EVS life is unique experience and sometimes crazy things happen… So I wanted to capture those funny moments that we had (and we had A LOT!), so you could laugh with us (or from us…) So, first dose of our weirdness!
EVS life is unique experience and sometimes crazy things happen… So I wanted to capture those funny moments that we had (and we had A LOT!), so you could laugh with us (or from us…) So, first dose of our weirdness!
‘Let’s go hiking tomorrow’, said Lenka.
‘At 5am’, she added, and my motivation suddenly went 10 feet down. Still, not low enough, because when Lenka woke me up in the morning, I managed to roll out of bed, throw random stuff into my backpack and pretend I am ready.
This is where the troubles started.
We had 10 minutes to run from home to train station, and in the end Lisa didn’t made it to the train and me and Lenka had to leave without her 😦 so it was very sad!
The second part of the troubles, from where we arrived with a train we had to hitchhike a couple of kilometers to the place where we could start our hiking. We stopped a car quite fast, it took maybe 5 mins to get to the place where we needed to go. Driver wasn’t talking to us, but it didn’t seem strange, when we arrived we said thank you and stepped out of the car. Driver immediatly started shouting and showing money sign. We said our lovely phrase “we are volunteers, we have no money”, the driver was shouting at us even more and calling us idiots, so it really wasn’t nice. Of course we gave him a little bit of money and left, but it really wasn’t nice that he didn’t say anything in the begining about the money (after all, we hitchhike so it would be cheaper and also we could meet nice people, and to pay for a couple of km and get shouted at…then it’s better to take the train!)
So after this not very lucky experience (which, fortunately, doesn’t happen often) we finally arrived. Now I will speak less and show more, because view was really amazing!
It was so nice to just walk in the mountains and fields, without meeting other people for hours, only cows, horses, even one goat… So it was so peaceful! Also I am vey proud of myself (and Lenka, but for Lenka it probably wasn’t hard, because she aways hikes and runs, so she is way more sporty than I am :D) because we walked more than 20km, did yoga on top of teh mountains and in the end still had enough energy to hitchike, go shopping for food…
ATTENTION – If you want to do yoga as well, come to the youth center, every Thursday at 6 pm Lenka has yoga activity!
So, in the end we arrived to Lacul Rosu (which, in my opinion, wasn’t as impressive as mountains, but I was still excited)!
So, this was our one day trip, the weather and the view was lovely and I feel like I have more muscles! 😀 I am sure I will miss Romania’s mountains when I wil go home!
Evening before the trip.
What normal people would do? Go to sleep, so they would get enough rest and ready for looong travel.
What do we do?
Lenkaaaa, but tell me that I should take this scarf? It’s really useful, look, I can wear it on my head! And goes well with my blue lipstick…
Lisa, are you taking only short pants? You think we won’t freeze???
No no, don’t take two pairs of jeans, it’s not minimalist!
Let’s talks numbers:
So, maybe the train trip wasn’t the most exciting part, but it wasn’t all boring as well!
So, we finally arrive to Budapest, happy and excited, first thing that we do – go to shop for food, to bring something to our host for breakfast. In the shop we meet a nice guy from Spain, who was traveling, came to Budapest and decided to stay, because he fell in love with the city. After a nice chat and short shopping we start looking for our host’s house. Two hours later (yes, we weren’t great with navigating the city…but who would be, after 13hrs in the train!) we finally met our lovely host (we found him though couchsurfing, if you don’t know what that is – stay tuned, there will definitely be a blog post about that). It was quite late and he had to work the next day, but stilll we managed to have a nice conversation about his travels before me and Lisa fell asleep.
We woke up early, said thanks to our Hungarian host and went to meet Lenka. We decided that we should do something ‘touristic’ and use the short time we have to see as much as possible, so we went to city tour.
It was great, honestly I am terrible in remembering historical facts (so maybe more about that in Lisa’s or Lenka’s blog post?), so I’ll mention only the things that were the most interesting for me and stuck in my head the most:
So, after sightseeing – the mandatory selfie (see, Lenka, I am wearing the scarf!)
