Phil

When we want to philosophize about love and life, art and politics we go to Phil.

I like Phil because it has a unique style and warm atmosphere. There aren’t many coffee shops like that in the city. If it is the first time you come to Phil, once you enter the door, you will wonder if this is a bookstore or a coffee shop. I would say, it is a mix of both.

Here you can have small talk with the people with whom you share the table while listening to great retro music. The persons that are sitting next to you are usually artists, students, or just “modern philosophers”!! One more thing that I shouldn’t forget to tell you is that what you see around you, you can buy and take it home. Tables, chairs, lamps and books are all up for sale.

Gumpendorferstrasse 10-12, 1060

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Life abroad

life abroadWell, this post is very different from the previous ones but I wanted to share with you my thoughts and the things I’ve learned or realized through my crazy experiences of living abroad.  So, here we go:

1.    Human relationships are nowadays incredibly fragile. If you say a word that you shouldn’t say, the relationship you’ve fostered can vanish instantly. Relationships can break like a vase that you throw against a wall, into a thousand little pieces. Everything will be gone in the blink of an eye. One word, one phrase, or one not so pleasant moment is enough to destroy what had been built for a long time. It is hard for me to realize that people tend to judge other people with ease, rather than trying to understand and solve hard situations or problems. It easier and more comfortable nowadays to throw away something and replace it, than to take the time and the effort to repair it.

2.    No place in the world is like home. Before I moved to Austria, my father knew that I wanted to live abroad and he was even positive and excited with my ideas. But he warned me!! And he said that I will never find a home that will be as good like my home. When he said that, I honestly confess now that I didn’t get what he was talking about. Later on and after having lived abroad for three years, I now understand what he once said and think a lot about his words and how right he was. So, expanding yourself abroad is attractive but experiences prove that no place is like home.

3.    I learnt how to manage difficult situations and above all how to manage difficult people. When you go abroad, in order to start creating network of friends and establishing relationships with other people, all you have to do is to be open, friendly, and nice. I assume that that’s the way it works or that’s the way it should work. But even if you are open, friendly, and nice, it doesn’t mean automatically that others are as well. I often catch myself to be too naive and too good natured and still get in trouble or cause misunderstandings without even wanting them. So, I suppose if you want to get along smoothly without having many problems caused by others, choose your friends carefully and keep the ones that inspire you, motivate, help and care for you. True friends really are worth their weight in gold.

4.    Family is the most important thing we have. Friends are also important in one’s life and we need them but throughout these past three years in Vienna, I realised how many people come and go, but family still stays. To make it clearer, even if you choose to live abroad, think about where all the expats are going for Christmas, where and with whom do they choose to spend these special holidays. Of course, they go back home.

5.    This paragraph is related to number 2. Life in a shared apartment with people that you don’t know can turn up being very unpleasant. People, especially 18-30 years olds, share flats because of money. They think “I cannot afford a flat on my own so as a second choice I will share the flat with others, and also the rent and bills.” And of course, it is comfortable for your wallet but I don’t know how comfortable is it for your inner serenity and for your mental well being. The starting point is wrong: you are doing something for money, and not for what you want. So, in my opinion, if you want to save yourself troubles, stress, and wasted energy, ask your friends if they want to share a flat with you or try to find a better solution. I don’t want to be pessimistic and negative, and it can even work out very well for you, but after all that I experienced, I am amazed at how this system still works and at the same time I am happy I managed to survive after all that I have gone through and I am happy to be where I am now!!!

Do you have similar experiences?

“I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth. The sense of independence and security is very sweet.” -Susan B. Anthony

Sacher Torte

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What would Sacher Torte be like without Vienna and what would Vienna be like without Sacher Torte?
Some things are so connected to each other, that you cannot even imagine them apart.
You can find Sacher Torte in other countries but they are done exquisitely in the country they originated from.

Today we said “Let’s pretend that we are tourists” and jumped into the cafe of the Hotel Sacher. When the sky turns grey, a good friend and that famous piece of chocolate cake with whipped cream next to it is all I need to feel happy.

