Weekly Wonders: Food, Castles, and Reggaeton

Apart from our trip to the Neuschwanstein Castle on Monday, July 10th, the rest of the week was not very spectacular. Most of the time, I had to work until late. Still, I managed to do some stuff:

 

1,2+3. As I have already described in my last blog post, I have visited the Neuschwanstein Castle in Füssen, and it was AMAZING! You can read all about it here.

4. I have also finished this book: “Read this if you want to be Instagram-famous” which I got as a birthday gift as you can read on my blogpost here. The book was actually really good and very interesting.

5. On Thursday, we went to our local ice cream parlour to have some delicious ice cream bowls. I also got one of my last birthday presents – a huge see-through umbrella :)
I also got my new passport, finally :)

6.+7. On Sunday, we went to a summer party called Latin Island together with our cousin. First we ate something. Without hesitation, I chose the grilled shrimp skewers. Later, we sat by the pool after we finished eating and being fed up with the wasps swarming over our dishes. In the early evening, we decided to move to the dance floor and mingled with the crowd. It was a great party on a sunday afternoon/early evening.

 

I hope you guys had an even more amazing week!

Thank you for reading! See you next week on Weekly Wonders!

Merveille.

 

Advertisements

Do’s and Don’ts at Neuschwanstein Castle

Because it was my brother’s birthday on Monday, July 10th, and we all had the day off, we decided to take a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. Despite having lived in Germany for all of our lives, we never managed to visit this most iconic castle.

Here are the most important Do’s and Don’ts for visiting the busiest place in Germany:

Do: The early bird

Arrive as early as possible! Whether by train or car, make sure to leave on time.

Don’t: Forget to bring enough liquids

The air up there is a bit thinner, and a lot of walking is involved. Make sure to bring at least 1L of water and stay hydrated.

Do: Buy a ticket for visiting the inside of the castle

I’d recommend booking the tickets online so you can skip the line at the ticket counter and you can decide which time you wanna visit. Especially if you can’t arrive there early. We didn’t book them online, but we planned to arrive there quite early.

Do: Book an audio guide tour

If the guided tours don’t fit your schedule, the audio guide is a good alternative.

Don’t: Forget to bring your umbrella…

…or cagoule since the weather can be unpredictable, even in summer.

Don’t: Stand in line for the carriages for ONE HOUR!

 

I actually wanted to take the horse carriages up to the castle, but the line would take 1 hour. Plus the animals looked quite exhausted :/ Better to walk or opt for the busses which are also cheaper (1,80€).

LRM_EXPORT_20170711_225715

Do: Visit the Alpsee lake

You can find this lake right away after buying your tickets. It is very close to the bus stop. The lake is utterly beautiful and worth spending the whole day there, just enjoying the view.

LRM_EXPORT_20170710_214504-01LRM_EXPORT_20170714_153435LRM_EXPORT_20170714_154642LRM_EXPORT_20170714_151900LRM_EXPORT_20170714_171842LRM_EXPORT_20170714_152150LRM_EXPORT_20170714_145027LRM_EXPORT_20170714_145545LRM_EXPORT_20170710_224233-01LRM_EXPORT_20170714_144808LRM_EXPORT_20170714_151621LRM_EXPORT_20170714_151227LRM_EXPORT_20170714_171558LRM_EXPORT_20170714_145814LRM_EXPORT_20170714_152506

Don’t: Skip the Marienbrücke

Although you might get a shock from how filled it is, just brace yourself and go on that bridge to take that postcard picture. Be careful though, and hold on tightly to your camera.

LRM_EXPORT_20170712_000338LRM_EXPORT_20170711_174353

LRM_EXPORT_20170711_195939

Do: Go beyond the Marienbrücke

Try to walk across the Marienbrücke and climb up the little ledge if you trust yourself and have some firm walking shoes made for that.

Do: Snacks

Eat something small and simple like a pretzel. Also a great photo idea together with the castle :)

Don’t: Forget to take photos of the architecture

You will probably have plenty of time before your tour begins, so this leaves the opportunity to snap a lot of photos of the castle from every angle imaginable.

LRM_EXPORT_20170714_172846LRM_EXPORT_20170711_212432LRM_EXPORT_20170711_194540LRM_EXPORT_20170711_210027LRM_EXPORT_20170711_194016LRM_EXPORT_20170713_061820LRM_EXPORT_20170711_214534LRM_EXPORT_20170711_221944LRM_EXPORT_20170711_213606LRM_EXPORT_20170711_103102-01

Don’t: Take photos inside the castle

It’s not allowed in the first place. Also, don’t play on your phone but absorb the surroundings and the intricate details of each room you are guided to.

