OLYA'S PASSIONS

PR, Advertising, Journalism, Public Speaking, Photography, Traveling and all those simple things that make me happy

Did in 2012 what I have never done before

Published a text on Wroclaw Uncut, the most popular online magazine in English from Wroclaw. You can check out the article here.

Horseback riding in the forest

1

Wall climbing

With Ania and Kamila, my strong trainers

With Ania and Kamila, my strong trainers

Zorbing together with screaming, shouting and laughing out loud

13
Rafting in the South of Poland

IMAG0139
Canoeing on Odra River

IMG_2942

Experienced a challenging ropes course activity

SAM_2063
Mountain climbing in Romania

IMG_1212
Traveled to Rome

Amazing ceiling in the Vatican Museum

Amazing ceiling in the Vatican Museum

Discovered Prague, the City of Kafka

DSC_0757
Became an Erasmus student, it is synonymous with partying all week long

One of our "traditional" flat parties

One of our “traditional” flat parties

Moved to Poland

yeehaw1200001
Fell in love with Wroclaw

DW0400001
Shared the flat with other 4 people from different countries

DSC_0080 (2)

My Erasmus family: Jamie (England), Laura (Spain), Filip (Portugal) and Malte (Germany)

Visited a salt mine

I couldn't resist not to lick the wals :D

I couldn’t resist not to lick the wals 😀

Celebrated my birthday in the Alps

DSC_0158
Spent almost all my summer in Milan

DSC_0541
Reinvented the relationship with myself

I started to buy flowers for myself

I started to buy flowers for myself

Cooked polish traditional “Ruskie Pierogi”

DSC_0638
Read human books

IMAG0608
Became the aunt of a beautiful little princess

My niece Beatrice

My niece Beatrice

Had the first vacation with my mommy

DSC_0901

Started blogging 🙂

Now I feel a deep gratitude for all the beautiful things that happened to me in 2012 and for all the beautiful minded people I have in my life.

Dare to dream, make wishes and be happy in 2013!

All the best, Olya!

Advertisements

Letter to Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

This year my letter will be short.

I wish health, harmony, happiness for me and for my beloved people.

From all the Christmas presents I’ve ever received, I remember and treasure a very special one. When I was 18 I’ve got an unique diary designed to keep inside 100 dreams of my life, one dream per page. It was the best gift for a dreamer like me. This magnificent source of motivation, enthusiasm and inspiration is like a “nightstand book” for me. Even if I’m not opening it every day, I can easily visualise my biggest dreams before falling asleep. And in the mornings I have new ideas for my sweet diary.

And now, Santa, I’d like to share with you some of my dreams.

Dream…
I wish I have a magical sleigh like yours and be able to visit my family and friends more often. I wish they could come to me here in Wroclaw, because the city is amazing. I wish we all could have enough time for spending it together, having fun, being crazy, playing games and board games as well. Oh, I’d give anything right now for an “Alias” or “The settlers of Catan” game with my friends.

Dream…
One of my biggest dream is to have a house with attic. Now I’m living in a such a house, I can enjoy the first rays of sunshine from my roof windows and I can hear the rhythm of the raindrops on my walls. I wish a library attic, but as far as I’m like a “nestless bird”, traveling from one place to another I cannot walk around carrying all my books with me. I feel sad when I have to leave my books somewhere without light and air, closed in boxes stored in the basement. I don’t want to betray my books, I’d like to have them with me, so I could return to them whenever I feel like. Even if I need to touch the book properly, to feel it’s smell, I think a Kindle could help me “to restore” the relationship with my books.

Dream…
And now the last, but not the least, I wish I could bring back to life some precious things I’ve done during all my childhood. Suddenly and inexplicably, all those fantasies, which made me become a colorful minded kid, immortalized on drawings vanished away. They are alive just in my memories. I want to give them a second life, I hope that with a simple set for painting, some watercolors and brushes I’ll be able to face this challenge.

