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

Feels good to be back :)

9 03 2011

I reached yesterday at 6:30 am and it felt good. Nothing much has changed in 2 months and looking out of the window of the yellow classic cab, I had a strange feeling of coming back home. Which is weird because India after the first 5 months spent here felt like a struggle… I am not very good at handling things I don’t like, I speak up about them and I am emotional… I can never focus on the bright side long enough :My blog was never supposed to be an objective point of view… Its all emotion emotion emotion!

India is a different experience for everyone but an experience everyone should have! It teaches you stuff and you see thing in yourself and around you that in a way you don’t want to know or acknowledge. Its a challenge. For me it was and I am aware that most of the times I didn’t handled it right but I am happy that from this point on I am a better individual… at least I hope I am 😛

I was thinking to make a list with all the things I should do… but how can I pack everything in 21 days? Over the past 5 years I got very good at packing but not that good.

I missed the food…. I realized it yesterday having lunch in the food court. It was so spicy I felt tears in my eyes. So so yummy, I said to myself that I will only have Indian food for the next 21 days 😀

The road in the front of the office is somehow under construction. I think they are working on bringing the metro line here. Which would be great and probably I will never see it 😦 The dust wasn’t as bothersome as it used to be, there is a big flower shop on the side of the road and lots and lots of papaya. This small city has one great quality. Its ALIVE!

I missed the office. Its colorful and full of beautiful people. Friends. Working from home for the past two months had definitely its advantages but being in the office it’s just wonderful. I missed the small talk and the smiles 🙂

It just feels good to be back 🙂

My life must fit in a 23 kg suitcase!

19 12 2010

Yes, once again, I am at that point in my life when I am packing my bags and leaving a temporary home. Each time is exciting, either going or coming I am always happy to be leaving. I don’t know why,  guess I haven’t found my place yet…

Looking at myself, I am not your “normal” 26 years old. [When I say normal I am talking about the image I used to have about being 26 some 10 years ago.]

I am not married, nor planning a marriage any time soon. I haven’t even found that imperfect half with whom I could form a perfect something. I am not decorating my imaginary house, I don’t own a car and I don’t care if my cooking skills are beyond or above someone’s expectations. I still can’t picture myself raising a child… not even 10 years from now! [Married or not] And… as always… I am not in a hurry!

I don’t know if 10 years from now I will have an awesome demanding career in communication, I will lead my own NGO for children and seniors or I will be in a remote place in Africa writing my book. Hopefully, I will be doing all 3 of them.

I feel so young and lucky. Every day so far has been a learning experience and here I am, ending another year with a smile on my face and trying to fit almost 9 months in a 23 kg suitcase. It’s not enough space I’m afraid. I will have to do another trip to the India post with some cartoon boxes on Wednesday. I can’t decide if I should leave behind my books, my shoes, my fancy Sarojini Nagar dresses. 😛

I guess I could leave some here. As of now I will be back around 25th of March. But my life lately hasn’t been quite according to the plan, so I rather not risk it. I have this nasty habit to get attached to my possessions.

Not all the choices I have made in the last year were perfect. Not all the experiences have been the dreamy kind, not all the lessons easy to learn. But I have a smile on my face… And I guess, at the end of the day that’s what really matters!

Me happy… For the 26th year in a row I will be home for Christmas  😀

PS: I took pictures with Santa today… and the Coca Cola truck 😛


7 12 2010


I normally embrace change and I am happy about it. Change chases away the boredom and tends to tame my restlessness… but when things change form one day to another, it just makes me mad.

Right now I can’t make a plan… book some tickets… decide when to do my South Asian trip… because next week things might look completely different.

And don’t tell me that it’s up to me. Because sometimes it’s just not!

On the other hand… I am happy 😀

And I am not going to feel guilty because I am happy to leave India at this point in time! I haven’t seen my family since 2nd of April 2010. I haven’t seen “THE TEAM” since April and June 2009. I am so excited that I will meet my closest friends that I feel like yelling it from the top of Cyber Greens.

Yes, I am happily counting down the days. I sort of finished my shopping. Yes, I almost packed my bags; I even went sightseeing in Delhi … And yes, I have a calendar on my desk and I scratch off each day that passes.

That doesn’t mean I am not going to miss some of the things here… Mostly my TEAM here and being in the office.  My small small room. Sarojini Nagar shopping.  Barista and the best café latte in India. Ice cream from Giani.  Chico, Mariana, Paula, Javed, Sasha and Andrew.  IVETTITA. Indian food. Galleria Market. Fresh fruit juice from the street “shops”. Cooking :D. My TEAM again 😀 The women wagon in the metro. The friendly gatherings.  Showing off my PAN card. Playing the tourist. Saying I am from Ghana or Afghanistan when annoying men ask me where I am from. Telling lies about being married with 4 kids. Yes… I did that a few times 😛 All in all… the small things that make my day. In the end, happiness is in details 🙂

Why I never spoke about all these things before in my posts? I don’t know. It might be because I usually don’t feel like writing when I am happy. Who needs therapy when he/she is happy.

I am happy to have a 3 months break from Gurgaon. No more rickshaws. No more buses. No more random pigs on the street. No more traffic. No more bargaining for every single rupee. Yes… at the end of the month I am poor too. Thank God, not poor in the true sense of the word, but the need to watch my every rupee shows its ugly head.  You can call me a bad financial planner if it makes you happy!

I won’t miss the staring. I won’t miss being on the list… actually I haven’t been in such a long time that it doesn’t even matter. I think I might never be again 😛 I used to laugh saying that going partying in Delhi reminds me why I don’t go partying in Delhi! I am too old for this.

