Monday, January 31, 2011

A postcard from... Tokyo, Japan

I got this postcard from my Japanese penpal. The Tokyo Tower has 333 m, it's 13 m taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It's one of the most famous buildings in Tokyo, you can use the elevator or the stairs to get to the observatory ;)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

I have finished this book some time ago but I just can’t find the right words to describe the novel and my feelings about it. Because I feel that whatever I’ll write won’t be enough to express it’s beauty. Always when I read Murakami’s books I find myself thinking how elusive life is and how our decisions affect other human beings. Norwegian Wood is a story about loneliness, love, making choices and growing up. There is also a stable element of Murakami’s – women. All of them special in their own way. And of course it’s filled with music. Like it was playing in the background during reading...

The plot…

Toru Watanabe had only one friend in his life - Kizuki. When he dies in the age of 17 something dies in Watanabe too. But life goes on, Watanabe moves to Tokyo and goes to university.

A year later he bumps into Kizuki’s girlfriend, Naoko in the subway. They never talked much when Kizuki lived but they decide to spend Sundays together walking through the streets of Tokyo. The memory of the dead friend floats in the air and they try to cope with the loss each on their own way but Naoko is not strong enough. One day she disappears and Watanabe finds out she is in a psychiatric hospital-like place near Kioto. They exchange some letters and arrange few visits, hoping to be together when it ends.

There is also Midori, an eccentric girl from his university who is fascinated with cooking and porn movies and says inappropriate things all the time. They have much fun and feel good in their own company. But friendship evolves in something more. In the end Watanabe must realize what he wants and take life in his own hands.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Love hate relationship with people

I know my bloggy friends are open minded lovely people and my post won't make a revolution in their minds. But I just need to place my frustration somewhere. It's about the rasists and homophobes who surround me. I had a brilliant day, a good thing that I expected for a long time happened to me. My happiness was unmeasurable and I thought nothing can spoil it... until a friend of mine started saying these jokes about Jews and black people. A friendly, helpful, funny at times person. I stated that I don't like these. I am neither a Jew nor black, yet they hurt me. I assume if I was born somewhere else and met this person, I couldn't count for friendly feelings? The other person today asked me if I think some guy sitting behind me is a "fag". I have no idea was my answer... seriously, who cares? Then my friend (described above) looking at me said there are gay people around... having gay friends I am taken as being one obviously. The guy probably suspecting I am "one of them" said he doesn't see anything wrong with lesbians, just gay guys he'd like to kick out of this planet. I am tired to deny who I am not and I don't care what people consider me to be... but I am frustrated with lack of tolerance, ignorance and hipocrisy. If someone asked to raise hand those who never judged anyone, I wouldn't raise mine probably, but why not think better before spilling the poison out? I wish we couldn't see the colors or shapes for one day and just see the inner creature... who would look bad then? The one with different skin color, the one falling in love with the same shape, the one beliving in God, the one not beliving God who means no harm to other creatures around OR the one hating other colors, shapes and religions? I wonder if we were all the same people would stop fighting? I guess not, it's human nature, we love judging and we'd always find somethig to complain about in other people. Even though such possibilty existed I wouldn't be happy if we were all the same. How boring the life would be. Yet, I can't accept this simple hurtful truth...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


"Letters are just pieces of paper... burn them, and what stays in your heart will stay; keep them, and what vanishes will vanish."
~Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)

Show me on a Tuesday... Traditional Music from Your Country

^ Click this button and take part in Tuesday Shows too! Share your countries traditional music with us, don't be skinflint ;)

The traditional music of Poland is very diverse depending on a region. I decided to choose some folk music from three regions as my Tuesday (or in my case Wednesday) entry. First is a folk group from the region where I live - Masovia in the original Masovian folk clothes. The dresses of women weigh 14 kg!

The second is a folk group form Silesia region, also in their folk clothes. The song title is "A girl went to the woods" and I've read it's also very known in Japan! O.o

And last but not least is a group from Highland region, in the South of Poland, also in their traditional clothes. You still can meet people wearing these in there, probably mostly for touristic reasons, but I also have a feeling they value their folk culture more.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Feliz Cumpleanos querida amiga :)

Today I want to wish Happy Birthday to Sharon! I hope you have a wonderful day and lots of happy moments ahead of you. I have for you a Polish Birthday Song.

