OLYA'S PASSIONS

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

Month: December, 2012

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

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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

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Rafting in the South of Poland

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Canoeing on Odra River

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Experienced a challenging ropes course activity

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Mountain climbing in Romania

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Traveled to Rome

Amazing ceiling in the Vatican Museum

Amazing ceiling in the Vatican Museum

Discovered Prague, the City of Kafka

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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

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Fell in love with Wroclaw

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Shared the flat with other 4 people from different countries

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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

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Spent almost all my summer in Milan

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Reinvented the relationship with myself

I started to buy flowers for myself

I started to buy flowers for myself

Cooked polish traditional “Ruskie Pierogi”

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Read human books

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Became the aunt of a beautiful little princess

My niece Beatrice

My niece Beatrice

Had the first vacation with my mommy

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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!

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.

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Human Library Wroclaw

Human Library Wroclaw

*Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Sunday Market or let the treasure hunt begin!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!