Do: Visit a gift shop

Take your time to visit the second gift shop after the castle tour. The first, bigger one is overpriced and I didn’t like the stuff offered there. There is a second, smaller gift shop and they have some beautiful bookmarks there as well which I bought (5€). Also, there is an observation terrace after the castle tour where you can get the most awesome views on the two lakes and the Marienbrücke. Another reason to book the castle tour.

LRM_EXPORT_20170711_235747LRM_EXPORT_20170711_220625LRM_EXPORT_20170711_220305

Do: Have dinner at the Schloßrestaurant

When you choose the walking path down from the castle, you will come across this beautiful restaurant. They have great food, especially their sweet stuff smelled divine <3 I ate vegetarian cheese dumplings swabian style (It’s said that they were created there)

LRM_EXPORT_20170717_215929

Do: Walk all the way back downhill

Back down is easier than up. You can also do both if you are fit enough :) Plus, it saves you some money.

LRM_EXPORT_20170714_143902LRM_EXPORT_20170714_143622LRM_EXPORT_20170714_142629LRM_EXPORT_20170711_224656

Don’t: Loose your car at the parking lot

Remember exactly which parking lot it was that you used, and how you walked to the ticket counter. If you still end up loosing your car, ask one of the workers there, they will, strangely enough know exactly where you have parked :’D

LRM_EXPORT_20170711_231552LRM_EXPORT_20170711_230847

Do: Explore the oldtown of Füssen

If you are not too exhausted, and the weather is nice to you, drive downtown and explore the cute, colourful oldtown. Sit down at one of the street cafes, or get yourself a Schneeballen, a sweet treat that is famous for that part of Germany.

LRM_EXPORT_20170711_232234LRM_EXPORT_20170711_233347LRM_EXPORT_20170711_234517LRM_EXPORT_20170713_213209LRM_EXPORT_20170713_213817

 

 

Weekly Wonders: Birthday Week

 

1. Monday started with a brunch out in town. We ordered the breakfast for two which included a basket full of bread, a plate with scrambled eggs, two different types of jam, butter, 3 different kinds of cheese and ham, different kinds of fruit, two cups of fruit oatmeal, and two glasses of orange juice. I also ordered an extra ginger tea since I was a bit sick. The breakfast was extremely yummy and filling. We couldn’t eat anything for the rest of the day.

2. The rest of the day was dedicated to shopping. I found a pair of sunglasses which were reduced from 120€ to 99€ and I spontaneously bought them as you can see on the picture. I did need a new pair though.
3. We were walking around a beautiful park, looking for a nice spot to take photos at and they had these colourful flowers planted.  We didn’t take too long, and went back home. We were completely shattered.

4. On Tuesday, July 4th, it was my birthday. We had planned to go to the thermal baths that day. My sister still had free tickets, so we used them. It was a day full of relaxation, swimming, sunshine and yummy food and drinks. Despite being sick, I enjoyed it a lot. Still miss the steam bath and the amazing fruit sugar peeling we got there for free.

5. At the weekend, I finally got to celebrate my birthday with all my friends. My sister did my make-up and I got to wear my new dress from Mango.

6. It was such an amazing evening, despite some reservation problems. I booked a table for 11 at the most popular sushi restaurant in town called Origami at 9pm (8pm was not possible), and when we arrived at 8.50pm, they told us that we’d have to wait for a while until the guests have finished eating. It was around 9.30pm until we were able to go inside for food finally. Until we had ordered and got our food, almost one hour passed. Some of us got starters as well. I got the gyoza, and it was friggin yummy!

7. Finally the food – and with it the sushi – came. I also ordered a huge sushi platter for everyone to try. I didn’t only eat sushi, but also a coconut udon soup with shrimps. I didn’t like that so much though, and my sister’s beef pak choi dish looked so much yummier. It was a great evening though, and by the time we left the restaurant, they were about to close :’D We were the last ones inside (11:45pm), but then again, it wasn’t our fault, since we did arrive on time.

8. Group picture with everyone :)

9. Me with the cute HappySocks I got from two of my friends :)

10. On sunday, I first had to unpack all my gifts and take photos of some of them. I loooveeeed all of my gifts I got and want to say thank you to everyone who came and got me presents. I am fortunate to have friends who know me so well :) The ‘One-Line-A-Day’ 5-year-journal is actually one of the things I have thought about buying, but never did.