Freiraum

Although we are in the middle of the exams period, I couldn’t refuse the invitation of a good friend for a tasteful omelette at Freiraum. How could I refuse when It only takes me five minutes on foot to reach Freiraum and omelette tastes so good at this bar restaurant in Vienna. I always choose the area for non smokers and enjoy the modern and stylish interior and the variety of the dishes. Freiraum is not my favourite restaurant in Vienna but it is a must to visit and whatever you order, be sure that it will taste delicious. ♥

Mariahilfer straße 117, 1060 Vienna
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weekend in Bratislava

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What I like most in Vienna is that it is situated in the heart of Europe, which means that you can easily reach other countries by car for a weekend excursion. Munich, Venice, Budapest, and of course Bratislava first come to my mind.

Did you know that the capital of Slovakia and the capital of Austria are the closest capitals in Europe? There are no other capitals in Europe which are as close to each other like Vienna and Bratislava. 50 minutes by car and you are in another country, where people speak another language.

So my dear friends, these are the things that I especially like in Bratislava:

1.    The city center with its Old Town Hall and Opera & Ballet House is small, picturesque, and easy to get around.

2.    Love for the Bratislava airport and its Ryanair flight connections to London, Rome, and Paris!

3.    All my love to the Lemontree & Sky Bar Restaurant. You can have an amazing dinner with the view of the illuminated castle of Bratislava.

4.    A smoothie and chocolate cake at the observation deck on top of the Novy Most Bridge with stunning views of the city.

5.    Walking on the banks of the Danube River and meeting friends over a cup of tea.

6.    Greentree Cafe in Bratislava’s downtown. Bring your book, order a cheese cake, and relax!

7.    Taking pictures of the funny quirky statues around the old town such as Cumil, Napoleon’s Army Soldier, Hans Christian Andersen, and Paparazzi.

Ďakujem

“To travel is very useful, it makes the imagination work, the rest is just delusion and pain. Our journey is entirely imaginary, which is its strength.” Journey to the End of Night, Louis-Ferdinand Céline.

Thermal Spa in Austria

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Can you imagine yourself relaxing in an outdoor swimming pool looking at the Alps covered in snow? This is what I did in the Tauern Spa and it lasted one whole day! I was going from the sauna area to the indoor swimming pool and from the indoor swimming pool to the outdoor swimming pool! In other words, it was like heaven on earth, from which you don’t want to escape.

“But how? It is zero degrees outside!” he said.
“So what? All I have to do is relax, enjoy and forget the routine of everyday life.” I replied!

Oh, God of the Water World and sauna, are you listening to me? If only every Sunday could be like that…. 

Tauern Spa Platz 1, 5710 Kaprun, AUSTRIA

10 things to do in Budapest

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10 things that I like to do when in Budapest:

1.    Kürtőskalács. Write down the name and ask for it! I don’t know how to pronounce it, but it tastes delicious. One Kürtőskalács per day keeps the doctor away.

2.    Enjoying a coffee at the Café New York.

3.    Walking along the Andrássy Avenue reaching Heroes’ Square.

4.    Enjoying the sun at the tables of the Café Gerbeaud watching people come by.

5.    Gazing at the stunning view of the city from Fisherman’s Bastion.

6.    Savoring the smoked salmon filled with cheese cream and goulash soup in the Κiskakukk restaurant.

7.    Having a Sunday brunch at the Gundel Restaurant. Beware that you probably need a reservation, otherwise they don’t let you enter the door!

8.    Walking along the Danube River and watching the city lights is like taking part in a spy drama.

9.    Diving into the vibrant night life in the popular Liszt Ferenc tér and Ráday utca.

10.    The Shoes on the Danube Promenade is the saddest memorial I have ever seen in my life. It takes me immediately back to the day when the Jews fell into the river after having been shot during the World War II.

The Diamond on the Danube is also famous for its thermal baths. At this point I have to confess my disappointment for the Szechenyi Bath. It looks so beautiful in the photos, but I would never go there again. I am a Spa Therme lover and unfortunately Szechenyi Bath didn’t meet my expectations.

Szia Budapest… Köszönöm!

Holidays in Spain

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When the airplane brings me to Spain, these are the 11 things that I like to do:

1.    Throwing the handkerchiefs on the ground in a Madrid bar like the Spaniards.

2.    Greece is famous for its nightlife, but there is no comparison to what I experienced in the Spanish capital city! Does anybody stay home at night? Parks, streets and bars were more crowded after midnight than during the day!

3.    Taking the airplane from Barajas Airport to the Balearic Islands, or much better, to South America.

4.    Giving crumbs to the swans and ducks and hiring a pedal boat in the lake of the Retiro Park on a sunny Spanish day.

