Instagram Spring

Friday, May 16, 2014

It's been a while, again. This semester is actually much more demanding than the previous one - which is good! I've been reading a lot and really enjoying some of my classes. Before I started my master's I had a vague idea about what I wanted to do in the future. But now I feel even more lost, because every week I'm discovering new amazing stuff that can be done in linguistics, and eventually I would have to choose what to do for my thesis, not to mention PhD if I eventually decide I want to pursue one. (That's a really tough decision to make and I keep delaying it, even though it's high time I did it...) Not to mention the fact that there are some really inspiring people teaching us here at the University of Potsdam, and they make even the disciplines I was never much into look waaaay more interesting that I ever thought they could be!

Anyway, the beginning of the semester was a bit more relaxed, so I had the chance to travel a lot. It was hectic, but very exciting and so much fun! Looking at these Instagram photos makes me want to go back to all the marvellous places I had the chance to visit. I'm one lucky girl, I must admit. :)

As you can tell, the photos above are from Paris. Even though it's not my favorite city in the world - sorry, Paris, sorry everybody who claims I'm nuts—it is really picture pretty. And what's more important, I had a great time there - you could read about that here. The first photo is from the beautiful Jardin de Luxembourg, one of numerous Paris parks. Parisians surely know how to enjoy their parks! The last one is from the very top of the Eiffel Tower, and you could read about our struggle to climb the stairs here. :)

But everything began in Berlin. The first picture of the beer is a deja vu, but I chose to show it again as a symbolic beginning of my Berlin adventure. I spent the weekend after moving from Finland in Berlin, at friends', homeless but happy - earlier I would have questioned this, but now I think it's impossible not to be happy in Berlin. I love it! I think I will always have a special appreciation of Alexanderplatz, because it's the first thing I've ever seen in Berlin, back in September. To be honest, even though I felt terribly Finland-sick, finding myself in the Alexanderplatz subway made me feel as if I never left. The nice feeling was enhanced by the fact that it was spring here - well, at least in comparison to Finland, where it was snowing when we left. And the lovely lady drinking her afternoon wine is Nastia, one half of the couple I stayed with. 

Did anybody say Finland-sick? Ummm... yeah. :) Welcome to my crib! It's full of Finnish thingies. I was very happy to decorate the wall above my desk with posters I got from a waiter in Kerubi, a club in Joensuu, and a flag that I had bought at the airport. I already have a Norwegian flag at home - it's dating back to 2009. when I spent a month in Trondheim - and I was planning to buy flags of all the countries I would live in, which means the next one is German, and then in somewhat less than a year a Dutch one. But I kinda think this one will be special. The books on the third photo are my precious possesions - my Finnish flatmates surprised me by giving me this Moomin novel in English as a goodbye present, and the book on Finland is a present from a Serbian friend I met in Joensuu. He's an exchange student, still there, but leaving for Serbia soon. Hold on, buddy, this is going to be difficult! :( The last photo shows my post-its that were hanging in my kitchen in Joensuu when I was learning words for colors in Finnish. Now they're on my closet. Yeah, I'm that sentimental.

But my current home isn't that bad either! We have bright blue skies, Brandenburg gate (and I don't mean the one in Berlin, but here in Potsdam - the original one!), delicious ice-cream (I'm not sure I could have eaten this outside in March had I stayed in Finland), yeah, spring was definitely here in March, and oh, the flower shops! Flower shops are everywhere!

Besides, I have always known how to make myself happy with small things. This lovely Moomin tea I bought at the airport in Helsinki. Tastes best when listening to Radio Aalto - I still listen to it, it's the radio I was listening to when walking to the uni in Joensuu. Does it affect my knowledge of Finnish? Weeeell... I do understand "the sun is shining and it's raining", so not really. But hearing Jenni Vartiainen from time to time is awesome anyway. :) Milka chocolate was another great surprise - a classmate of mine - who is South African by the way, and is source of incredibly interesting stories about lions, giraffes, antelopes and baboons - gave it to me because I had given her an internet cable, as I had a spare one. "This is the closest to a polka dot chocolate I could find", she told me - everybody knows I'm a polka dot freak. :)

After two weeks in Germany, it was time to take off. First stop: Switzerland! I visited my aunt and uncle in Zurich. My oh my, I had nooo idea how expensive this country is, it's totally comparable to Finland! Anyway, it was a nice weekend, they drove me around and showed me Zurich, Baden and Luzern. Hvala! :)

During three and a half weeks in March/April I flew seven times - that's my personal record and I hope I won't break it anytime soon - or ever. No matter how I love the fact that flying brings you to distant places and people easily and fast, I hate the things before and after the flights - packing, trains, buses, waiting, lines, more trains, unpacking... And truth to be told, flying is boring, I'm thankful I've recently only been flying around Europe. When I was younger and flew only on very, very rare occasions, I found it exciting and loved the adrenaline rush when taking off - now it's not enough. I need something more awesome - bunji-jumping? :)

Home!!! This year, at the age of 25, I had my first bite of a traditional Serbian delicacy - bread spread with lard, paprika sprinkled on top. Does it sound gross to you? It did to me - that's why I only had it now! But it's actually really delicious - I had it with some chopped onions and I couldn't believe what I had neglected all these years! My father had had it every winter, but I would just think it looked awful. Once again, parents prove smarter than kids. The second photo shows my lovely hometown, and there are more photos of it in this blog post. In the third one you can see a bit of my book collection at home, and an alarm clock I got from my friend from the uni back in Belgrade because I was sometimes late for classes. Sometimes. Not more often than that, your honor. And the girl in the bicycle-themed cafe in Novi Sad is the smartest kid in my family - my little sis.