I won’t miss the hypocrisy.

I won’t miss the dust.

I won’t miss losing my hair… Yes, that was one of the big things that messed with my head here.  I don’t know if anyone can picture the distress of seeing your hair falling like crazy every single day, every single brush touch, every single shower … Till it feels that you are losing your feminity with every single moment that passes by.

All in all, it was good and bad. Just like any other true adventure. I was in love with India some of the days… and I hated being here with all my heart in others. One thing though never changes… My professional and learning experience was as close to perfection as it could be. And the best part of it?  It keeps going 😀

So I guess for now is “see you in March 2011 Dear India”. I promise to try to be more patient next time… But have in mind that my patience is a “work in progress” thing!!!

Just like me!

Am I prone to accidents, diseases and other plagues?

29 11 2010

Today I got a great news about my work and I was really happy… as a little FB addict that I am, I updated my FB status… 40 minutes later I was in a motorbike accident!

I guess if our bike would be as good/new as this one, life would be easier... or maybe we would have broken bones. Who could resist speeding on a baby like this one?

Why would these things be related?  It’s probably just a coincidence… Just like the one when I was happy to go travelling to Pushkar and 5 minutes later I started having dengue…  Train tickets booked, plans made… all went out in smoke!

Yes, I still believe that somebody up there loves but I think I should stop being so smug about it. HE/ SHE doesn’t appreciate my enthusiastic approach to share the small details of my life, especially the happy ones. Do YOU like me better when I am depressed? I hope not 😀

Or maybe HE/SHE got sick of me not loving India to a certain extent and is trying to tell me “gently” to go home: here’s some eye flue for you, get some kidney infection, some stomach pain, fever… dengue… and the cherry on top of the cake… falling off the motorbike, hurting my hand, arm, hip and knee… Just like that! Actually dengue was worse so it should be the cherry!

It wasn’t even that exciting… NO speeding, NO police after us, NO breaking the rules… just a damn rickshaw and a horrible road… But we are alive and sort of… well. No broken bones at least! I remember the story with Alessandra breaking her collar bone…

I am very proud that after licking our wounds for a few minutes, we dragged our behinds on the motorbike and went home. No, I am not giving this up. It one of the few things that I really enjoy and we are always very careful… Except when rickshaws are involved 😦

There is just too much drama in my life… I am ready to go home for a while 🙂 Lick my wounds. Especially the knee one that hurts like crazy 🙂

Me suffering a bit… Alex, thank you for donating the medicinal alcohol to me… I never thought I will need it 😛

PS: I am going for a tetanus shot tomorrow morning… with my luck lately better safe than sorry! 😐

The future looks bright, the future looks… Asian :P

26 11 2010

I am leaving India on 23 of December.  I will stay home for a while, doctor’s orders… What to do… my immune system decided to go on strike 😛 So I guess all I need is Romanian weather, Romanian food, family, friends and familiar things… No dengue, malaria, kidney pain, stomach pain, headaches and other plagues…

And after that…

I will be back next year, I don’t know for how long. All I know is that after I will finish my internship next year I will go on an Asia trip!!! I want to do this very badly. I want to take 2 months off my life, next year and wonder around Asia… while deciding what I want to do with my future…

I thought I had all figured out… and than I realized I didn’t. October was pretty hardcore and things changed… I changed… I need time and discipline… It feels I have none right now but maybe next year I will be a better version of myself… hopefully all grown up 😛 and with the immune system in place 😀

I know that planning a trip in Asia in the context I find myself right now isn’t exactly a grown up thing but I believe  sometimes you need to stop, do something you really want, heal all wounds and than start again… With a fresh perspective!

So step I – finish packing, go home, get in perfect health condition

Step II:

Come back to India spring next year, finish my business here, stop in Mumbai and  Kerala for a few days… fly to Bali and start the journey of a life time:

It would look something like this:

Delhi – Mumbai – Kerala – Bangalore – Bali – Singapore – Kuala Lampur – Bangkok – Phnom  Penh – Vientiane – Hanoi – Hong Kong – Taipei  and hopefully Tokyo. Of course I don’t plan to visit just capitals but the plan is ruff so far and it will gain weight once I take some time and put it all on the paper.

After discussing a bit with Diana and Dasha who did this trip more or less the same itinerary, the budget should be around 2000 euros… of course nothing fancy 😀

So, who wants to join? 😀

And I guess I’d better start saving money :P… and if this works out as planned maybe 2014 will see me in an African trip… because that is and will always be my first love!

Me packing, planning, missing, dreaming…

My trip 😀

Why are all these things happening to me?

22 10 2010

I guess life wouldn’t be as fun without them!!!

I will get there this weekend... 😀

Have I ever mention that my blog is some sort of therapy? Well here it is.

So I came back from office after a Good Friday. Later in the evening I got a what seems to be a very good news. I will develop later if it is happening or not 🙂 But anyway, it made my night so keep your fingers crossed 😀

While I was doing some more research about  Pushkar and Ajmer, I updated my FB status because of course I got excited!!! And I am also a FB addict!

I have less than 6 months in India and I am trying to travel and see places.  Exactly 5 minutes later I stated feeling really feverish and cold. It’s a nice 38.4. I am not a doctor but on internet it says it’s not so bad… so I have 5 hours and a half to get better. I know I am crazy but I am not postponing this trip. I lost last weekend to the fever. It was my discover Delhi weekend 😦 I am not giving this up! No no no!

Me… having a nice hold Coldrex while contemplating my existence! With all the warm clothes I brought with me from home on! Sniff Sniff 😦


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