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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Travel Tuesday: International Meet Up Event: How to be a foreigner in Poland?

Dearest hearts,

It's true that there are not as many multicultural events in English language as I would like, and it's true also that Krakow does host many international events. Krakow, as all Poland, is a paradox within itself. It is both warm and inviting for foreigners and it makes one feel like Home, especially if you are from the Balkan region, but at the same time some might find it frightening and intimidating, especially if people have a different colour of skin. When I first came here, more than 7 years ago... I did not know much about Poland, but my friends and colleagues here were so open and inviting and friendly, that I never thought myself out if place. I've been living in Krakow for more than for over 6 years and a half and not once have I ever questioned my safety here. It is also true that, being part of the expat groups on Facebook, I do hear the odd story of people feeling uncomfortable... but I guess that happens in all countries, around the globe. 
I feel that having gatherings with people who are expats loke yourself is always beneficial. It does not have to be someone from your homeland even, but someone who's going through the same needs and wants as you. That's why I always keep a lookout for fresh events in Krakow. Just the other day one of my expat friends was interested in one such event and I quickly picked up the trail. It sounded interesting and it's a free Event, so please feel free to register yourself. Maybe I'll see you there and you can tell me it was me who gave you the idea to join! As I always say: Sharing is Caring! ;) so without any further ado, let me tell you about it. 

We invite all foreigners living and working in Poland for our first International Meetup.
How to be a foreigner in Poland?
Talks, Discussions, Legal Advice, Networking & Fun

Network with the international crowd of Krakow and listen to the stories of our special guests, Brian Scott and Elsi Adajew. Our guests have spent many years in Poland, became Polish citizens, and have lots of tips to help you adapt to the life in Poland. They will share with you all the information they wish they knew when they arrived in Poland.

Come to this meeting if:
  • You have just moved to Poland from abroad
  • You are a foreign professional living and working in Krakow
  • You want to know more about the Polish culture and the foreigners' life in Poland
  • You are looking for a legal advice connected to your life as a foreigner in Poland
  • You are looking for a job within IT industry, and want to meet with Sabre recruiters
  • You want to network with other foreigners in Krakow

18:30 Welcome from Sabre
18:45 Brian Scott Talk
19:15 Elsji Adajew Talk
19:45 Q&A with our special guests
20:15 Open Space Networking
21:00 Thank you
Additionally, throughout the whole meeting:
  • Come to the "Interkulturalni" stand for legal advice connected to your life in Poland
  • Buy Brian Scott's book (in Polish) titled "Pierwszy Murzyn RP" with the autograph of the author
  • Meet with Sabre Recruiters to talk about career opportunities for speakers of foreign languages and IT professionals

Special guests:
Brian Scott - born in Gujana, a journalist, filmmaker, a teacher, and a Polish citizen living in Poland for over 30 years
Elsi Adajew - born in Chechnya, a teacher and chairman of the Sintar Foundation, and a Polish citizen living in Poland for over 16 years

Date: 7 September 2017, 18:30
Place: Pauza In Garden, ul. Rajska 12, Krak贸w
Free tickets via Evenea website
Register today and invite your friends!

Yours sincerely,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Will Go To The Event ;)
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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Krakow: Crepes - Nalesniki Francuskie

