Currently Loving: Zurich, Tears And Jeans

Hi friends,

How have you been? How has your month of May been?

I’ve done something a “good” blogger actually shouldn’t do, which is to leave and peace out without saying a word.

I really didn’t mean to leave you like that I just happened to enjoy myself and my time with friends and family in Zurich so much (I went for a wedding a couple a days ago) that I kind of didn’t feel like blogging. Plus, the weather was super sunny and hot while I was there, which also called for lots of swimming sessions in the lake (more on that to follow soon). Anyways, as I’ve skipped April favorites I thought I’d smush all of the things I’ve been loving lately and still currently am loving with you today.

What have you been loving lately? Do let me know in the comments below. Have a lovely week! Happy to be back!

That Zurich Summer Feeling

I’ll dedicate a full on post about Zurich soon but man have I been enjoying my few days in the good old hometown, with my beautiful friends and family, delicious bread (spent most of my money on food anyway) and sunshine. In the meantime I’ll leave you with this:

zurich

Perfume obsession

I had been eyeing up this one for months. It’s one that I kept smelling on people and that always made me go “wow, what is that smell?”. I found out in the meantime what it is. It’s the Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules. What does it smell like? It’s complicated to describe.

escentric molecules

Molecule 01 is unlike ANYTHING you will ever wear. It is simple yet intriguing as it smells a little different on everyone. Why that is? Molecule 01 is an aroma chemical rather than a perfume that smells like sweet sandalwood/cedar-like. Also, it behaves differently than a perfume. You have to wear it to understand (as I am reading this it sounds very cryptic).

I bought it off this site here, which seriously did an amazing and fast job at delivering it within 24 hours (they’re based in Switzerland).

Natural Deodorant Love

I know I know, putting a deodorant as a favorite seems weird. Yet it’s summer soon and you know…that naughty sweat will come around eventually. I’ve been researching natural deodorants without any chemicals in them and found my favorite deodorant EVER. Seriously, have never been such a fan of a deodorant ever before. It’s this one by La Vanila.

I’m SO INTO THEM I actually look forward to using my deodorant.

lavanila_deodorant

Yes, I just wrote that. It’s the truth tho people. I’m gladly taking orders if you want some.

Best Movie I’ve seen in a long time

I sincerely apologize to the girl that was sitting next to me in that flight Boston Zurich, as I seriously was sobbing away in the dark night on the plane when watching this movie. It is the kind of story that slowly unfolds and while you’re watching it it hits you so SO hard, it was an absolute beauty of a movie. So so very sad but so well done. Wow!

Forever Harry Love

Oh dear, what an album! I’ve been listening to his new album “Harry Styles” on repeat (Philipp and our neighbors can attest). Give it a listen too, if you’re into that seventies type of soft rock style. The mix of songs is amazing, it will make you want to cry, dance and smile. My favorites are “Ever since New York”, “Sign of Times”, “Kiwi”, “Two Ghosts”, “Carolina”, “Only Angel” (ok, now I’ve just listed almost all of the songs, see how good it is?). Well done, Harry (if you’re ever reading this).

The jeans I now live in (forreals)

I present to you the jeans I’ve been wearing for the last days (weeks) without washing them in between (gross yes), because what else would I wear?!. They’re the Levis Wedgie Fit and they’re the most comfortable pair of jeans you’ve ever worn. Swear! Have a look at them here. Again, gladly taking orders if you want me to bring some to Switzerland.

Happy week!

My Favorite Cafés in Boston/Cambridge

Hi people,

It’s Friday soon and some of us need a coffee especially on a Friday morning to get things started, right?

I LOVE cafés, there’s just something about them. They are a place where you can stop and take in a moment of reflection and of course enjoy a great cup of coffee, tea as well as beautifully made and (even more importantly) deliciously tasting pastries. Oh YES.

Whether you’ll be visiting the area soon or are a local looking for inspiration, I’ve got you covered. What follows  are my favorite café spots so far (granted I haven’t seen ALL of them yet, I’m still researching. But those six have definitely won a special place in my heart, yes yes).

Have a great cup of coffee and take on that day, ok? Enjoy the weekend! I’m off to Zurich for the next 10 days and am looking forward to a wedding of a beautiful friend of mine, SO E-X-C-I-T-E-D. Hard to spell a word out when your that excited. Anyways, all the best and will talk to you next week!

