Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Can your job pay London´s rent?

London is quite known to be one of the most expensive cities in the world, although it has fallen a few places.

This interesting homepage let´s you calculate whether the salary you are gaining (or maybe a salary from a job offer) would pay a studio flat or even just a room in your chosen London boroughs:

Can your job pay London´s rent?

Try it out! =)


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The international lie about rising food prices due to "weather conditions"

...getting a headache of reading headlines about rising food prices due to "weather conditions" in German, UK as well as Brazilian news.

Lies. And lies. And lies.

The reality: Gambling banks, hedge and pension funds spike global food prices: “The World Development Movement blames banks, hedge and pension funds for betting and gambling on food commodities and forcing the price of basic food items to soar causing global hunger and poverty to increase.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Elections in Brazil: The candidates* idea of reducing rubbish on the streets




Close to post-election here in BR: One of the goals promised:

REDUCE RUBBISH ON THE STREETS.

That doesn t seem to include leaflets for tonight s election I suppose.

o_O

Monday, 1 October 2012

The sea


“Mr. Hoshino?” Nakata said, breaking the silence. 
“What is it?” 
“The sea is a really nice thing, isn’t it?” 
“Yeah, it is. Makes you feel calm.” 
“Why is that?” 
“Probably ’cause it’s so big, with nothing on it,” Hoshino said, pointing. “You wouldn’t feel so calm if there was a 7-Eleven over there, or a Seyiu department store, would you? Or a pachinko place over there, or a Yoshikawa pawnshop? But as far as the eye can see there’s nothing – which is pretty darn nice.”


(Kafka on the Shore)

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Sufferings of frequently occurring Offline Existance – or: Internet in a small Brazilian town

Internet in Brazil is like an annoying neighbour: if you don´t need it, it´s always available and stopping you from doing your work but as soon as you urgently need its help it´s either busy due to a lot of people using it or not available.

*********************************************************************************

We like to think of Brazil as one of the leading nations. Economy, wealth, development.

Unfortunately I am forced to say that Luanda (capital of Angola) has more reliable internet providers. During my time there, the internet in two private apartments as well as the internet cafe never failed (only when we had some of the occasional electricity failures but then again, it wasn´t the internet providers fault…)...

Working mainly through the internet and online masterboards, my husband and I have been fighting our way through at least 4 different internet providers. Two mobile stick internet options (claro and vivo, incredibly expensive and incredibly slow), radio  and cable internets (affordable, but totally unreliable). We will hopefully soon be able to try out the last remaining, expensive option called Velox (unfortunately we do know from relatives using it here in Porto Seguro (region Bahia) that even this option has similar failures although it seems to be the fastest and reliable of all). So what do they all have in common?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Farofa de Frango e Cenoura

Another typical quick Bahian lunch: Rice with Farofa de Frango e Cenoura (Farofa is manioc flour mixed with fast-fried vegetables and other ingredients, this time it was yellow manioc flour mixed with chicken, carrots and peppers. Yummi!

Friday, 7 September 2012

My favourite London radio programme - the Vanessa Feltz Show

When I am not in London, it doesn´t mean that I cannot listen to London radio shows whenever I feel like it.


My absolute favourite is the Vanessa Feltz show, part of BBC Radio London. She discusses anything concerning enjoying and surviving life in the capital, current hot topics of the various London boroughs.

This week she discussed Londoners´ thoughts on the Paralympics, exaggerated beauty regimes of many UK kids and Christians fighting for their right to wear their crosses at work.

The show goes out Mon-Sat from 9am-12midday on 94.9fm. You can also listen to the best bits in the podcast section:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/vanessa

Thursday, 30 August 2012

London on a budget - food

I guess almost everyone of us has lived through those days, when at the end of the money there were still many days of the month left. Being in that situation in London is a lot worse, as food in general is more expensive than in most other places.

Here a few tipps and tricks how to survive on a tight food/eat out budget in London, let´s say about 100-150 pounds per month for a couple.