Dearest sweethearts,

Isn't it a fabulous time to have something sweet? It's always a good time to enjoy some sweet treat. I, myself, am not a huge fan of sweets but pancakes are always a great idea, don't you think?! Of course the French people call them "crepes", and it does sound a bit more fancy... anyway, the French love their pastries and sweets so it's normal that pancakes/crepes are in their culinary delights menu. 
The pancakes of the past were not like the crepes of modern times, of nowdays, consisting of flour, eggs and milk. The version of today appeared for the first time in ancient Rome. In medieval Europe, crepes/pancakes became popular on Shrove Tuesday - that's the day before the Christian Lenten season begins. Why, you may ask! Well... fasting for Easter was in order but everyone had plenty of eggs and fats in their house, that they needed to get rid of, else they would expire. Hence the actual version of the pancakes came to life. 
Different countries have different versions and names for crepes. For example, the Italians call them crespelle, the Jewish people have blitzed, the Russians have blinis, the Greeks have kreps, the Romanian people call them clatite. Clatite - present in the life of every Romanian child, as a sweet treat. I, for one, love them with sour cherry jam or the ones with cheese and raisins and sour cream, done in the oven. They are fingerlicking amazing!
Due to the fact that crepes come in both a sweet version but they can also be a main meal, it's an easy treat to cook and everyone will like it. You can have a variety of fillings and make everyone happy with building up their own "formula". I, for one, like the most the versions with fruits or a combination of fruits and soft creamy cheese. With a proper pancake/crepe you can handle even a full day without eating ;) so never underestimate the power of a proper pancake!
Krakow is famous for its fast food good truck experiences. Kazimierz is the "go to" place where you can find all that your heart desires. Including pancakes ;) For example, just next to Galeria Kazimierz, in front of its entrance, there is a truck of "Kocham Nalesniki". It's the best place I could find in town, up to this moment, that does sweet pancakes with cheese and fruits. The ones that remind me of my childhood and make me smile wide while munching on them, hoping that they would never end.
The "Kocham Nalesniki" idea is really well welcomed and if you look on their Facebook page you can see that the votes that people gave them raise to 4.9 out of 5 stars. Everyone is happy on the taste, the look, the of minus - from time to time - comes from the people who serve, but I never once had an issue. The ladies serving me were always very nice and encouraging - my broken Polish always shows I'm not from around. I also give the team the benefit of the doubt, as all the ones who serve at students and they do switch a lot, around the year. Training them on customer care is not the primary focus. 
I always loved food trucks as you can see your food and how they prepare it. I always found it fascinating to watch how people do crepes on the huge frying pan - the continuous circular fast movement and the way the flip it without dropping it to the ground... that takes practice and skill! The "Kocham Nalesniki" team has a couple of trucks in stable positions in Kazimerz but also has a black sleek van that corporations can use during their picnic time in the summertime. Marek's former employer had one at their party and the queue was endless - needless to say that people are willing to stay in the rain, for over an hour an a half, to get their treat! 

You can pay both by credit card and cash and I think you can even order them out online - never tried that though... I tried the Nutella one and I must say it's quite a caloric bomb! I could not manage to eat even half of it - it was very sweet, very much to Marek's taste but not mine. I prefer the one with cottage cheese and some kind of seasonal fruits - 1st place goes to peaches and 2nd to strawberry, banana ones are good as well but much too filling for my taste. I admired the team also for their choice of packaging, which is very helpful while eating it on the go - and not having a knife and fork or spoon at hand. The package unwraps itself bit by bit, allowing you to eat the delicious treat at your own fine pace, without getting dirty. Dotted lines will help you tear it up ;) 
Peaches and soft creamy cheese - mmm... yummy!
The prices:
- espresso - 4 zloty
- Americano - 4,5 zloty
- Lungo  - 5 zloty
- Cappucino - 6 zloty
- Latte - 6,5 zloty
- Pancakes/Crepes prices can range from 6,5 to 15 zloty but they are totally worth your time and money! Highly recommended! 

Yours sincerely,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves Pancakes
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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Interesting Facts About Poland

