March activities with the elderly


The beginning of March arrived with two interesting activities for and with Colors‘ seniors.

A few days before the 1st of March, we met with them in Mansarda Baiulescu in order to create self made “Martisoare” for friends or family. While I started to get desperate about the sticking, sewing and cutting after felt 5 minutes, our elderly didn’t even need a full instruction for creating a Martisoara and could do it all by themselves.

In the end of the activity, all of us made a (more or less…) beautiful Martisoara which is probably now in the hands of lucky friends.

Yesterday, the volunteers and elderly were in the mood for playing. Bingo, chess, Dixit and a game including a wood tower became part of Tuesday morning.

However, this was only the warm up for the party on Friday for “Ziua femeii” which is going to start at 4 pm in Colors’ office, Mircea cel Batran no 4 – we are curious to see what the elderly planned for this evening!2 3

The New York Trilogy

As I recently started to read a new book of one of my favourite authors, Paul Auster, I reminded his most famous and probably best novel “The New York Trilogy” published in the 80s.

The name says it itself, the book consists of three different stories “City of Glass”, “Ghosts” and “The Locked Room”. All of the them start as “common” crime stories which is actually not one of the genres I prefer. So when I started reading the first story, the first thought coming to my head was something like “Not again!”.

But I continued reading which was indeed the best decision. In a very unique way, Auster fools the reader in his novel, playing with typical expectations and clichés of detective stories. While reading, the reader constantly confuses and even if he thinks he understood everything at one point, he may be puzzled within the next sentence. Who is the victim, who is the committer – or is there even a victim or committer after all?

Eventually, all stories deal with the existential human problems and the question about human identity itself.

Highly recommended book if you like, for instance, Kafka’s style or if you just like to read an unusual detective story!


Home Sweet Home (Yeah I know, standard title)

„At least you have to be home for Christmas!!” was one of the first things I heard from my parents when they heard about my decision to go abroad for one year. And I thought: “yes of course I have to, I mean, it’s Christmas!” meaning this is family time you have to spend with… yeah… your family.

So I travelled back on Sunday, 23rd of December, constantly accompanied by the fear of a cancelled or delayed flight because of the (f§$#%ing!!!) snow. But finally, everything went well and I was pretty “proud” of taking all the means of transportation possible (train, bus, plane, taxi…Ok, ship and submarine were missing but if I had the opportunity, I would probably have taken it as well!)

So after this odyssey and one night to sleep, it was already Christmas! In our family this means, inviting relatives, decorating the Christmas tree, getting presents and – of course – eating, eating, eating!

There is a saying in Germany that you get more weight in the time from Christmas to New Year’s Eve than in the time of of New Year’s Eve to Christmas. And I guess it’s true. In this one week I spent more time eating than the whole 4 months I’ve been living in Brasov! So I pretty much felt like a king at a fully laid table.

But anyway, I didn’t really get appropriate presents for a king! My parents still seemed to worry that I don’t survive without suitable equipment in Romania and that’s why I received blankets, socks, chocolate and stuff for the kitchen. And the strange thing about that – I was happy about the presents! If I got the same things last year, I would probably have given a fake “thank you” smile (Except about the chocolate of course.) These practical things can be really useful if you need them!

So that was my Christmas. Pretty much the same like every year and it was not strange for me at all to suddenly sit under the Christmas tree although I’ve been living somewhere else for already 4 months. And this means that you are home 🙂weihnachtsmarkt-flensburg

Dresscode Rules

Dresscode Rules

This is the story of Jennifer. She is working as a volunteer in Romania and she got an invitaton for the supervoluntar-gala. Since she could bring only 20 kg of luggage in the plane she was not able to find the perfect Outfit for this evening in her suitcase. That’s why she went to the center of Brasov to search for good clothes in the stores.
In the first shop they had a lot of fancy dresses. Jennifer was attrackted by a purple dress which was very long, made from silk and decorated with few original details of lace. She tried it on and it fit perfectly. In the front of the mirror Jennifer felt so beautiful. But only one moment later she thought: “Oh my gosh!” because she saw the tag on which was written: 2000 Lei.
Disappointed Jennifer left the store. She couldn’t affort such an expensive dress. Maybe the second hand store would be a better opportunity… Wow: Today everything only 4 Lei! Jennifer entered the shop and startet to search. She found a cute blue dress with prints of small reindeers, a blouse of good cut but in leopard-style and a chic black shirt – unfortunatly with a neckline which showed everything… Finally: nothing serious.
Jennifer was very sad and went home. She had to find something in her own stuff because the shopping tour was not successfull. Checking her clothes she found one of her favourite white shirts and discovered that it looked very classic together with her black pants. She decided to wear this outfit for the gala because she felt very comfortable and confident with this clothes.
You see:The most important thing is to come as you are and not to try to be someone else. It is the best way to enjoy the evening. (And for sure you will find something chic in your cupboard!) See you at the gala!

