What is faith


Religion: This is always a delicate topic to write about, particularly if it’s going public. But you should know by now that I don’t care what others think about me and I basically just write what I want to write about. That’s also why I can’t keep my cute mouth shut!

You might have realized by now that I’m not religious at all! I was raised as the daughter of a Catholic mother and a Protestant father! Catholic rules – as strict as they are in little Austrian towns – require that I had to be christened and brought up as a Catholic. Otherwise … who knows which disadvantages I would have had to face growing up. I went to church regularly on Sundays as a child (but only to receive the stickers for my school church going card), attended Catholic playgroups on Saturday, sang in the children’s choir … but well, let’s just say from the time I started to use my brain as a teenager I stopped.

I started to question everything and especially realized how selfish the Catholic church is. They condemn divorced women, refusing to give them communion. Or they rather let babies die than preventing them to be conceived in the first place. Anything wrong with this picture?

Then take celibacy! The terrible outcome? Priests abuse young boys and girls because nature’s just too strong! Or they have illegitimate children, never acknowledging them.

What’s so fascinating about religion and faith? Is it the fact that we all have to die at one point of our lives and we don’t want to land in hell? Speaking of which! Who was it again planting the hell-idea into our heads? Yes, right, it was THEM again! Those who murdered in the name of faith, even each other, forced Christianity onto anyone who didn’t want it but crossed their way … if you look at the history there’s murder, mayhem and betrayal written all over it.

Did you know that the first Christians had nothing in common with those from today? They were the heads of the community, took care of keeping peace amongst them. They didn’t have churches, they just met without all the pomp and regalia and then they went home to their wives and families. Yes, WIVES! FAMILIES! As the centuries evolved a few of them saw the potential … and it all came back to the ulterior and oldest motive in mankind: power and money! Wives? Orgies? Murder? No problem as long as the public believed they would be punished in afterlife if they didn’t buy themselves free. The crimes the Church committed over the centuries are unforgivable and their still medieval views made me steer clear of religion. And if other sects or Scientology thinks of approaching me to become their latest victim, think again! I’m not stupid! I know what you are after! Which again is World Domination and Money!!!

So, do you wonder where I stand personally if I’m not an active part of any religion? I do believe! I believe in a higher power, I believe that nothing really dies and that our energy will survive our bodies! I believe in love and tolerance!

Religion is as old as human mankind, in one way or another. And many many wars are and were fought because of it and in the name of religion! Wouldn’t the world be much more peaceful without it? Think about it!

I might not be the biggest fan of all kinds of religions, but I have to admit, the Christian institution has a few good points. I particularly admire all those nuns who are devoting their lives to others … Thanks, dear ladies, for giving up everything to do good!!!


The things that make me happy

Have you ever really thought about what makes you happy? Really thought about it? I have already allowed you glimpses in my posting “A nice one” where I remembered occasions that made me happy. But now I’d like to go a little deeper to make YOU think about the little things in life we should be thankful for because they give us some happiness on often dreadful days.

Someone once told me, in order to be happy in your relationship you need to be happy with yourself first! And this is one advice I try to follow, even though it’s not easy at times! Particularly when everything comes crashing down on you again and again and you just feel incredibly sorry for yourself, too often thinking of the things you missed out on in life, fearing you will never have what others have … and I’m not talking about material things.

All too often I have too much time on my hands, so I started thinking about the things that make ME happy. Just me. The little everyday things that make me happy and content.

Well, we’ve already covered that the sea makes me happy. Unfortunately, I’m not living close to the sea to get my daily dose of happiness. So, where do I pull my happiness and strength from then?