After the city tour, vegan lunch and unexpected meeting (in Budapest we ran into girls from Guyana that we first met in Romania…what a small world!) me and Lisa were prepared for our hitchike to Bratislava. We got to the perfect point for hitchiking, prepared our sign, smiled at the people and…nothing. Not even one car going to Slovakia! We decided to catch a car that would at least bring us further from the city. Guess who stopped – Romanian guy and Estonian girl! They said they are going to Zagreb and if we’re spontanious, we should join them, but this time we weren’t THAT spontanious…so we waited and waited, and it got dark, so we had to call Lenka and ask her to check if there is a bus to Bratislava.
‘Were you hitchiking on the right side? The one, that leads to Romania?’
Well duuuh, we were on the right side, but we got only offers to go to Balaton (tempting!), not to Bratislava. So, Lenka and her friend came to save us! We still had some time until the bus, so we had cucumber throwing competition (Lenka won!), night picnic in the park and I ate at least 6 different types of TuruRudi… So evening spent well. We got in our bus and I slept all the way, we got out at 2am, luckily my friend gave great directions to his place so this time we didn’t get lost and reached him succesfully. Me and Lisa had a tiny tiny matress and 3 hours to sleep, so we tried to rest as much as possible in such a short time…
We woke up and followed great directions of other friend, Gabriel, (maybe all Slovak people are good with directions?) on how to meet him and get in the part of the city from where we all can catch a ride to Vienna. It took us exactly 2mins (personal record!) to get a car, and after a short ride we arrived.
Again, we planned to start with touristic stuff, so we went for the city tour. Oh, I regreted it soooo much. There were maybe 50 people, tour guide was constantly advertising things (‘So, this museum is only 30 euros, with our card is only 29, and if you want to eat you should go to this restaurant…‘) I was looking for ways to escape and when I saw my friend is also not too interested in the tour, we left Lisa (sorry!) to enjoy the tour and skipped it… And went to the flea market. Too bad I didn’t take pictures, flea market was amazing, full of weirdest things you can possibly imagine: old letters, paintings, jewelry, creepy dolls and statues, there even was one huge box full of door knobs… Connected with flea market there also was a food market (hummus, grilled eggplants and falafels, you were beutiful, I won’t forget you).
But, talking about food I need to mention THE ice cream. Vegan ice cream which feels like pure happiness (or, as Gabriel said, boobs of an angel). I tried levander, lemon & melisa, poppy seeds, peanut butter, orange & safran and (my personal favorite) carrot cake… Yes, in this trip I ate a lot. But it was so worth it.
Of course, in Vienna there were more things to see, not only food. For example, this beautiful rose garden:
But in general, I had this strange feeling about Vienna, that it is like huge museum, it can be admired, but not ‘touched’ – it felt like very touristic city, but lacking of life. So I am glad I had a good company and some fun things to do, but I can’t imagine living in Vienna!
After the long day exploring the city we hitchhiked back to Bratislava (this time it wasn’t so easy and took some time to get a car back, but apparently we drove with some local celebrity – the guy who stopped for us was some radio person).
Ach, and again about food…but I have to mention it. Imagine: kürtöskalács, inside it is nutella and strawberries, on top – ice cream and more strawberries… Heaven.
So after this lovely meal we needed to move a bit, so we went to a hill from where we could see the lights of Bratislava at night… What a nice view. And we even did some yoga on the top of the mountain (this was always on my bucket list)!
After this longlongong day me and Lisa just wanted to sleep, but my friend with who we were staying had plans for partying… So Gabriel offered to host us instead, shower, bed and clean socks were pure heaven.
Another morning starts with hitchhiking, this time waiting was less boring, because we had ukulele! So some weird random hitchhiking songs and we stopped a car, again – Romanians! And one of the sweetest moments from hitchhiking – radio started playing Ed Sheeran’s “Galway girl” (my personal favorite from his new album!) and we all in the back of the car started humming quietly, tapping our fingers/hands/feet in the rhytm, and the girl who was sitting next to driver laughed at us and turned music louder 🙂
Driver let us out maybe 5km before Vienna’s city center, but it was good because we discovered the weirdest thing – pet cemetery. So a lot of tiny (and not so tiny) gravestones for all the Fluffies, Luckies, Sparkles and other beloved animals… It was both sweet and weird, what an interesting place to visit.
After one more car we finally ended up in Vienna and split again – Lisa went to see the castle, me and my friend went to museums. Vienna for sure is THE city for museums – everyone should find something that they like, I enjoyed interesting photos, some great contemporary art and some “must-see” paintings.