Dearest sweethearts,

When I first layed foot up in Polish land I did not know much except a bit of history related to the Second World War - Auschwitz and Birkenau always spring to mind when people would start talking about Poland. To my shame I have to admit that I even thought Marie Curie to be French! (Of course due to her name... I didn't even connect that Sklodowska was also her name!). That is somewhat shameful to say it out loud, considering that she "brought home" 2 of the 17 Nobel Prizes that the Polish people won! There are so many interesting and fascinating things people just don't know about Poland, so I thought I might share with you a couple of them:
1. The squadron #303 from the Royal Air Forces of the Battle of Britain was Polish. They were the highest scoring squadron from the Battle. But they were not the only Polish squadron - there were 16! They had their own unique way of flying and treated war without fear but rather with deep love for their country. They knew the it way they could help it was by destroying as many enemy planes as they could. They developed technique by coming up close and personal and shooting at the enemy at a very close range, making sure if maximum destruction.
2. At the end of the Second World War, over 115.000 Polish veterans settled in the UK permanently. This happened due to the fact that they could simply not come back home, as much as they would have wished. The Red Army came over the Nazi and one bad thing came over another... one occupation came after another... Poland had several cities (like Warsaw) wiped out from the face of the earth, living locations were low, the infrastructure was almost inexistent, Communist may have felt - for some - a helping hand, meant to bring order. Instead it brought another type if terror. Heroes of the Second World War and the Underground Army were slaughtered and placed on trial.
3. Nearly 35% of the 60 million Polish people live abroad. #didyouknow that Chicago is actually the 2nd biggest Polish city after Warsaw? The biggest exodus of Polish people came during and after the Second World War. Of course many Jews migrated undercover but not only. They fled all over the world, but the most "inviting" countries were the UK and America. #didyouknow that the Polish Resettlement Act 1946 was the first ever mass immigration legislation of the Parliament of the UK? Over 200.000 Polish troops on British soil were offered British citizenship. Of course in this way Britain gained labour force in its own war torn country, but still...
4. The oldest known Old Polish sentence is "Daj, niech ja pomiele, a 16th odpoczywaj" - "Let me, I shall grind, and you take a rest". It is part of the Book of Henrykow - a Latin chronicle of the Cistercian Abbey in Henrykowin Lower Silesia. Since the 9th of October 2015, the Book of Henrykow entered the list of UNESCO "Memory of the World".
5. #DidYouKnow there's a statue in Poland that turns into Darth Vader when it snows? During a blizzard in Wejherowo it became obvious that the Dark Side indeed took over the statue Jakub Wejher, a 17thcentury nobleman and military leader, and brought to life it's own Dark Lord... do you not think so? 
BONUS FACT: 3 men in Trzebnica, Poland, spent 6 days building a 31 foot (that's almost 9,5 meters!) Snowman with a barrel for a hat and a traffic cone for a nose. Why, you may ask... mmm... just because they were bored, nobody stopped them and they had fun ;)
How about you, what interesting fact do you know about Poland? 

Yours sincerely,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves Poland As Her Second Home 
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Sunday, 20 August 2017

A Letter To My Daughter

Dearest sweethearts,

This one is for That Special Lady in my life that is turning 1 year old today, this one is for my little Ladybug Baby Girl, this one is for you - Emilia Elena 馃悶
The Ladybug Baby Girl's first photo shoot - pics by Bellove
My dear heart,

