Another new beginning

24 01 2015

I am sitting in my childhood bedroom, wrapping my head around what is coming next. The walls are no longer pink and the many faces of Leonardo Di Caprio no longer stare at me. I’ve been a huge fan of his since Baz Luhrmann’s Rome and Juliet, after which my bedroom had his face on every wall. My books are still here, but the old dark red couch was thrown away long ago, a new smaller version taking its place. It almost does not feel like my room anymore. But I digress!

I am super excited and of course also worried. I am leaving a job I truly love behind to move once again to India, this time in Mumbai, for ~11 months. Last time I was in India, while I was walking towards my plane, I made a big cross sign and told myself I will never come back again. I really did! Sometimes I am a believer.

India was hard on me the first time around, although it gave back a lot. What was really bad? Dengue fever. What was really good? A bunch of really wonderful people I am still in touch with and I can’t wait to see again, plus a series of professional skills I built my career on. You could say I could get those anywhere, but the truth of a matter is I feel I had my real start in India, learning from the best and understanding what I really like doing… and its more than communications 🙂 #clubempower

So here I am, waiting for my visa to be ready, looking for a place to stay in Mumbai, reading for the 5th time the website of the organization I will be working with, thinking about communications strategies, child protection policies and another new beginning. When I saw the JD, it was love at first sight. I applied right away and after I accepted their offer, I spent 3 months having doubts, wondering if I am doing the right thing. Those doubts were completely wiped out last week in Klosters, when me and my fellow fellows met for a 5 days preparation program.

Europe is safe, its cozy, I feel very appreciated in my current job, I am surrounded by friends. But asking myself every day if “is this it?” for me signaled a problem. Coming from AIESEC, I do ask myself constantly if I am leaving up to my full potential. Most of the time the answer is NO. While I don’t really care about job titles and money, I do care about being the best version of myself I can be. And lately I did not feel as if I was. First world problem indeed.

So here I am ready for a new journey, a new challenge. Ready to embrace the unknown, work hard, learn new things, give back, embrace chaos, live each day to the fullest. A new adventure.

And until I am leaving, had to move my date from the 31st of Jan to 11th because of visa issues, I am ready to learn a different kind of skills 🙂 My mum will teach me how to cook. Today she and my dad made bread. He prepared the dough, because he has stronger and bigger hands, and she added cheese and olives to the mix, and “popped” them in the oven. The result is below 🙂 Later today we will be making “sărăţele” and “cornuleţe”. I will get my hands “dirty” and feel worthy to eat the result at the end…

Cheers to new beginnings!

#Homemade #bread

Homemade bread with olives and cheese





Kuala Lumpur – Big City Lights

13 12 2014

The fact that we caught our flight to Kuala Lumpur was sort of a miracle. I never left a hotel room faster. It went something like this:

Me: “Alex, what day is today?”

Alex: “September 12”

Me: “I think we lost our flight!”

… and we were suddenly in a running mode. Threw everything we could see in our backpacks, did the fastest check out in history, thank god we had the airport ride included, the driver was kind enough to speed for us and we went speeding through check in and passport control, all the time laughing like two crazy girls on the backpacking trip of their lives.

We were super excited. I’ve heard a lot of good things about KL and I was curious and eager to explore it in the very limited time we had available. We landed at 11:45 am and soon we were in the city. We were staying in a guest house,  who lured us with good backpacking prices, a double room with a “shower” and AC. Now when I look back, I feel like laughing, but when we arrived, the only thing we could say to ourselves was “we won’t stay here long anyways so it does not matter how terrible this room is!” I mean, I lived in quite some places, washed myself out of a bucket in my first days in Ghana, I don’t even want to remember how the first flat I lived in India looked like… so its safe to say I am a seasoned traveler, but that “bathroom”!?!…

We were out of there as fast as possible :), ready to meet the city. Food was the first thing on our minds so we stopped in a street corner, with red plastic chairs, cold beer available and yummy smell all around. The food was great, we really enjoyed it. I like eating street food everywhere I travel. I feel intimidated in fancy restaurants and I don’t see the point eating in places full of expats. The more locals I see gathered in a place, eating, the more I want to eat there.

After our meal, I also found Bakkwa. Rach always brought some for me from Singapore, and when I found it in KL, I was very very excited. It was delicious, so I was all set for a day of walking around. We had the right shoes, right sunscreen and the right attitude 🙂 We started in China Town and we made our way walking to the crafts market, the Sultan Abdul Samad building and a few other touristy places. Both Alex and I love walking but I wouldn’t say  KL is the right place for it. It is crowded and I forgot how much I dislike crowded places. The city just didn’t resonate with me. We left the Petronas Twin Towers for the evening, and now I don’t even remember why we wanted to see them. They are an important part of the KL concrete jungle. Lots of lights, lots of people taking pictures and trying to fit the tours in. We left in a hurry, as we wanted to have dinner and we spotted some really nice street corners with satay, fresh fruits and more red plastic chairs.

Next day we went to see the Batu Caves and the Botanical Garden. So much for exploring non touristy paths!