We headed back to Bratislava a bit earlier, since Lisa wanted to explore the city. And what a nice person stopped for us, he told us that he was also a hitchhiker when he was younger (and had dreadlocks…:)), so now he feels that he has to “give back the favour” and take other hitchikers.
Unfortunately, when we reached Bratislava, the weather was terrible, so instead of walking around the city we bought stuff for my favorite lazy cake and headed home. We were so tired and cold after the rain, that we fell asleep and the cake never happened…
The fun trip home. Me and Lisa said bye to my friend at around 8am and we headed for hitchhiking spot. The task was simple – to go through the fields to the petrol station.
And realised, we chose the wrong way, so instead of 15mins of walking it was more than hour. Finally we reached the petrol station and we started hitchhiking, people were super friendly, smiling and waving at us, a lot of truck drivers were saying that they’re leaving to Budapest in the afternoon, so if no one stops they can take us there. BUT – Lenka was waiting for us in Budapest. And our bus back to Romania… So we couldn’t wait for the afternoon, we needed to get to Hungary as fast as possible.
After a couple of hours of waiting, a Bulgarian man stopped, he was going to Sofia and he took us. It was so funny, his first sentence was:
‘I hope you are not going to kill me’
So, we were his first hitchhikers! And he said, he was in the petrol station, then remembered he left something at his friend’s place, then he went back to Bratislava, then to the petrol station again, and we were still standing there… So he felt sorry for us, lucky us! And he was so nice, he wasn’t planning to go into Budapest, but for us he adjusted his route and took us exactly where we needed, it was so nice of him 🙂
In Budapest we met Lenka and her friend, we went to the park and Hungarian beach, so it felt like the official beginning of the summer. And a bit later we even met Muška’s baby and her owner!
After I filled my bag with Slovak sweets and Hungarian alcohol-free beer, we went to the bus, where I slept all the way until Miercurea Ciuc… And there – not such good news, our bus was veeery late, and we still neded to hitchhike back to Baile Tusnad… But in the end everything worked out well!
After the trip we were talking with Lisa and Lenka, what were the high-points of the trip, so my top three:
Also, we had a little challenge, to learn 5 phrases – Lenka in Hungarian, Lisa in Slovak and me in German. I learned only 3, but here they are:
Ist deine Zeit heilig für dich? / Is your time sacred for you?
Besser essen, besser leben. / Better eating, better living.
Wie man zusammenlebt / How to live together
I hope you are not sleeping after my post, and hopefully it was fun to read about our (tiny bit crazy) journey!
Last week I had an amazing time traveling in Slovakia (blog post about my adventures is coming soon!) and Lenka invited me to stay with her family. Among the other fun activities, there was a lot of cooking! Lenka’s mother made me halušky, and I decided to make Lithuanian šaltibarščiai (cold beetroot soup) and tinginys (the lazy cake). Today I am in the mood for sweets, so I thought I’ll share the cake recipe with you (and, people have been asking…)
So, why it’s called “The lazy cake”? It takes literally minutes to prepare it (though you have to be patient while it’s cooling down in the fridge) and it’s so delicious! Really, when Lisa tasted it she said she heard angels singing. So, did I convinced you to try to make it?
Előző héten egy fantasztikus hetem volt, Szlovákiában utazva (az utazásról szóló bejegyzés hamarosan érkezik!) és Lenka meghívott a családjához. A különböző mókás tevékenységek között sok főzés is szerepelt. Lenka anyukája halusky-t* készített, és én úgy döntötte, készítek “šaltibarščiai”-t (hideg céklaleves) és “tinginys”-t (“lusta torta”). Ma eléggé “édességes” hangulatban vagyok, ezért úgy döntöttem megosztom veletek a sütemény receptjét (és néhányan már kértétek is…)
Szóval… Miért is hívják “lusta tortának”? Mert szó szerint perszek alatt elkészül (igaz elégé türelmesnek kell lenni, amíg lehül a hűtőben) és nagyon finom! De tényleg, mikor Lisa megkóstolta, azt mondta angyalokat hallott énekelni. 🙂 Na, meggyőztelek hogy kipróbáld?