I can hardly believe how time flies... when I was a wee lass, a bit older than yourself, I could not believe how long a day was and how many things I could do, how hard it was for the weekend to come; yet now, being with you, I can't believe how fast it is here.  It's true, the first 4 months were a struggle sometimes and I wondered when you would do all the miraculous things that toddlers do... yet, here we are! Time keeps being stubborn and pressing the "Fast Forward" button. It was a year ago, thought it feels not that long ago, that Daddy came to the hospital with me, in the middle of the night, so we could hold you in our arms. You, on the other hand, were not that sure that you want to come out to the light just yet... so we ended up waiting for you another 17 hours! Daddy was brave and he was there for us, every moment, close to us; and how happy he was when he first saw you! You are our princess, our greatest joy, you made our family whole. You are a Lioness and a strong character, and we have learned many things together this year:
  • You learned slowly but surely that night time is for sleeping, even though at first you would wake up every other hour, now you manage to sleep the full night just waking up once for some milk. I've learned how to sleepwalk while doing the house chores and the midnight milk. Daddy even learned how to sleep with his eyes open, I'm afraid we can't beat Daddy on this one ;))))
  • You've learned that crying can get you many things, yet I am proud that you don't overuse now. I've learned to cry with you, and Daddy found us together once both crying our eyes out - you because you had tummy aches and I because the whole day you had them I could not make it better. 
  • You've learned mommy's smell and heartbeat and touch by heart & I've searched for a way I could keep you longer next to me. Thank God the elastic wrap and the baby carriers were invented! You loved the wrap, it hold you tight to me and I could rock you to sleep and carry you everywhere!
  • You've travelled by plane first time when you were almost 4 months old - with me and your Auntie Miau. You were a cutie pie and you handled 2 out of the 3 flights very well, the last one you were a bit restless... but no fault of your own! You took the travel way better than me... I would like to say that I have learned to have patience but I still need to work on that... yet I have learned how to pack for a 4 months stay in one big luggage - less than a quarter was my space, the rest was yours... of course ;)
  • You've learned how to eat different things then milk. I've learned the nutritional value and all the tables and graphs on how a baby should start diversification and when. I've learned how to give food without sugar, spices, salt and pepper. I've learned how to read even more carefully the labels on products.
  • You've started choosing what you like to wear. If i show you clothes you pick and choose what you like. I've learned to check what fabric they are made, if they can be "tumble dried" and what to do so they won't shrink. Cotton is always a good choice! 
  • You love to walk and crawl barefoot. It's well known that it's good for children to feel different textures with both hands and feet. You love pulling your socks out, that's why we call you "Skarpetunia" (from "skarpetki", socks in Polish). I've learned what are the best model of socks that can hold the longest to your adorable feet.
  • You love to crawl - when we put lay you down you instantly zoom away. You're like Flash! One second you're next to me, the other you are in the other room... in the blink of the eye! You are a strong willed person, with a purpose and a way to get what you want. I can see you working your charm as you get older. I've learned that I have a young lady that is willing to knock down a wall if it gets in her way. 
  • You have great taste in music - when you were a wee bud, up to the 4th month, you would listen mostly Frank Sinatra (he was your absolute favourite and your fav song was "Fly me to the moon"). Now you've taken a liking to children's songs as well. Both myself and granny and Grand-granny know those songs by heart now.
  • You love to go out with us, to the icecream parlour or the Bubble Tea place and even frozen yoghurt is on your list. You love shops and when we get to the children's store you like to pick your own toys - if possible the ones that rattle the most. I know that you'll love going out shopping with Auntie Miau, she's gonna probably be the one who will teach you about make-up and nail polish... I've yet failed to see their points - I prefer to be the way I am... I sometimes think you might turn up to be the same :)
  • I'm proud to say you love books as well, both myself and Daddy love books as well. I've bought you books ever since you were in the tummy and read them to you. I've left dedications on some of them - just a month or so ago Daddy found them out ;))) it's a surprise! Now you love books with sounds. You don't put them in your mouth as often, and that makes me happy :)
  • You have 8 baby teeth and growing the next ones. You had your first when you were nearly 4 months. You learned to chew things on your own and I love how you hold your biscuit and take bites out of it. You sometimes get a bigger bite and you end up stuffing it to your cute mouth with all your hand and the elbow as well! ;))) I've learned that growing teeth is genetically relayed - if parents had them when they were 4-5 months, the baby will have the same. 
  • You learned how to play peek-a-boo. You love it when we hide and then appear "out of nowhere" and say "cu-cu"/"akoo-koo". You giggle and if we do it fast and we also run around the glass wall in the kitchen after Daddy, you start laughing. You have the most beautiful and soulful laugh in the world! You laugh and the she world smiles with you. You do things from your heart and you taught us to smile with all our heart. 
You've taught us so many things and we are still learning, everyday. You've changed our life completely, you've turned it topsy turvy and my brain can't seem to get right back on track... instead it went to a different line. One that's more connected to the piece of my heart that you and Daddy own. At times it's tough but now days I don't complain. I have so much help from granny and Grand-granny that everything feels just right. They love you immensely and Grand-granny is indeed your best friend. You have a way with each other that makes my heart skip a beat each time I see you together. Oh, how I wish you will remember all the fun you have together!
Emilia Elena's  baptism, July 2017, picture taken by Bellove
You teach us daily how to look life through the eyes of a baby. You seem to think dogs are the funniest things ever, the balls are great (unstoppable) fun, the pigeons are your friends and you feed and talk to them, the strangers on the street are not strange and you smile to them and coo their way, to the planes you smile... maybe you remember them, who knows?! You are part of a multicultural family, you hear English and Polish and Romanian on a daily basis; I know it will take a while until you will say something more than "Mama" but we are patient! We await for your stories and wishes and commands. We await for your mixed up talking and for the shouting. We await for you - Always! We love you and we wish you a very happy glorious sunshined birthday, and may many more years come our way, together as we are now. May God bless you - may we be a blessing for you as you are our blessing! 

