Lately.

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Wow, I cannot believe I never noticed that I didn’t post this until now.

The new years fireworks and christmas presents indicate that this is happened not lately, but quite some time ago. I apologise for the general lack of blog posts these past couple of months. With spring finally here and a resolution I made to go out and take more photos, I hope this blog will get more attention as well.

/Christmas lights in Vienna.
/Quality time with books, tea, and my favourite socks, gifted to my by unitedbyblue
/Snowy rides are simply magical.
/One of my favourite Christmas presents. Gentle reminders are much needed.
/Fireworks in front of Karlskirche in Vienna. Stunning backdrop.
/Winter wonderland in my hometown. Grateful for living in such a stunning place.
/Coffee me-time at Jonas Reindl.

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Apple Scones

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I’ve made these a couple of times and because it’s such a basic, quick and easy recipe it’s quickly becoming my go to “Sunday morning, I want warm breakfast with freshly baked stuff” breakfast item.

So let me share this little gem with you.

Ingredients
225g flour
2tsp baking powder
1tbsp sugar
a pinch of salt
75g butter
1 egg
75ml milk
2tbsp honey
1 apple, chopped in small pieces

What to do
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add in small pieces of the butter and mix it until the dough has a crumbly texture.
Add the chopped apples. In a bowl beat together the milk, egg and honey. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir until you have a smooth dough.
Roll it until it’s about 1,5cm high and cut into pieces. I used a small glass to make round shapes, but you can do pretty much whatever you want.
Bake for 8-10 minutes and enjoy them warm!

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Thank you, 2014

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What a year.

No really: What. A. Year.

So much has happened, so many things that I’ve learnt, so many opportunities that arose, so many people who I’ve met.

I honestly could not be more thankful or appreciative.

I don’t even have words to explain everything that happened this year or how it changed me and helped me become the person I aspire to be.

One of the things that stood out most to me were the people I got to meet this year. I’ve made new friends all over the world. I met inspiring and hardworking people. I was fortunate enough to talk about life and get a glimpse into their view of the world and learn from them. The friendships I made in 2014 are probably the most coveted thing I take with me into the new year.
It’s also how these people made me think about the world differently, how they influenced how I feel and think about myself, how I consequently I carry myself now.

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I originally titled this post “Goodbye, 2014” but no, I don’t want to say goodbye, and thanks to all the crazy memories I will never have to say goodbye. I want to thank you, 2014, for teaching me about myself. For allowing me to be brave, for letting me do things I never had done before and for being patient and encouraging.
When I say 2014, I mean every single person I’ve met, everything I’ve done, every song I’ve heard (and obsessed over), every book I’ve read and every stranger that threw me a dirty look on the street for no apparent reason.

I have a feeling that 2015 will be different in many ways but with what 2014 has taught me, I hope it will be easier for me to navigate through the next year.

So thank you, 2014, it’s been real.

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The student – self-worth struggle

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetSearching for a job as a student can be tough. It will make you want to pull your hair out and scream. There are some jobs out there but basically, if you don’t want to work in the service sector, a call centre, or hand out flyers on the street, you’re sh-t out of luck.

And this is exactly the position I find myself in.

I’ve worked in a t-shirt store, behind a bar at two different operas, and now I’m working all kinds of jobs that relate to the catering business.
The truth is that while those jobs have been convenient, have supplemented and funded my travels and other activities for the most part, they obviously are not what I truly want to do in my life.

And I’m tired. I’m so tired of having to force myself to be friendly. It’s not that I’m not a nice person per se, you’ll find me smiling a lot, but if someone is rude and condescending towards me I want to have the freedom to defend myself and tell this person off. But no. That’s not possible if you work the jobs I work.

You endure. You endure condescending customers with a false smile that doesn’t reach your eyes. You endure off-handed comments about the youth. You endure stressed and rude bosses that treat you like the exchangeable good and cheap labour that you seem to be.
And you are.

Don’t like your job? Fine, go find another; there are a ton of other students who need a job to pay their bills.

What people do seem to forget is that all these student jobs they look down upon are taken up by people who struggle to balance their studies with the rest of their life. Who try to afford a roof over their heads, clothes on their bodies and a tuition to maybe better their life in the future.

You, my dear people, are talking down to the future doctors and lawyers of this society.

Go see how this will work out for you in 10 to 20 years, when you suffer health problems from all the fatty food and overpriced champagne you’ve had and see who’s going to save your life. Probably that mousy looking girl behind the bar at the opera you yelled at years ago for something she wasn’t even responsible for.