Żywa Biblioteka / Human Library Wrocław 2012

Photocredit: Human Library

Photocredit: Human Library

Have you ever read a Human Book?

I did. I read 3 human books with the following controversial titles: “ANTIDUDE”, “GAY” and “BLACK PERSON”. Amazing experience!

Imagine, you are face to face with people you meet for the first time, people that have a special story to tell, their own life story. And you are sitting just in front of them ready to listen and ask whatever you want, because this is what books are good for.

Books are good for being able “to answer” to all our questions. Human books are good for being able to make us feel the way they feel. In this way they teach us to be empathic. Human books can give us their energy, in this way we remain energetically connected with that book, with that special human being. Human books have a great emotional load in them. Once we “open” a human book we cannot stay indifferent, we proceed in “reading it” and by the time we read it, we start to understand things that we’ve never been aware of. Human books teach us to be tolerant.

Some weeks ago, on a cloudy Saturday afternoon I decided to go out to meet some new interesting people in Wroclaw, this was my single expectation about attending Żywa Biblioteka / Human Library event at Mediateka. Actually, I had a vague idea about what is going to happen there. So I went. After receiving a badge with my name I was asked to pick up a “human book” from a catalogue. I looked through the list and picked the “human book” called ANTIDUDE, I didn’t know what this concept means, so I considered it the best time to find it out. In some minutes the librarian brought my human book.

And here all the fun began 🙂 what I’ve seen in front of me was a man dressed in clothes for women, in a skirt, wearing ostentatious earrings and elegant little heel shoes, having pink lipstick and a perfect manicure done. Our 30 minutes of talking passed like 3 minutes. I’m very curious by nature, but the open and relaxed atmosphere created at the Human Library increased my curiosity. I didn’t feel ashamed to ask “uncomfortable” questions and I was glad to hear answers to all of them. The concept “antidude” also called “antibloke”, or “antyfacet” in Poland, is related to the attitude of being anti males. Well, this man is not trying to deny his genetics and is not going to take some female hormones to grow boobs or to make a sex change surgery. Don’t confuse an “antidude” with a gay, a travesty or a transsexual. He is just against the role of men perceived in the society. By the way, this man is a university teacher and says that attendance at his courses is higher than at other courses, because his extravagant appearance motivates students to attend classes.

The second human book I interacted with was called GAY. The society in Moldova, the country I come from, is kind of homophobic. The situation in my country is not very optimistic. There were even some cases of suicides among LGBT* youth. I was interested to find out if polish society accepts homosexuality and how people perceive it here.

My third human book called BLACK PERSON opened my eyes, properly. I had a conversation with a young student from Rwanda. He is living in Poland for 2 years and every single day copes with xenophobia and racism. It seems that polish community don’t accept black people. After several attacks on the street, my human book is afraid to walk alone in the city, and not only in the evenings, but on daylight as well. He told me he feels safe in just 3 places in Poland: in his room, in the class and at the office he is working. In any other places he should watch out his back. The stereotype polish guys have towards foreigners, not only about black people, is that they are going to seduce their “dziewczyny” (polish girls) and this is the reason they become so aggressive. Another fact that I found out from the experience of “my human book”, is that a polish girl will be considered a prostitute if she will date a black guy. This prejudice displeased me the most. I think polish guys have a problem with their self-confidence, if they think their girlfriends will easily leave them, for another guy, just because he has a different skin color.

I bookmarked my human books, I took their contacts, just to be in touch with them and keep on “reading” their special stories.

It was a great pleasure to attend the Human Library event, which is not just in Poland, but all over the world. The next events are going to take place in Turkey and Romania. Check here if there is any Human Libraries in your country. If you ever have the opportunity to participate, don’t miss it.

Enjoy reading!

P.S. This event was a special edition of Human Library, in the frame of WrOPENup Campaign.

P.P.S. At the event 101 readers borrowed 25 Human Books.