Loyal Nine

Oh, I love this place. All about it. It’s concept mainly is that they use ingredients and create dishes that the settler a few (!) years back would have cooked with. I love Loyal Nine at every time of day, in the morning the café annex next to the restaurant is a lovely option with great coffee and tea as well as great and creative café food. If you want to go all out, I’d recommend you try the Brunch on the weekend (go for the bread pancakes, absolutely delicious) or dinner. Loyal Nine will not disappoint, it’s one of those restaurants where you leave with a happy belly, not feeling overeaten. The drinks are amazing, too. Can you tell that I like Loyal Nine?

Tatte Bakery

I couldn’t do a favorites list without including Tatte. It’s just…Fantastic! Friends and family who came to visit can attest, it’s a pastries heaven for anyone looking for a delicious sweet or savory breakfast. Seriously their display in the morning is just, unbelievable. They have grown quite a bit in the last time and now have various branches all over the city, definitely check them out if you ever wanted to try super delicious chocolat croissants, pecan nut roses, lemon tarts, meringue, halvas, kouign-ammans and the list goes on. They really know their stuff.

Thinking Cup

Thinking Cup seriously convinced me with their coffee in the first place. They use Stumptown Coffee (remember, that was the coffee I drank in New York that I loved so much). It’s actually seriously the best coffee I’ve ever drank, no doubt.

Longfellows

A brewery at night, a coffee shop in the daytime. I love Longfellows if I want to get a productive working morning or afternoon in. It’s a place to get good coffee and get on your laptop. There’s just this peaceful atmosphere that I love. Also, the chairs are #goals!

Pavement Coffee

I especially love the Pavement café on Newbury Street, as it is tucked away a little in the underground and you kind of have to know where it is. Nonetheless, quite a few people know about it, as it is ALWAYS full. But hey, I get it, pretty decors, chill atmosphere and good coffee. Yep, it’s a cool place.

Flour Bakery 

Hands-down the best sandwiches. If you ever feel hungry, check Flour Bakery out. The Harvard graduate Joanne Chang has opened a few branches since opening up her first one here in Harvard Square. And yeah, those sandwiches are just, wow.

What are your favorite cafés in the place you live? Have a fantastic weekend!

My Protein Bar Obsession: The Good And The Bad

Hi friends, how are you doing?

So. With all the bike riding and other outdoorsy activities going on, I started looking into snack options that were light to pack yet nutritious and efficient. This led me to check out what my local supermarket had to offer in that department and I quickly ended up at the huuuuuuge (really) energy and protein bar aisle. Now, hear me out. I know that they’re a bit controversial, so let’s dig a little deeper to understand better, especially if you’re into trying out energy or protein bars yourself (Disclaimer if you didn’t know already: I’m not a nutritionist that’s just what I found when doing a bit of research online. Also, some of the mentioned brand are also available in Europe, such as the Clif bars for example. And yes, I took my bars to a park for a shooting, in case you’re wondering).

Some of The Things You Want to Look For In A Bar:

  • At least 5 grams of protein
  • Organic
  • Dairy-free
  • <10 grams of sugar

What Not to Look For:

  • Ingredients you don’t understand
  • High in sugar, non-natural sugars
  • Artificial flavors or preservatives

The good and the bad

Rxbars has a “No B.S.” claim on the front packaging that pretty much says it all in regards to the ingredients. What I also like about it is the different product packaging (I’m such a sucker for nice packaging, I know). But let me tell you, they’re delicious, too. Only downside, they come with 14 grams of sugar, I assume, however that this is mostly due to the dates. So we’re good?

I discovered the Bearded Brothers bars when I was on the hunt for vegan snacks. While they keep things simple and understandable on the ingredients front, they don’t do too well in regards of sugar count (17g) and protein (3g). And this is something I quickly realized: The majority of protein bars share one thing in common: extra sugar. Lots of it. Considering protein bars are frequently seen as a health-friendly snack or post-workout bite, this came a bit as a shock.

Let’s move on to the famous Clif bars. I first got to know Clif bars at volunteering on the Rose Kennedy Greenway as they are a sponsor there. So far so good. What I’ve also found out quickly is that as they have SO SO many different bars and types of bars, they are quite different when it comes to nutrients etc. Take the Nuts & Seeds bar for example that does kind of good with 11g of protein. However, it is quite high in sugar (17g) and calories overall. As another example: The Clif Bar, Chocolate Hazelnut Butter only has 10g of sugar.