11. And the Instagram-famous book is a book I just recently discovered at Urban Outfitters and had to think about my friend Giulia thinking about me if she ever got to see the book :’DD And then she actually got it for me :D

12. I just specifically fell in love with the Harry Potter pillow set <3 The trio and Hagrid look soooo cute! Hagrid is actually my favourite out of the four in this pillow collection :D Other than these gifts above, I got a Sailor Moon mug and a unicorn pocketmirror, an Amazon voucher and some bathing stuff, and I am gonna get a see-through umbrella :)

 

I hope you guys had an awesome first week of July. Mine was great as you can see. I was sick on my birthday, probably for the first time ever, but it was still a great birthday week with all the friends, food and swimming <3

Thanks for reading! See you next week!

Merveille

10 Things to do at airports during a layover

Having layovers can be hard for many people, but if you look at the bright side of life, you can get a whole new experience out of it.

I had quite a few layovers on my travels so far, and most of the time, it was very interesting to explore yet another different airport.

Every airport is different, and the smaller ones don’t really have much to offer, still you can prepare to kill time before your connecting flight, be it at a tiny or huge airport. Here is how:

1. Freshen up

Bildergebnis für airport toilets
Source: Pinterest.com

This is probably the most important thing to do after stepping out of the plane. For this, make sure you always carry around lotion, brush/comb, and a little bit of make-up in your hand-luggage. Body Wipes or roll-on deodorants can also be handy if you feel super disgusting. Some airports even have shower rooms, but I am not sure if they are free or not. Another good idea is to carry extra clothes in your hand luggage. If you were sweating too much, or just wanna feel more comfortable, it’s gonna save your life.

2. Get your gate information

Bildergebnis für airport flight information
Source: newdelhiairport.in

Many times, the gate and time won’t be announced yet, by the time you land. This is pretty common when you have connecting flights, so you would have to make sure to keep yourself updated in front of the departues boards. It’s more relaxing if you have 3 or 4 hours until your flight, but if it’s only 1 or 2 hours, and your gate is still not being announced, make sure to ask someone at the information desk when to expect the announcement. They will be able to tell you more.

Not only gates, but sometimes, you might even have to get your ticket during a layover as well. That happened to us in March when we were flying back from Dubai to Stuttgart with Turkish Airlines. We had to get our connecting tickets at a counter right after landing, and we only had around 1 hour in total until our flight’s departure. That was very stressful, and I’d prefer airlines not doing this at all.

3. Social Networking

Bildergebnis für airport internet wifi
Source: surfsonix.com

Posting your location on Facebook or an Instagram picture of your flight is almost mandatory when travelling. Of course, not only for entertainment, but also to inform your family and friends back home and let them know you’ve landed and are safe and sound.

For this, always make sure to have your battery fully loaded or plug it in at one of the charging stations at the airport. If there is none, take a portable battery with you and make sure that it is fully loaded as well.

In January, during my flight from Taipei to Shanghai, my phone’s battery was so low that I couldn’t text my parents after landing, because I needed to show the address to the taxi driver. My parents were extremely worried by the time I finally got to my hotel. It was already midnight and they thought that something happened. After that hassle, I will make sure in the future to keep my phone fully loaded.

4. Food and Drinks

Bildergebnis für airport food courts
Source: pinterest.com

Sometimes, the food you get on the plane won’t be satisfactory to many of us. How lucky we are that there are food courts even in the smallest airports in the world. It’s nearly impossible to starve on your layover. The higher possibility is that you’ll spend an infinity on deciding where and what to eat. If you don’t wanna opt for fast food on your travels (which I wouldn’t suggest), then there are many beautiful restaurants with great food options as well.

Other than a hot meal, there are lots of cafes, bakeries and shops to get some snacks and drinks for the flight. I personally love to sit in cafes and have a cup of coffee with something sweet to keep me energized.

5. Shopping

Bildergebnis für hong kong airport shopping
Source: newjetsetters.com

Some people actually buy a lot of things in those shops at airports since it’s duty free and you can find almost every brand at one place. Especially the cosmetics sections are very popular, and even I stroll through those venues every time I’m having a layover. It’s a nice way to kill some time, but also get freshened up with high-end perfumes (I am looking at you YSL). I even bought a MAC lipstick once on my 6-hour layover in Hong Kong, one that I have been searching for a longer time. And I also bought presents for my cousin’s two kids at the Disney Store at Hong Kong Airport. Usually, I buy magazines or books at airports, but that one time in Hong Kong, I just did some last-minute shopping since I still had some money left :’D

6. Extra Activities

Bildergebnis für airport cinema
Source: cnn.com

The biggest airports in the world have more to offer than just shopping and food. If you are lucky, you can actually kill some time in an airport cinema (Changi Airport in Singapore, Hong Kong Airport, Schiphool Airport in Amsterdam,…). I would love to try that out once if I have another +4h layover somewhere, but I would think about doing No. 10 instead.

