Archive of ‘Inspiration’ category

Creating a positive world

creating a positive world

Photo (c) Elena Azzalini Photography

Creating a positive world full of lights can be sometimes harder than expected. But my friends and I in collaboration with the 3 companies who are behind this blog are doing their best to ensure that the vision of this blog is possible. You will probably have noticed some changes on the blog these days, as I purchased the theme (which is actually the one that I was using before with some necessary changes.) So that we are still going to have more positive days, more happy days, more love.

“Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.” -Orison Swett Marden

3 years in Vienna

It has been 3 years since I moved to Vienna. How do I feel? Strange! I came for 3 months and after 3 years I am still here. Crazy but true! You probably think that I met the love of my life in those first 3 months of living here, who changed my mind and convinced me to stay here. No. That’s not the reason. My life is not so romantic. You might think that I decided to stay here because of the economical crisis in Greece. No. That’s not the reason. There isn’t one reason actually but there are many.

I decided to stay here because I wanted to do something different, I wanted to see how life abroad would be. I somehow felt that I had to bring myself a step further. I had a project whose name was “self-improvement”. Easier said than done, but certainly an ideal to strive towards. I was curious and believed that this experience is worth having. And it is. I was right. Generally, I am very aware of what I am doing, what I want in life and what is good for me. But things don’t go always as planned, because we sometimes depend on others and because there are plenty of things that are out of our control.

Now what? What I have managed? Where have I failed? Where do I see myself in the future? That kind of questions are an endless inner monologue. You also ask yourself that kind of questions from time to time. We all do it, it’s normal and mature. Well, I actually aim to finish my studies and then I will reevaluate things, set priorities, contemplate the future, and make seriouuuus decisions, as usual.♥

Thumbnail photo by Jakob Reinfeldt

My favourite dessert

My favourite dessert

It’s official. My blog has its own dessert. Actually this dessert had no name before so I decided to call it: the Viennese girl’s dessert. Forget about Sacher torte, cheesecake, tiramisu and apple strudel. If you are looking for a summer-like dessert, don’t look any further. I have done it many times at home: it’s simple, quick, it gives you that perfect summer feeling and everybody likes how it tastes. What else do you need?

You need Greek Yogurt, lemon peel, digestive biscuits and condensed milk. First buy the ingredients, mix the yogurt with the condensed milk and the lemon peels in a bowl and you need some ice cream glasses to serve it. At the bottom of the glass, you put the biscuit crumbs.

If you make the Viennese girl’s dessert, let me know and send me some photos. That would be fantastic!

Thoughts

Thoughts the viennese girl blog ViennaOne friend of mine who learnt that I have a blog said to me “Oh you are going to be famous”.
This declaration by my friend made me think a lot and there are two comments to make about it. First of all, I don’t think that somebody becomes famous just because he/she has a blog and secondly, the most important thing is that becoming famous is not my goal, not the reason why I started blogging. I don’t think that somebody starts a blog with the aspiration of becoming famous. Things are not that easy. Nowadays there are thousand of blogs, I don’t think we are all going to be famous.

The website was launched at the beginning of 2014. My thought is that everything should be written in English so people from all the continents of the world could understand the content. But writing in English is such a great challenge for me because in the past years I worked more upon my German and Italian languages. As a result, with the passage of time, my English got rusty and through this website I have the chance to improve my English every time I write a post. But the fact that English is not my mother tongue makes it difficult for me to express my thoughts and sentiments compared to the way that I would do it if I was writing in my mother tongue. This is a bit of pity but I try…

My biggest worry was and still is to not appear arrogant, snobbish or boastful. Putting photos of myself might give the impression that there is that need of “showing off”. On the other hand, I am afraid that this site would be so impersonal if I didn’t upload any photo of me. So, there is a constant battle within me between “you shouldn’t appear arrogant” and “the blog shouldn’t appear impersonal”. So, I try to keep a balance and maintain a down-to-earth profile and hope at least that I will not give this false impression of a boastful superficial person.

Besides, I am aware of the fact that having a website means “a big exposure”. And when I say exposure, I mean exposure to the whole world. Everybody can google it, find and read it. And I am also aware of the fact that many people wouldn’t find my content of such a big interest. There is no reason to worry about it because I know deep inside that it is impossible to win them all and that’s totally fine with me. This shouldn’t stop me or anybody in this world from doing what I or you like.

Why I made this blog and why would I recommend you to start blogging too:
The website keeps my enthusiasm alive on every day life and helps me not to fall to a routine. It is like a hobby that keeps you motivated, makes you more creative and inventive. Who doesn’t want such a hobby? After finishing work and university, it’s so much fun sitting in front of the pc, writing, uploading pictures, editing and sharing.

