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Sunday, December 03, 2017

A tropical girl tips on how to survive the Winter in Poland - Part 1

Sunday, December 03, 2017
The world is all white outside. It snowed hard for a couple of days here in Poland.

Oh well, I always like first days of snow though but then tend to dislike it when it started to melt that caused the streets ugly and filthy.

The first days of snow looks like this.....






Amazingly magical, isn't it? That's how I always describe white powdery snow when it's just freshly falling from the sky.

I have to admit that winter in Poland is beautiful and amazing especially if you are in the mountain top. Winter in the city when it is not snowing is harsh, ugly, boring, chaotic and depressing.

I'm lucky that I live in an area where I could experience and witness this magical snow experience in a whole different level. We are surrounded with fields of cabbages, carrots and potatotoes and that makes the white wintery snowy amazing to look at. Pity I didn't take a full walk in the fields these days. I have to do some photo walk so soon before all these snow melts away.

A lot have been asking me how I like the snow, much more how I survive the winter here since I came from a tropical country. Oh well, let me give you some of tips on how a tropical girl like me continue to live here despite the cold harsh winter. 

How to survive the winter in Poland. 


1. Build a snowman with your friends and with the whole family.
There is nothing more fun and entertaining in a snowy cold day than making a snowman. It is our fun time activity with my children.
Look!  our first snowman this year. 
A drunkard snowman who loves to drink Żubr beer. 

Meet our version of Olaf. 

Część, Jestem Olaf!


2. Dress up like a Ninja. 

Me, wrapping myself with layers of layers of warm knits and a big scarf. 
"There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes."

This is true. We call this way of layering clothes - dress up like onions. I always make sure that I'm wearing a warmer clothing and an appropriate shoes for the cold weather. 

Twinning with a colleague - we're too ready for the winter. 

3. Bake.

There is nothing more enjoyable when it is cold outside is to bake my hearts out for an afternoon of coffee and tea with my family or with friends. Apple pie is the best option for me this time since Apple is the fruit of this season.  I like apple pie and yearning to make them since then. I usually bake Polish pie called, Szarlotka, but then I always want to try the American pie. So, asked my fellow blogger friend Lois Britton of Polishhousewife blog for a recipe and somehow take some tips from her recipe since she's more expert in the kitchen than me. (Thank you, Lois!) 

My homemade Apple Pie
This is such a heart warming and so comforting pie over a coffee and tea. My house smells so lovely with the mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and apple. How is that? *wink

4. Go for a walk.

It doesn't matter if it is a short walk or a long walk as long as your body is moving and burning calories. It can be pretty boring staying indoors all the time when you aren't working. When I was still nurturing my children when they were still young, I go for a walk with them and pull them with a sledge. They love it and It is also good for my mind and body. 
Now that they are grown ups, we still go for a walk and find some hills and make fun sledging. ( Is that the term?). 

5. Find some winter sports or activity in the city where you live in Poland. 

There is always winter sports and activity that the city is organizing or a local group is organizing. There is the usual ice skating rink in the center of every city now in Poland. In Katowice there is one open in Spodek - Lodowisko Spodek or right infront of Spodek in a very wintery months usually opens in January to February.( I have to look up the schedules soon.) And in the city where we live there are lodowisko or skating rink as well where adults and children can enjoy. 

If you are more adventurous in nature, why not go for a weekend trip with family and friends in the mountain and enjoy a wintery walk over Tatras or nearby Polish winter resorts. This is one thing I would like to try someday, to spend winter in the Tatras and learn how to ski. Must be exciting! Polish mountains are spectacularly amazing, but note that it tends to get too crowded as well especially during winter vacations - feria zimowe

If you are more of an indoor person like me, watch winter sports on TV where Polish are fan of watching to support Polish team. I used to watch a lot of ski jumping because I just like watching Adam Małysz jumping. If you don't know him, he is one very popular world ski jumper in Poland. He retire from this ski jumping though and now into rally. So, I stop watching. But would love to watch it live. Polish ski jumpers are one of the finest in the world. 


Adam Małysz
I would like to try Morsowanie someday. I'm still thinking about this..i think It needs a lot of thinking If you know what that is, well, you will understand. It is where you run wearing your swimwear and dip yourself in the frosty lake or water. My friends are urging me to try and join them, but I think I need to encourage myself a gazzilion times for I don't like to bath in a very cold water. Although, It has its own health benefits. 
Let this photo explain itself. 

How are you there?
photo taken here 



These are 5 tips I know from a tropical girl like me on how to survive when it is winter in Poland.

If this does not persuade you to enjoy winter, then let me know.

I will come back for more tips soon. 