*: a halusky lényegében egyfajta tejfölös nokedli, amit kicsi pörcintett szalonnával tálalnak. Ha minden igaz, lesz erről is recept, jó kis gyors, laktatós kaja. 🙂
And, a short video about making vegan version with Lenka and her family:
És egy rövid videó a vegan verzió elkészítéséről Lenkával, és családjával:
Hello, everyone! I hope you had a nice and relaxing Easter, ate a lot of chocolate eggs and had time to rest! Today I want to invite you to see how we were celebrating our EVS Easter:
All of us decorated Easter eggs and on the first day of Easter we had some Lithuanian traditions: fnding who chose the strongest egg, then whose egg will roll furthest… On the second day we had Hungarian traditions: we were waiting for the guests with buckets of water, but we got lucky and got only sprayed with water and heard nice poems 🙂
Some fun Easter activities:
“So the women have to stay at home all day and cook for men, and when they eventualy come to visit they pour water on girls?”
Basically, this was my reaction when Anita told about Hungarian Easter traditions. It was very interesting to hear about the symbolics of that particular tradition (girl is like a flower that needs to be watered – that’s so sweet!) and also to see how Anita paints Easter eggs. During our conversation I discovered some similarities but also quite a lot of differences to Lithuanian Easter. So, I thought I will share some of Lithuanian traditions – maybe you’ll find them to be strange, but, hopefully, interesting nonetheless!
In Lithuania (as well as in most Christian countries) the celebration starts first Sunday before Easter. Although in most of the countries it is called Palm Sunday, in Lithuania we call it Verbų Sekmadienis (Sunday of Verbos).
Verba – it is a bunch of flowers and/or other plants. There are a lot of different types of verba, and it is considered to be a form of folk art.
There are a lot of traditions surrounding verba, but one of the most common ones is to get up early in the morning and whip the sleeping relatives with verba , (it has to be consecrated in church) while saying a short poem: “It’s not me who whips you, it’s verba!”. Traditionaly for that small branch on juniper is used, but other types of verba can be used as well. It is believed that doing things brings health to the person, children will grow better, etc. Also a little branch of verba used to be put into bee hive, to keep the bees healthy, some branches kept at home to keep it safe from bad spirits.
Easter in Lithuania has very old traditions, it was celebrated as awakening of the nature. Only later this celebration was meged with Christian Easter.
Velykos (Easter) – in Lithuanian this word has similarities with word vėlė (soul of someone who died), there was an old tradition to visit cemetery and leave Easter eggs on the graves, as a food for the souls.
Easter eggs. Easter egg symbolises life, awakening of the nature, fertility. It was considered that Easter eggs have magical powers, women used to keep a couple of them at home through all the year to protect house from the Thunderer (pagan god of thunder), men used to put some Easter eggs into the ground to make crops grow better.
Coloring of the Easter eggs have a lot of symbolism. Each color represents different things: red – life, black- soil, blue – sky, gree – awakening of nature and plants, yellow – crops. There are a lot of different techniques for coloring Easter eggs, but the most common ones are wax, carving and coloring with natural dyes (onion husk, flowers, plants). The shapes that were painted also have meaning. Most common ones – sun motives (so plants and crops would have enough of the sun), stars (so fields would have enough light even at night), grass-snakes and snakes (symbolises the awakening of all life forms in spring), plant motives.
Velykė (The old lady of Easter). This is an old tradition, now it’s not very common. It was believed than on Easter old lady Vėlykė visits children and leaves two Easter eggs for them on the windowsill.
Rolling of the eggs. This is a tradition that is still very common. It symbolism – eggs, rolling on the ground will wake all the plants and everything that is under. The game has some variations, but in general eggs are rolled and the person who rolls the egg furthest, wins. This game can be played both with normal and wooden/plastic eggs.
Smashing of the eggs. One person holds the egg, other one tries to smash it with other egg. The one whose egg stays intact wins. The goal of the game is to find out who chose the strongest egg, it means that person all year will be lucky. In my family this tradition is still alive, and we do this by age – the oldest person has to start, the youngest is the last one to try to smash the egg. Usually we do this just before the Easter breakfast, and afterwards we eat the eggs whose shell was smashed during the game.
There are some other Easter traditions (like swinging on the swings, the higher you swing, the happier you will be, singing in the fields so the crops would grow better), but those are not very common anymore and we don’t have them in my family (well, we don’t have any crops, so that might be the reason…:)). One thing that we always do on the second day of Easter is going to visit friends and relatives and exchanging Easter eggs with them. Also, in my family we have a tradition that kids of the family get chocolate egg with a surprise inside 🙂
Thanks for reading and happy Easter for you all!
