Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A giveaway

Well, I had a free day today so I made some envelopes. As you can see in the photo there are three of them, I painted them with paints. And I am so good that I'll give them away for free;) You just have to follow me and make a comment if you'd like to get them till 6th May (that is Friday next week). After that time I'll select a winner:)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A postcard from... Apostole Islands, Wisconsin, USA

This pretty card I got long time ago from one of my lovely penpals. It shows Apostle Islands over Lake Superior in the state of Wisconsin. There are 21 islands and together with 12 miles of mainland they form Apostole Islands National Lakeshore, distinguished by unique wilderness. The islands are also called the Jewels of Lake Superior.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

100 reasons to snail mail #3


Penpalling is still popular (although not so widely as it used to be before the era of Internet) among people all around the world. Therefore you can have penpals from different countries in different corners of the world and learn about their culture and traditions. Of course you can read about these topics in National Geographic or travel guides or watch a travel program in TV. But through letters you can hear everything from a ‘native’ perspective, much more you could learn from TV or an article because they’re too short to include everything and they concentrate on the most important things only. From your penpal you can hear not only about the holidays, weddings, birthdays, habits, superstitions but also about things concerning daily life. You can not only observe the chosen aspects of the culture but feel it. See the big and catch the little differences. You can ask about something you heard about your friend’s country and confront it with reality.

Maybe you can get some cultural/ traditional items from your penpal and see and touch them personally. Maybe your penpal will send you some photos showing some interesting tradition or holiday. World is such an interesting place – why not have one more opportunity to get to know it? :)

If you're into penpalling and want to share your experiences in your blog according today's reason, please link back here and make a comment that you made an entry :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Traditions in Poland

Day 1 (Great Saturday)

People prepare a baskets full of goodies: colorful eggs, some bread, a piece of sausage, salt, a sugar lamb, maybe some fluffy fake chicken or bunnies to decoration. They take it to church were the food is blessed. It’s gonna be eaten on an Easter breakfast on Sunday.

Easter basket

Day 2 (Easter Sunday)

The families meet to have breakfast together. They share the eggs from the basket, say each other wishes and feast. The traditional Easter dishes include:

Żurek - traditional Easter soup

Mazurek - traditional Easter cake

Baba wielkanocna - another traditional Easter cake

and all sorts of eggs (with mayo or stuffed), meats, salads...

Day 3 (Wet Monday)

The other name of an Easter Monday is Wet Monday (in Polish “Lany Poniedziałek” or “Śmigus-Dyngus”) because traditionally everyone splashes each other with water! This tradition comes yet from pagan times when people in villages were beating (lightly, nothing brutal :P) girls’ legs with willow twigs and splashing them with water. If some girl was omitted, there was a superstition that she wouldn’t find a husband quickly. Nowadays just splashing with water stayed (thank you, I wouldn’t like being beaten with twigs, even lightly:P) and everyone splashes everyone, even strangers. Some people exaggerate pouring whole buckets of water on people going to church or even elders turning the tradition not to be so nice anymore as it’s supposed to be fun, but that’s a different story. As long as it’s made in a civiliezed way it’s a lot of fun:) Especially children love this day.

Happy Easter!
Wesołych Świąt!

Friday, April 22, 2011

No Word from Gurb by Eduardo Mendoza

No Word from Gurb is a grotesque story of two aliens in a form of pure intelligence who come to Earth in a mission of exploring the life of creatures living here - humans. They land in Barcelona and soon one of the aliens - Gurb disappears. The other one gets a human form and in the meantime of looking for his friend, lives among people, whose behaviour, habits and being in general finds weird and irrational. He gets involved in many funny, sometimes absurd situations.

My impression of the book is mixed. There were couple of funny moments and I had to smile couple of times when a place I've been to or food I've tried was mentioned. The alien turned out to be a great fan of churros which I totally love:9 The book captures well the atmosphere of the city. But it wasn't as funny as the recommendations stated or maybe it's just not my sence of humor (I must admit I'm not a fan of grotesque) as some situations seemed too absurd or unnecessary. Although I liked the general idea of the story it didn't arouse an excitement in me. It was okay but not a revelation.



churros <3

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A stationery from Florence

Remember the postcard from Florence I got? That's not all goodness I got from that place. My friend also brought me this wonderful set of stationery! She sais that Florence is famous for it's paper. I find it so gorgeous that I am scared to write on it:P