DSC_0581

DSC_0578 DSC_0571 DSC_0570 DSC_0566 DSC_0563

DSC_0558

Human Library Wroclaw

Human Library Wroclaw

*Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Sunday Market or let the treasure hunt begin!

mobila 2

First useful thing that I got to know about Wroclaw, before coming to Poland, was that here exists a special second hand market organized every Sunday. I was told that I can find there whatever I need, from pots, cutlery, plates, cups to clothes, bikes or furniture. As I prefer non conventional shopping rather than going to malls, I looked for this flea market on my first week of stay.

vesela 2

Dishes right on the ground

I found this “open air museum” in an old factory yard, somewhere on the outskirts of Wroclaw, in Młyn Sułkowice area. The size of the market and the variety of stuffs amazed me. Besides the old vintage and antique things, there are as well new high tech items. Most of the vendors dispose their goods properly on the ground, others on some improvised tables, while others make use of cardboard boxes to organize their “products”. These cardboard boxes are like “horns of plenty”, lots of things inside and you never know what else is hidden there at the bottom of the box. For this particular reason people are like swarming bees around these boxes. The crowd makes it difficult to find some valuable things in there. Though I bought some nice and useful stuff found in those boxes.

"This is how a "horn of plenty" looks like

This is how a “horn of plenty” looks like

Digging into botomless boxes

Digging into botomless boxes

DSC_0578

I should admit Sunday Market offers plenty of things between art and kitsch. It’s something usual for this kind of bazaars. In Australia they are deliberately called “trash and treasure markets”. The main idea is to seek out beauty through mediocrity, to look for quality through the large amount of junk.

DSC_0555 (2)

Ties in an old-fashioned suitcase

Would like to have this picnic set at home :)

Would like to have this picnic set at home 🙂

Vintage sofas

Vintage sofas

It's even better than at Ikea :)

It’s even better than at Ikea 🙂

Furniture for bedrooms

Furniture for bedrooms

Puffs for football fans

Puffs for football fans

In this period the Sunday Market is even more attractive. A lot of second hand “dealers” show off their Christmas decorations, lights, trees, candles and many other traditional holiday accessories. If you search for low-price decorations or gifts, all in good taste, Sunday Market is your shopping destination. The bazaar is also calling winter sports’ fans. You can find full skiing and snowboarding equipment, second hand or new. I’ve seen also some pairs of ice skating boots.

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Christmas spirit

Christmas spirit

Army of skis!

Army of skis!

ski 1

Before you go to the Sunday Market, be prepared with some basic shopping expressions in Polish, because people rarely speak English there. The fun begins when you start negotiating the prices. I dare asking for a half price on everything and usually I get the discount. Do you want to know the secret? Be interested and insistent, a totally different attitude in comparison to the “negotiating style” in Middle East for example.

This next to a fireplace, please!

This next to a fireplace, please!

I told you, eveything is right on the ground

I told you, eveything is right on the ground

Vintage googies

Vintage goodies

I've met Woody Allen there :)

I’ve met Woody Allen there 🙂

a piece of Holland in Poland

a piece of Holland in Poland

Cute!

Cute!

especially for fashion girls

especially for fashion girls

I've found the treasure chest

I’ve found the treasure chest

Nice fence

Nice fence

Little things matter

Little things matter

Tandem bike, love it!

Tandem bike, love it!

biciclete 2

Good bikes from Germany

What else you should now is that Flea Market in Wroclaw is open just on Sundays from the very morning till 2 PM.

How can you get there?

By car or by bike- check the map.

By bus- Take the bus 116, direction Sołtysowice, get off at Poprzeczna station, check the bus schedule.