Some airports offer a cultural exhibition. There will be a small section with utensils being exhibited, almost like in a museum. Or even performances to keep the travellers entertained.

In many muslim countries’ airports, there will be prayer rooms offered for free. And I am sure that many more airports around the world will have individual activity programs designated to each airport.

7. Sleep

Bildergebnis für sleep at airport
Source: traveltalkmag.com.au

This might be one of the most popular things to do during a layover, since most of the time you won’t be able to strech out on a flight. Plus, if the jetlag hasn’t reached you at your layover airport yet, it will definitely kick in after landing at your destination, so sleeping off during a layover might be the smartest idea.

8. Read

Bildergebnis für airport bookstores
Source: flydenver.com

If you haven’t already packed an exciting read in your hand luggage, then you might as well check out the books at your layover airport. If you are not so much into books, you can also get one or two magazines.

I personally love browsing through bookstores at airports, and I even got myself a great book once at the Taipei International Airport (“Crazy Rich Asians”). I don’t always buy a book, though, since I try to bring my own.

9. People Watching

Bildergebnis für airport crowds
Source: irelandfamilyvacations.com

At an airport, there will be people from all over the world. People you might never ever see again. People who look differently, and talk in different languages. And this is one of the reasons I love airports so much. They are the places where people from almost all nations worldwide meet. I personally love people watching; guessing about their lives, where they are going to, where they are coming from, what language they are talking. I love making stories in my head for just a few minutes.

10. Explore the City

Bildergebnis für airport express hong kong
Source: travel2next.com

Most of the times, your layover might be around 3 hours maximum, but sometimes, you will have extremely long layovers where a short trip to the city might be actually worth it. Many big airports will have airport expresses which will take you to the city centre in less than an hour (Hong Kong, London,…). Also, airlines like Turkish Airlines will offer a free city tour in Istanbul when you have +5h until your next flight.

Until now, I only had 2 very long layovers, one 6 hours in Hong Kong and one 3 hours in Dubai. The one in Hong Kong passed by almost immediately. I did almost all activities stated above except for Nos 6, 7, and 10. I could have actually gone to the city as well, but I have already been to Hong Kong several times, and I didn’t want to be more stressed than I already was. In Dubai, I had a layover of 3 hours which made it impossible to take a trip downtown, so I just wandered around the airport and looked around most of the time.

What about you guys? What are the things you love to do at airports during a layover? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Merveille.

5 Myths about China that are not true

1. Everyone eats dog meat

IMG_20150723_101435
A dog enjoying the calmness of that dirty river :’D

It’s true that there is a dog meat festival in a village in Guilin. These people are definitely the cruelest, dumbest, most ignorant and evil people in this world. Seriously, how can you possibly tortue and then eat a dog??!?!!?!??
Yes, this festival is a reality in China, but it’s the exception. I have never seen anyone eat dog meat where I lived in China. I also don’t know anyone of my friends who tried it or seen dog meat being offered anywhere.
Of course I am not trying to deny that this behavious exists in China, but it is also not true that everyone in China eats dog. It’s rather more common to see dogs being kept as pets now, and they seem to be more popular than cats. There are also more people protesting against the dog meat festival every year. So I hope that after a few years, the government will actually do something to ban it for good.

2. You will return with lung cancer

20160214_121031_Richtone(HDR)
That day the smog in Shanghai was stronger than on other days.

Another misconception that many people get after watching the news too much. Again, I am not trying to deny the fact that the air is polluted, but it is by far not as bad as you see in media. Of course, when you happen to live in Beijing, it is more serious, but if you happen to live in any other city, you won’t see the smog as often as you feared. I was living in small town close to Shanghai, and the only times it was really smoggy were the 2 or 3 days after Christmas.
December is a very bad time to visit China, because the pollution is gonna be the strongest. Since winter is really hard in the north, heating will go up during the cold months. The eastern and southern parts of China don’t have central heating since there is basically only one month of proper cold weather. Still, the smog from Beijing wanders east to Shanghai and the cities around it. I did wake up to a smoggy morning and I just cried in my bed. I didn’t know what to do other than wear a face mask.
Still, this only lasted a few days. The other days were maybe only a little bit more polluted than the weather here in Germany. No city nowadays is 100% clean. I guess you’d have to live up on a mountain or by the beach to have clear and clean air.