But the most important thing above all is that through this blog I managed to meet such incredible interesting people. I realise that if this blog didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet them. And this is exactly the reason that makes me wanting keep on blogging.

Let’s say…the best is yet to come.♥

 

Monsieur Seguin

Monsieur Seguin is the name of the salad I ate some days ago at Le Bol, a delectable salad that you can also make at home. You need to buy the ingredients which are: lettuce, kiwi, pears, figs, tomatoes, raisins and of course the goat cheese that will give a very special flavor and taste to your dish. Mix the ingredients and don’t forget the vinaigrette. It will not only look yummy, it will also taste so. Très jolie.
Le Bol is a lovely french Bistrot and their dishes are delicious and sophisticated. We shouldn’t expect less, it’s French cuisine dear! Have a look here of the dish I ordered some other time at the same place. 

 

The 500

the 500 The 500 – Oh, what a day! We went for a stroll around the city, the weather was warm and the sun was shining brightly. We explored some cool places where you can enjoy a drink with a view (stay tuned – posts are coming soon) but what really excited me were two things: a fawn pug with a wrinkly, short-muzzled face that wanted to bite me, or kiss me, or lick me (actually I didn’t understand his intentions) but it was fun anyway and also a vintage Fiat 500! Cute pugs and old cars make Vienna even more beautiful! If you like this photo, you can find more photos on Instagram.

Btw, the mini skirt in the photo below was made by me.

Spread the word

Spread the word

Photo (c) Elena Azzalini Photography

  1. “Cause you wouldn’t know me today, and you have got to see, to believe, from the fading light I fly”. Conchita Wurst and the song “Rise like a phoenix” is the winner of the Eurovision song contest 2014, that took place in Copenhagen last night. I was very happy to watch the contest with friends in a very beautiful loft in the first district of Vienna. It used to be like an annual ritual, when I was living in Athens, to gather in a place, chat and vote with friends, and having fun together in front of the television. I am happy that the same type of gathering happens in Vienna as well. I don’t know how you find the winning song, but among the others, it was really the one that I liked most. This song has something powerful. The melody which is slow at the beginning and then become stronger gives you the impression that it talks about an achievement, something successful, for something that was lost and found, for someone who is reborn. 12 points from Greece to Austria and next year the European song contest comes to Vienna!
  2. Do you need to escape from routine for 6 months and travel the world? Swiss Air Lines gives you the opportunity to apply for a dream job and be a Swiss explorer. Just watch the video and you will understand what I am talking about. The video of the advertisement is excellent and the voice of the speaker manages to define the spirit of the job, still we should not fool ourselves that it’s going to be only fun and excitement. It is going to be demanding as well. Would you like to apply? You should hurry, because you can send your application until 28 May, 2014
  3. Do you know Mary Katrantzou? That Greek girl who managed to establish herself in a very competitive business field in London as a fashion designer. I have watched this video many times and thought I should share it with you, just in case you haven’t see it yet. I like people like Mary who persist and fight for their dreams, no matter what, and people who are creative generally. Challenge yourself to define your limits.
  4. Do you know what kind of cosmetics you use? Have you ever wondered about what kind of ingredients are they made? I had a very interesting conversation with my student who is concerned about the chemicals that they put into skin care products. She recommended me to check out this page on the web. It is a pity that the context is written in German only. I searched for a button to switch the language but didn’t find anything. Whatever, we should be and stay informed. And the next time you buy a product, take a look at the back side, where the ingredients are..

 

Home dinner

this is the menu

here is the table

 

this is the first dish

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I have a strange yet awesome story to tell. Few days ago, someone rang the bell of the apartment where I live, and when I went to the door, I heart a male voice saying that there was a delivery. I opened the door, and the delivery boy told me that he has a hard disk to deliver; however the recipient wasn’t me but rather a person who lives on another floor of my building. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure if I should take the package, which belonged to someone else, especially to someone that I don’t know at all. But the delivery boy insisted and begged me so much that it was impossible to say no. He also assured me that he has done it often in the past and that I shouldn’t worry. You see, I was the only person in the whole building at the moment.

So, I received the small parcel and thought that I have to bring it to the owner. Some days later, as I came back home from work, I thought I should try and ring the door of the person to whom the parcel belongs. This person, who happens to be a very talented photographer, opened the door, thanked me for receiving the stuff that he had ordered and all of a sudden invited me to take part in the home dinner that was about to take place and of course I accepted.

