I couldn't help overhearing a quite bizarre conversation today. As of now, I am sitting in a Coffeeshop Company (which is like Starbucks, but Austrian, I think) and was reading through my university texts and the two women talking next to me had a peculiar string of discussions.
Clearly both of them were well-equipped with money which I could tell by their boots (looooovely) and by their talk (apparently they go into the opera once a week, very classy). My ears kept flipping over to them (metaphorically, obviously) when they started talking about the benefits of dating older men and, with a little mean smile, I thought they matched the cliche. They both looked like women who would net elderly, rich men to buy their Prada bags and (loooooooovely) boots. The way they talked about this issue came close to a business plan, seriously. "Falling in love and getting rich by it, 101" or "How to get rich without working" or "How to net an old man with your lady parts". It had something rather objectifying to it and I have never heard people talk about dating men like this ever before. The people I know mark out the personality qualities, the little things they already love about their new lover, or when and how they met.
Well, the last item on the list, these two women also discussed and I learned the even more proficient in rich-man-hunting netted her new exemplary in Paris, where she was on a short shopping trip (doesn't seem like she needs a rich man...) and he, a Portuguese rich man, owns a flat there, but he also owns a house in Portugal, obviously.
Honestly, I couldn't tell you one thing about this mystery man's character, yet I know that he has a flat in Paris, a house in Portugal (which is currently being renovated), three Jaguars (cars, not the animal) and gave her a necklace she was wearing (and it was surprisingly ugly).
Oh, and of course that he is twenty-five years older than her. Now, I am not out to judge people on age differences, I will give you my personal opinion on it in a minute, but what struck me as entirely odd was the way these women talked about this. Woman B (the less proficient who secretly is jealous of all her friend's possession but is in the end more likely the relatable person in this scenario), pointed out that he would already be eighty-five when Woman A would be sixty to which Woman A bluntly responded "Well, either he dies or it's time for a new man anyway."
Ouch. Probably it's their weird humour, I don't know, and I got it way out of context, yet this is pretty harsh, isn't it? Growing apart with time is one thing but entering a relationship with the prerequisite that my partner either has to have died by eighty-five or I will be looking for a new man sounds pretty extreme, if you ask me.
But then the question, of course, is whether we can depict him as the poor lamb either. I am really not within this scene, but the rich-guy-young-woman situation seems to be agreed on mutually - as a man you accept you will only be loved for you money, and as a woman only for your looks.
But who would accept that? I definitely wouldn't. Love is a wonderful experience and I would rather sleep under a bridge with my man than in a luxurious bed with another, but probably I'm old-fashioned...
Anyway, they kept on discussing their rich boyfriends and their exclusive lifestyle and I couldn't help write a text to my man, telling him I loved him. Probably I don't have these boots (oh, were they lovely), but I have a man who will not leave me when my saggy boobs make me stumble and my face has more wrinkles than skin, and for that I am eternally grateful.
As for the opinion. Personally, I couldn't care less about other people's lives as long as they're happy. However, I do think that it simply cannot be entirely normal to date someone who precedes your own father (or grandfather) in age. Some years apart shouldn't hurt but I also assume that developing together is pretty hard if someone is so much older than the other half of the relationship. I, for my part, am really happy my man and I are pretty much the same age because we develop sort of linear; however, again, it might be different with other people and I respect that, but I would assume anything beyond ten years strikes me as slightly odd, especially if you're still pretty young. I would assume the difference between a fifteen year old and a twenty-five year old cause more reasons for irritation than a thirty and forty year old, but that is all, of course, speculation. I just know that whatever years are between your and your partner, you shouldn't wish him/her death by the age of eighty-five...it's really interesting what you hear when you forget your headphones at home...
I know, I know, I am a day late, but hey, I'll just say I was on strike, so it's fine.
No, seriously, Happy Belated International Women's Day! As a woman I feel proud to have my own day dedicated to my vagina, even though it is basically because my gender has been suppressed for ... well, like, always. But it gives you a feeling of empowerment, I must say, and I also must say, I am proud to be a woman!
Alright, before I fire off, one note, I am in an extreeeeeemly good mood today (which is why I write like a hysterical teenager going to a One Direction concert (wait, are they still a thing? God, I am old)), which means I will dish out hard, use inappropriate language and be borderline offensive probably (in a funny way, hopefully), so be prepared! (And warned). Additionally, it might not all make sense because this is like a free flow of thoughts and my brain can be really cluttered.
Yesterday was a great day and I will tell you all about it, but let me first tell you about my first day of uni, which was on Tuesday. The University of Vienna is veeeery strange in my opinion. First of all, they're really disorganised and for all classes I've had so far, my teacher was at least twenty minutes late. I mean, I get they have to maintain the cliche of the proverbially late academic, but twenty minutes, really?