3. Street food is not safe

IMG_20160324_230513
Some fatty but yummy street food in Xi’An

Totally wrong! Street food is in most cases even safer and cleaner than restaurant food. You can actually see all the ingredients and how they cook it, so they can’t trick you. Also, most locals get streetfood on an almost daily basis, so don’t worry. It seriously is restaurant food that you should be worried about. Behind closed doors, those cooks use MSG and used oil and what else we can only guess about.
Street food is the safest option in Asia in my opinion.

4. Everyone is rude

IMG_20160604_152028
Some frown, some laugh.

I hear a lot of tourists and travellers complain about how rude chinese people are. I can see how that happens though. I also had my share of chinese rudeness, but it was mostly some mean taxi drivers refusing to take us because we were not chinese, or couldn’t speak the language, or didn’t have the adress in chinese characters. Other than those evil taxi drivers, I mostly met the nicest people on earth. When I was lost, there were people who would get out of their ways to help me. Once, a girl even took us all the way to our hostel although it was raining outside. Not only young people, but also older people are so nice when they see you are lost. They are actually the ones who will understand your broken mandarin the best :’D
Also, when you plan to go to China, you should get ready to learn at least some basic sentences in mandarin. People will appreciate it and they will be more eager to help you out. Actually, this is something you should do for every country you visit. In the end, you are the visitor.

5. It’s a communist country

IMG_20160313_234626
Mao is watching you

Of course, the party that rules the country of China is a communist party. Still, chinese people must be the most capitalist nation I have seen. They are addicted to shopping and real estates as well as tourism. China is a rising star, and without a capitalist concept, it would have never become the most powerful developping country.
I would describe China as a perfect mixture between communism and capitalism. I am sure, that the political situation in China will eventually get better and better after the following years to come. I kind of feel like China might be the next super nation since the US is doomed with Donald Trump :’D
Anyway, what I wanna say is that the political situation in China is actually not as bad as others imagine it to be.

So these were the most crucial myths people know about China before actually visiting. If you visit a country with specific misconpetions already floating around in your head beforehand, then it is quite certain that these things will actually happen.

So please, wherever you go, let go of your prejudice and enjoy the place in its purity!

Merveille.

Last Parties in China: What I learned from 10 months living abroad

As I promised to upload the last post about reflecting on my time in China in 2015/2016, here is the last post in chronological order of my time there. This doesn’t mean that it’s my last post ever on China.

Less than one week before my flight back to Germany, we had 3 parties. 

On the 25th, we went to KTV all together. I don’t really have pictures from that evening, since we had too much fun singing and dancing. The only ones I have are quite blurry :’D It was a blast though, and definitely one of my most favourite night-outs in China :)

On the 26th, the next day, it was my friend Ana’s birthday. First she hosted a BBQ party at her apartment. Everyone came, even our boss :’D The food was great, she got some awesome gifts, and we drank a lot of alcohol before heading to the club.

IMG_20160428_235528IMG_20160330_145520

But first, before entering the club, we had to have some fireworks in front of the club, because that’s what you do in China on your birthday :’D
When we entered the club, we were suprised to find out that our boss got us VIP seats. I don’t know why, because he left only 1 hour later :’D I think that was his gift for Ana probably :’D The guys also ordered Hennessy, but I didn’t like it at all :’D

Everyone was so drunk, except the ones who survived the night at the Xiao Long Bao place to get some midnight snacks before heading home. Ana was not with us though. She already returned home quite early without telling anyone :’D We were all worried and started looking for her EVERYWHERE, until one of our friends confirmed that she had gone home :’D

IMG_20160330_151547
At the Xiao Long Bao place with the survivors of the night :D

The next party, my goodbye party was also my last full day in China. I spent the whole day going shopping (I did so much shopping, that I had to take the taxi back home although it was only 5 minutes walking distance), cooking and preparing everything.

In the evening, my friends slowly started to arrive. They also brought some snacks and drinks and we all had an amazing party. I hope I could be a good host for them the first time ever (I wish not the last time).