The text is like that:
100 years, 100 years
May she live, live for us
100 years, 100 years
May she live, live for us

Once again, once again
May she live, live for us
May she live for us!

May the luck star
Never fade for her
Never fade
And who won't drink with us
Let the thunder bang him
And who won't drink with us
Let the thunder bang him!

100 years, 100 years, 100 years, 100 years
May she live for us
100 years, 100 years, 100 years, 100 years

May she live for us
May she live for us, may she live for us
In health, in happiness, in luck may she live for us!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Shining by Stephen King

Although I love good horror movies I haven’t read many books of this genre in my life. Now, after reading The Shining I see I missed a lot!

This is a story of the Torrance family who are to spend winter in the hotel somewhere in the mountains in Colorado. Jack Torrance, an inspiring writer struggling with alcohol problem, after getting fired from his previous job as a teacher because of hitting a student, with help of a friend gets an opportunity of work as a caretaker in the Overlook Hotel during winter, when it’s cut off from the world due to the snow. It’s his last chance to rebuild his reputation. He expects during this time to finish the play he started writing, quit with alcohol and maybe get back his previous position after his play is published and the school authorities calm down. It is also his last chance to repair his marriage. His wife, Wendy was about to leave him for good when after under the influence of alcohol he broke hand of their 5 years old son, Danny. But Jack just stopped drinking and seems to be on a good way to change so Wendy, who still loves him and doesn’t want to break his strong connection with Danny, decides to wait with the decision of divorce.

The hotel has bad reputation around those who worked there. It used to belong to people from criminal circles and many people died there in different circumstances. The two previous caretakers committed suicide, one of them earlier killing his wife and two daughters. One of the ladies from hotel service peddles about seeing a ghost in one of the rooms. Also Danny, who has clairvoyance and ability to hear others thoughts – the “Shining”, has bad dreams about this place.

In the beginning everything seems to be alright. Jack is in good writing spirits and he even thinks about writing a book about the hotel after he finish the play. He finds the notebook with many informations about it’s past in the basement. Some weird things happen in the meantime. Jack sees hedge animals in the garden moving, but he takes it to be a hallucination. Danny sees things too but they don’t seem to be harmful. The situation gets worse when the snow falls . Jack, although there’s not a drop of alcohol in the whole hotel, starts to act like when he used to drink. He gets irritated easily and spends lots of time in the basement reading the notes, becoming obsessed with getting to know all the details. The hotel seems to be living and it’s getting stronger, influencing whole the family, especially Jack, which leads to tragedy.

I think the characters are very well built and we can observe what’s going on in their heads, which makes everything more realistic. The tension grows all the time and there are some really nightmarish scenes! I feel the ending is a bit too long, but all the way this is an awesome piece of literature. I rate the book high, but if you don’t have nerve for scary things, better don’t read it if you don’t want to have sleepless nights ;)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Show me on a Tuesday... Something Traditional

I wouldn't be myself if I wasn't late with my post ;) But no worries, I am still into Tuesday shows. I was thinking what traditional should I show and thought about some food at first, but in the end decided to show a traditional Polish dance - polonaise. It's a folk dance. Sadly, people nowadays, probably not only in Poland, forget about their folk. I am no exception here... But! polonaise isn't forgotten dance. It's danced in the introduction of the ball 100 days before ending high school. So, most people dance it at least once in their life.

Here's a video from a Polish movie "Pan Tadeusz" based on our national epic from 19th century written by Adam Mickiewicz. The last scene is the wedding and they dance polonaise.

And the second version of polonaise, because there are two melodies for it. This dance here is made by some dancing group so they make more figures than just basic ones made during school ball. But there's always the "tunnel" made, which you can see in the end of the video.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A postcard from... Hong Kong

I once got it from a penpal who went there for vacation. I didn't know she has plan to go there so it was a big surprise to me to find this poscard in my mail box.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sesame, open up!