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If a tree falls in a forest

Posted by on Thursday, November 15, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it – does it make a sound?

So do we need the perception of a human being in order to call something a “sound”?

The first logical answer coming to the mind would be no : if no one is around to hear the tree, it cannot make a sound because a sound is something which is perceived by living beings – and if none of them is around, nothing will be perceived. Consequently: no sound.

For example, if we take a deaf person into this forest and a tree falls down, this person won’t hear the falling of a tree and thus, there is no sound to be perceived.

But as this is a well-known philosophical question, such an answer would be way too easy and one-sided.

Let’s consider the physical definition of “sound”: The vibration of air (without considering a living being to perceive this sound). This means, the sound is there no matter if there is somebody to hear it or not.

However, there are many philosophers arguing about this question although to me, the answer to this question is quite simple:

Of course, there is a sound. Although we as humans frequently think, we are the middle of the world and everything revolves only about us, this case is different. Sound is a noise which can be heard – and if it is not heard it is still a noise which means it makes sound.


This example of the tree is only a part of the big question if something can exist without being perceived. And my answer to this is consequently yes.

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The German way of hitchhiking

Posted by on Thursday, November 1, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

In recent weeks, I took the opportunity to increase my hitchhiking experiences in Romania. And surprisingly, I really started to like it and was wondering why I never tried this out before. But the reason for this came quite fast to my head: Nobody never ever does this back home in Germany (And in case you see hitchhikers on the street (which is like 1% chance), they are most likely not to get a car in the next 10-20 hours 😉 )

However, after thinking a while, I found out that we have a similar way of “hitchhiking” which I’d like to present because it’s so typically German:

We have a site on the Internet called where people post their travels by car an would like to take some other passengers with them. For money, of course. So for instance, if I want to travel from Hamburg to Berlin the 3nd of November at 10:30 am, I check the site and may find some people who offer a ride. The ride would cost about 10 € (which is, in contrast to train/bus/plane/driving yourself pretty cheap.) I tried this out pretty often for several routes and met some cool people.

But anyway, this is how Germans plan in general: No risk, as less spontaneity as possible, everything planned instead and in the meantime, the cheapest as possible 😉

So in case you ever want to “hitchhike” in Germany (and have success), try out!

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An Introduction to Nu-Folk

Posted by on Friday, October 19, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

As I loooove music and don’t have the feeling that Nu-Folk is enough appreciated over here in Romania, I would like to present some very nice British Nu-Folk bands. And because I also love concerts, I have seen most of them live and can tell you that they are also really good live bands.

Ok, what’s Nu-Folk? There are different titles for this music type, e.g. Indie Folk, Folk Rock… Basically it’s just a scene growing increasingly in recent years, consisting of young talented musicians who love Folk! (And who make music because they love to and not in order to sell and to be in the charts)


1)      Laura Marling

A little, shy, very cute girl who you would never expect to have such a strong voice


2)      Slow Club

A duo from Sheffield whose voices perfectly fit together


3)      Noah and the Whale

A London based band playing a little dark and sad Folk. For example, one album only exists of heart break songs of the front singer because his girlfriend broke up with him who was – by the way – Laura Marling 😉  Oh, and he has incredibly nice hair I’d say… (I hope this comment doesn’t make my presentation less serious…)


4)      Mumford & Sons

Last, but definitely (!!!) not least. Simply the best band on earth to me. There is something special about them which touches me in every of their songs.