5.    A day excursion to Toledo for the landscape, the Toledo cathedral, and the El Greco paintings.

6.    Going out for the Tapas-Time or having a late-night dinner savouring Jamón Serrano, tortilla de patata, and paella while drinking Sangria!

7.    Stopping by a Churreria or Churro stand on my way back home after an evening of fun with the Spaniards.

8.    Trying to sing “Besame, besame mucho, como si fuera esta noche la ultima vez..” on a karaoke night in Barcelona.

9.    Visiting the Gaudí buildings in Barcelona and taking a lot of pictures.

10.    Going on a road trip on the spanish coast starting from Barcelona, driving through Valencia and at the end reaching Málaga.

11.     Having a Spanish course in Valencia and meeting other international people who try to speak in Spanish. You can search the internet and find out that there are so many interesting language courses. Believe me, it can be fun learning a language while having vacation in Spain.
Besos a todo los amigos en España. ¡Hasta la próxima!

28 things to do in New York

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28 things that I like to do when the airplane takes me to New York:

1.    Having the feeling that everything is possible in a city that never sleeps.

2.    Straying into the streets like a lost tourist and out of the blue starting to take part of a film like a background actor. Am I going to be a famous??? Is Brad Pitt somewhere here?

3.    Going from Manhattan to Brooklyn walking on the Brooklyn Bridge, especially when it is time for the sun to go down and the sky becomes something a rainbow of purple pink red and orange …

4.    Going for a stroll in Dumbo and Brooklyn heights and wondering how life should be for a New Yorker?

5.    Visiting the Victoria’s secret shop in Valentine’s Day while listening to Whitney Houston sings loudly that she will always love you and thinking about my significant other.

6.    Giving myself a chance to a frenetic shopping on the 5th Avenue following in the footsteps of Carrie Bradshaw.

7.    Having an Italian dinner in the EATALY restaurant. But don’t make the hilarious mistake that I made myself to ask somebody where is EATALY, cause you will get the answer that EATALY is not in Manhattan but in the north of the Europe!!!!! LOL LOL LOL!

8.    Eating cheeseburgers and delicious fries in the hidden Burger Joint behind the curtain in the 56th Street or in the Shake Shack in the heart of Battery Park City although I have to wait in a long queue.

9.    Ice skating at Rockefeller Center.

10.    Having a Sunday brunch at Red Rooster in the heart of Harlem or at the French Bistro Pastis on the 9th Avenue.

11.    Visiting the Museum of modern art MOMA and having a lunch at its own restaurant The Modern. Besides the MOMA, I also like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

12.    Taking a bus without having an idea of where it will go. But just be careful that it won’t bring you to the Bronx in the middle of the night.

13.    Visiting Columbia University and all of a sudden finding out that the persons mentioned in the main building are the Greek philosophers.

14.    Trying to understand how the metro works.

15.    Trying to understand where all these persons come from. Is anybody here 100% real New Yorker?

16.    After midnight shopping at Times square…I love you FOREVER 21.

17.    Eating cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery. Oh my God, which one should I choose?

18.    Admiring the architecture of the Chrysler Building, Flatiron Building and the Woolworth Building and looking at the scenic view from the 102nd floor Observatory of the Empire State building.

19.    Having a coffee or hot caramel chocolate in one of 129 Starbucks Coffee stores.

20.    Needless to talk about the Statue of liberty. Taking the boat which departs from the Battery Park should belong to every tourist’s program who respect it.

21.    Visiting the china town, having a pizza at Lombardi’s in Little Italy, shopping and gallery hopping in Soho and Tribeka.

22.    Having a coffee in the Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village and definitely having a dinner at the Spice Market in the Meatpacking district.

23.    Relaxing in The High Line Park with views of the Hudson River. It is surprising that in this park dogs are not allowed but there is always a reason.

24.    Studying in the New York public library at 42nd Street.

25.    What about a fashion week in the Lincoln Centre?

26.    Enjoying a drink at the rooftop bar at 230 Fifth.

27.    Taking Citibike to the Riverside Park.

28.    Listening to the song of frank Sinatra “Start spreading the news, I am leaving today, I want to be a part of it “while having picnic in the Central park. Visiting the park on foot or by bicycle, both of them are beautiful ideas.

Who of you have similar experiences in the city that never sleeps?

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