Yours with all my heart,
Your Ladybug Mum That Loves You To The Moon And Back Again
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Friday, 18 August 2017

Famous Polish People: Roman Polanski

Dearest hearts,

#DidYouKnow that this very day, in 1933 - Paris, France, Roman Polanski was born? I know... he's one controversial human being and when I think of his personal life I feel an overwhelming rage, yet when I think of his professional career... I get all warm and fuzzy! We are all human, some may say, and there is no gentleman that asks a lady for her age, yet I try not to think of these things. I try to tell myself that some people are more drawn than others to the Dark Side. I think Roman Polanski's  life was drawn to the Dark Side since the beginning... when he was 6 he was in the Krakow Ghetto, his wife (pregnant with his child) was murdered by the Manson family in 1969 aaaaand... there's that set of charges due to which he can't enter USA anymore!
Roman Polanski was born in Paris in a Polish-Jewish family. They moved back to Poland in 1937, when he was just 4 years old. Two years later Poland came under German (Nazi) occupation. It must have been a horrific time for him, at such an early stage in his life, to be confronted with death and the ugliness of life. We was expelled from school only a few weeks after he first started - Jews were not allowed to school. It took over 6 years to get him on a school's bench back again. By the time the Second World War ended (in 1945) a fifth of the Polish population had been killed! Of the total of deaths, 3 million were of Polish Jews, which accounted for 90% of the country's Jewish population.
Polanski was in love with movies ever since he was 4-5 years old. Of course he could not see any movies in the ghetto but he remembers well the movies displayed in the market outside the walls. He would watch them over the barbed wire - even if it was just propaganda. After the war he enrolled in the National Film School in Lodz - currently the leading Polish school for actors, regizors, directors... and everything connected to the art of movie making. It is well known and recognised even in Hollywood. 

Without any further ado, I leave you for today to have a look and think at the facts about this controversial human being: 
* Polanski won a best director Oscar for his 2002 Holocaust film "The Pianist," as well as the Cannes film festival's Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) that same year.
* Harrison Ford, who was presenting the Oscar, accepted it on Polanski's behalf because the director could not travel to Los Angeles due to the criminal charge. The audience gave Polanski a standing ovation, and Ford later handed over the golden statuette to Polanski in September at a film festival in Deauville, France.
* Polanski also directed such film classics as "Chinatown," which earned 11 Oscar nominations, "Repulsion," "Tess," and "Rosemary's Baby."
* Polanski later received the Crystal Globe award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2004.

P.S. I find it refreshing the fact that he has now a family and no other new accusations came to light. He married actress Emmanuelle Seigner - again age was not important, as she was 33 years younger! They have 2 children - a daughter and a son. They speak in Polish at home. 

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves Polish History and Amazing Polish People that Changed the World
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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Travel Tuesday: Romanian Navy Day

Dearest sweethearts,

I don't often get to tell you about my homeland, but today it's one of those days when I share ;) Today in Romania there is a national celebration: Romanian Navy Day. Most countries that have a navy have their own Navy Day and Romania celebrates it each year on the 15th of August. It was first celebrated on 15th of August 1902 (115 years ago!) - the festivities match with the feast day of the "Assumption of Mary", the oldest celebration of Virgin Mary. In case you didn't know, The Virgin Mary is the protector of sailors, so the fitting if the 2 celebrations is harmoniously done. 
Usually on the coast of the Black Sea, in the port town of Constanta, local and tourists alike feast their eyes upon the unique show prepared. It comes in a display of sound, colour and light - choreography at it's finest, everyone being able to see tugboats performing manoeuvres in harmony with eachover and the music. Of course there were times when the fleet was outside borders, like in 1925, when they were in the harbour of Cuda in Crete. Nonetheless the sailors celebrated on their boats/vessels this special day. In time the festivities her more and more popular and people from all over the country would come see it.
#DidYouKnow that in 1928 the Romanian Navy Day had special guests? The Polish sailors from the vessel Lwow. It was the very first time when a foreign crew participated in our national event! 
Also, each year an anchor made out of flowers is thrown into the sea in the memory of the sailor soldiers fallen in battle protecting Romania. Alongside the National Hymn that will be played today, 21 artillery salvos are the regular remembrance that can be heard each year.