Please note: Listen to the whole song, not only some parts or the beginning because M&S songs usually start quiet and end up in a hymn or sth like that 🙂


So this is only one little part, there are many more (also American) bands who make very good folk music. You have to decide whether you like it or not 🙂


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The Odyssey of Hitchhiking

Posted by on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

I was growing up believing that behind every tree there could hide a mass murderer willing to kill me, so you can imagine that I was more than suspicious about the idea of my flatmates to hitchhike to Bucharest last weekend.  This way of transportation just seemed far too dangerous and insecure to me.

Jennifer, Mireille and me wanted to start our trip to Romania’s capital on Sunday early morning and wanted to come back Monday afternoon. Luckily, I convinced the two not to hitchhike around 6 am from Brasov since standing in the darkness in an empty street waiting for an unfamiliar car rather reminded me of some other sort of business … 😉

So we took the train at 6 am and spent two very nice days in Bucharest!

But well, do you know the wanderings of Odysseus written by Homer? It took the main character Odysseus several years to finally arrive at home after a long, long period of wanderings. Our way back to Brasov reminded me a lot of this…

Due to the lack of money, we decided to hitchhike back on Monday morning. Sitting from 8am-9am in a McDonald’s (free wifi!), we checked, paper maps and google maps as we had no idea, how the hell we could get out of this big city. Of course, everybody of us wanted to choose a different point but finally, we decided to go to a Carrefour in Baneasa, near the motorway up north. But how to go there?

At 11:30 am we decided to travel home. At Piata Unirii in the metro station, we “talked” with a woman who couldn’t speak English about our travel opportunities (5 min). Somehow, we understood to take the metro to Parcul Herastrau and then take a bus to Carrefour Baneasa. We went to the metro station and for again 15 min, we didn’t find the right metro. Finally, we found it and waited for it about 10 min. The metro journey itself took again about 10 min. Then we went out of the station, ran confused around the traffic circle near Herastraul because we didn’t find the right bus stop (10 min). Finally, we found it and wanted to buy a bus ticket in the little house but it was closed. We had to go to the other side of the street (5 min). Next, we didn’t know which bus ticket was the right (and cheapest) for us and talked with the bus woman again about 5 min. We bought the ticket, went to the other side of the road and waited for the bus (5 min). We went inside the bus, Jennifer’s ticket didn’t work so we were kicked out of the bus, Jennifer bought a new one and we had to wait for the next bus (10 min). The bus ride itself took about 20 min.

Near the motorway, we certainly wanted to find the best place to stand and had to walk another 10 min to the best point. With every step, my mood went intensely down.

And yes, standing there we only had to wait for about 5 min for a car. (Jennifer and I deduced from this that we were either not incredibly ugly or at least didn’t look to dangerous or disgusting 😉 )  And it seemed, we got a very nice driver and a very cool car! (Anyway, I was way too tired and annoyed of our long journey to be scared of him) It only took 2 hours to Brasov where we took a bus back home (+10 min).


So, let’s sum up: 60 min McDonalds + 5 min + 15 min + 10 min + 10 min + 10 min + 5 min + 5 min + 5 min + 10 min + 20 min + 10 min + 120 min + 10 min =  295 min = 5 hours

The train would have taken 4 hours and way less difficulties…

Buuuut, being home in my warm and cosy bed, I laughed about this funny hitchhiking experience 😉

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The road of the dead…..mouhahahahaha

Posted by on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

It’s a fact that Mahila and me don’t like walking that much. We have to walk about 50 minutes to our office every day which is – for us – by far enough. But yesterday, listening to our roommate Mireille we decided to try out the experience of hiking!

It seemed to be a good idea in the beginning but then: not really.

 So we took the bus to Zarnesti; a little town close to one of the biggest national parks in Romania. After travelling 35 minutes with a bus which was at least twice as old as us, we finally arrived at our destination. And this is where the problems began.

Seriously, how can you succeed if none of us can read a map and everyone wants to choose a different direction for the national park?

Finally we found the help of a young man who showed us the right direction. However, it was a long, long road including midday sun but no trees, no cars, no nothing.  Nothing, except a funny black house being a little spooky which then turned out to be the tourist office. In the inside, there was nobody so we didn’t stay too long. We slowly started wondering…

After 40 min walking we arrived at the border of our national park, Piatra Craiului.