  • My comfort food: What’s better than a nice juicy burger? Ice cream? Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate? Whatever food makes you happy, don’t worry about calories on a bad day! Just get it and enjoy!
  • My Sunday afternoon tea time! (Yeah, I know, what a cliché and quite boring!) But I do enjoy a cup of steaming Earl Grey – no other kind of tea will do – and a slice of cake. (Or pastry or cookies or whatever else is available!) Sitting in my library chair in my library corner, cuddled up beneath a blanket, feet on my ottoman, candle burning, I enjoy my tea with a good mystery book.
  • My hot bath! With candles, without, with music, without … every bath makes me feel good!
  • My car! It’s white, it’s big, it’s British … my gorgeous Range Rover Evoque! Not the most sensible car choice – especially living in Germany, the country of the “best” cars in the world – but I still love it to pieces! Every time I see it I’m happy! My mood usually improves just by seeing it standing there … the pure imagination I had to switch to a VW Golf for a few days gives me the creeps … being thoroughly disgusted every time I would have to get into and actually drive it. I rest my case …
  • My friends! Talking to them on a regular basis, seeing them … being allowed to whine about stuff! That’s what I treasure about them, that they are here for me!
  • My shopping! I know, that’s one of those material things … but it does make me happy. Strolling around in town on a Saturday, having the time to have coffee somewhere … and I bet you agree that it makes each of us girls happy to find a treasure on sale! THAT’S happiness!
  • My planning! Yes, you are reading correctly! My planning! I’m happy when I can plan something! Organization is everything for me! I love my lists! I love planning! May it be a trip, the interior of my apartment, renovation, reorganizing my wardrobe … guess this will be a topic for a completely new article one day!
  • My flowers! M apartment is filled with plants and orchids – 63 in total – and still … occasionally I treat myself to a bunch of flowers: tulips, carnations, daffodils, lilies … and whenever I look at them they make me smile. (And now imagine how happy I were if I didn’t have to buy them myself!) Crazy? Probably! That’s the way I am!
  • My balcony chair! Come spring I’m out there on my terrace on the first sunny and warm days, covered with my large sun hat and in plenty of sunscreen from head to toe. Reading, listening to music, writing, thinking. And just love it! Forget me setting one foot outside again in summer, though. Yep, crazy me again not enjoying a large balcony like everyone else would!

Sooo, those are some more of the things that make me happy! What makes you happy? Just you?

How to be recognised as a tourist immediately

Being a tourist is the most exciting thing in the world! And since you are proud to be a tourist you should do everything in your power to keep up the appearance. Now, as the perfect tourist, there are a few things you should bear in mind:

  1. By all means, DON’T dress like you do in your hometown. Fashionable clothes are sooo out! White sneakers – they have to be white so that you’ll be seen from miles away – plus white socks are a MUST! Don’t forget the socks! They are very important! Or you’d just look like any other local! Shorts and colourful button down shirts you wouldn’t be caught dead in at home are important accessories too. (At least you’ve got a reason to finally wear those weird outfits you bought in a fit of craziness!)
  2. Wear hats! Baseball caps, sun hats, safari hats, visors … whatever! Preferably in funny designs and screaming colours to make it easier for others to spot you! You’ll need hats when you’re standing under the blazing summer sun, in the middle of a plaza, looking at monuments and statues displaying persons you’ve never even heard of!
  3. Use backpacks! They’re much easier to pick for local thieves than plain handbags or pouches! (Hey, after all they have to live too!)
  4. Act like the Asians! They ALWAYS have the best viewing places for making pictures. Just ram your elbows into your neighbours and push forwards, wriggling your cute self through the masses! Your reward? You’ll be up front with all the other knowledge eager tourists!
  5. Only eat at those restaurants your previously bought travel guide recommends. There you can get exactly that kind of food you are used to, since local food can be DANGEROUS! After all you don’t want to become homesick because you can’t get your Schnitzel or Currywurst, right?
  6. Always walk in the middle of the street! It annoys the hell out of locals and, let’s be honest, it’s fun!
  7. Wear cameras around your neck to signal you’re planning on taking pictures every few seconds and stop at the worst times possible!
  8. Never behave as if you were at home! Where is the fun in being a tourist if you can’t be a total jerk? Complaining about everything? Telling everyone that at home everything is much, much better!
  9. Do forget to apply sunscreen! A red face looks much more appealing than a white one! And you won’t be considered a “newbie” but someone who’s been on vacation for at least a couple of days!
  10. Buy souvenirs! You can be sure they are originals and will look good on your shelves at home! Besides, that way you can boast about all the places you’ve been to by displaying little Eiffel Towers, Rialto bridges, Towers of London, Acropolis, Stephansdoms, …

All I have to do now is wishing you wonderful holidays and lots of fun travelling abroad! Keep me posted on your experiences by following my good advice!