Yours sincerely,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves The Sea
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Saturday, 12 August 2017

Krakow: American Style Food Time!

Dearest hearts,

If you love American Style Food and you would like none of that fast food industry products (be it McDonald's, KFC or Burger King), if you are in Krakow and you want something juicy, fatty, filling and yummy, make sure you try out Jeff's - Neighbourhood Grill and Bar. Jeff's is the place to go to! It ain't your traditional polish diner, Nope! It's your boy next door American diner where everything feels genuinely like the States! Everyone there seems to have incorporated the idea that a smile is worth everything. The moment that you pass it's "porch" you will be greeted by hostesses that "can hardly wait" to show you to an appropriate table and tell you the menu of the day. The smile never falters ;) and somehow that's always refreshing in a world we only see the dark side.
 With a rank of 417 out of 894 restaurants in Krak贸w on TripAdvisor, it gathered 59 written reviews on the same site, with a grade of 3.5 out of 5 stars. The restaurant is open from 10 am to the last customer, all days of the week ;) it is located on ul. Podgorska 34. That means Galeria Kazimierz at the last floor, in the food court,  right in front of the Cinema City
I've always loved the way food is served here -people know that due to the food they serve, the customers will use their hands, hence every table gets a full roll of papernapkins to use to their hearts content. That comes in handy when you have chicken wings and fries, but also when you get sandwiches or burgers. You won't have sticky fingers, that's for sure ;) In the summertime we like to share a jug of lemonade in 2 - it's 1 litre big, heavy with lemon juice, low on sugar and with icy cubes inside. Very refreshing! We would like to suggest to you this time to try out the "Kanapka BLT" - that's 2 tall sandwiches heavy in crispy yummy bacon and cheese and pieces of ham combined with mayo-mustard sauce and lettuce and tomatoes with a side of fries and beetroot salad. Marek is a fan of ribs so he had the baby back ribs with hot sauce and side of fries, colesaw and a corn on a stick. Everything was delicious, as always ;)
You can always contact them on Facebook or call them and setup a reservation for a table. It opened in 2001 and running ever since :) The cuisine is signalled as: American (New), American (Traditional), Back to My Photos, Breakfast, Brunch, Burgers, Hot Dogs, Seafood and Steakhouses. You can pay cash or by card (Visa and even American Express). You can see their full menu on their Website and see in advance what you can order ;) We recommend it with all our heart and we believe that if ever you are in Krakow your should give it a go ;) 
The prices:
- Kanapka BLT - 25 zloty
- Baby Back Ribs - 41 zloty 
- Lemonade for 2, in a jug (1 litre) - 30 zloty

** This post was made out of love for American food. I was not repayed in any way and all the opinions are my very own, straight from the heart! **

Yours truly,
The LadyBug that loves Bacon!
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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