Hugely famous are the Lärabars. They vary according to the flavour you’ll pick, good ingredients though.

Larabar

Lastly, the Thunderbird Bars seems to be a reasonable choice on light activity days, when you’re looking for a snack. They do pretty well with 9g sugars, 5g protein, 148 calories overall.

Thunderbird Bar

Ok, so quick excursus here: We know now to try and avoid high-sugar protein bars but what about the protein? Most bars range from 3 to 20 grams of protein. Generally, the amount of protein you need depends on what you’re looking for and your activity levels. If you’re sitting at home all day, you don’t need 20g of protein in a bar, but if you don’t have time to eat lunch that might be a good choice. Likewise, if you’re into an afternoon snack on a walk with your dog, a bar with 6g of protein could be perfect. It is up to you, so use common sense based on your goal for the bar itself.

If you’re not into bars, eat real food instead

Instead of eating lots of protein or energy bars all the time, most experts will say “eat real food” instead. High-protein foods are quinoa, hummus, cottage cheese, lentils, brown rice, natural nut butter, oatmeal, turkey or edamame for example. Or dates as an all natural energy booster.

Are you into energy or protein bars yourself? What are your favorites? I’d love to know!

Have a great Thursday!

A Bike Ride To A Not So Normal Pond

Hi people,

yesterday summer temperatures hit Boston and Cambridge so I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to bring my bike out for a ride. I chose Waldon Pond (Concord, Massachusetts) as my destination. 29,2 miles (aka 46,9 km).

In short: I sweat a lot.

But it was definitely worth it. It’s so nice to know that within a few minutes I get to see so many nice little towns and nature. So, a few words about Waldon Pond. As it is not your regular pond. Why you ask?

Let’s start with a few points on Transcendentalism (as Wikipedia tells us)

What it is: It’s a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s in the eastern part of the United States. It arose as a reaction against the general state of intellectualism and spirituality. A core belief of transcendentalism is in the inherent goodness of people and nature. Adherents believe that society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual, and they have faith that people are at their best when truly “self-reliant” and independent.

An experiment on self-reliance

Hentry David Thoreau, a transcendentalist of the time, published a book named Walden where he reflects on simple living in natural surroundings. In order to fully live a simple life, be independent and self-reliant, he built a cabin near Waldon Pond and lived in it for a bit over two years on his own. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and (to some degree) manual for self-reliance. Interesting, isn’t it? Could you picture yourself living in a cabin all alone for two years?

The paranormal pond if you will

 The Bike Ride (and mostly pretty houses)

How Living In The US Has Changed Me

Hi friends, how are you today?

I have been reflecting lately on how this American experience has changed me (be it small or big things) and wanted to share my thoughts in today’s post.

  1. It made me wear gym leggings in public. And not care about how I look that much anymore. Seriously, I’m not just saying that. It’s true people.
  2. On a more serious note: It changed my understanding of American culture. Even though I had travelled to the US several times before moving here, most preconceptions I had about American culture and daily life came from tv shows (hello Glee), movies and other people’s opinions. Obviously, even though there usually is some grain of truth in there, reality is different (what a surprise). What I’ve encountered and experienced here is that people are incredibly open and friendly. Especially in the first few months after my arrival people I newly met and told about my background were all very supportive and literally everyone would say “Welcome to America”. I don’t know why this simple sentence stuck with me so much but I found it to be such a nice detail. I also thought that if I were to have the same conversation in Switzerland with someone that had recently moved there I would never say “Welcome to Switzerland”. (Maybe I’m just not a friendly person or would you?). What I’m trying to say is that given the international and migrational backgrounds that basically everyone has that you meet here, people tend to be curious and welcoming towards “newcomers”, which is a nice experience. Furthermore, what I found to be even nicer, is how people here are genuinely involved with their community and do a lot of volunteering. Much more than is usual in Switzerland I think. It is regarded a total normality to be engaged in some sort of activity in your community and to spend time volunteering. I really do appreciate this “can do attitude”, where everyone wants to help each other out, at least around here. I think that communal feeling is what has surprised me the most (in a positive way).
  3. It reshaped my values. My generation is seeking in attaining extreme levels of success, notoriety (ha), or success in whatever they do (I know generalizing). Still, there is a constant thirst for more and to be more. While that may sound exaggerating I think that it is somewhat true, we (and I’m not excluding myself) are always looking into ways of further evolving and being successful at what we do. However, when I moved to the US, I was forced to slow down. A lot. I had to sort out all of my paperwork for the work permit, had to figure out this new living situation etc. The far slower pace of my life translated into me putting more time into relationships with friends (and new friends), personal interests and hobbies than into professional prowess, which was something I had never done to that extent when I was working before. As I am now back into the whole application madness, I look back and reconsider that it is important putting enough time aside for your personal interests, friends and family.
  4. It made me more open-minded. This sounds really cliché, but it’s just so true! Living abroad does something incredible: You are exposed to an eclectic bunch of different people and you learn more not only about others and their approach to life but also about yourself. I’m already grateful for the many fantastic people from all over the word that I’ve met, that I’ve had conversations with (even if it was about seemingly small daily life things like what sort of food or shoes are typical for the place they are from). I loved every bit of it. Because it allowed me to learn about people, their experiences and other cultures in such a personal and deep way. Even as a European meeting people from Finland, Sweden, Denmark makes me realize how little we know from each other. Not to mention, all my new friends from China, South Korea, Vietnam or India, which is even more interesting! In short: My change in attitude has been brought about by the people I have met and the friends I have made.
  5. It changed my language skills and ability to communicate When I arrived in the US, I was a confident English speaker I’d say. Still, I found it awkward at times speaking in English (to the extent where I would plan what I would say when I was going into a bakery or government office). Now, I am in a state where I don’t even think about it anymore, I. JUST. TALK. I’ am definitely enjoying speaking English, I sometimes even will drop a word or two in English when speaking to Philipp (and he will be looking at me like ???!!). Just because they seem more fitting to me than the German version of them.

