Vienna Olive

Ordinary Adventures in Canada

IMG_7973Toronto has brought amazing people and amazing experiences into my life. My appreciation for this city just grows and grows. One prominent change I can think off the top of my head is my addiction to coffee  – that has reached never-seen-before levels. I don’t wanna count the pennies I’ve spent on all those cups of coffee, because ignorance is bliss, besides I’ve reached a point that I’m completely immune to the side effects of caffeine. What an achievement, eh? I can drink an entire pot before going to bed and I’ll sleep like a baby. And doctors anywhere should not read this.

To me it all comes down to the simple things in life. You get up in the morning and the sun is out, the wind is cold, you put on a sweater, grab a cup of coffee at your local coffee place and that’s it! A foggy winter afternoon; you sit cozy at a table inside as you watch the snow falling down outside. Those are small moments of happiness, all brought to you by coffee!

Not to mention the people you can bond over this addiction. My friend from Ecuador, who is a much more efficient addict that I could ever be, has tried every coffee in town. She can tell you exactly where to go to get the perfect cup and because of that our friendship has gotten even more meaningful. Or maybe just more fun.. and intellectual..?! We can sit there with our glasses on, talking about life dilemmas and broken hearts while we look like we’re figuring out world peace.

Well, I elaborate too much. I need to focus more. Let me grab a cup of coffee.

 

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Days are long but the time is fast.

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You’d think that by now I would have it figured out. How many mistakes in life can one make, after all?

It turns out, many.

I remember growing up and being taken aback by how much adults are screwed up and how they have no idea what they’re doing half the time. But I guess we all get to be a little bit like that sometimes. This year has been a roller coaster of feelings, emotions, doubts, risks, mistakes and I’m burning and hurting and learning and surprised by my own choices and my silly mistakes. It’s like being born over and over again until we get it right.

But do we ever get it right?

Last summer my friend and I crossed the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia by foot, under a burning sun. The bridge would tremble as the cars sped up down under our feet. It was a 40 minute walk that would lead us to Camden NJ, when the day was fading. It took us long turns to find our way back.

When we first got to the bridge after following its sight, we debated on wether we were willing to walk it. We made three quarters in and came back. I didn’t wanna walk all that distance on such a hot day. He was afraid of heights.

We should have gone all the way.. he said after we reached the park. You wanted to come back!, I replied in self-defence. 

Let’s go back. I proclaimed, after pondering for a few seconds. Let’s go back and do it. I do it for the distance, you do it for the fear. 

And so we did. Not without laughing and complaining along the way; but just long enough to shut our mouthes in awe as the sun set, illuminating the skyline and the calming waters chilled the air and refreshed our breath. Looking at the picture now the bridge doesn’t even look that long.

This has been a bridge-crossing year. And I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.

But in the end, it’s such a shame that no flame burns forever. And most don’t even last the night.

IMG_9539This year I decided that I needed a new challenge in life. I was getting too comfortable living a life that was great, but somehow lacked more substance. Over the past few years I became consistently aware of myself as a person, as a member of the community and I’m constantly, consciously or not, looking for new ways to improve and to grow.

It’s funny. I crave change and when it finally comes, I raise all imaginable doubts in my head. Do I really really want this? Then I start overthinking and it’s all downhill from there…

But in an attempt to thrive and prosper, I just pushed myself to start making small changes. And why not go big or go home and do something small in a big way or something big in a small way? I don’t know what it actually is…BUT!!

I decided to learn GERMAN and I’m doing it ON MY OWN. And that might just be my biggest challenge ever. It’s been a couple of months now and even though I still may sound like an infant, I’ve made some important improvements from when I started and it’s pretty cool.

There’s nothing like when a new language starts making sense in your head, when you can pick up a few words, recognize sounds, understand some texts. It’s enlightening. It’s groundbreaking!! I really hope I’m strong enough to keep doing it, because it’s damn hard.

And that I don’t go mental before achieving fluency.

So here’s hoping.

Have you ever learned a language by yourself? Do you speak German? Share your tips!

IMG_0769This year I fell in love with New York City. After a few days roaming its streets I was reluctant to say goodbye and leave all its crazy magic behind. Now these days I often catch myself daydreaming about that urban heaven. The city that never sleeps, where the lights never go off and the streets are never quiet.

I think in the end, New York can offer anything you need. Chaos, beauty, inspiration, solitude, crowds of people. Romance.

You can find love everywhere in New York. From lovers walking with their fingers intertwined to words written on the Brooklyn Bridge.

All you have to do is look around.

Because we’re all a little bit dumb every once in a while.

IMG_1564Some time ago, not that long, I went out with some friends. We had a few drinks and a bunch of fun. So I got home late at night and woke up the next morning feeling a little dizzy – welcomed by a hangover and the excitement of my roommates who couldn’t wait to share the stories from the night before that I could hardly remember. We all laughed together, because those stories are so funny eh, and I was the butt of the joke.

I wasted most of the morning being useless in bed, so I decided to get up and do something of my day. And that meant taking a shower, drink tons of water, do groceries and, oh and why not, some laundry. It all goes into the washing machine: jeans, sweaters, sheets and something hidden in between.

And that my friends, it’s when it gets dramatic.

I put it all in and go off to work – that’s a great idea by the way – my lovely roommate was going to put it in the dryer for me. It didn’t take long until I needed to check my phone for something, but it did take long to trace where it could possibly be. I never thought I would be the kind of person who would freak out so much over a lost phone – or better yet, a drowned phone – but then again, I never thought I could be the kind of person who tosses their phone into the freaking washing machine!

Well, long story short I came home to find it in the depths of a bag full of rice – where it would remain for the next two days – and to hear my roommate’s verdict: it looks okay, and it smells really clean! 

It did came out okay and clean. And the camera is all screwed up. I should really fix that, because my pictures now have purple spots on them. And they look foggy.

So here’s the lesson that comes with this story, friends: don’t drink and do laundry. But always have a package of rice in the kitchen, you know, just in case.