Enjoy snowy Poland and keep yourself warm.

XOAi








Monday, October 16, 2017

I found love in the heart of Gdańsk!

Monday, October 16, 2017





As i wrote this, my train left Gdańsk.

Heart pounding.... for so many reasons, one thing I knew of because of the feeling that I'm saying goodbye to one chapter of my life. A chapter that I would never get  tired of reading all over again. A chapter where I invested a whole lot of my heart and soul into. The greatest part of this trip is putting me into that perspective, to have a reconcialition with myself and my heart. That I know right here in this wonderful places I truly found my heart back.

As I'm writing this, I felt a sudden burts of anxiety.  Will I get over with this feeling of missing and longing? I conditioned myself that I would  and I can get over this. Whatever is the outcome of this trip. To let myself take into deep thinking. An occasion to a great reconciliation to where I should be  heading,  where my heart should really be.

Tears fell down all of a sudden....

Sipped my warm cup of coffee to bring my mind back to the limelight.
In a deep sighed, I understood that I've let go of this burdens and anxiety that engulfed in my heart for the very long time already.

This trip might be brief, but pretty intense. I knew right there and then,  I found my heart back.

In Gdynia, I went to this concert to one of my favourite Jazz singer, Gregory Porter (as one of the higlights of this trip) the jazz man who has been a part of this chapter, for his music fills up this chapter of my life with so much emotions and passion. However, one of the best thing with his music, is that I found also the courage to move on and let go with a feeling of contentment and acceptance.





Right here in the corners of Gdańsk, among those marvellous architecturs, I found love where it should really belong.

I would surely come back again and revisit these places,  this time to just take on a deeper exploration to this wonderful  place with great history.and captivating architectures.

Gdańsk captures my heart right there and  then, with its marvelous architectures.

In Gdynia is so much more, where I found where my heart should be.

The sea of Sopot reconnects me to one place I always call home- the tropics (that I'm planning to have a trip soon.)

Ended this journey as I listened to Gregory Porter's Take me to the Alley....

I never felt this better after a long time.









Friday, August 11, 2017

Tatry 2017: Learnings being off-trail

Friday, August 11, 2017
Travelling is one thing that I enjoy. To detach and be with my inner self again, especially when I am with nature. 

We spent our vacation this summer in the Tatras. I always love Polish mountains. It is calming at the same time relaxing. If I have to chose, I would love to traverse for awhile being in the mountain. I love to go off trail and walking each rough road has taught me a great deal in dealing with life in general. It stabilizes my emotions and sense of focus. 

Sharing some snaps below....

On top of Gubałowka, Zakopane, Poland

It was a wonderful summery day as you can see people are enjoying the ambiance.

mountain view
View from our apartament

Who would not love waking up in such a great relaxing view.


Sunset over the Tatras
Sunset over the tatras is amazingly wonderful. 
I will post a more detailed blog with regards to this trip soon. I promise. 

Let me share with you some thoughts and learnings about this trip. We are all built for travelling where there is no path. Every walks helps us to be more solid, balanced and stable in this chaotic world we live in. Like every single thing we experience and every trail we are walking in, requires practice and we are not all masters. We stumble and fall and get lost from time to time.

The greatest lesson learned that I could truly correlates being in the mountain is that, it teaches me freedom, humility, that all things we experience in life are best when they come from within and that we should no be afraid to walk through life.

Have a wonderful walk every single trip of your lifetime.

xoAi

Monday, June 19, 2017

Grilling is another national sport in Poland

Monday, June 19, 2017

If football is one of Polish national sports, well, grilling is the other sport (If I can call this as sport. Maybe, why not! ) that Polish people love doing or partaking, especially if the weather is warm and sun is out all day long-grilling is the best activity. They have so much passion about it. I could see that.

When you say Grilling - It is way of cooking that involves heat from above and below the food using a charcoal or węgiel as we say in the Polish language.

If you were to ask me if I like grilling or other term barbecue, yeah, I like barbecued foods. Since it is also a common in my country. We have our own version of barbecue sauces and style of grilling though. But here in Poland, they usually grill the Kiełbasa (sausage) that they have. Talking about kiełbasa, Poland is a country of sausages. They have it in all shapes and colours. Name it, they have it all here. Probably, Polish kiełbasa's is unrated than Hungarian sausages. I don't want to sound bragging about this  nor to flatter my Polish husband, as for me Polish kiełbasa's are the best in the world. Need not to say more. You just have to try it and get back to me if It is far from your assessment. We usually order homemade ones from a close friend whose mum is fan of making kiełbasa at home. Homemade is always the best. Although, the ones sold in the supermarkets are also great. My favourite is the white kiełbasa. Lately, I just found out that they also have different version of sausages. Depending to which part of Poland you are in. We live in Silesian region of Poland, so we have a sausage we call it Kiełbasa po sląsku - Silesian kiełbasa. I don't know the difference though because for me they all have the same taste of sausages. Probably, my taste buds is not good in assessing the taste. I couldn't classify either which came from Krakow or from Silesia.  