Are you curious what things me and my friends have bought there and how much we paid? Below you can find a short list of the things we bought from the Sunday Market:

  • 1 heart shaped oven tray- 3 PNL
  • 2 big white porcelain plates- 6 PNL
  • 5 small ceramic angels- 6 PNL
  • 1 kg raw hazelnuts- 8 PNL
  • 2 sets of hand made stars shaped Christmas lights- 12 PNL
  • A warm 100% woolen cardigan- 40 PNL
  • A second hand bike- 100 PNL
  • A new ski jacket- 140 PNL

Good luck with shopping at the Sunday Market!

Best from the Night of the AdEaters 2012

Friday night was a long one. I attended “The Night of the AdEaters 2012” in Wroclaw, almost 6 hours of commercials from all over the world.

I’m an Ad Eater and not just because I occasionally attend events like this, but because I’m fond of commercials. I can watch them for hours, for this reason more than half of the commercials from the show I’ve already seen.

I should admit I had higher expectations towards “The Night of the AdEaters 2012”, still I enjoyed the event. What kind of expectations I had, you would ask? I’ll tell you:

Firstly, I expected to see more ads that I’ve never seen. I expected to see a logical categorization of the commercials, not hundreds of TV spots randomly shown, a categorization by time, by brand, by country. There were advertisements from all the times, from ’70 to nowadays. I would have preferred to watch them in an order or at least have them grouped into chunks. Still there was a “category”, the commercials inspired by Star Wars were shown all together. It would have had a greater impact on me if the organizers made public the name of the ads’ authors, at least the production companies or the advertising agencies that worked on those commercials.

I discovered some impressive social ads.

WWF- Word Wildlife Fund
“We are all connected” Campaign

ARA- Industry Association for Responsible Alcohool use
“Who said one more drink won’t hurt?” Campaign

I couldn’t find this ad on internet, so I’ll try to describe it in few words. There is a little boy preparing breakfast and then a little blond girl appears. The commercial seems to be very optimistic, it’s so nice to see how a kids care about each other, but instantly this happy moment turns into sadness, when the little boy opens the door of his mother’s room and sees her sleeping after a hard drinking clubbing night.

Another social campaign that impressed me is called “Report it or it will happen again”. I couldn’t find it on internet as well. As far as I remember it was a Mexican campaign, but I’m not sure. It were several spots, in each spot it was shown various cases of robbery. This campaign would be very appropriate in my country, too. It remembered me a situation that happened to my family, while I was travelling. More than three years ago, some thieves stole from the basement of my house some expensive tools. My family didn’t report it. Some weeks later the same thieves returned and stole 2 bikes from the basement, mine and my brother’s. Again, my family didn’t report it. I know the police from my country are not reliable, but if people won’t start reporting all the iniquities, it is going to happen again.

Enough with the social campaigns, here are my favorite commercials from the Night of the AdEaters 2012:

Israel Country Branding
“Size doesn’t matter. Israel small country. Big ideas” Campaign

Car advertisements

The same idea on two different markets for two different models of Renault cars.

Renault Clio Commercial for Dutch market

Renault Sandero Stepway Commercial for Russian market

And now last but not least, I’d like to present you a Romanian commercial that aroused lots of laughs and applauses during the Night of the AdEaters 2012 in Wroclaw.

IQads- All about advertising
“Advertising is part of our life” Campaign

Happy Birthday for my Sweetest Taboo!

She is Taboo, my best friend.

Today Taboo turns 24.

We used to be together always, especially on our birthdays.

Now we are far apart. Even though she is in my heart, I hope she felt it while watching this short “happy movie” we prepared for her birthday.

I want to say thank you to all Erasmus students from Wroclaw that contributed to this surprise. I hope you all enjoyed to say birthday wishes in Romanian, in a completely unknown language for you. Thanks, you are great!

A huuuuuge THANK YOU to my beloved cousins, as well. Criss and Dumi are the best in preparing the italian delight Tiramisu. I have never tried a better tiramisu than theirs. This is Taboo’s favorite cake and it was her surprise breakfast this morning 🙂

Thank you girls for being accomplices.

Taboo, happy happy birthday!

