparently, Czech was spared during the World War, hence, their Old Towns and Infrastructure are intact as they had always been. And since I am matigas ang ulo, I went solo and took a 6 hour bus ride from Hamburg to Prag. Thank you Flixbus.



I got to peek out of the window, and the moment I saw the clustered-bricked-orange-coloured roofs, my heart skipped a beat! It was like out of a Fairytale Book! I found my Airbnb in a breeze but I think I brought the rain down with me from Hamburg and was opting to stay dry. Good thing my Host Pavel, was nice enough to give me a ride to the City and even nicer to leave me his Flat for the weekend! (*Wink) I started Photo Walking, wandering aimlessly and shooting whatever catches my eye whilst under the rain. I kept walking uphill until I viewed life from the top within the complex of the Prague Castle. But it was by the St. Vitus Cathedral when I met this cute and super nice Chinese girl, who is taking up Italian in Florence and asked me to take a photo of her. It was a pleasure for me to do so and she let me in under her Umbrella. I knew I won a new friend in Jie who is my fellow "Asian Girl". And my adventure in Prague has just begun.

We stopped by a busy Souvenir Shop and this friendly lad struck a good conversation with us! Here we met Ali, a Kazakh who just finished his Uni Studies in Prague and our trustworthy guide through the City. The rain has finally held up during the night and we were back on Charles Bridge with more people, soft lights and live music! The lit up Castle on a gradient blue backdrop and it's reflection on the Vltava River was magic. Add a group of Violinists playing Viva La Vida by Coldplay and that, was simply the Charm of Czechia. We ended the evening with a warm Czech dinner consisting of  pretzels, meat, goulash and their very own bread dumplings. Leckerrr!



I didn't feel alone at all on this trip, but more like meeting up again with longtime friends. Jie extended her stay in Prague and even stayed by me! We started the day to meet Flavius from Romania, who was although new to Prague and unable to offer a Couch for Surfers like me, was kind to offer his time and explore the City together. We covered pretty much the entire City on foot, or if not, by train or tram. I love Old Towns, it makes me feel like living in a Post Card or a Paper House.  But check out the Dancing House - a deconstructed Hotel that stands out in this City densely surrounded by historic architecture. I haven't read "Metamorphosis" yet but visited Franz Kafka Museum and learned Prague through him. The John Lennon Wall could just be a perfect spot for hippies and I always appreciate colour, art and freedom. You haven't been to Prague if you haven't at least stumbled upon the Astronomical Clock in the colourful Old Town which has become a significant symbol of the City, even in Kafka's time. During the golden hour, we were at Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden sitting on the meadow, watching the sunset, beer in one hand. But that was just the prelude. When a Kazakh tells you to go with him, you go. Even if it's in the middle of the night, walking empty roads and hiking a hill leading you to somewhere... sketchy. He took us to the Metronome in Letna Park. The sight was beautiful. We were atop this giant Pendulum, along with other people of our generation overlooking Prague at night. I am not sure about the usage of the Metronome but it does serve a purpose to Czech Republic and it's people. I have (very recently) read that it's exact location is also where former Communist Leader - Stalin - gigantic statue used to stand. With the fall of communism, the Metronome also symbolizes a change in time. 



It was amazing. I am so glad that we found each other. I won't forget that night we all sat on a bench, under a tree by the Bridge and simply talking about life (and our young lives) without inhibitions or pretensions, bare and all. I made it a point to spend my Sunday, and my last day, at Church and visit the Holy Infant Jesus in Karmelitska to hear Mass and give thanks. The only Czech I learned is "Děkuji" which I hope is enough to say how grateful I am. But I had also been gifted to find 'Pieces of Home' there. I'm happy I did this trip. I kept telling myself that this has been more than a dream come true because I had no grand expectations but to see the City, take pictures and make new friends. But I think that's me... pursuer of dreams.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Birth