IMG_20160401_100122

Our friend Harry brought a box of Durian for me to try :’D That’s the second time in one week that I have tried something crazy in China. Of course they had to be last minute on my last week there. Just 3 days ago, I tried Stinky Tofu in Shanghai which you can read here. Now it was my turn to try real Durian fruit. It smelled horribly, but the taste wasn’t as bad as I thought. It has a slightly onion taste to it. I wouldn’t crave it though.

20160330_213250

Apart from the Durian, I got some more gifts. Nicole, the girl on the picture next to me, made me some apple muffins that looked like roses, and she got me a collection of lollipops with photos printed on them. The photos were of my friends I met in Yuyao. It was such a beautiful gift to keep me reminded of my time.

20160330_21291720160330_212848

Josie also got me a gift. A keychain of a Buddha’s foot and a card from one of our students. Also a letter from her and Harry which I was supposed to read on the plane :D

Plus, I got the best of the best gifts ever. Two photo albums filled with pictures of my 10 months here. Everyone took part in making it, especially Ana, Veronica and Josie.

When I read through the first pages, I was about to cry. I had to hold in the tears. I didn’t cry at the end, though, because the pictures were so funny that I had to laugh all the time flipping through them :D

The party became loud and boozy, but soon everyone had to go back home since all of them had work the other day (a thursday). It was a wonderful last evening with all my friends that I met there. It was a weird feeling to be sitting on the plane the next day, on the way back home again. I did feel sad, but also happy to see my family again.

Veronica cried a little bit that evening when she gave me her gift which was a wooden comb she used to use. It was before the others arrived so no one saw it.

The next morning, after I had lunch with Josie, Ana and Veronica before my bus to the airport arrived, Ana also cried when we said goodbye. I felt really sad and also guilty for not crying, but I think I was just too stressed about my flights I woud have to take (Ningbo to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Frankfurt). Also, something inside me told me that I would be seeing them all again very soon, which was true :’D
[January 2017, for my friend Veronica’s unexpected wedding]

Anyway, I had such a blast in China during those 10 months I lived there.
I made friends for a lifetime.
I visited places that I have never thought to be visiting before.
I solo travelled for the first time ever.
I tried foods that I would have never tried if I lived all my life in Germany.
I became more confident talking to strangers.
I became more tolerant towards different cultures.
I found out that I wanted to become a full time traveller.
I realized that there were so many other places I wanted to see in the world, just because I met a lot of amazing people from there.
I learned to trust strangers.
And I can call an additional place my third home now.

Thanks to everyone who accompanied me through the blog posts about my time in China. I appreciate that a lot.

‘Till the next adventure in China (which should be next year if everything works out properly).

Zaijian!
Merveille.

 

8 Signs that I’m turning chinese

During my time in China, I always heard my friends telling me that I was “so chinese“, because of the things I said or did. It’s funny though, because some of those things I have already been doing before I even came to China. They were the outcomes of how my parents educated me, my background of the turkish culture, and my physical circumstances.

But there are also some thoughts and actions that I adapted into my life after my time in China.

Here are 8 signs that I’m turning chinese:

  1. Whipping eggs with chopsticks

    Ähnliches Foto
    Source: twitter.com

     

    I definitely adapted to this behaviour after having lived in China. Before, I only saw my vietnamese friend doing this, but I never gave it a thought. When living in China, I always had eggs for breakfast, basically every day. We also didn’t have a whip, so I used the chopsticks just as my friends were doing it. And I have to say, it is way more effective.

  2. Not drinking ice cold drinks

    Bildergebnis für ice cold drinks
    Source: dish.allrecipes.com

    I already tried to avoid ice cold drinks even before I came to China, because I am a person who can get easily sick from ice cold drinks. Every time I complained about ice cold drinks in China, my western friends would look at me with big eyes and say: “Merve, you are so chinese.” :’D When I was in China, I realized how much they are afraid of cold things such as drinks and ice cream. Drinking hot water in summer is a very common thing there, and I actually like it and think that chinese people really know how to take care of their health. 