Have you also lived abroad for a while? If so, how did it change you? I’d love to hear!

Have a lovely week!

Going Vegan for One Week: An Experiment

Hi gang,

I’ve come up with yet another food related experiment. After 3 weeks of full on food overload (delicious though) with friends and family and many many outings to restaurants, cafés and bakeries and I thought why not try….and going vegan for one week (meaning, besides no meats to eat no dairy products).

So, what happened, you ask? I failed on day 3 (that was two weeks ago). And I must say it was mainly due to the fact that I hadn’t really prepared for it and thought I could just wing it.

Well, no.

I decided to give it another try, put a little more thought into it and went for a big shop on Sunday.

A short excursus here: We went to our regular neighborhood supermarket (still big in comparison to Swiss supermarkets) and not to Whole Foods, which I’m sure would have had more vegan options. Still, “armed” with all the salad items, vegetables, grains, oatmeal, fruit, vegan butter, vegan cheese (ewww) I felt like I could take on this week without a problem.

Still I only passed my vegan experiment by 95%? Read on more about it below!

Breakfast

Breakfast actually was the one meal I found the easiest to do throughout this whole week.

I normally eat porridge for breakfast and even when I’m not doing a vegan experiment, I use almond milk to cook it as I find it delicious and feel like it doesn’t sit too heavy in my stomach either. In short: I had either porridge with almond milk (also bought a chocolate almond milk version to spice things up a little, very delicious), dates and bananas or strawberries. I switched between the porridge and homemade acaï bowl with bananas and granola. Usually accompanied by a herbal lemon or fennel tea. Very delicious.

Lunch

Rich Salads were my go to option for lunch. However, I went to one lunch talk at MIT where I was confronted with their buffet options (grilled meats, cheese platters, … you get the picture. NOT VEGAN.). Let me just say that I was the person eating all the hummus and olives.

Snacks

I mostly ate fruit like grapes, bananas, strawberries, dates or energy and protein bars (I actually kind of developed an obsession for energy bars, more on that topic soon). And dairy-free ice cream by FOMU or Ben & Jerry’s. Other than that, nothing special to report.

Dinner

I discovered a new grain: FARRO (Dinkel for you Swiss and German readers). I love it! So I went for it and made a zucchini risotto. I tried to sprinkle a bit of vegan Mozzarella on it at the end, which I regretted. It just didn’t taste right. Other options were a delicious vegetable curry with rice, lots of chickpeas. I basically must have eaten 5 tins of chickpeas all by myself.

I don’t regret it though. I love me some chickpeas.

Why I Failed

I failed twice to be exact.

AND it was other people’s fault (of course, no but really).