5 GREAT things TO DO this weekend in Wroclaw

1. Enjoy the big opening of the Christmas Fair in Rynek. The Christmas tree and all the decorations will be lit on Friday, 23rd of November. The magical atmosphere will last until 23rd of December, so we’ll have a full month to be delighted by the Christmas spirit. How are the preparations going on you can check here.

2. Attend the Night of the AdEaters 2012. It is going to take place on Friday night at Multikino from Arkady, beginning with 10 PM. What can you do there? “Devour” hundreds of the best commercials from all over the world. This event is a part of the Night of the AdEaters Worldwide Tour, for the tour calendar click here. I don’t doubt the show is going to be spectacular. I can’t wait to see the very best of British advertising. Besides American and Japanese commercials, there is going to be Romanian advertising as well. The full program you can find on the official Facebook page. Next week I will share with you my impressions as an “AdEater” 🙂

3. Take part at the next Human Library on Saturday, 24th of November, at Medieteka in Wroclaw, from 12.00 to 8.00 PM. The Human Library is an innovative method designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding. The eight hour event is expected to feature more than 30 different Living Books including titles like the Arab, an Atheist, an American, the Belarussian, a Muslim, a Jew, a disabled Person in a Wheel Chair, the Ex-prisoner, the Ex-homeless, a German, a Catholic and a Black Person. More information about the project you can find on the official webpage of Żywa Biblioteka/Human Library. By the way they have cool contests on their Facebook page, yesterday I participated and I won a book.

4. Feel the jazz at the Jazztopad Festival 2012. The name of the festival is inspired by “listopad” which in polish means “november”. All the month long there were jazz concerts in Wroclaw. On Saturday, 24th of November will take place the last performance within the Jazztopad festival. In the program is JazzPlaysEurope with Laboratory 4, at the Wroclaw’s Theatre beginning with 7.00 PM. JazzPlaysEurope is an initiative which contributes to the artistic development of jazz musicians. It focuses on musicians commencing their career on the jazz scene. The project provides an international network and a forum for the exchange of young jazz artists. Information was taken from the official website of Jazztopad Festival 2012.

5. If it’s Sunday then it’s Sunday Market, a place where you can find everything, second hand or new, vintage or high tech. You can find there from bikes to ski equipment, from furniture to cutlery, from clothes to weird, funny or pointless things. Sunday Market is more than a place for shopping. It is an open air museum which I like to visit when I have no other plans for Sunday. It is place where I can improve my Polish, because people there rarely know English. It is a place where I can test my negotiation skills. The great thing about this market is that you can negotiate the prices. I will tell you in a separate post what things I’ve bought there and how much I paid. Check the map to see how you can get there.

What plans do you have for the weekend?

Coming soon: the big opening of the Christmas Fair in Wroclaw!

Thousands of twinkling lights are going to brighten Rynek, the market square in Wroclaw, begging with 23rd of November. This magic city is getting ready for the Christmas fairytale and I’m so happy about it.

I love Christmas spirit. I love the smell of the cinnamon in a cup of mulled wine. I love to hide presents for my beloved ones under the Christmas tree. I love my childish eyes when I meet Santa. I love Christmas songs. I love writing letters with my wishes. I love to warm up next to a fireplace. I love to lit candles at the Christmas table. I love to find surprises on the Christmas morning. I love to feel as I am a kid again.

I cannot believe Christmas is coming so soon, but it’s enough for me to go out and see just in front of my house a huge Christmas tree that is being decorated right now and instantly a childish smile covers my face.

There are a lot of small wooden houses in Rynek where we could find Christmas souvenirs and nice presents for our families and friends. Also there are going to be polish locals that will delight our senses with traditional Christmas specialties. I am going to enjoy this Christmas Fair all the month long. More information about the events during the Christmas Fair you can find here.

Wroclaw is a nice place to be for Christmas. If you haven’t decided yet where are you going to spend your holidays, you should come to Poland.