Let´s say you spend about 25 pounds per week, then try to sort your shopping the following way: 6 pounds for veggies, 5 pounds for fruits, 4 pounds for grains, 4-5 pounds for proteins, 4 pounds for dairy and 1-2 pounds for oils and other foods:


Cook at home

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My Top 5 favourite places in London


Those are my current Top 5 favourite places in London

1. Hampstead Heath 

My favourite London Park (Tube: Hampstead) and the area where I wish to have a small garden flat in the future. It is the place where I´ve dreamed alone, had picknicks with friends and where I can renew myself after a tiring day – whether working or when coming back from the busy centre

2. The British Library 

(Tube: Kings Cross) 
Researching, browsing or just enjoying free time over free classics of British literature and the whole atmosphere of reading people surrounding you, also offer free internet, lovely to meet other fellow literature/book fans. I also love tiny side street book shops, often just stumble over them during a shopping or sight seeing trip. Oh and the (under) Waterloo Bridge Second Hand book market is fantastic as well!

3. Whereever my beloved Zouk-Lambada, Samba and Kizomba classes take place

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Carniv... errr, I meant elections in Brazil

Carniv... errr, I meant elections in Brazil are quite different from what I am used to, so I thought I'd give you an insight in the colourful, quite noisy election preparations....

video

Here another video with a view on Itagimirim, a small town in the countryside of Bahia.



How much does it cost to pick up your own birthday present at a Brazilian post office?


My dear parents and sister prepared a special surprise for my 26th birthday... 


My lovelies have collected my favourite EU products and other items (have not opened the box yet, birthday is still approaching!), put them into a huge box and sent them from Germany to Brazil to (punctually) arrive on my birthday. Must have spent a good amount of money to buy the products and another good amount for the parcel itself.



Now one might not think !Picking up! a birthday present is very expensive. I even thought well, I might have to pay a bit of border tax.

We arrived at the post office.

"São 255,04 reais" (about 100 euros)

:-O

Right. This really is the most expensive price I have ever had to pay to RECEIVE a birthday present.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

An ordinary sleeping pattern during a weekend in Porto Seguro, Brazil


An ordinary sleeping pattern during a weekend in Porto Seguro, Brazil:


11pm-4am: Local Street Event (=you get free Party Music at xtreme volume in your house even with closed doors and windows)

4am-6am: drunk ppl walking home, screaming and throwing glass bottles on the street, cars getting damaged due to glass on street, fights...

6am-9am: Catholic Youth Centre (neighbour building) start their drum and capoeira training

o_O

Result of this weekend's sleeping pattern: non-existence ;)

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Native Brazilian hair secrets - Dica da Índia: tutano do boi

Warning: The vegetarians and vegans amongst you might not want to read the next lines ;)
  
This Native Brazilian hair secret combines ox marrow (tutano do boi) with other natural or cosmetic ingredients:

First, the

Monday, 13 August 2012

A typical Brazilian lunch...

I thought I'd share a typical lunch with you. =)

Dish: Mild Saffron Rice with beans and chicken aromatised with green pepper, garlic, soja oil and red-corante pulver.

Drink: Fresh Pink Guava juice


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Pastel - one of the delicious Brazilian fast foods

Pastel de carne... Pastel de queijo e presunto... Pastel pizza... Pastel frango catupiry... Pastel Banana Real...

One of the delicious Brazilian fast foods is the famous PASTEL. It is a deep-fried thin pastry envelope wrapped around the most delicious fillings (cream chicken, pie&meat, sweet banana...) one can imagine.

Combined with Coke (the one in the glass bottle) and mayonnaise it is one of the mouth-watering sins Brazil has to offer.

Just remember:

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Elections and Publicity in Porto Seguro - Politics the North-Brazilian way


Since my first day in Porto Seguro, I have been interested in the way North Brazilians - or well, Baianos - do their publicity and politics.


One thing that's quite unfamiliar for me and other Germans and Londoners at least, are cars (or motorbikes) that drive around with annoyingly loud speakers strapped to their roof called "carro de som" and public radio stations on the streets that are playing the latest supermarket advertisements or politics propaganda songs. You cannot escape them, even with all windows and doors closed and it starts at 8:30am, even on Sundays...

Most politicians decided to choose a popular song (best are those that you can scream and rhyme, especially the number to vote for should be repeatable...), well known party songs from the Toa Toa e Axe moi beaches are the favourites. Then they change the lyrics into something like "vote for better education, good infrastructure, safety" or "the people from Porto Seguro don t want to return to the past, a new time has started now, vote now for xyz and remember 44"

I'll try to upload a few examples that I recorded with my phone:

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

London ABC - airport-to-city transfer - Stansted Airport & Heathrow Airport

STANSTED

Terravision airport and city bus stop locations
99 % of my flights to London are cheap Ryanair flights to Stansted, so I thought I'd tell you about my choice of airport transfer. In general, I choose a return ticket from Terravision Coach, £ 14.00 to the city centre or even £ 11.00  to Stratford! So when your destination is North or East, your best options are Liverpool Street Station and Stratford and when heading to South or West London, it might be best to choose Victoria Station. Airport transfer alternatives are the Stansted Express (train) and cab, both no option for me as they are not really faster but much more expensive. The only real advantage with the latter is that you have your suitcase with you at all times. When using the Terravision Express, you have to put your luggage in storage boxes in the "lower belly" of the bus and can only take small backpacks upstairs with you.