Let me explain. The two times I could actually not keep up the vegan promise (if you want to call it that) was when I was involved in social situations with other people. On Friday for instance, we had a boardgames and pizza evening with our international Harvard friends. I even tried to research vegan pizzas in Cambridge before going out. But a few clicks in, made it clear that the next vegan pizzeria was way too far away, I gave up. I know I know. I just didn’t want to be the special one who had to order a pizza especially made for her.

Second time I gave in was at a baby shower on Sunday. I just wanted to taste some of that beautiful cake, I mean, do you understand what I mean? Weak me. 

Conclusion

I really do admire vegans, as I now understand how much preparation and discipline it must take to really go through with it. Obviously every vegan reading this will shake their heads at my weak (or non existing) discipline.

Could I be a vegan? I consider myself a flexible vegetarian, meaning that I will mostly eat vegetarian 90% of the time, with the odd exceptions of a good and organic piece of meat, cordon bleu or a bit of bacon at breakfast every once in a while. I find that it is way more easy to upkeep a vegetarian lifestyle as you still are allowed to eat honey, eggs, yoghurt and cheese. Foods that I simply love.

The milk and the butter I find rather easy to substitute, while it seems impossible to me to find a good substitute for cheese. I did try a coconutmilk yoghurt but didn’t like it too much. And eggs every once in a while are nice to have for breakfast. This has become more of a ramble than a structured text now.

All to finish off by saying that I find it very important to eat a balanced diet including everything there is (even though I am mostly leaving out meats and fish), while I of course respect everyone’s decision on how to eat the way they want to. I totally understand all of the reasons behind going vegan and again, I admire the determination. Still, I don’t think it’s for me.

Are you vegan or trying to be? Could you picture yourself being one? I’d love to hear your comments below!

The Weekend Notes

People!

Hope you’re doing well. Two announcements.

One: This is my post #101, crazy isn’t it? Would love to hear from you if there’s anything you’d like me to write about! Let me know in the comments below (don’t be shy!).

Two: A good friend of mine once mentioned to me that he saves links from interesting stuff he stumbles across on the internet during the week to then read it on the weekends. I found that interesting and tried to do it myself this week, hope you’ll enjoy my eclectic choice of links that I will read up on this Sunday. Have a fantastic weekend yourself!

America

“U.S. life expectancy varies by more than 20 years from county to county” says the headline of this Washington Post article. I’m like whaaaatt? Bookmarked. I’m going to read that. In case you’re into finding out more too, join me.

Another article, this time by the NYT got my attention. It’s a (much needed) fact check on the G.O.P. Health Bill. And yes, I will have to read that in order to not create any alternative facts when discussing it with people around me (get the pun?, maybe it’s a bit far fetched). Thanks NYT!

France

How relieved are we about the French vote? If you want to read up on a little more about last weeks elections, check out this cool and interactive NYT article

My hood (aka Cambridge)

This one goes out to my local friends: The two main source I turn to when I’m in a weekend planning mood and want to know what’s going on around here is The Boston Magazine and the Scout Cambridge.  If you don’t know them yet, check them out, they’ve got great ideas and articles about what to do and see! If you’re just interested in events and the like, there’s the Boston Calendar, which is also great!

Random

The Huffington Post shares some rather interesting news with us: Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal is running for Sheriff?

Don’t roll your eyes at me. I told you this was the random category.

Nonetheless, I want to know more about it, do you? Read about it here.

The noisy and curious person I am, I like this site ‘My Morning Routine’ a lot. People with all different kinds of backgrounds (athletes, business people, creatives etc.) share their morning routines. Always like to read up on some of them, as I find it interesting and inspiring!

Food

The weekend is not only all about the foods you eat but also about thinking ahead what to make for next week. Two inspirational and trusted sources on this matter are Lucky Peach and Bon Appetit.

Photos, photos, photos

Do you know the feeling, when you get sucked into a world of amazing images that almost make you feel like you are part of them? The Time and the National Geographic sure know they stuff.

What will you be reading up on in the internets this weekend? I’d love to know! Byeee!

My Two NYC Discoveries: The 9/11 Memorial and Calatrava’s Oculus Station

Hi everyone,

I don’t want to bore you with (too many) words today, which is why I’m leaving you with photos of the two buildings/places that by far blew me away the most when I visited New York last time.

It’s the incredibly moving and beautiful 9/11 Memorial and the incredibly modern and minimalist Oculus station by Calatrava, which MUST be the coolest station I have EVER seen (I also would totally not mind if I had to commute there everyday, it’s really such a unique building. Also, I would totally get it why a film director would want to shoot his next sci fi movie here. In conclusion: It’s quite a unique train station.