Watch an inspiring video of the Christmas Fair Wroclaw from the last years.

Autumn spirit and my new fluffy snood

Chilly, foggy, fluffy and cozy this is how my autumn in Poland feels like. Even if the weather is getting pretty cold I have a new “friend” that keeps me warm. It’s made out of mohair and it’s called a snood.

This piece of soft happiness has an inspiring story behind. It was hand made by Diana, a creative young woman from Moldavia that knows how to follow her dreams and strives for them. She turned her passion for knitting into Friday Knits, a magic place where woolen and mohair fibers get shapes and personality.

It’s been awhile since I was admiring her works and finally I decided that I deserve one special tubular scarf. It was designed especially for me. I had no idea how it’s going to look like, so it was a surprise. When I opened the eco-friendly pack, 2 weeks later, I was amazed. It was exactly how I imagined. It is soft, warm, elegant and very versatile. It can be worn either pulled down around the neck like a scarf or over the shoulders.

I love my snood and fall in Wroclaw!

Let me show you some more Friday Knits fluffy wonders 🙂

Oh, I’ve almost forgot to show you the eco-friendly pack I’ve got my snood in.

BTL marketing for Wroclaw’s ZOO

New armoured rhino in Wroclaw's Zoo

Wroclaw’s ZOO has a new “kid” in the house. A young Indian rhinoceros named Tarun, has just arrived to Poland less than 2 weeks ago. I would have never found out about it, if there weren’t 3 giant transportation boxes in the city, like those from “Madgascar” animated movie. Every time I passed by them, I had a smile on my face.

BTL activity for Wroclaw's ZOO

One of the giant transportation boxes

First, I saw one of these huge boxes with a Zoo inscription on it near the airport, but I didn’t pay attention to it. But when I saw 2 other boxes in 2 different locations, pretty crowded, I thought there must be something special about this “phenomenon”. Guess what, it wasn’t just a box. It had a small hole, like an eyehole highlighted by a red arrow, through which you could look inside and see almost a real rhino in it. It was a 3D image of a rhino that made it look so natural.

I really liked this BTL activity of Wroclaw’s Zoo, but I had the impression that something is missing there, concerning the feedback of this promotional campaign. I visited their Facebook page and they had a photo contest about these giant transportation boxes, it was really nice, but the question is how do people find out about the contest? They missed a great opportunity to bring new visitors on their official website and Facebook page. My opinion is that they should have printed on the boxes their internet pages, through which visitors can properly “get in touch” with them, to read more about the new resident of the Zoo, participate at their contests and then let the “word of mouth” work for them.

By the way, Wroclaw’s Zoo is very active in social media, their Facebook page is updated and they are regularly organizing contests, posting news and pictures. Nowadays New Media Advertising is one of the most efficient promoting instruments.

Another BTL activity of Wroclaw’s ZOO that pleasantly surprised me is the special event “Cooking for Rhinos”, that took place in the middle of September at one of the local restaurants. There the General Manager of the ZOO, Radosław Ratajszczak, found himself in a new role – Chief of Indian cuisine. So, the guests of the event had some special Indian dishes from the Zoo’s GM.

I hope these teasing activities increased the number of visitors, because the ideas were brilliant. In my case they worked, I paid a visit to Taruna and other Zoo inhabitants. I enjoyed going to Wroclaw’s Zoo, I spent there almost 4 hours, if not the rain I could have stayed there more.

I warmly recommend you to visit Wroclaw’s ZOO!

Taruna- newcomer at Wroclaw’s Zoo

Source: Wroclaw’s Zoo

A little moment of tenderness

The cutest bears ever, they were walking like dancing

Lions are enjoying their siesta time

A hungry suricate at Wroclaw’s Zoo 😀

The ugliest bird I’ve ever seen 😀

Lazy bear

Lunch time for giraffes

Source: Wroclaw’s Zoo