All posts filed under: Culture

I started teaching English online

It’s not exactly a career move but I have always wanted to get a TEFL qualification and dip my toes in tutoring / teaching English online. It’s NOT a particularly rational bucket list item as the pay is not even nearly a living wage; unless of course you really specialise and throw your WHOLE heart and a lot of time into it. I on the other hand am only dedicating a corner of a heart chamber for now. In my first week being registered on italki I already have 14 lesson bookings! I might maybe add German to my offerings at some point but for now I am just irrationally spending my time getting paid some peanuts to meet people around the world and cheerlead their English language learning efforts. Something tells me that I am a nerd. Luckily I love nerds. For the slow pokes in the back: I am a longterm fan girl of this teaching platform, I am also taking language lessons not just offering them there. https://www.italki.com/i/ref/C6c6ee?hl=en If you are potentially …

The world needs delicious snacks

This is one of the most tasty and simultaneously outrageously healthy snack treats that I have ever made. And here are the necessary ingredients: • nuts (any nuts, mixed is great, with pecans is fantastic) – lightly toasted (if you have the patience) • dates (pre-soaked in hot water is fantastic, but if they are medjool dates or other soft types then don’t worry too much about soaking, but have some warm water to hand to help loosen the mixture as needed) • ground green cardamom (unless you don’t like it, then skip it) if you like: ground nutmeg, cinnamon, chilli, perhaps you are a fan of aniseed? • the all important HIGH QUALITY 100% coco powder (not the one that has dairy mixed in with it if you can avoid it, but in the end: take what you can find) This Organic Fairtrade Cocoa Powder by Green and Blacks is the one that I use because it is both organic and fair trade, but the company has been bought out and if you can find something …

Taking inspiration and courage from the small silver linings of life…

What are they? Those elusive silver linings at a time when international politics has gone upside down and many are scared, me included? What are those silver linings when the intercontinental love affair that has now lasted over 7.5 years also be the primary contributing factor to the situation that I may have forfeited my residency right in the country that I have called home since the 90’s !? When all that nomadism has rendered me quite penniless, quite literally, at this moment in time? When health is shaky because stress is constant? Silver linings: First and for most of course the answer just has to be: Espresso is a primary silver lining! And: I have had the great luxuries that money can or can’t buy: time. I have had a lot of time in the arms of the one who truly loves and supports me. I have had time, a lot of it, to become the person I am, which would have been impossible in an easier, more standardised and more secure life. I have a …

another chapter of trying to figure out how life in California works.. today I tried buying a bagel…

“Hello. Can I have a sesame bagel with jam please” “$4.22” “gosh!” (but I pay anyway) …. waits 20 minutes…. “here’s your bagel” “hang on, there is no jam, I didn’t want butter” “it’s not butter” “well, I would like jam” “it is cream cheese” “no thanks, can I have jam please as requested when I arrived and paid?” “we are out of jam” “there is no jam” “no, absolutely no jam” “oh…” other member of staff intervenes: “we have jam” 6 minutes later: “here’s your bagel” “thanks” …. spreading the miraculously appeared jam on the bagel.. hmmm… it smells strange for a sesame bagel.. hang on … Oh I give up!  … “excuse me, I would like a refund, this is an onion bagel with jam, not a sesame bagel with jam…”  … get’s refund, leaves the cafe still exceptionally hungry and wondering why a bagel that can never be the actual bagel one asked for costs $4.22 when service clearly is sleepwalking with reluctance..

It never rains in Northern California…

…. at all. It’s day after day sunshine here. It is definitely very tantalising and the flavour of opportunities around the corner is everywhere. In our case without a car we can’t really reach them because it is true, America is a car culture and you better have a car here or be limited but the opportunities are there. There is a distinctly different attitude here to everything. An optimism that I am always trying to understand the origin of. For example in real terms being poor here sucks more than In the UK even (!) thanks to this culture of ‘the individual’ this mentality that creates and progresses SO much “everyone out for themselves: ready, steady, go” but it leaves one a bit by the wayside when in the UK (up until ‘Cameron the Coldhearted Opportunist’ came into power) and Europe there would be some support to helps bridges gaps until one can gain a foothold again. This here really is not a model I would follow if I had a say over government …