Have you seen both of this places? If not, I HIGHLY (I’m into CAPS this morning it seems. Sorry. But it’s important) recommend you visit them next time you’re in NYC.

Have a great Thursday, the weekend is near! Yay!

The 9/11 Memorial

The Oculus Station

13 Reasons Why It’s Complicated: A Review

Hello everybody, how are you?

So. This is a Netflix show that literally EVERYONE has been talking about here in the US. Media, people I know, everyone has seen this show or has an opinion about it. Which is a good thing, as the subject itself is very important to talk about, yet there are a few aspects of the show that I find rather complicated. So I thought I’d be original (haha) and share my humble opinion with you.

If you’re currently watching it, I’ll try and not spoil it for you (at least in the plot and twists, as we all know that the outcome of the story is pretty clear from the beginning on, unfortunately). If you’re interested in watching it, this might give you an input or two to think about the show while you’re watching it.

Here goes the trailer:

The Story

The series is based on the bestseller novel with the same title published by Jay Asher in 2007. It all begins a few weeks after the death of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), a junior at a high school. Clay (Dylan Minnette), a classmate (who also had a crush on her), receives a box of cassettes.

They contain Hannah’s descriptions of 13 events that led to her decision to kill herself, each addressed to the schoolmate or adult who caused her distress and pain. Clay, as one of the two leading roles, becomes sort of a detective, who tries to find out what happened to Hannah and confronts other people in the process.

A few reasons why it’s complicated

In the novel, Clay listens to all of the tapes in one night, while he only listens to them one by one (very slowly) in the show (and the show stretches over 13 episodes of 13 hours!). If I were Clay I would totally listen to them ALL AT ONCE. I couldn’t wait for as long as he did. I think every other person would agree with me, right? So this part is rather unrealistic, which sometimes gets borderline annoying.

You want to go and say “Clay, hey, move on a little faster, will ya?”.

But ok. That’s the smallest of all complaints I have.

In terms of dramaturgy the series starts off with you being curious about what happens next. Over the course of the 13 episodes there is definitely a slump in about the middle, where the narrative just gets overly repetitive. However, the final I’d say four episodes increase massively in darkness and gravity. It’s when things get really sad (certain scenes I can’t forget) and you as a viewer feel that the end must be near.

The blame game

We’re meant to see that the things that happen to Hannah (SPOILER ALERT ranging from High School banalities like getting a poem of yours published, over to all different kinds of bullying to very very serious and sad events) lead to her loosing self-confidence and feeling lonely to the point she doesn’t see no way out. While I can follow the narrative, I find that her performance isn’t all that convincing as she seems really strong, at times even very mean and inconsiderate to others too.

One of the most commonly heard criticisms that I actually agree with, is that Hannah turns her suicide into a blame game. She designates all that’s happened to her and the people who caused it – granted all not nice things – as the reason why she kills herself and lets them know too. She even leaves people like Clay behind who were nice and kind to her that now think they were guilty of her death. What I’m trying to say is that of course everyone around you influences you and you should always be considerate of other people’s feelings (as you also never no what they have going on in their lives) and always try to be a good person, still in the end the decision to take your life is yours only and no one else’s.

Suicide as the only answer

The second major thing that I find complicated with the show is that the main character Hannah only at the very end of her life SPOILER ALERT (actually on her last day) seeks help from a school counselor. She makes no other attempts to try and reach out to someone, not her parents or any other professional. I guess it’s difficult to understand such a situation from an outsider’s perspective, still the show has been critiqued for not showing how you can get help in a difficult situation like this when you’re having suicidal thoughts. And I agree. Also, the counselor really is shown as being weak and not of any help at all.

Be nice to each other

Clay says one thing at the very end, which stuck with me. He says something like “It has to get better, the way we treat each other and look out for each other”, which is maybe the thing I agree with the most.

Have you watched the show, did you like it? Apparently there will be a season 2 coming our way (those cliffhangers tho). Have a good day everyone!

American Daily Life Etiquette

Hi friends, how are you today?

The topic we’re about to talk today might be one of my favorites: Daily etiquette.