  3. Missing Squat Toilets

    Bildergebnis für squat toilets
    Source: dailymail.co.uk

    Now, you might think I am crazy to be misssing squat toilets, the nightmare of many laowais travelling and living in China and other Asian countries. But let me say one thing guys: Some of them might look and smell disgusting, but they are soooo much better for your health. It is so unhealthy to press your “number 2” out of your body by sitting upright, than for it just to come out naturally through squatting. It sounds funny to talk about these kind of things, but it’s important to be aware of your poo and the way it is pressed out :’D
    Please tell me in the comments about what you think about this. I’d be interested. #pootalk

  4. Being afraid of loosing face

    Bildergebnis für losing face
    Source: china-mike.com

    First of all, you have to know what it means in chinese culture. It is not just being embarrassed, but also trying to avoid the embarrasment of other people (colleagues, friends, family). So it is not only important to save your own face, but also the face of the other person. So if you have done a mistake at work, your boss would never dare telling you the mistakes in your face. That would be an embarrassment for you, as well as an uncomfortable situation for himself. Because of this losing face philosophy, there is a lot of misunderstanding in the working environment. Still, I like this concept, and I have always behaved like this actually. I always felt uncomfortable criticizing other people. I came to understand that I might be unable to fully criticize someone in a negative way. Also at work, when I see a colleague having a hard time with another colleague, I would always have the urge to help them or make them feel comfortable again. I am also someone who could never say directly what I don’t like about the other person (except when I am hungry :’D), not because I am afraid of that person fighting with me back or insulting me, no, but simply just because I would be ashamed of myself to embarass another person just like that, in this case, to make them loose face.
    This also is something that I haven’t just learned in China. This has a lot to do with my upbringing. It actually might not be a typical way of turkish upbringing, since many turkish people can be very direct and aggressive, but just the combined characterstics of my parents contributed to this behaviour of mine. Maybe my parents are secretly chinese (with my mom’s looks, it would even be possible :’D)
    Tell me what you think about this theory of losing face, and how you behave in cases like these.

  5. Taking photos of everything

    Bildergebnis für asians taking photos
    Source: complex.com

    This has also been one of my most favourite past times even before living in China. I actually felt like fitting in when I saw all the other chinese people around me taking pictures of their food and stuff :’D I truly felt like I belonged.

  6. Speaking loudly

    Again, I have always been a very loud person when it came to speaking and laughing, and just making noises in general. So when I started living in China, I didn’t stand out anymore :’D Everyone else was just as loud as me. 

  7. Thank you, please

    I might appear as rude when I don’t always say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ to everyone. My friends noticed that all the time at the dining table for example and pointed it out. I told them that I didn’t realize I kept on forgetting it. When I explained that in turkish culture, you don’t really use these phrases when talking to your close family and friends, our chinese friend agreed and told us that it’s similar in chinese cuture as well. They sound too formal to use with your friends and family. Still, I am always reminding myself at least to say thank you more often to my colleagues.

  8. Slurping hot drinks

    Bildergebnis für slurping hot tea
    Source: teabeyond.blogspot.com

    Chinese people make a lot of noises when eating and drinking. I know a lot of people who get annoyed by that. I am luckily not bothered so much, since I have to commit to doing one of these noises as well, which is slurping hot drinks or soup. For me, this had nothing to do with a cultural background. It’s just that my mouth is very sensitive to any temperature, so when I am drinking something hot, I have to slurp it to prevent my tongue from getting burned. I guess chinese people do it for the same reason. Or maybe for the reason that japanese people slurp their ramen: because they say it tastes better :D

That’s it! I’m on the right way to become chinese. I think if I should return to live in China again one day, I will probably even adapt more manners.

What about you guys, is there anything mentioned above that can be applied to your behaviour as well? Let me know below!

Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Merveille

Weekly Wonders: Rupi Kaur might have changed my life

 

  • Started and finished reading “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur. It was such a delightful read. It made me feel all the emotions and so much more. It made me want to write like this as well. It was a tearjerking, heartwrenching and probaby the most inspirational read ever. You can read a few of the poems shown on the pictures above.

 

  • Last week, I had to request a new passport, because mine is expiring soon. After I was done, I realized how hungry I was so I sat down at the cafe near the city hall and had an amazing veggie bagel for breakfast.

 

  • On Thursday, it was a bank holiday in Germany, so we went to the oldtown nearby, had some drinks and enjoyed the sun.

 

  • At the weekend, I tried out a new restaurant called Kikuya which is a japanese restaurant. They serve Sushi, Ramen, Tempura and different kinds of meat. They also had Taiyaki, the fish-shaped pastry which is filled with red bean paste also known as Anko. I have always wanted to try it, and although it probably doesn’t even taste nearly as good as the ones you can get in Japan, I enoyed it a lot and I am definitely looking forward to trying it in Japan.

 

  • In the evening, we had some yummy drinks at a bar, but we couldn’t stay any longer since the weather was getting colder and colder.