My first introduction into university life was a lecture on Tuesday night, which, as such, isn't a great start really. Additionally, the teacher was late and then procrastinated (I think she was really nervous) before finally starting off with her lecture - which was even worse.
Seriously, for the first ten minutes of her lecture, I wasn't sure if she was blind. She permanently kept looking up in the air, as if she couldn't see and her eyes were weirdly titled towards another, it was creepy. For ten minutes, I weighed whether she was blind and reeeeeeally skilled to find buttons on the PC, or simply reeeeeeeeeally bad at teaching and connecting with the audience (because obviously, if she really was blind, I couldn't call her out for bad teaching - that would be discriminatory of disabled people - and THAT really was discriminatory, by the way).
Ten minutes in, I realised it was the latter and her eyesight was OK, she just didn't want to look at her students - and who could blame her? Ten minutes and everybody was already put into a coma by her poor teaching skills and boring agenda. Seriously, they should teach teaching...
There is one more funny thing to tell. While she was droning on, I had about 50 ideas for blog posts and short stories, so I scribbled them down onto my note pad and, soon, observed something entirely funny. As I was writing away with the teacher not really saying anything note-worthy, I got more and more glances of students in my vicinity, throwing me anxious and confused looks, slowly taking up their pens and starting to scribble down notes, too. With an inward laugh, I realised that by writing, I had put some of them in a frenzy because they worried I would write down something crucial they simply didn't realise was crucial - even though it wasn't, as what I was writing was nowhere near related to her lecture. So, if you ever want to put students in a frenzy, just take notes when the teacher is not really saying anything. It will drive them mad!
At some point, Mrs Boring actually started with content, but so swiftly and smoothly, no one noticed and was put in a real frenzy when we all collectively realised it was time to take notes now. Until today, I have no clue what her lecture was about because she just blabbed on in the highest academic jargon and it's been a while since I've talked it, so this is going to be interesting...
OK, jumping to yesterday. Yesterday, I saw the most disturbing thing on the tram. A guy was standing in front of me, wearing ripped jeans and underneath, can you believe it?, he was actually wearing tights! I have seen girls do that, but not a guy...He had a hole just below his bum (in the jeans, what were you thinking?) and through the mesh hose you could see some wiry, black hair sticking out - seriously something I needn't see; however, it was Women's Day, so probably that was his statement, so, thumbs up, I guess... (though, I wouldn't do a thumbs-up too close to his bum jeans hole...)
Apart from seeing the ass hair of a man yesterday, I also taught at VHS and made my first real money in Vienna (yeah!) and had another class at university, which was way better than my introductory lecture, so life's good I guess! I didn't know if it was OK to work on Women's Day, but then I thought how stupid is it to NOT work when what we've been fighting for so long is actually being able to go to work. OK, I do get it, just look at Spain where the whole country basically collapsed because women refused to work - that was awesome, but I felt like it and thoroughly enjoyed it as well (and I didn't blog, which I consider to be my real work anyway).
What's left to say...I hope you all had a great Women's Day and thank you to all women who, alongside me, keep fighting for equality and a world in which gender doesn't play a role anymore when it comes to human rights, salaries and allowances.
PS There will be a vlog on similar topics as well if you're too lazy to read (even though, if you're reading this, you most likely already read the post above, so, sorry).
I've been meaning to write this post for the past couple of days, but never came round to, but here it goes. Recently, I did an Ayurveda workshop as part of my Yoga teacher training and have gained very insightful knowledge - within and around the workshop.
First of all, I am a naturally suspicious person towards the whole Yoga, Ayurveda trend - for some areas you may even dare to use the word "sect". I am doing the training because Yoga is a great base for physical movement and since I cannot do ballet after my injury, I opted for Yoga as a great alternative. However, I do not buy into this whole vegan, Asia-obsessed, Shakti, karma trend evolving around the whole matter, which is why I was initially a little worried about this Ayurveda class, but the teacher was quite alright. True, she seemed to have a love for vegans, a side cut (not that this has anything to do with Ayurveda, it just irritated me) and a clear love for anything Asian. Yet generally, she was open for everything and explained Ayurveda in a concise and understandable manner.
Which, obviously, opens the question of "what is Ayurveda?" Well, I will not explain in all details because a) you have Google to do that and b) it would take far too long and I am no expert. In a nutshell, Ayurveda is a holistic approach to the mind and body and translates from Sanskrit to "the knowledge of life". It covers massages, meditation and nutrition as one of the major parts, instilling that good nutrition makes a healthy body and only a healthy body can lead to a healthy mind.
I found this train of thought utterly fascinating and, as I am currently trying to change my eating patterns into healthier ones, I thought the class was a good fit (she wrote, having a chocolate cake next to her). We also did some Yoga, which was horrible because my nose was still so blocked up that I couldn't do half of the poses and stretched instead (upon phrasing this sentence, it actually does not sound so horrible anymore).