Meaning as in how you are expected to behave in public space according to the norms of the country and its culture you’re living in. I’ve had an interesting conversation with my international friends about that last week and found it just so interesting that even a seemingly simple act of greeting someone can be interpreted and done SO differently depending on where you live. One of my favorite examples was that in South Korea male friends go walking around the city holding hands, same goes for friends who go out with their female friends. Isn’t that interesting? Or how kissing (or the lack thereof) as a form of greeting is so different in every country?

This is also one that always greatly confuses me as I go on to kiss people on the cheeks three times here and they look at me even more confused (I ALWAYS forget, it’s a reflex, trained over so many years). Swiss people seem to be into kissing.

Anyways, I’ve compiled some of the things that struck me as most different in daily life etiquette as compared to Switzerland. Let’s go! 

The art of sneezing correctly

It’s been cold in winter (very cold), there’s the allergies going on right now (damn you pollen), in conclusion:

People sneeze a lot around here. 

It happens, like anywhere else actually (maybe I’m making too big a deal out of it)  but I find that people are way more considerate when sneezing than in Switzerland. I tell you how it goes: You’re sitting in the T (the Bostonian subway) and someone next to you sneezes into his elbow (important detail, he/she doesn’t just sneeze into the open air, no no). Anyways, what surprised me the most was that people actually apologize and will say something along the lines of “excuse me”, “sorry”. And I’m like?

Whoa, you don’t have to apologize for sneezing but ok.

Holding doors open

This one I find is really nice. Be it in the T stations, in restaurants, the library or anywhere where there aren’t automatic doors, people WILL HOLD THE DOOR for you. YES. Like really. They will wait and hold it open if they see you behind them. That’s a whole other level of politeness as compared to Switzerland (where I at least) find that people tend to do that less. Also, if you hold the door, people will ALWAYS say thank you. ALWAYS.

Excuse me…

Politeness seems to be the red thread throughout this post, doesn’t it? The conclusion being that Americans really try and be very polite (when they’re in public space at least). During rush hours and when the T and busses are super busy and people need to get off, they will always politely say “Excuse me”.

Keep your distance

When two Americans are standing and talking to each other they stay at least 16 inches (aka 40 cm) away from each other (I’ve read that somewhere. How do they find that out in the first place?!), farther away than is customary in many other cultures it seems. An American may feel threatened if you come too close. They should go to a Southern European country, would they like that?

Motivational Monday: Simple Ways To Motivate Yourself

It’s Monday.

Need I say more? Sometimes, especially after an amazing weekend it’s not always easy to get back to daily life mode (even though I have to say, since I am not working I haven’t been feeling that Monday feeling for a looong time, which is nice). Nevertheless, I also sometimes find it hard to motivate myself.

Hopefully some of the tips will help you out whenever you don’t feel super motivated.

Have a great week everyone!

  1. Kickstart Your Day – Plan out your day the day before. I like to look at my agenda in the evening and catch up on what lies ahead the next day so I can mentally prepare for it. Getting an organized start into your day will make you feel accomplished and motivated to take on the day.
  2. Celebrate the little wins – Say you’ve set yourself the goal to work out x amount of times this week or to finish a part of a project by a certain date. If you’ve managed to do it, you should be proud and happy about yourself and celebrate. Even if it seems like something little and unnecessary. Still, reward yourself (could be anything really from ordering that beauty product you’ve been eyeing for a while, a night out at your favorite restaurant etc., whatever floats your boat). I personally also do it and it keeps my motivation going and just makes you feel good about yourself. Don’t you want that? Yeeeees, you do.
  3. Surround yourself with inspirational people – One of the things that motivates me the most is talking to interesting people. They usually talk about interesting things, have inspiring thoughts, which in turn will make me think and motivates me. So. Surround yourself with interesting people, talk to your friends, colleagues or family members who challenge your thinking and keep you positive. Alternatively, you can find inspiration at talks, conferences, lectures by inspirational people, which is something that I enjoy a lot right now.
  4. Make time to think  – It sounds strange but once you’re running around like hamster in a wheel day in day out it takes extra effort to assign some time for you to just sit down and think and be alone with your thoughts without anyone interrupting you. It will give you the opportunity to reflect on what you want to do, which projects you want to take on next etc. Everything you do begins with a thought, and when you stop thinking you stop taking action. Take some time for yourself and see how your creativity will take off!
  5. Remember why – Sometimes motivation can fade as time goes on. Make a list of reasons why achieving your goals ist important to you, and keep it where you can see it (e.g. hang it up in your office or put it on your desk). Read it whenever you need a boost to get you going again!