 

  • Sunday was another great day. I am beginning to like sundays quite a lot now, because we have been doing a lot of different things every week now. Last sunday, we went to a newly opened summer lounge where they hosted a reggaeton party that day. It was great! They had food, drinks, a stage with a dj, sandy beach and even a small pool where you could put you feet inside. As you can see on the pictures, we forgot our bathing suits, but next time, we will definitely wear them underneath our clothes.

 

Actually, last week got worse and worse, but only until the weekend arrived. On Thursday, I realized that my beloved metallic sandals broke in two halves :'( I will try to get them fixed at a shoe store here, but I kind of don’t have any high hopes :'(

I also called in sick on Friday, because my back hurt so much in the morning after waking up, I couldn’t stand, I coulnd’t sit, it was such a pain. I was amost feeling sick from it. Thankfully, I took some pain pills and a long hot bath and I was fine for the weekend already.

I hope you guys had a nice week with an even nicer wekend. Tell me about it below.

See you next week at Weekly Wonders.

Merveille.

Weekly Wonders: Rainbows, Pinapples and Mom Jeans

 

Last week wasn’t very eventful, but still I managed to do quite some stuff.

We had an amazing double rainbow right outside our house which looked amazing!

On Thursday, we went to the waxing studio, but before, we had to try the new Indian restaurant. And it was super delicious!!!! I just couldn’t stop eating! I was even silent most of the time! I have to go there again and try a new dish! I had butter chicken, garlic naan and a coconut lassi which was probably the best coconut drink I had <3 So much love for this location! It’s called Ganesha, again :D (I have been to a Ganesha restaurant in China and in Stuttgart).

My Asos order came on Friday. I ordered a bunch of bathing suits and ripped jeans, but only kept one ripped jeans, which you can see on the picture.

You can shop it here

At the weekend, we had amazing weather, and on Sunday, we spent almost the whole day at the public swimming pools and now I am slightly tanned :) Of course, I wore my new pineapple bikini which you can see on the picture.

You can shop it here.

I hope you guys had a great week as well :)

I’d like to hear about it in the comments.

See you next week at Weekly Wonders!

Merveille

 

 

Weekly Wonders: Streetfood Festival and Sunday Brunches

 Tuesday, May 30th + Wednesday May 31st 2017

We went to the Streetfood Festival two days in a row, although it wasn’t even that big. I have been to bigger ones, especially the ones I been to in Asia which don’t seem to have an end.

Anyway, first we ate some spinach and feta cheese dumplings at an austrian dumpling stand. The next day, we visited this stand again, for some curly potato fries.

On the first day, we also tried Tacos for the first time. Tacos are not as common here in Germany as they are in the US. We have Döner Kebab here, which is rasped beef meat filled in a wrap or a loaf of bread together with some raw vegetables like tomatoes, onions, beets and more. In my opinion, a Döner Kebab is waaaay more delicious and apparently, healthier. But I guess I have to try proper Tacos in Mexico one day.

For dessert, we had Frozen Yoghurt. It was good, but the toppings were just too little. The next day, in addition to the potato curls, we also had a Burger. It was nothing special though. I could have eaten something different instead.

The dessert was great, though. We had Choco Kebab. It’s rasped nougat inside a wrap which has some toppings you can choose from as well. It’s way too small but super yummy! <3

On our way back home, we had the most amazing sunset.

During the course of the week, I finished Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. It was such an amazing read! I love this series! The Lunar Chronicles is probably my second favourite series after the Harry Potter books. I think I love it even more than the Hunger Games. One of the main reasons I love it so much is because it’s a fairytale retelling. The first part, Cinderis set in New Beijing and it’s about a girl who is half cyborg half girl. And she is supposed to portray Cinderella of course. She even has a mean stepmother, and two stepsister, but only one of them is mean. And in the end, she even looses her cyborg foot :’D

The books have this excellent humour, but they also portray serious problems that could be compared to political problems of our time today.

Sunday, June 4th 2017

On Sunday, we met up to have an amazing sunday brunch at a restaurant called Cafe del Sol. The interior reminded me of a hotel breakfast area, and the outside looked like a countryside house which is typical for the USA, with a wooden front porch and a wooden swing in front of the entrance. It did have a mexican-american vibe to it. We enjoyed it and we decided to come back for the 1-Meter Pizza :’D

Last week was pretty great, although I had to work a lot. The week, as well as the weekend were both great! It was very food-filled though, but I guess that’s why it was so good ;D

Hope you guys had an amazing weekend as well!

Thanks for reading!

Merveille.