The major part was about good and healthy nutrition and the teacher introduced us to herbs and ways to cook Ayurvedan style. And this is were I took issue.
You see, I get that Ayurveda comes from Asia, but I think it is crucial to transfer such systems into our own system. We are not Asians, but Europeans and I don't like this part of the Yoga trend where suddenly everything Asia does is perfect and simply gets imposed onto Europe without adapting to our own history and heritage. Europe has its own fantastic herbs and vegetables, yet suddenly everyone is eating quinoa, bulgur, curcuma and Indian herbal teas and spice mixtures. I am not saying enjoying foreign cuisine is wrong, on the contrary, but I feel Ayurveda in Europe using still Asian food is pretty hypocritical. The teacher permanently stressed the importance of keeping Ayurvedan food as simple as possible and eating regionally and seasonally - something I completely agree with. However, two sentences later she would praise the benefits of spices like curcuma, ginger or Tulsi - all plants which exclusively do not grow anywhere near Europe and have to be imported from distant countries via dirty oil ships or planes, which makes the whole idea absurd to me.
The basic ideas the teacher explained were really fascinating facts like the Vata, Pitta, Kapha types which, according to which is predominant in you, you should adapt your eating style. I, for instance, am Vata, primarily, which is ether and air and has the features dry, unstable, fluid, cool and dynamic. Therefore, I need warm food, lots of root vegetable to ground myself and a clear day structure, so that my Vata does not go into overdrive. I thought these aspects were very fascinating and I have already used them to re-structure my daily life.
However, she then suggested some recipes good for Vata and nearly all of them featured Indian spices. I think that eating curcuma or ginger is not necessary if I can have garlic, which also warms from the inside, or rosemary, which is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities like curcuma.
Healthy cooking, for me, is always about buying as regionally as possible and, with vegetables and fruit, only opting for seasonal products. We do not need pineapple or mango in our lives, which does not mean we cannot enjoy it now and then, but it just has nothing to do with our native food. Eating healthy should not only be about yourself, but also about ensuring short logistics.
This is also why I cannot take vegans seriously. It is absurd that they seem to feel so superior towards all other people because they eat "right" (the vegans I have encountered, that is), yet buy quinoa which is imported from Latin America, Basmati rice which is harvested in the Himalayan area or bulgur, which originates from the Middle East. Even though all of these products are healthy and nutritious, buying them creates a huge ecological footprint on the planet, which could have been avoided by eating potatoes (yeah, I know they originally come from America, but they are grown in Europe now), millet or barley and using balm, stinging nettle or dandelion - plants which are all known for their super-healing powers and are, additionally, growing just outside your house.
Another issue I had with the workshop was the vegan debate. Personally, I don't understand veganism or care about it, yet vegans seem to seek the Yoga trend like moths the light. Obviously, there they get the confirmation they desperately seek (and mostly didn't get from their daddies - ouch, what a burn).
The teacher persistently stated we shouldn't follow food trends in the same breath that she claimed veganism was a great way to eat - which for me does not make sense, as veganism is THE biggest food trend out there and also derives from the Asian culture again. Obviously, many people are vegetarians or vegans there, but a) most are because they cannot afford meat and b) it is a long-rooted tradition in their history and social-geographical development. Buddhism promotes vegetarianism because of its philanthropic, no-harm-to-anybody philosophy and, with their climate being somewhat more benevolent, it is understandable they had more opportunities to grow than someone like the Vikings who lived through darkest winters and had to hunt and eat meat to stay strong and survive the cold season.
I am not suggesting we are slaves to our history, but we must not forget our heritage and cherish it. I am sad that this whole new Asian trend is sweeping over our own culture and, instead of unearthing our own herbs and fantastic plants, people are eager to have goods imported from countries which are so far away, there is no chance it can be good for the planet. Let me tell you this, vegans out there, even if you eat vegan, the tanker shipping over your quinoa or bulgur is definitely not fuelled with vegan products, but with oil which can unleash a massive catastrophe on the oceans and eco-systems.
But let me not rant on about vegans, because this was not the reasons for this post, I just got a little derailed and apologise for that. For myself I could collect a lot of fantastic things from this workshop, which I could already apply to my life. However, instead of eating too many imported goods, I will try to apply the Ayurveda aspects I want to engage with in a regional and seasonal way, instead of the Asian way. I will see how that goes and share any recipes with you I come up with. Additionally, I may do (MAY DO) a little piece on the best European herbs because I am doing some research on that at the moment.
Finally, I want to state something both I and Ayurveda promote: Eat what makes you feel good, otherwise there is no use in it (apart from staying alive).
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