I know, I know, I’ve been here for quite some time, so why I am writing “what to pack” post now, you’ll ask me? Well, I think only after this time I realised what was useful and what I am missing the most, which things are absolutely necessary and which can be left at home. So if you’re planning to go to EVS (or if you’re just interested to hear what I would pack into my “perfect suitcase”) – this blog post is for you!
So, first thing, about how I actually packed my suitcase for one year. The story is far from perfect – before going to Romania I spent one week in Ireland, so I packed my luggage one week in advance, when I came back home I had less than 5 hours until my flight, so I had to do very quick adjustments and, lets just say, not all of them were smart… So, now I learned from my mistakes and next time if I’ll be packing for an year abroad, I will do it like this:
So, this list is obviously very subjective but I hope it was interesting or you to read about my mistakes and hopefully learn something from them, if your EVS expecience is due to start soon, have fun, it’s an amazing time!
On 27th of March it was Theater day and we celebrated it in youth center, by having pantomime activity.
What is it and why it is useful for children?
Pantomime is a form of theater, acting without words, telling the story through body and facial expressions.
When children come to theater activities, for me the most important thing is not to make them ‘perform’ by learning a lot of learned text and expressions, it is the opposite – to let them learn trough theater, pay more attention to what they are saying and how are they feeling.
Pantomime is a great way for children to learn how to express their emotions and also how to name them. Sometimes kids who have problems with expressing their emotions can be acting agressively (for example, kid is sad that someone else took his toy and he starts to scream,etc) – pantomime teaches them how to recognise what they are feeling and act accordingly.
Here you can see a couple of photos of how pantomime activities looks like in the youth center:
If you want to learn more about theater, join us every Thursday from 15.30 in Szent Anna youth center!
If you want to discover at least a little bit of Lithuania, you don’t have to book flight tickets just yet – I collected some websites that will let you get to know more about Lithuania without even leaving your home!
*2018 February 16th will be an important date to Lithuania – it marks 100 years since the restoration of the State of Lithuania. To celebrate this anniversary a website Lietuvai100 was created, in it you can find a lot of interesting facts about Lithuania, learn about country’s history and traditions.
* To keep up to date with current events you can watch Lithuania’s news in English.
* You can choose from various radio stations to suit your choice.
* Everything you need to know about ethnic art.
* Visit virtual exhibitions in National Museum of Lithuania. Though it only has Lithuanian version, you still can explore a lot of different artists’ creations.
* Here you can find Lithuanian documentary.
* If you want to try out Lithuanian cuisine, this blog could be a great place to start!
And if this is still not enough, visit this place and discover more websites about Lithuania! Have fun!
It is said, that Lithuanian is one of the most difficult languages to learn and use. It might be because of difficult grammar or unusual pronunciation, but a big part of misunderstandings and complications in communication can be caused by Lithuanian sayings and expressions – they are so usual for native speakers, but so weird for foreigner’s ears.
Today I want to present you some of the most common Lithuanian sayings and explain their meaning, so that the next time you’ll meet Lithuanian you won’t think that everything should be taken word by word!
‘Traukinys šikančių nelaukia.’ This saying, although, not a very pretty one, is one of the most commonly used. Translated litteraly it means ‘The train won’t wait for those who are shitting.’ Told you, not very nice! But the actual meaning has nothing to do with the toilet, the saying actually means that you have to hurry if you want to be on time. For example if me and my friends are preparing for a night out and one girl is taking too long with her hair and makeup, someone would say ‘The train won’t wait for those who are shitting’, meaning ‘Hurry up or we’ll leave without you.’
Tired of listening to someone’s excuses? We have a saying for that! ‘Stop hanging pasta on my ears!’ It means ‘Stop lying to me!’ So the next time your friend is saying that he’s late because he got stuck in an elevator, you’ll know how to answer!
Winter in Baile Tusnad can be quite challenging, especially, if you have slippery shoes. But don’t worry, if you slip on ice and fall down, Lithuanians won’t laugh at you, they’ll just say ‘Oh, you caught a rabbit?’
Looking for your glasses, when they’re sitting on your nose? ‘Oh, you,donkey’s head!’ we would say. No, that’s not an insult, we’re just teasing you for being absent-minded!
I hope you enjoyed these Lithuanian sayings, if you’d like to hear some more, please, let me know (because, believe me, we have plenty!)
And be careful when you’re outside, don’t catch a rabbit!