Here a few tipps to avoid luggage theft:

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The wonderful world of sweet Nigerian buns


When I lived in Camberwell, I often went to Peckham Rye for mostly food shopping trips. During one of my food hunts, I stumbled into Café Spice which offers nigerian and indian cuisine – eat in and take away - at a very decent price. Since then I wasn’t able to walk past it without grabbing one of the delicious (deep fried!) Nigerian buns and getting my fingers all greasy on the bus back home. But it is definitely worth it! I also had lunch there a few times, my ultimate favourite dish (and favourite fish by the way):

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Ein normaler Morgen in Porto Seguro, Brasilien


Ein normaler Morgen in Porto Seguro, Brasilien beginnt in etwa so: Du wachst – ganz natuerlich – vor deinem Wecker auf. Aehem, ja. Z.B. durch die Sonne, die dich an der Nase kitzelt. Oder durch den Wecker deines Nachbarn (oder deines Herrn Gemahls, des Sonnenprinzen), jedenfalls ein Wecker, der ungefaehr eine halbe Stunde lang alle 3 Minuten immer wieder losgeht. Oder durch einen Guten-Morgen-Kuss deines Mannes. Oder durch die Musik der Nachbarin, die seit Monaten jeden Morgen die gleiche CD hoert. Oder durch den Duft vom

Saturday, 30 June 2012

How's Brazil?


And again, the most asked question when on the phone: How's Brazil?

It's not an easy one to answer.


"It’s love and hate, beautiful and ugly, friendly and rude, relaxed and loud, peaceful and chaotic, full of rules and then again none…"*

And it smells of sweet mangoes and salty ocean wind...



Friday, 22 June 2012

Better than fries/chips: Aipim frito!

I would ALWAYS switch fries/chips with fried manioc, it is THE most delicious fried vegetable I know. Just add a bit of salt and have some mango juice with it - all you need after a long swim in the ocean! Mouthwatering!!!

Manioc: in Portuguese: Aipim or Mandioca, do not really know where exactly the difference is, but the prince of sun told me Mandioca-brava can only be used to make the widely used farinha (flour) (it will produce a weak poison

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

False friends - pronunciation: how to order a coconut water in Brazil


During my first degree, I started studying Spanish. It was only a few years ago in London, when I decided to learn Portuguese due to my Brazilian and Angolan friends and the Brazilian community in my Zouk-Lambada dance group.
 
When I met the prince of sun, I completely immersed in the Portuguese language and got reminded of my Spanish language knowledge one embarrassing time in a Brazilian beach café.

Ordering a chilled coconut water, I unconciously used my brain-stored Spanish language knowledge for the pronunciation of "coco" (coconut) which has the following pronunciation and stress:

coco

check:
http://pt.forvo.com/word/coco/


Now in Portuguese, cocô (stress: coco) means shit/poo... Yes...

Ordering a "agua de cocô gelada" meant I was asking for "chilled shit water". 

The correct Portuguese pronunciation for coconut is

Monday, 18 June 2012

My favourite Indian culinary treats – Chicken Korma in Camberwell


During my flatshare time in Camberwell, SE London, I often went to Zouk-Lambada on Monday and Wednesday nights with the “dance girl” (I had actually met her at Zouk-Lambada and she stayed one of my best friends until the very day) and arriving late in the evening, both being hungry from dancing, talking and laughing, we ordered some take aways with my local Indian restaurant, 5min from my home. I also had dinner there once when my parents and brothers were visiting me and in general, got one of my two favourite Indian culinary treats – either:

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Thoughts on German breakfast culture and my favourite French delicatessen shop in London

I have always been fond of breakfast time. I even feel like after having lived with friends and the prince of sun in London and Brazil that German culture compared with the latter literally celebrates breakfast, especially on Sundays.