The pictures below explains how Polish people enjoyed their sausages. We have a gathering of parents and children in our place once a year and they called this 'ognisko' - campfire. I thought we are going on a camping. But hell no! we have to make some campfire and grill our kiełbasa from the direct heat of the fire. I may sound a little naïve here, but I never tried doing some kind of grilling over fire with my sausage. Although, I have been to many camps in my life in my younger years, yet never tried doing some ognisko.  So, it was a wonderful sunny day in the middle of the fields with fellow parents and children. I could not stand the heat of the fire plus heat of the sun, still I am enjoying watching them taking their sticks and grilling their kiełbasa directly to the fire. It is fun, isn't it?

Why I refer grilling as another national sport in Poland? because I could see their passion in preparing for this feast with friends over wonderful Polish beers. Spring and summer in Poland isn't complete without meeting up with friends over grill, of course it should be paired with cold Polish beers. It is one perfect combination. When sun is out, they're you go, I could smell grill feast all over my neighbourhood. Isn't it wonderful?


Ognisko

This is how they do it.
If you look at the picture above, they are really having fun. Not mindful of the heat. It is like playing fire as a child. Who have tried playing fire when you are still a small kid? so it is like nurturing the kid in us when making some barbecue. I like this scene.

Warm spring and summer months are usually reserved for quite early evenings doing some barbecue and grill with family and friends here in Poland. It is nice activity actually to bond with family and meet friends after a long winter months. But, not good for our diet. Mind you, my implications to this new sport is that, it is not about the foods or the wonderful kiełbasa, it is about the people you are with. To bond and be with them once in awhile. In fact here in Poland, I am one of the organizer for our annual summer Filipino barbecue. It is our only time to meet fellow Filipinos living here in Poland or that Polish who also likes to commune with our culture. And that makes me note that Polish really knows how to mingle as well. If you understand what I mean. for sometimes, Polish tends to be so exclusive.

If you agree with me that grilling is another national sport in Poland, please comment down below or share your Polish grill stories. And if you are organizing some grilling time, invite me please. (joke)

Opps, did I not say that I've received several invitations now for grilling time with friends? Well, that sounds like I need to set aside my diet. Oh no! :-)

Pozdrawiam was!

xoAi


Saturday, June 10, 2017

100 days of Polish Words : CICHO

Saturday, June 10, 2017
CICHO


W cichej wśi...

That's how I describe the place we live in. Quiet...serene...peaceful...relaxing.
 Who don't want to live in such a place, isn't it?

We live in a small village within a small town, 10 kms away from Katowice, Poland.
It is a condusive place to live. Not far from the big city and has a big access to the highways leading up to the big citie of Poland. I would tell you about the place where I live next time for this post is not about this village nor about the place. But the project I am about to introduce to you has something to do with our village. It describes the place where we live in.

I stumbled upon this blog of Federico of A More Quiet Place blog, wherein he has a small project called 100 days of German words. Where he is committed to design a German word everyday. I will do the other way. To inspire & to give in to this challenge to learn the Polish language.
This is to encourage me to learn some Polish language and use my imagination to create this word into sentences. Sounds interesting, isn't it? We'll see if I could survive.

Lately, I am seriously learning the Polish language once again. Once more trying to talk in Polish from time to time. Although at work, English is still the main language of communication, yet I see that it is necessary for me to learn and be fluent to speak the language now that I am living here for more than a decade. Yes! A decade so please don't scratch your head nor do the face palm.

( *smiling)

Polish Word for today :

CICHO

Sentences:
1. W naszym mieszkaniu rano jest bardzo cicho. - In our apartment in the morning is very quiet.
2. W cichej wśi. - In a quiet village.
3. Cicha góra.  - A quiet mountain.
Note how the words interchange when used into a sentence.The first time I hear about the word cicho, I thought it is a brand of an alcohol drink. :-) Well, there is a correlation in a way. tsk..tsk..tsk.
The one who invented this language is either drunk or silly. Who invented this complicated language? that is the question.
This is fun thing to do for me. Who is up to the challenge? 
What  would be the next Polish words....let's see. 
If you are with me on this challenge, please tag me with the hashtag, #100DaysofPolishWords .
Let's learn together.

Hugs,
xoAi

 
Polish-ed Ai © 2014