Current Obsession – Corgis!

Everytime I see a corgi, I have a cuteness overdose reaction. Well, more or less. God forbid I should see more than one on the street, in which case I would become hysterical. No worries, corgis in Brussels are as rare as sunshine. How can’t anyone find them so darn cute? Let’s put it this way: I’m a big dogs kind of girl. Give me a Bernese Mountain Dog or a German Shepherd and I’m happy for life. Well, even if corgis go against the whole “big dogs” rule, I have absolutely fallen for them, the way they run with their ridiculously small paws and their crazy-happy faces! 

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Have you fallen for them yet? 😉

In any case, I have a feeling this obsession is here to stay for a while.

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Stuck on Replay – Coldplay*

(no particular song… just all of them)

First of all, who has never heard of Coldplay? Some people love them, some people hate them. Others have no idea who they are (they have no idea what they’re missing! ;-))

It’s quite simple to explain the Coldplay phenomenon. They are more than just a band. They’re one of those nowadays rare true artists, throwing their heart and soul into their music. The story behind each and every one of their songs is worth reading about. Not to mention their lyrics (singing the story of your life) and their melodies (which always hit the right note). I haven’t had the chance to go to one of their concerts yet but so far, the DVD live versions I’ve watched with my Dad are simply breathtaking. Their songs go through your bones and remind you of the good things in life.

Here’s one of their first songs I listened to and also one of my favourites, “Yellow”, which made them reach the top-five hit list in the UK in 2000.

The story behind “Yellow” made me chuckle. According to my sources (all right, Wikipedia… don’t frown upon it, it’s where I got this cute story), one night, the band took a break after recording another song and went out for a walk. The stars in the sky were shining bright (I get the feeling that I should start writing children’s stories), which caught Ken Nelson’s eye (the song’s co-producer). He told the others to “look at the stars” and this idyllic moment inspired lead singer Chris Martin to write a new song.

On to the funny part: at first, Martin lacked inspiration when it came to the song’s title. Later on, as he looked around the studio, he found the Yellow Pages (the famous phone book) and this is how the title “Yellow” stuck. Simple yet it sounds right. According to Chris Martin, “Yellow” refers to the band’s mood: “Brightness and hope and devotion“.

Hope you enjoyed this!

P.S: I haven’t forgotten about my article on Romania. No worries, it’s coming soon! Pictures and all! 🙂

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Words of Wisdom

“What is the most beautiful in virile men is something feminine. What is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine.” 

– Susan Sontag (a literary icon I will soon write about)

A touch of tenderness in a man could never harm anyone. Nor a woman who doesn’t take herself too seriously and adds a touch of désinvolture or insolence to her allure, making it slightly boyish. As a contrasts admirer, this is a pretty inspirational statement for me.

Have a great, long weekend, everyone!

Back to roots

Only two more days and I’m heading back to Romania for spring break, peeps! After all, family will always be family. Every spring, I miss my hometown. Somehow, spring always brings back great childhood memories. And hey, I can use some serious spring right now with all this darn snow here in Brussels. Anyone else screaming for sunshine?

Can’t wait to wander in the city and play photographer. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just let you guess the name after I post a few pictures in a few days.

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(Peleș Castle, in the Carpathian Mountains) – No, that’s not a clue, nice try! 😀

Stuck on Replay – “Shells of Silver”

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Here’s a song I’ve recently discovered thanks to the Gossip Girl series. Now, I know Gossip Girl may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to hand it to them: they do know how to work an amazing soundtrack (and the outfits are – most of them – to die for). To be honest, I find a few episodes quite dull or predictable… except maybe for the fifth season, which had a lot of gasping and “No way!” moments. But, I have to admit, it’s still a good way to spend your empty evenings at home.

So here it is… shivers down your spine and all!

New language, new soul?

“Learn a new language and get a new soul”

Inspiring quote, isn’t it? This Czech proverb is actually something to reflect on as a bilingual (or multilingual). I’ve recently read this interesting article which made me wonder whether I’m a different person every time I switch to another language.

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I feel lucky to have grown in a multilingual environment. I’m Romanian-born but my parents thought it was important for me to also expand to a different culture and therefore, expand my horizons and the way I see the world. As a child, I would sometimes speak English to my dad and he would answer back in Romanian or vice-versa. Another thing I should really be grateful for is … Cartoon Network. Yes, Cartoon Network (don’t laugh). Hearing English on the TV for hours really helped me picking up words, which made me gain confidence. Then, when I was ten, we’ve moved to Belgium. Obviously, you get a lot more multiculturalism in Brussels then in my small Romanian hometown. As a kid (especially at that age), you can’t really have a cultural shock but more of a cultural curiosity. I remember being surrounded by the other kids at school, asking me where I come from and I would ask them the same thing. In a day, I would get more or less 10 different answers… something that fascinated me. For the first time in my life, I felt… different. In a good way. All the kids were different but they still had a place at that school. I realised that being different wasn’t a bad thing. 

In a few years time, I started to learn other languages and made a passion out of it. Discovering and learning about other cultures is probably one of the best way to enrich yourself. Rudolf Steiner was right: “to truly know yourself, take real interest in the world”. Now, I don’t know if I’m really that different when I switch from English to Spanish or from French to Italian… The interviewees in the article comment that it’s a question of context, which I agree with. However, I also think that I’m sometimes more relaxed when speaking French or English and more “anxious” when it comes to Italian or Spanish. It must be a question of habit and practice. I have less opportunities to speak Spanish and Italian, which makes me think I’ve forgotten everything. Also, it’s very funny to notice that writing a formal letter in French asks for a lot more sentences than in English. Anyone else who has the same feeling?

One thing that I’ve learned for sure: learning a new language doesn’t make you a psychopath. 🙂 You can still pick new things from different cultures while keeping your own cultural values. After all, this is what makes everyone out there different. Diversity… isn’t it an awesome thing?