At Batu Caves Alex had a funny encounter with a scheming little fellow. He went really fast for her biscuits but left her the water bottle. I was quite entertained and so was Alex 🙂 We watched him running afterwards from his mates, trying to be selfish. He wasn’t very successful I’m afraid.

My favorite place was the Botanical Garden. Just my kind of place, green, almost empty, the perfect place to take a walk and forget that there is dust and traffic a few meters away. It was a perfect ending to our trip to KL, even if the trip did not end there. But I prefer to remember it this way 🙂

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The KL city sign – the touristy thing to photograph and then go home and edit 🙂

We had our first meal here... duck duck duck!

We had our first meal in this street corner… duck duck duck!

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A spot of green in the concrete jungle 🙂

Dinner Time

Dinner Time

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Our own Satay Corner

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yum

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Big City Lights

2014-09-13 13.47.30

Candles at Batu Caves

Steps to redemption maybe?

Steps to redemption maybe?

2014-09-13 14.29.13

We did not climb…

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Alex being robbed 🙂

I never did this in India... there's a first time for everything!

I never did this in India… there’s a first time for everything!

Women's wagon

Women’s wagon

Perdana Botanical Garden

Perdana Botanical Garden

And my favorite spot in the entire KL :)

And my favorite spot in the entire KL 🙂

One last tea before our departure

One last tea before our departure… in a bookstore of course 🙂





And it’s a MATCH!

5 03 2010

Hello beautiful people…

I haven’t posted anything in quite a while… Like I said in my first post here, I didn’t have a blog before Ghana because I didn’t think I had anything exciting to talk about… and the last 2 months were kind of like that… Like a holiday that you don’t really need or want… I read too much, watched too many movies, ate too many sweets, slept too much… and the list can go on and on. But not anymore!

So here we go again… at the beginning of a new and beautiful adventure. How do I know that it’s going to be beautiful…? I can smell it… I already feel it in my bones… So YES… I AM GOING TO INDIA. For one year. I am going to work for the company/corporation that had the best presentation at the AIESEC International Congress in 2008 in Brazil :), and in the AIESEC IC before that one :), and probably at every AIESEC IC since they became an AIESEC partner 🙂  AIESECers know what I am talking about 😛 I still remember thinking back then that it would be amazing to have an internship in Alcatel-Lucent… Have I mention that purple is one of my favourite colours? 😛

YUP 😀

I chosen 4th of May for my “baba” (I don’t know if “old woman” is the right word here :P). In Romania there is this tradition. You have to choose a day between 1st and 9th of March to be your “baba”. And the word goes that your entire year is going to be like that day… I wanted to cheat… I choose 4th of March because my sister and my nephew were coming from Switzerland. And I knew that it will be a happy day, no matter the weather 😛 But it proved to be more than I expected. I got my call 🙂

I apologize to all my neighbors for all the screaming they heard yesterday around 7pm. It was just me getting excited for my good news 😛 It might happen again 🙂

Keep your fingers crossed because I am starting my visa procedures… I have to be in Gurgaon, India ASAP 🙂

Me happy 🙂

PS: I know I said I will do my best to choose Europe for my next adventure but India is just irresistible 😛





And I saw a naked Ghanaian man!

9 11 2009

Well it happened… of course not in any of the circumstances a woman would normally expect it to happen… but it happened.

Saturday evening… 8 pm. William and I were returning from Cape Coast where we had a really lovely day. We went to Kakum National Park, we took the canopy walk, 40 ft above the ground, we ate lunch on the beach and enjoyed the sun… it was a perfect day.

Coming back to Accra, the tro tro left us close to Circle. While we were negotiating with a taxi driver to take William home I saw this man approaching us and trying to have a conversation… He was naked… Just to be sure that I am not delusional I asked William if there is a naked man trying to have a conversation with us, in the center of Accra, close to a taxi station… No, I am not crazy yet! The man was completely naked and seemed very comfortable in that situation… And when I thought I’ve seen it all! I mean… I got used with men peeing on the side of the road but naked man taking walks in the middle of the city… I must confess I haven’t seen this coming!

Unfortunately the taxi driver chased him away so I never had the chance to actually have a real conversation with a naked man, in the center of Accra, at 8 pm in the evening. What a pity! It would have been interesting to see what he had to say… Maybe preaching about something… I have seen many preachers in this country, and usually in tro tro’s and tro tro stations, so a taxi station is a perfect place… Anyway, I took a taxi home thinking all the time that life here is a real adventure… every single day…

I don’t think I will ever forget my experience here! I will always remember it as the funniest and craziest period of my life…

Cheers to Accra and this amazing adventure I am having 🙂

Me happy!

PS: I saw Julie and Julia this weekend. Great movie 🙂 and Accra Mall was the perfect place to see it. And I even had Latte and coconut doughnut for my name day 🙂 I didn’t on my birthday but I guess it’s useless to plan ahead here 🙂

PPS: It’s amazing how good is the melon and the watermelon in November 🙂 It compensates pretty great for the lack of snow 😛 And the mango season is back again 😀 I was afraid I will miss it 😛 Cheers again for life in Accra 😀








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