A German proverb even has the following diet suggestions:"Frühstücke wie ein Kaiser, iss zu Mittag wie ein König und nimm dein Abendmahl wie ein Bettler" ("have breakfast like an emperor, lunch like a king and dinner like a beggar").

So what's part of a typical Baden-Württembergian German Sunday breakfast?

How do you know that you have been in London too long?

You say "the City" and expect everyone to know which one.
It happened...
You have never been to The Tower or Madame Tussauds but you love Brighton.
Actually, I have been to the tower once and even twice to Madame Tussauds, would go to the tower again (on a quiet day) but… never again to Madame Tussauds! And YES, I ADORE Brighton and its stony

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Kizomba & Zouk-Lambada - The interwoven story of Angolan/Afro Music and Brazilian/Afro Dance

First time I heard Kizomba was in Germany, one of my Angolan friends had shown me this lovely song that I love to listen to until today. But it was not until - during my studies in London - one day I watched a dance video on youtube when I got reunited with Kizomba - and met the dance Zouk for the first time.

For everyone that got confused by now. Yes, I also was, the history and connection of the two words, dances and music is complicatedly interwoven. But let's start from scratch.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Excess baggage? Rescue is here!!!

Being a traveller for many years, I have always been daunted with the prospect of having to pack my suitcase (and hand luggage for that matter), even after thoroughly investigating each individual airline's baggage regulations...

But recently, I stumbled over a travel clothing brand which holds the promise of avoiding such agonies in the future:

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Dream Home in Hampstead Heath

I have had this dream for a long time... And maybe one day....

I believe I have lived in pretty much every wind direction of London: During a 4 week language course I shared a flat with an English host lady in lovely Putney (SW), which I loved for its beautiful houses and green spaces, especially the little castle tower next to Putney Bridge. During my BA studies I shared a flat in north-east Walthamstow (E) and was and still am a huge fan of its high street market.

Then a few years later during my BA and MA I lived in Holloway Road, Islington (N), loved the Spanish restaurant around the corner and its spinach cream soop as well as the mouth-watering lamb kebabs you can get in loads of places there. Later it was Camberwell (SE) with a local tiny park (30 sec distance) and cheap cinema visits in the neighbourhood's Rye Lane cinema for 3,5 pounds... A few weeks at my friend s house in Ladywell (SE) (this area has great fishmongers for everyone who loves to cook grilled Tilapia!).

When the prince of sun and I stayed in London a few months ago, we stayed in Plaistow (E) (this area's tesco sells delicious (& cheap) beans "feijao tropeiro" for about 60p per kilo!) and our final home was in lovely Southfields (SW), just adored the 5-minute walk to Putney Heath and Wimbledon Park as well as the French shop around the corner with its incredible mirabelle jam!

But I have always known where I would want to stay and create our cosy London nest.


In wonderful Hampstead Heath

Let me introduce you to this beautiful green area in case you don t know it yet:

And yes, in case you are wondering and asking yourself whether we are in the countryside already, no, the Heath really is located in

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Do you want to look young again?


Just let them pull your wisdom teeth and you look like a cute, chubby 5-year-old... muahahahaha 


Oh, a little piece of advice: the cuteness comes at a high cost: no proper food, pain, everyone is bursting into tears laughing but you cannot join in, or well, you might in case you would like to repeat the needle and thread game... and it (hopefully) doesn t last that long.


Results you can achieve:




That was about 1,5 years ago, the two upper wisdom teeth were both sitting in the gums and bones when they were removed, yes, they were not even born yet just as the now remaining... which will be removed now and sits, well, rather lies on the left side and is pushing the other tooth next to it (or as my Brazilian dentist put it: Esta comendo o outro dente do lado = he´s eating the tooth next to it... :-O


Will have my last check on Thursday and in the following weeks the operation...


Thank god that I don´t have a lower right wisdom tooth...


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

International Security Matters (…or how to marry your Brazilian fiancé in Germany and move to London town…)


Getting married. Sounds quite simple to me, two people planning their happily ever after and
deciding where they want to live next. We are in a flexible and totally globalized world, aren’ t
we?! Well, one might suggest we are. However, as I am currently planning and “executing” the
process of international marriage and moving, I have come to the conclusion that only the rich
are supposed to get married with a ‘not from the same country’. Why is that? Let’s start with
the obvious: Documents.

Living in two countries - 2 - The pros and cons

Feeling the wind and smelling the salty sea air with the prince of sun at the beautiful Taperapuan Beach in Porto Seguro in December, climbing the rocky Gertelsbacher waterfalls with my dear mum in the land of milk and honey in April and having a nice cup of tea in a lovely Hampstead Heath or Camden café in August with "the dance girl"!
  