And this time, it was not only a long road waiting for us, but a long road including mountain area and thousands of stones. After one hour walking, Mahila and I were wondering what the hell we did here, at 12 am in the midday sun. Our bottles of water were empty and we basically had to take a break every 100 metres. Seeing nobody else in the horizon, we concluded by joking: “Aaaah, we are really very young and without experience.”

 Mireille started to get impatient so we finally got some motivation (or rather force) to continue walking and so we ended up in front of a beautiful door of a monastery hidden in the mountain area.

Next, after a long break in this mysterious corner, we decided to hike back to Zarnesti. But this time we found another way which was way more attractive. The landscapes were beautiful, the sun more pleasant so that we finally chose this day to be a very nice experience!

We finished our hike in the middle of a herd of sheep and this moment was just magic.

Fore sure, we will return in order to explore more parts of the national park Piatra Craiului.

Jennifer & Mahila

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India in Brasov

Posted by on Monday, September 17, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

Since we are poor, poor volunteers but want to discover some culture in the same time, we look for events with a „for free“ note. So my flatmate Mireille found a free concert of Indian classic music in the opera of Brasov on Sunday.

Naïve and curiously, we went there in the evening and discovered a very beautiful opera filled with some unusual Indian spices in the air.

Well, this was the beginning of an incredibly strange, strange, strange evening. Because we didn’t read the title of the evening properly, we sort of missed the fact that it wasn’t just Indian classic music, but some Indian yoga-meditation-thing as well.

The two middle-aged musicians started music which is pretty hard to describe. In the programme it said “Harmonium si voce” and “Tabla”. After three 10 min songs (which sounded like one very long song to me) the strange part of the evening began.

The leader told the audience to make some bizarre moves with the hands and pray to the woman who invented this Indian yoga meditation thing.

“Say ‘I am not guilty’ while putting one hand on the top of your head and the other on your leg”  was only one part of it. The big photo of the woman stood in the corner of the stage surrounded with flowers. “Say ‘I forgive everyone in the world’ ten times” he continued.

And the strange thing: The fully crowded hall did all of this! Mireille, Jennifer and I were the only spectators laughing quietly in the back of the room. We sort of felt being in the middle of the meeting of a sect like Scientology…

Well, this meditation or praying or I-have-no-idea-what-this-is-all-about lasted for about half an hour. After this, the last song of the ensemble motivated the audience to dance in the opera. One woman two rows in front of us did some incredibly strange dancing moves which I couldn’t describe at all. All I can say is that we felt the need to laugh in secret again.

So in the end, we stumbled out of the opera with many question marks in our faces. Where have we just been?? Was this real or just in our imagination?

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Surviving on the streets

Posted by on Friday, September 7, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

Before reading this article, you should know that I come from Germany, a country with many, many rules concerning traffic – which are mostly observed by the drivers; otherwise you can lose your license very fast.

So since I had the pleasure to arrive at Cluj-Napoca airport and therefore taking the bus to Brasov, I could see the differences to Romania on my very first day. Yesterday, our group went by minibus (also a quite cute invention) to Sibiu, so my experiences on the Romanian roads could be a bit increased.

Most of the time, I closed my eyes during the trips, on the one hand because I was tired (as usual ;-)) and on the other hand because the driver’s skills made my heart go faster!

First of all, why do they drive with 100 km/h just to stop within 1-2 seconds down to 40 km/h because the car in front is driving too slow or there is an entrance of a village etc? Same thing with curves! In Transylvania, there are many curvy roads due to the mountains, but why does the driver feel the need to take 2 roads for driving with (felt) 300 km/h through a curve, when there is a car coming from the other side in the same time?! In order to entertain the passengers or pointing out that life can soon be over? 😉

But surprisingly, I was the only one in the bus who had the feeling that a trip in a rollercoaster may be more comfortable. The adventurous attempts of our bus driver to overtake some other cars were noticed without any complaints or screams.

Another thing I noticed is the difficulty of entering a traffic circle inside the town. One opportunity is to wait for hours to finally enter the circle, the other one is to think “no risk, no fun” and just driving without seeing the other cars inside the circle. Of course, my Romanian bus drivers chose the second option.

But I don’t know, maybe they all know what they are doing and it just doesn’t look that way? For sure, I have to opportunity to investigate the Romanian traffic in the next time. But I will never drive on my own, way too risky! 😉

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