When I started this blog I thought I will be writing more about penpalling but somehow I always end up posting about something else. Today I thought about how some people avoid personal topics in letters. I can’t say I open up easily, I am rather distrustful and often keep what is bothering me for myself, because some things are too painful, too shameful or simply I don’t want to stress other people with my troubles. So I only share personal things with closest friends. However penpals for obvious reasons, as letters are really personal means of communication, gain my trust faster. After all, I can’t imagine writing only about silly stuff. Therefore I can’t understand why people avoid talking about themselves. I never expect anyone to write all their secrets in first letter. This comes with time. But it’s so frustrating when you put efforts and the other person is closed like a safe, nothing personal comes from her or him and after a year of penpalling you feel that you really don’t know that person. I just want to scream, Sesame, open up! I am writing to you because I want to get to know you, be friends, share my life with you, not only happy moments. It can’t be one sided...

To all the people who are afraid to open up, I dedicate this song, which always comes to my mind when I think of penpalling.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A postcard from... Mexico City, Mexico

This is the first postcard I got this year. It shows Postal Palace in Mexico City from where my friend sends letters to the world :) It's such an impressive building for a post office.

Show me on a Tuesday... Something from your past cooperation with...

Yes, I am late with post again. I was too tired to do it yesterday and today I was a bit busy and then it took me a while to dig in my past... but I think I've done my homework well ;) Sadly, I don't have my oldest toys. I always had more teddy bears than dolls. My little teddy bear Tymoteusz, called like that after seeing a play for children is gone and stays only in my memory :P My big teddy bear that stayed with me for really long time, first named Tymoteusz's dad and after losing the little one changed his gender and became Alicia is gone too. But my I still have a companion of all my trips and vacation as a child - Bert and his brother Ernie, who didn't play such a significant role.

The books were my friends since childhood too. My grandpa was reading me Max und Moritz in German when I was little because he was a translator (and an engeneer) and my mum sais I started speaking a bit in German but when I was 4 my grandpa died and I forgot the language quickly. I wonder if I could speak it if he lived longer. Anyway, I still have this book as a remembrance of him. However I must say it's a rather cruel fairytale, as the boys in it kill hens, put gunpowder in man's pipe, and as result of one of their actions a dog is beaten O.o

A nicer book from my childhood I have is my beloved Children from the Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren. It's an old book, which my uncle and my mum had. I so much love this story.

I have also found my diary (notebook?) that I was giving to other kids to write something for me. Did you do that too? So, it's full of funny poems.


In the right upper one is a poem and a drawing from my grandma, the left down is from my best early childhood friend. And in the right down one there was a corner folded with a word Secret on it. Inside is this drawing and the words say "Who peeks in here, looks like that". Damn, why was I so curious. If I knew I'll end like that... :P The curious thing I found about myself from this diary is an entry from some girl met in winter holidays trip that mentions my comics about Spice Girls, which I don't remember drawing O.o But, as I was their big fan and I liked drawing comics it is highly possible. Of my adoration of Spice Girls and some other sweet kitchy bands give evidence my collection of casettes.

I have a drawer with memories in my desk where I keep all these things. There is my favourite computer game on a big floppy disk (remember these?) that I loved to play as a kid - Lemmings. In this game you had to walk a band of green haired creatures from one point to another using the functions they had.

And last but not least, some old letters!

And I thought I'll show you this postcard that my friends from the neighbourhood sent me once from their holidays. It's a muscular guy on it (in case you have doubts) ;P

Sunday, January 2, 2011

An Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

The first good thing that happened this year to me - I got this blog award...

... from other sweet blog owner...

Thank you, Bubbles:)

Now, I must tell 5 guilty pleasures of mine, which are:

1. Chocolate! I know I eat too much of it. But I cannot stop myself. It’s the love of my life and sense of my life ;P Or rather my curse, hehe.
2. Books. Because I buy new ones even though I have lots unread ones. But, I will read them sooner or later anyway. At least it’s my excuse…
3. “Bad” music. The music many people would say is stupid, awful, primitive, sexist, whatever. Like reggaeton for example. But it makes me wanna dance, I don’t care what others opinion is. Oh, and 90’s pop music. It’s kitchy, but hell. I like it.
4. Doing something with my hair. I used to have my natural hair for almost all my life, never dying it or anything. Until one day I got bored with them and I like to have my vivid color now. Although I have some doubts about them being too vivid sometimes… But today I am happy with them. Although I still miss my braids :_(
5. Finding new songs. I found this one some time ago and I think it’s cute.