We were about nine people and everything was great. Friendly people, warm atmosphere, and excellent service from two butlers. What did I enjoy most? For every dish there was a different wine and since I love sweet wines, I mostly liked the last one which came with the dessert. You see what can happen when you receive a package?♥

Student life in Vienna

When I came to Vienna, I had no intention to study. But situations in life change all the time and so do I. I researched about the enrollment system and for the last two years I’ve been a happy student again, this time in the University of Vienna. When I decided to study, I needed some advice from people who was already studying in the university, but I knew nobody. This experience made me think that it might be useful to dedicate a post entry on this blog and write about what does “studying in the University of Vienna” mean, and the best way to do it is by asking students to tell us a bit of their experience.

Darina from Russia

darinaWhat do you study?
I’m studying International Development and Transcultural Communication with language combination German/English/French.

What do you like most about your experience of being student at the University of Vienna?
Being student in the University of Vienna is an unforgettable experience indeed. What a feeling, when you go by the underground in the early morning, and you see a lot of students, who turn over the pages of their notes, carry huge maps with printouts or simply tap messages in their iphones. You get off on the Schottentor station and suddenly see Votiv Kirche. You breathe the morning air (which sometimes smells like sea), take a drink of hot coffee from a paper cup (it can be Starbucks, Kafffeküche, McDonalds or something like that) and you feel really “studently” happy, vastly happy, as in the song of Pharrell Williams.

How would you describe your student life in Vienna?
For me Vienna is ideal for studying. It is not in a hurry, it is fascinating, very cultural, and comfortable, there are a lot of parks, avenues, streets and lawns, where you can sit down and study. But if you really want to study and to finish your degree fast (not in 12 semesters or 12 years – as it also happens), you should forget about entertainments, relaxations, night clubs, parties – for a certain time . You should decide: “I DO study, I’m quite serious with that, I do my hometasks, I attend lectures, I listen to profs carefully”, because it isn’t a kindergarden anymore. At the University of Vienna nobody controls you, I mean, it is only your business, whether you have time to do this task in time or not. You should be a strictly disciplined person and develop your time management skills to create an optimal time-table to be able to cope with all the things you have. Of course, teaching staff in the Uni is very friendly and helpful, you can communicate with them on equal terms, and I think always highly about them.

Do you work and if yes, then how do you manage to combine work and studies at the same time?
A question about combining work and studies at the same time is really a moot point. In any case, short internships during summer breaks do good, especially if you gain some experience and skills which have much in common with the subject you study.

What do you believe about the STEOP exams?
You can blame me, but I think that STEOP exams are a good practice. During the first six months you attend the lectures you have to and you can decide for yourself if you are ready to put your heart and soul into a particular field of study. For the “International Development” faculty the STEOPs were not very difficult, it was only a question of time and memory capacity 🙂

What about the leisure time? Does Vienna offer a variety of leisure activities for students?
And .. if you suddenly have free time! (During my first two years at the University I did not have any 😀 ) Yes, there are plenty of places you can go to. To begin with, to the Staatsoper – it is a wonderful, incredible, divine opera house with the perfect stagings, and you can buy a standing-place-ticket for 3 or 4 euros only, quite cheap. Then, Museumsquartier – a nice place for a summer day with cafes, museums and its unique seating area. If you are not a opera/museum-fan, you can choose one of a indie-concerts or watch a musical, attend a dancing-class (because if you live in Vienna, you should know how to dance a waltz at the least!!), go with a boat to Bratislava, with a train to Prague, Paris, Venice, .. you got a whole world in your hands! Or spend some free time in a coffee house and enjoy a cup of coffee: espresso (kleiner Schwarzer), melange, kapuziner, fiaker, latte, with hot milk, or foamed milk, with cinnamon, with whipped cream, with liqueur, or dear, there are so many types of coffee in Vienna, panic! As you see, the possibilities in Vienna are immense. I hope you will study in Vienna and it will fascinate you strongly as it has fascinated me! xx

Penelope from Greece

the viennese girlWhat do you study? And why did you choose this specific study?
I am currently doing my PhD in Classics. This means I am in love with ancient Greek literature and could not imagine myself studying anything else. I have often flirted with linguistics as well, but I am really content to be able to combine both of these intriguing disciplines in my dissertation…

Would you recommend the university of Vienna to a foreigner and why?
Well, choosing a University to study at any level may be a hard procedure. To make the best decision one must take into account WHAT exactly he/she wants to do and if the courses offered at this specific University matches with his/her own specific INTERESTS. It would also be interesting to check whether the professors teaching these courses may be considered as experts in their field, let’s say.