Another happy place. Another home—Belgrade. One of my favorite cafes - Bašta. And the cutest little pup there is, Khalisi, pet of my friend Enisa. This living-in-a-different-country-every-semester lifestyle is great, but its downside is that I cannot have a dog and I've been wanting one for years. 

Back to Germany! The day after I landed my class had an organized trip to Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig. We had some really inspirational talks by researchers working there, and a demonstration of an EEG experiment done on a toddler. Well, ok, in theory - in practice we saw it done on one of our classmates. To make an excellent day even better, I met a friend from Serbia who had stayed in Leipzig at the time. :)

And then, three days later, it was time to travel again  - this time to Brussels! You might have read about that amazing trip here. Clockwise: Grote Markt or Grand Place, Manneken Pis, shoes on a wire, Belgian waffle, 483930000 kcal. 

Clockwise: part of the big group of friends I travelled to Brussels with; original Belgian chocolates; Grote Markt again, and our shoes as we were sitting there. That's my favorite thing about Grote Markt: people can just sit there on the ground, talk, have a beer. In the main city square! Quite awesome, huh?

We also had a day-excursion to Brugges, one of the loveliest towns I have ever visited. See more Brugges photos here

Frielfie. More of Brussels, and the coffee we had every morning at a cafe 10 m from our place. 

More of travelling - packing for Brussels, leaving Brussels and having coffee with my name written on it properly; packing for Paris (cute little containers for shower gels, shampoos and such can be bought at DM and are a great investment if you're having short trips often and you don't want to carry big bottles around; especially if you travel by plane, they can easily be part of the hand luggage). Leaving for Paris. I don't like spending money on food and drinks on the airports, but sometimes I'm just in such a rush. I hope you're more organized than me! 

Finally - Paris! Even though it's been more than a month now and my social media accounts are full of Paris photos, sometimes I still have hard times believing I actually visited it! And even the impression that I got that wasn't as amazing as I thought it would be is now fading, so I catch myself daydreaming of going there again! But that'll have to wait - so many more amazing places to visit!

Isn't it pretteeey? 

Back to the little things appreciation! Tea, sweets, Elle, coffee, and yeah, learning German! But I must admit that the workload is overwhelming, and naturally I concentrate mostly on the other subjects, leaving German a bit behind. A girl can't have everything, it seems... Why doesn't a day last 36 hours?!

Speaking about coffee, I already wrote about perks of being called Tihana in Germany. And France. And Switzerland. So these are the examples of what I get when I say "Tihana" to people working at Starbucks in Berlin, Zurich, Berlin again and Paris. Creative!

And what would an Instagram profile look like without some selfies? :) Clockwise: showing my blue nail polish, enjoying the sun in Luzern, well, the third one is not really a selfie but it is a photo of me in Napoleon's chambers in Louvre, and the last one is in Berlin, with my favorite Berlin sight, the TV tower.

Little pleasures all over again. Macarons from Laduree - rudely expensive but sooo delicious. Being retweeted by Visit Finland profile. Reading Serbian Elle and having some blueberries. Reminding myself that all the adults were once children - quote from the beautiful Little Prince.

Purchasing new stuff! Crazy superheroes leggings, new Converse sneakers - black ones, they're in the box - and saying goodbye to the oldies. (I'm a Converse sneakers fanatic and I've been wearing them since the age of 13, almost half of my life. I don't think I would ever stop.) Lovely Disney bowl for only 2 euros - unfortunately I already broke it, but I intend to buy another one, exactly the same, because I think it's just too beautiful. Essie Le Blanc nail polish! I don't remember ever falling in love with a nail polish as much as I did with this one. (And I am also a nail polish fanatic.)

Eating healthy! One of my latest discoveries is avocado. Oatmeal is an old one. I also tried some baking - I made Finnish sweet pastry, pulla, but they turned out more brown than they're supposed to. It's probably due to a wrong type of flour, so I'm planning to make them at least once more. Practice makes perfect! And, well, alcohol is not that healthy perhaps, but it's nice to have some wine at home - makes me feel like an adult! :)

#TBT (throwback Thursday) is an Instagram tag that I don't use that much, only from time to time. Recently I shared two photos from my trip to China two years ago - together with Lapland, it's my favorite trip of all times and I'm incredibly grateful for having had such an amazing opportunity. Konak is a name of a Turkish restaurant - Berlin is full of those and I discovered I am actually a huge fan of Turkish food, and eastern food in general. This one was interesting because we have the word konak in Serbian - it's a loanword from Turkish. :) The last photo is from Paris. Oh, Paris.

And back to Berlin! On one Saturday in April I went to a series of concerts - namely living room concerts - with my classmates. It was quite interesting, and even though the name was self-explanatory, I didn't really believe we would attend the concerts in anybody's living rooms - but we did! The first two photos are from the first concert, and I cannot even describe the venue. Is it somebody's home? A workshop? A cafe? Place where different events are organized? All together! And the most hipster place I have ever been to. (Probably not the most hipster in Berlin, on second thought.) And look what else I found in Berlin - Moomin mugs!! I was so thrilled to find the Iittala shop in the very center of Berlin - Iittala is a famous Finnish design brand specializing in design objects, tableware and cookware. Of course, it's very expensive - it's expensive in Finland, and more expensive in Germany, but nevermind, just the fact that it exists in Berlin made me really happy. And so did my newly purchased ticket for TED talks in Berlin in June - I'm really looking forward to it!

What did make you happy recently? Did you share it on Instagram? Do you use this social network? Lately I've become a real Instagram freak, I started following a lot of bloggers and their snapshots are really inspiring. And it's so nice to have several continents in my pocket.

Bis bald - but this time seriously. Enjoy your weekend lovlies! 


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