Wake me up, please!

Last night I had a dream! A bad dream! A very bad dream! I was back in Austria, back in the old days, my old life. It was Saturday and I had to get up early to go to work. As in tutoring children! For four hours without a break. Endless minutes that seemed to creep by. And me doing nothing else than explaining, explaining, explaining. The same grammar over and over again. Passive – Reported Speech – Passive – Reported Speech – Tenses – Tenses – Tenses. Neverending!

I wanted to scream, pull at my hair and then jump out of the window. (No, I’m not the suicidal type, don’t worry, but dreaming about those days certainly made me consider this option in my dream!)

Do you have any idea how boring and frustrating it is to always do the same stuff? Not once a year! Or twice! But at least dozens of times. Over and over again. Writing down signal words and use, giving out exercises, sitting next to the pupil, listening to the same mistakes hundreds of other kids had made before him/her. And me again reminding him/her of what I had just explained minutes before.

And there I was, stuck in my nightmare, in an endless loop of faces, constantly asking questions and getting the wrong answers, even though we had discussed exactly that shortly before. And worst of all? I always had to be friendly and patient, no matter how pissed off I was.

Yeah, I know, there are plenty of people who work on weekends. And believe me, I admire them for it! But nothing, absolutely nothing, can be as unfulfilling as tutoring kids. My time teaching was not all bad, of course! It was very gratifying to get the feedback that you were a good tutor, with your pupils being successful in their exams. And being a close-knit “family” with my fellow tutor colleagues. But doing it for more than 10 years, I was close to a full-blown burnout and dreaming of it … makes me wake up sweating, shivering and with a racing heart. Being incredibly relieved and happy that I have left my old life behind. And once again I realize how lucky I am in my “new life”. Being healthy, having a job I like, which is far from boring, working together with a great bunch of guys, living in a nice spacious apartment (with walk-in, every girl’s dream) and being able to travel and afford the one or other pair of shoes. Because … you never know how long you have and I intend to live life to its fullest.

I can’t believe I did it

And neither could some of my family members. And probably I’m not setting a good example! And very likely I’m about to receive your disappointed comments now! You’re wondering what I did?

Well, for those of you who have been following my blog it won’t come as a surprise. And you’ll start guessing right away whether it’s got something to do with politics, church or shopping.

Those who picked No 2 are right! I’m not sure whether I should drop the bombshell yet or let it sink in … oh, what the hell! (Which is where I’m probably going according to the conservative faithfuls out there!) I did it! Actually, I already did it a few years back. But I’m still happy about it! I dropped out of church! I’m confessionless and happy! A happy confessionless Austrian. It’s a relief, I can tell you! Getting rid of old baggage and starting a new life as an Ex-Catholic. And I’m dreaming … dreaming of an audience at the Vatican to meet the pope, I’m wearing a black Vivienne Westwood skirt suit and black high heeled Louboutins … curtseying gracefully and then just telling him with an angelic smile on my face, “I’m a happy confessionlessonista, recently dropped out!” And then just walk out of there swinging! Ahhh, wouldn’t that be nice? I bet no one has ever done that! The question is: are you being vetted before you’re granted an audience? Then I probably won’t get far! After all, well, in my rebellious student years I did write some not very nice letters to the bishop in Graz, Austria because I hated sending them written confirmations for me still being a student in order to avoid paying church tax!

But one can dream, right? Why I did it? Doesn’t it all come down to money in the end? I have no intention of supporting such an old-fashioned establishment with my church tax. And I have even less intention forking over a certain amount from my hard-earned wages every month here in Germany, where it is directly deducted from my pay check.

Don’t get me wrong, I like churches … for finding peace and looking at the architecture, but I’d rather donate some money directly to a building than pay the pope’s travels to underdeveloped countries so that he can rant a little more about those devilish condoms …

And there I go again! I could fill pages over pages with my second favourite topic, but since I’m running out of space at the speed of light – after all I’m trying to keep my postings at around 500 words and only overshoot this limit in absolute cases of emergency – I’ll have to stop now! But don’t you worry! I’ll be back, annoying you a little more … soon … very soon! Have a great weekend and good week ahead!