Don’t even get me started on the internships that are available to students. If you’re lucky to score one, you can most probably expect it to be unpaid. Which will mean that you will have to work double: one job to support and feed yourself and another to gain the experience that is apparently required for every job that is out there.
Looking at job ads and all the requirements recently has made me sick to my stomach. I need a job to get experience but these jobs only take people that already have experience. It’s a vicious circle from which I don’t know how to escape.

So go ahead, belittle us. Belittle hardworking people for having hope and making their own luck. Just know that, as much as we want to brush it off, your words do leave an impression, do have some sort of impact and might also do some damage. Self-worth is a fickle thing.

On more than one occasion it has me in doubt if I was qualified or experienced enough for positions. The truth, of course, is that I’m not. But the struggle I’ve mentioned above is not helping that matter.

All these things together have me struggling. They make me doubt myself, question my sense of self-worth. Logic and feelings often don’t coincide and sometimes feeling low and a bit desperate is just something that has to happen to you. I am and it has. And this is why I’m writing these words. I write this to empower myself. To remind me that I am capable. I am worthy. I am good enough.

So go ahead, mock the youth. Mock the students and how they’re living ‘the life’. How they’re lazy and how all they do is party all night and sleep all day. I’m not going to disagree, but I know the truth and I know that there is always more than one side to a story. I do enjoy my life, but I am also one of the luckier ones. I have a family that supports me and a country in which uni fees aren’t too high.

However, I am sick and tired of being treated as cheap labour. Sick and tired of being looked down upon because I stand behind and not in front of a bar. Sick and tired of rude customers and even ruder bosses and large companies with no regard towards their employees.

So go ahead and mock us students. See how that works out for you – to belittle people that are just trying their best to finance their life as well as their studies. Just know that we work hard, and what you deride as ‘young individualism’ is what keeps us going, keeps us motivated.

Here’s to us, the students, and our neverending optimism. Here’s to the hope we carry in us that one day, this all will pay off. Here’s to priorities and sacrifice. Here’s to nights spent studying instead of partying.
Here’s to us. The young and determined ones. The ones that might not know where exactly we’re going or where we’ll end up, but know for sure that there’s a road there that’s worth all the hardships.

Two hours later and I still haven’t calmed down about that new Band Aid 30 single.

I don’t even have words for it.

Safe to say that even 30 years later the story of Africa as a continent of hunger, death, senseless wars, famine, and despair, is still being perpetuated around the world.
This Ebola themed song is portraying Africa as a helpless little child that needs to be fed, needs to be helped, needs to be healed.
You are feeding into people’s beliefs that Africa needs the great white people come to them and help them out of a crisis again (as it’s mentioned in the song).
Do they know it’s Christmas time in Africa? Well gee, I don’t know? How about you ask the 6.000 million Christians in Africa?

Ebola is real, and the affected countries, (who by the way, don’t include every country in West Africa – just look at Ghana, Benin, Togo etc.) do need support, they do not need, however, your patronizing and uneducated pity.

You think your time qualifies as tax, Bob Geldof? Well how about you record a new fucking song that’s free of all these stereotypes?

I can kind of understand how this song came to be in the 80s. The view on development aid has since shifted. And then shifted again. And again.
Theories and practices have changed, through the media the entire world has come closer together – and yet, this song is still out there. And not just that, it gets newly recorded, and re-written with lyrics that are even worse than the ones in the 80s. And for what? Celebrity publicity?

The original song has always been played at my house. It is catchy and, to me, belongs on my Christmas playlist. But since I understood English well enough to understand what the lyrics mean, and since I acquired enough knowledge on developing countries and development aid, I’ve taken it with a grain of salt. I’ve seen it as a piece of history.
So let it stay there. Let it be played a couple of times a year during Christmas, but please don’t continue to shove it down our throats every 10 years.

It’s time we move on. Move on from this song. Move on from the stereotypes. Move on from senseless pity.

And for those of you who will say “but look at all the money it raised!”: I don’t stand against charity. I stand against those lyrics. I stand against those questionable motives. I stand against people who hear this song and don’t instantly cringe.
Go and donate – it shouldn’t have needed this song for you to do this anyways.

The worst part is that I like how parts of this song is sung. I wish it was horribly done. I wish I wouldn’t have just lost respect for some of my favourite singers.

Sources and Links:
Global Post
Lyrics
The Telegraph
Bob Geldof dismissing criticism
The Guardian