5 Outdoor Hangout Places In Krakow

Dearest sweethearts,

Summertime is a good time to visit Krakow - though my personal favourite is autumn and spring comes as a close second. Krakow has so many places one could relax outdoors, without melting from the torrid sun waves. Krakow boasts of multiple restaurants and coffee places that have their own terrace - and even if you are not a fan you could also try the cool cellars that are mostly from the 15th century. These is air conditioning and there is fresh cold beer or home-made tasting icecream - so everyone can pick and choose to their liking. There are many outdoor hangout places in Krakow but I'll tell you if my favourite 5 - don't consider this a top, I love them all and the order constantly changes ;) so you need to test them all and let me know what you think:
Chopin's piano - sculpture inside Planty, Krakow
1. Planty - The green belt/park surrounding Krakow's Old Town area - before, the medieval city had strong walls and a moat to protect it; now the city has grown so much and the people wanted to preserve and protect the old town, so this park happened! A green belt where everyone can come and cycle, roller blade, have a walk with their children or their pets, a place where one can stay and relax and read a book - sometimes even sit on the grass and relax, have a nap. The Planty also hosts some of the more known cafe's - like the amazing Bunkier Sztuki Cafe with its fingerlicking pancakes and English breakfast or poached eggs. The cafe has see through plastic walls, that allow you to enjoy the view even when it snows or rains. It's split between smoking and non-smoking and I also dearly recommend the smoothies ;)
Cavalry in Park Jordana, Krakow
2. Park Jordana - or as I like to call it, the Krakow Central Park - is 20-30 min away from the Main Market Square (depends on how fast your pace is) and right next door to the Main Building of the Museum of Krakow. It's a favourite for youngsters due to the tennis and skateboard court, but also for the ones with a patriotic soul, as inside the park you can find many statues of important Polish people throughout history. There are often manifestations of cavalry in the summer-autumn time. Having a picnic with the family here is quite common.
3. Cafe Szal - A Frenzy of Madness... - taking it's name after a painting of a Polish author, the cafe is a must if ever you are in Krakow. It is located on the first floor of the Sukiennice - you can get to it by the stairs that also take you to the 19th Century Art Museum (2nd floor) or take the elevator. The terrace of the cafe is on the side of Sukiennice that overlooks the St. Mary's Church, the Adam Mickiewicz statue and the St. Adalbert Church (the oldest church in Krakow). It's the best view of the Main Market Square and St. Mary's Church that you will ever get, so make sure you snap a photo! Be careful, there is a "No Smoking" rule, due to the vicinity with the paintings (museum).
4. The Vistula River Bank - it's nice and cosy, providing you a view of the Wawel Castle and the boats that roam past you. You can find a tree and get some shade or you can put a blanket on the grass and take a sun bath. There are also some tables where you can play chess or a board game... sometimes in the summertime there is open air cinema ;) not to mention you can always grab a beer and some fries at one of the boats in the area.
5. Krakow's Mounds - #Didyouknow that Krakus Mound is one of the 2 prehistoric sites/monuments that Krakow has? It's also a great place for a family picnic! The view is gorgeous over the Kazimierz-Podgorze area but my favourite mound is the Kopiec Kosciuszki. Kosciuszko fought in the American War and Jefferson (Thomas) spoke very highly of him. To remember the 200th anniversary of his death, the year 2017 has been proclaimed the "Year of Kosciuszko" by Polish authorities.

Have you ever been to one of these places? How did you like them? What are your favourite hangout places, outdoor of course, in Krakow? Would love to hear more about secret places none knows of :) do tell!

Yours sincerely,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves The Outdoor 
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Sunday, 6 August 2017

The Things We Do For Love Of Power

Dearest hearts,

Sometimes moments from our history, even most recent ones, pass us and we don't remember. Some things we should indeed remember, lest we forget... #didyouknow that on the 6th of August 1945 the Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima by the US B-29 Superfortress  "Enola Gay"? Thats 72 years since the "Little Boy" was released... It's an odd and frightening thought that human beings have such capacity of (self)destruction in them. What good is there that there was a warning sign before - they were dropping pamflets about the imminent attack - if nothing like this was seen before? Every other attack could somehow be avoided, bunkers would be used, but in this case they would not help much... how horrible and what kind of heart would one have to release such power knowing the horrible consequences? To know that the bomb can create permanent shadows out of living things - there were numerous cases of people caught too close and being instantly turned into shadows on the pavement. We are all just dust in the wind, but what gives another person the right to assume control over another's life?
#Didyouknow that the Ginkgo Biloba tree was actually one of the few trees that could stand the Atomic bomb? It's also the single tree that continues to grow through the misery, it is a strong force set against all odds. I wish we could all be that strong when facing adversity. I was reading the other day this book by Tom Marcus - "Soldier Spy". He is a former MI5 agent, working there for years, but with no ability to switch off from his job. Some would call that mental issue, psychological problem... you name it! In the book he tells a story about going shopping with his wife and son. He sees a couple acting different, splitting quick - the lady with the burka going one way, the man the other. Additional details come in and when the man comes down, as if to tie his shoelace, Tom gets ready to take him down (actually killing him) thinking of an imminent bomb attack.  Turns out that the guy was just stealing a large TV in broad daylight! I wonder how many times people do take the wrong call, causing all Hell to break loose, just by thinking that they saw something. I believe it's all related to power, the knowledge that you have it and know how to use it (most of the time towards your own benefit) causes more harm than we can imagine.
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I don't believe I have ever met a person with power that did not use it for himself more than for the benefit of others. Once someone gets power they always want more - it's the same with money, but I think in this case it is worse... Once power rises so does ones ego, making them feel invincible. It does no longer matter what happens to others, but what matters most is oneself. Putting things above people is the next step - why invest time and money in others when you can have it all for yourself? Who cares is thousands of people die in an instant (and more in the course of the years that followed, due to radiation)? We won the battle, we won the war, we gain certain resources... A human being is nothing compared to a pint of oil, according to some. How horrible is to have power and not have a soul!