What do you like most about your experience of being student at the University of Vienna?
Hm… Shall I restrain my answer in the frame of the University? Then I should mention the simplicity which characterises a perfect organisation of the bureaucracy involved! Furthermore, considering my fields of study, I really enjoy the way that classical disciplines are re-visited in a modern way, following the trends of research. I guess this has to do with the professors themselves and might be not a general rule. The general feeling is anyway positive, nevertheless a bit conservative at times, which I also respect, I must admit…!

Is Vienna affordable for students?
I feel that, yes, Vienna is a place where a student may live comfortably without having to spend lots of money. This is a personal matter in any case, so I am afraid I cannot be absolutely realistic.

How would you describe your student life in Vienna?
I first came to Vienna as a postgraduate Erasmus student and then stayed here for my PhD. Meanwhile I am working and I prefer studying on my own or enjoying leisure activities in a rather quiet way. However the general feeling is again that Vienna offers a variety of choices pour tout les goûts!

Do you work and if yes, then how do you manage to combine work and studies at the same time?
I am currently working more or less in my field. That is very good and I feel lucky! However it is still hard for one to be committed to two different environments, having to split your energy and focus on different targets. Working while studying might prove to be quite a trap! My advice would be to be careful with your choices and save a rational time planning!

What do you believe about the STEOP exams?
I am definitely FOR the STEOP exams! This helps the student realise a few important things considering the field of study he/she has chosen. I would even say it is highly demanded as a filter to scan students that might not be destined or gifted or they do not fulfil the requirements to even start – not to mention complete – this very study they want to take up.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Something happy or strange that happened to you in relation to the student life in Vienna?
I shall always remember Vienna like a bittersweet symphony… This is definitely not the place where I belong, but thanks to the guy I used to belong to for the first three years I stayed here my days became even more interesting, enjoying pretty little insider secrets. I bear in heart another side of Vienna and there I belong for sure…

Camila from Brazil 

camila aftiiWhat do you study and why you chose this study? Where are you from?
I am currently in the 5th semester of International Development Bachelor of Arts. I basically chose these studies (after trying 4 (!!!) different bachelors and dropping out from all of them) because my friends were attending International Development classes. I surely do not regret my choice! I’m originally from São Paulo, Brazil.

Would you recommend the university of Vienna to a foreigner and why?
I would recommend the Uni Wien to a foreigner who has a good grasp on the german language. Of course you can try to learn the language from scratch by living and practicing in Vienna (like I did) but this process makes everything much harder on yourself. If you speak German as a second language or learn it as a hobby, and would like to live & study abroad, then Vienna is a great option! The Uni here offers an open schedule so you have time to attend other interesting classes from several different institutes, plus you’d have the time to have other activities and hobbies on the side.

Is Vienna affordable for students?
I would say so. There’s a bunch of really cool student options regarding fun activities, food and such. Everyone knows about the “pay as you wish” pakistani restaurant. I love that place!

How would you describe your student life in Vienna?
Pretty tough at times but fun as well! Definitely having a great experience that I’ll never ever forget! I met people from all over the world here sharing similar troubles, difficulties, happy moments… living in Vienna made me grow into who I am today.

Do you live in a shared apartment or in a student housing (studentenwohnheim) and how can a student find accommodation in Vienna, when he/she doesn’t come from Vienna?
I have lived in a Studentenwohnheim for a while and now I’m currently living in a WG (shared apartment). It’s super easy to find accommodation in Vienna, really. There’s plenty of websites with room vacancies ads and the institutions that regulate the student housings connected to the universities have pretty straight forward requirements. Nothing to be afraid about!

Do you work and if yes, then how do you manage to combine work and studies at the same time?
I have two jobs at the time! It’s do-able, I guess, but pretty stressful. Life was much smoother when I only studied although it feels really great to have your own savings on the side to do some traveling!

Are you satisfied with the whole organization of the university or do you believe they should improve something?
The organization of the University of Vienna is the only thing I can say I’m unhappy about. It can get pretty messy and disorganized at times. Students have to figure out their way mostly by themselves, differing a lot from American Colleges and Unis for example, where you get counseling and assistance to each and every step. But again, Uni Wien is a public institution… 😉

What do you believe about the STEOP exams?
I guess they are somehow necessary since so many students apply to some specific majors, but they surely are a pain!

What about the leisure time? Does Vienna offer a variety of leisure activities for students?
Vienna offers a ton of free activities for students, mainly in Spring and Summer. They have a handful of good outdoor movie festivals, small cultural institutions that offer free workshops and movie discussions and so on. We have a really great variety of parks and outdoor places to hang out here, which makes it super easy to have fun if you have some friends to come along!

Thank you girls for your kind contribution to this blog. You make it more beautiful.

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