Dream Come True: Plitvice Lakes, Croatia 30.06.2017

This post is meant for my Birthday which lies in the middle of the year. 
However, Five months down the road and I have never felt this lost or directionless. The immediate concerns that pop-up are: One - I don't have a job which leads to number Two - I don't receive income. But matters with money don't really matter. I've been holding up with the challenges I'm going through to focus on the obstacles before me. However, I am only human and week after week, I just overcome a puddle of emotions after the other. I've lost and been defeated. It's tragic. It probably is the so-called "Quarter-life Crisis" or whatever. Then this makes it my Second and even harder one.  I've reflected back and realized that I've never stayed too long in one place, job or country. For the last 3 years I've moved from Manila to Dubai, to Doha and now currently in Hamburg. I've had 4 different jobs, one of which included flipping burgers at McDonald's. It's been one helluva ride. 

BUT I also can't deny to myself that coming here is actually a dream come true. For the years I was growing up, I always wondered when would we ever get to come back? Hence, this. I've always wanted to speak more languages and infuse the German language back into my system hence, I ended up with Goethe and Berlitz in my search engines. Every year it was included in my Bucketlist to - learn a new language! Sometimes I think that our beautiful Universe is playing tricks on me and says "Isn't this what you wanted?" And she did give me what I wanted, but probably in a way I never thought it would. So if there is one crucial thing I've learned thus far is to - be careful what you wish for (coz you just might get it). 

Inspiration is everywhere! And I need not to go far when my favourite Kim Jones' shared her inspiring talk here in Morocco. Her topic: Passion. As timely as it is, I am personally facing suffering. We all do. I suffer the consequences of my passions and actions. I suffer being away from my family and everything that I love. When you are passionate about something, you have to suffer for it. But why? Shouldn't what your passionate about make you happy? And it's explained in a very simple lexicon. Because you see - passion in Latin is actually to suffer, to bear. We have to endure despite of unhappiness, fear or pain. No matter how contrasting these ideals are, they always go together. It's a process. From a personal experience - A goal, a dream or a destination bears no meaning without being born. We must suffer for passion. Passion is in the Pursuit.

I do enjoy my Deutschkurs which is running until November. (After which, don't ask me what I'll be doing) It's challenging and could sometimes get intimidating to talk. But with that, I am at the same time making new friends, re-discovering a City I used to live in and re-learning a Speech I used to speak. It has been so far a beautiful experience learning a language and actually living it. And who knows, I might write texts auf Deutsch here soon!

There are times when I want to go back to the days when I was just dreaming and only starting to chase after them. I want to believe that this is a time of re-birth. A time of starting all over again. I'm on the verge of discovering what happens after the dream. What happens after making a dream come true? Then I remember through one of my favourite Disney movies, thanks to Flynn Rider who advised: Well, that's the good part, I guess. You get to go find a new dream.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Como




...And we took off early to Lago Di Como jumping off of trains and enjoying the view is already THE adventure itself. Our journey brought us to a little town tucked away from the city. Como is a small Province just a few minutes outside of Milan which borders the Swiss Alps and is home to the village of Bellagio. The weather was cold and foggy and the cobble-stoned streets were almost covered with fallen autumn leaves, which set the tone to this quaint town. The atmosphere that surrounded us took our breaths away! The lake docked with little boats and the hillside bestrewn with colourful houses and bistros felt like a dream come true. But, our adventure didn’t end there as we took the funicolare up the mountain to Brunate. Must we hold our breaths or take it all in?! We were viewing life from the top in all its stillness. Cue in: What a wonderful world! I felt so far away from troubles, worries and sufferings which are present in the same world we’re living in. For the first time in a long time, I had been still… 

Our little daytrip-turned-into-adventure was both a spiritual and gastronomical experience, as we didn’t leave the town without a taste of and gnocchi pasta and hazelnut gelato by the lake. I would travel back all the way here just to have a bite of that again. Now, as I am writing this, I am on a completely new journey. Unprepared but moving on. Unsure but trusting the path. I believe this is a chance to fulfill my other dreams now. I just pray to God that no matter how far I go, how lost I’ll be, or how broken I can get, He’s with me on this adventure. Because He has said, “ I know the plans I have for you…”