Saturday, April 16, 2011

100 reasons to snail mail #2


Through letters you probably won’t learn a foreign language from the basics (although who knows, maybe someone did it;) ) but it’s a great way to practice and improve the languages you’ve been already learning for a while. Usually in daily life there aren’t many occasions to write long texts if it’s not for homework. When you write a letter you need to create a longer text, look out for the right grammar because it must be understandable for your penpal and you won’t be able to explain what you mean a moment later when you’re not clear enough like you could do it when speaking. It might be difficult at the beginning but you’ll quickly get more confident. Moreover, in letters usually are brought up various topics so it’s a great opportunity to broaden your vocabulary. If you’re writing with a native speaker you might also get to know colloquial speech and slang words. All this is a lot of work but at the same time a lot of fun so you’ll learn with a great pleasure. I bet all snail mailers who have been corresponding in a foreign language would agree with me about that and can confirm making progress after exchanging some letters.

You don’t need to write only with native speakers of the language you’re learning but find penpals from different countries who know a common language with you and learn some expressions in their native language. Maybe you’ll learn how to write your name in a different alphabet? Or how to say greetings in some exotic language which none of your friends around know? :)

 If you're into penpalling and want to share your experiences in your blog according today's reason, please link back here and make a comment that you made an entry :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Meditations of the Country Postman

 Time for a little entartainment my dear penpallers ;) Here's a nice old Polish song about postmen. I even translated the text for you. I guess the part about an uncle needs little explanation because it might sound a bit ridiculous. The song is from the times when it was difficult to get many things in shops. Also going abroad was almost impossible. If someone had family abroad who could send unavailable for majority things or clothes, such a person was an important persona. Right, I hope that explains a presence of an uncle in the song. Hope you'll enjoy it:) Do you know any songs connected with letter writing?

There are at least thousand villages and cities in the world
A man writes a letter at least once

People, get out of the way because the postman comes
Turn off the gas, so what that you have an uncle abroad?
People, get out of the way because the postman comes
And this moped of mine everyone here knows well
You’ll get a letter from an uncle

I know, who thinks in life doesn’t write anything
Who loves much writes a long letter

People, get out of the way because the postman comes
Postman’s bag is heavy of letters today
People, get out of the way because the postman comes
Maybe someone has been waiting for this letter for couple of long years
Maybe he’ll get it today

People write letters, regular, registered
They write that they love, can’t sleep or that they kiss you
People write letters, even in a small village
Letters grey, white, colorful
Take off your hat in front of the post.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

100 reasons to snail mail #1


Our hobby of penpalling is often considered by people as something weird, out of this world, impractical and above all a waste of time. A hobby doesn’t need to be useful of course but penpalling is much more than just a hobby and I can find hundreds of advantages of snail mail!

The first and the most important one is friendship. Many people think that it’s impossible to be friends with someone living hundreds, maybe even thousands of kilometers away who you have never met. Probably every snail mailer experienced a skeptical look when telling about a friend in some other country or city with whom they only have contact through letters. People think it’s not a real friend, just some person somewhere you know. Nothing serious. But friendship this way is possible and it’s actually a big part of penpalling. Writing letters is something very personal. It’s almost impossible to write only about trivial things. Letters are like discussions, they only take place on paper. You share good and bad moments of life, sometimes some things are easier to put on paper than say aloud and therefore I’d risk the statement that the friendship is born even faster than in a “normal” way. And it can last for many many years.

 [photo source]

 If you're into penpalling and want to share your experiences in your blog according today's reason, please link back here and make a comment that you made an entry :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A postcard from... Salta, Argentina

There was no mail for me this week, only or as much as this postcard. I love the view. It's from Salta, a region in North West of Argentina. My penpal went there for a week and thought of me:) I love when my friends travel :D

A dream

Yesterday I felt bad and fell asleep during a day. I had a long and bizarre dream that still makes me laugh and wonder what all that was about. I am especially amazed because I very rarely have any dreams and now so much happened in one. I was walking barefoot, met Obama, been on a meeting about pregnancy tests, two unknown people told me they hate me, I had gay talk with religious fanatics in a train, an old lady told me that if a homeless woman comes to me in Paris, I should let her in, a lady from my work told me to go to pee, I went to men toilet where I tried to read some Russian signs on the door. All in one dream.