Here a few pros and cons for having your heart (and stuff) in different places:

Friday, 11 May 2012

Brazilian Native Cinnamon Leaves Tea - a canela-da-Índia

Yesterday we went to visit the prince of sun's grandparents who always tell us about their Indio (Brazilian native) and other local traditions.
 
This time I tried the most lovely Cinnamon Tea I have ever had in my life - instead of cinnamon sticks or cinnamon powder, freshly plugged Cinnamon Leaves are used to brew the nearly transparent tea! The same leaves are sometimes used when making coffee giving the coffee THE most deliciously exotic smell and aroma!!!

The tradition says that besides its lovely taste, cinnamon leaves tea helps to relieve

Rapunzel's Secrets: Long Hair Tipps


January 2012: past waist length


- or realising your dreams whatever they are...!

I remember when I was a little girl I had two long-haired cousins with hair jumping around their waist. Very often I was just standing there staring at their hair and more than once asked my mother to let me grow my hair longer than chin length - unfortunately I was a very active child that liked to run around, get dirty through playing in the forests and garden, jump and climb onto trees which makes long hair a difficult task for a mother of four, so I understand the reasons behind my mother's denial of my wish. She herself never had it very long and keeps it short, she likes that it is practical and simple to maintain [but also loves to play with my long hair ;)].

update on 2.11.2013: hair length now straight across hips
The wish of having long hair never stopped. But again, hair dressers and other people got into the way, telling me it was not possible to have long hair with my hair structure or that long hair doesn t suit me. Only about two years ago I decided to stop going to the hairdresser, stopped altering my hair in any way and stopped listening to anyone trying to hinder me from realising one of my childhood dreams. Researching on the internet and talking to people from different countries about hair care, I learned the Indian, Japanese, German, Indio's and other culture's secrets of how to have hair longer than your waist.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Well...maybe it's because I'm a Londoner

A link to the song: Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner


MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE I'M A LONDONER (Hubert Gregg) Bud Flanagan - 1947 --- Davy Jones - 1965 Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner That I love London so Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner That I think of her wherever I go I get a funny feeling inside of me When walking up and down Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner That I love London Town

I went there first time in 2004, my aunt who was living there, had invited me to stay for a touristy week and it was during the 7-days out-and-about and the 7-nights-in-her-Forest-Hill-flat when it "clicked".

Living in two countries - 1

What's a woman to do when she's loving two...

Or three...

Three cultures, that is. And two cities to live in. The one and only city which is the 'love of her life'. Then the small town to live life to the full and the home*sweet*home to visit family and friends whenever the Sehnsucht (home sickness - which does not really contain the real sentiment...) hits the top nerve.

The home obviously is Germany, my home country. A village close to the French border, a 30-minute drive to beautiful EU-Strasbourg and an oasis of tranquility and peace of mind. Most of the time at least ;) I love visiting my parents and siblings who I ADORE, with all their odds and bits, but as it is after about 2 weeks, my dear self and its freedom genes are urging to leave to where its heart last stayed or where it would like to stay. Let's call this German village "the land of milk and honey".

The small town to live life to the full is a Brazilian well Bahian town called

Saturday, 5 May 2012

What's this name anyway?

The German-Brazilian Londoner.

Let´s try to define in a few words which should be put into whole books and from time to time, will be unfold in future blog posts.

For now:

German = that's what she

25 years

A friend of mine told me for quite some time now to write a book about my every day life.
She is one of my inspirations, always writing a novel, short story or an article. 
Let´s call her the Berlin girl.

When I was younger, I always wanted to be a writer. Wrote my short (or long) unedited stories for friends and family and everyone always enjoyed them. Until one day, my grandmum told the innocent little writer that writing is no means to survive. Which gave the little writer a heartbreak you can imagine. She stopped writing, concentrating on school...later university and only in her emails to friends, she would sometimes still make her friends wonder and laugh about her everyday life.

When she was a child, she just wrote in German as she is from

For Starters!

Let´s just make a few things clear... On this site you´ll get:

*COPYRIGHT (texts, pictures...)

*no responsibility (mentioned places, procedures, situations - be careful when running around in new territories)

*spelling, grammar etc mistakes: If you find some, you can take them home, don´t want them back!

*in general: constructive feedback wanted!

=)