Yours very sincerely,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Wishes Everyone Would Not Sell Their Soul
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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Things I Am Thankful For - July 2017

Dearest sweethearts,

If you've been reading my blog this year you must have noticed the challenge I have proposed for this year. It's hard sometimes to see the bright side of life. Even when looking at a glass of water we tend to see the empty half, nor the part filled with water. In fact, all that is relatively as the glass is never empty - the other half is filled with air! So what I proposed was that at the beginning of each month we should think of the things we are thankful for.  It might be hard at first but you'll get better as time passes. Train yourself to see the beauty in the little things in life. Start with 5 things/Moments and work up from there ;) Here's my take until now for the month of January, FebruaryMarchAprilMay and June. For July am thankful for many things, but here are 5 picks:
Picture taken during ceremony by Iza from Bellove
1. The Little Ladybug Baby Girl had her baptism - it was a blessing to have the family around us. Both my Mum and Granny were already here and my sister flew all the way from Brussels & almost everyone from Marek'sfamily managed to come, so we had a very cosy and intimate ceremony in the very same church that we got married in - St. Peter and Paul Church on Grodzka, Krakow. In case you didn't know, that's the very same church that St. Pope John Paul 2nd parents got married ;) Now you know!
2. My amazingly talented and pretty sister came to visit! I don't get to see her as often as I wish, we don't get to spend enough time together, we always end up pushing each other's buttons but... She's my big sister, she's the one I look up to, she's beauty and brains and ocasional brawl... She's a Wonder Woman! She's the Ladybug Baby Girl's  "Matusica Miau" (Auntie Meow) and I'm sure that in time she's gonna teach her how to dress, paint her nails, put on lipstick and makeup, shop till you drop and... whatever not... Looking forward to that! :)
3. My very own amazing photographer - Iza from Bellove - I have met Iza from more than a year ago. She was there for me when I was searching for a photographer to do a specific set of pictures. She never did that type before, yet she embarked on the journey with confidence, professionalism and... friendship 馃尲 Iza is a gem, a one of a kind lady - I'm glad to see her develop both her skills and her brand. I've received the printed pictures from my #ladybugbabygirl baptism and they came in this adorable handmade box, all wrapped in ribbons and with an extra gift inside 馃悶 I thoroughly and wholeheartedly recommend her, as a photographer and as a friend. Iza... see you soon ;) (We're having the 1 year old Ladybug Baby Girl photoshoot very very very soon!).

4. The little things in life, that truly make a difference - be it the time spent with family, be it the fun and noisy moments you have with your friends, or even the silent moments you have with yourself. I cherish the moments when I'm alone, let's say walking through the Jewish quarter (Kazimerz) and spotting new street Art, murals, bumping into a live concert, or just simply looking at people passing by the street... finding an odd recycled piece of furniture / equipment and smiling because someone took the time to make it come alive again...
5. My sister's birthday - in case you were wondering I'm 16 going on 17 and she's 18 going on 19 :p kidding aside, July is an important month for me! My family has many Lions: my Granny and my sister & my very own lion cub: The little Ladybug Baby Girl 馃挆 my sister was born in summertime, she loves the sun (but not too much, if there is no sea and sand nearby) and she has a very warm and open heart. She sees the best in people. She is also terribly talented, witty and sarcastic. She is my very own gem! And I love her to the moon and back again. 

Yours very much sincerely,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Wants To Be Thankful For All The Lovely Things Life Brings Us
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