When In Doubt, Go French Alps

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Mountains is a pilgrimage destination for depressed, lost and bored. The silent whisper of the God’s most powerful incarnations is calling us from the distance, we need to get really high to hear it better, in a literal sense. I wasn’t depressed, but I was bored and thirsty for change. I was standing on the doorstep of the adulthood thinking Is this it? Now what? The city was deafening, there was less and less air left to breathe therefore I decided to leave the comfort of mild British winter and travel to the formidable climate of French Alps. Physical exhaustion, elements and the comfort of friendly bar in the presence of the familiar face is a combination resistant to any depression. There is no time to overanalyze, ponder or wallow, only time to act. Go down the slope, go up the slope and embrace raw and untamed power of nature.

The birthday weekend in Chamonix was definitely a change from the usual birthday destination Paris and to my surprise, it opened a new era of adventure which restored the justice to being an early  January child. It may not be BBQ in the park, but what BBQ can compare to a glass of gluhwein on the top of Mont Blanc, figuratively speaking. I was wrong thinking that a 4 day trip to the ski resort can only result in a moderate amount of fun and holiday romance is only possible in the backdrop fiery sunsets and bikinis, it’s just as likely to happen in the backdrop of snowstorms and thermal undergarments.

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Chamonix is reminiscent of an international summer camp abroad. You may want to meet new people but language barrier reduces the experience to making out in the local night club. I did that 15 years ago in Italy, yet today not much has changed, I was still making out in the corner of the club with a guy who hardly spoke any english. And yet, before I turned 30, I was anticipating a visit from the elusive lady called Maturity, which despite my best hopes, remained a no show. Today, I hear, growing up is becoming notoriously unfashionable amongst millennial crowd, and while I am still not entirely sure what generational label I was prescribed, I’ll just chose what suits me the best – do whatever fuck I want.

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The crowd in Chamonix is close to the crowd of Marbella, predominantly english yet not overwhelmingly embarrassing. Stag do’s, company’s all-lads debauched ski trips, fathers and sons bonding holiday, and what do you know, British Army. Women however, were in the minority which wasn’t completely bad news for me, although towards the end of the trip I was practicing my biblical eye-roll every time a middle aged bolding John tried to find out where is the best place to hang out or asking where my accent was from. There were also the likes of married Eliots who shamelessly paraded his wedding band while trying to give me a neck massage, Martins from Morrisons who’s  young age was his only excuse, unfortunately not great enough to overcompensate his lack of the game skills (if any), there were young British soldiers Gilberts who just turned 20 and already wanted to marry me.

 Chamonix is an easy place to lose your sense of age. In Chamonix age becomes an illusion, both in philosophical and practical terms. I felt it especially strong when I was taking my first ever ski lesson next to a string of 5 year olds who were kicking my ass while I struggled to keep my skis in parallel. Children make everything look so easy. Was it the smell of burning log, mountain air,  chalet style huts or sheepskins, but being in the mountains makes you feel alive on so many levels. Playfulness definitely presides in the air along with memory of long gone days when climate warming was still a science fiction and our Christmases were white. Nothing is off limits in Chamonix as long as you stay warm and open minded. The friendliness of locals and optimism of seasonaires makes you feel home away from home. If I arrived feeling a little bit off piste, I left Chamonix feeling on top.

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When In Doubt, Go French Alps

It’s The Loneliest Time Of The Year

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Christmas time is probably the most extreme time of the year in terms of almost non-existent self-control accessorized with even less existent self reflection. I must have read a sad statistic somewhere once, probably in one of those pseudo scientific guardian articles on Facebook that the most relationships break in December, effectively me being the best example, while my friend told me a story how she got together with her ex just so she had somebody to cuddle up with on cold December nights. The idea appeared to be tempting, however I had to be realistic and question myself, even if there was a chance in hell of me bringing somebody out of the wood work, was I willing to go through 9 circles I got away from? I didn’t think so.

The thought of being alone on Christmas, yet again, seemed more unsettling this year than any other year. Perhaps it’s due to the inevitability of my 30th birthday in January, I naturally analyse things with rigorous forensic attention to detail – I don’t cut myself any slack and I even find it especially hard to entertain the possibility of any sort of harmless one night stands, because, like everything else, it no longer serves as a thrill, but a tedious obligation to your twenties, usually fuelled by alcohol and gaps in the judgement. I would much rather prefer waking up in the comfort of my own bed and weekend newspaper, than waking up to a stranger, regret and unresponded text message. This is the hell of my own making.

Medieval torture hangovers and puffy face are just a small reminders that I can no longer party like it’s 1999 and neither can I keep up with ever changing women beauty standards, credit card bills, pay gap, brexit, men chasing skirts, men wanting casual sex, men not being able to call women any more, tinder, bumble, grindr. Fair to say, I grew tired and cynical, and festive spirit hasn’t made an appearance just yet. The Christmas party glass is never quite half empty. I no longer believe in Santa Claus, but I believe in Christmas spirits – vodka, gin and brandy. Each of them have shown me the side of myself I wish to forget. This Dickensian fantasy is no more fictional than a drunken snog with your work colleague  – it happened, but nobody speaks about it.

The confession of the day is my world is suffering from vitamin and romance deficiency. My shrink said to me couple of months ago I need to stop being naive: the dating pool is getting shallower and I am not getting any younger, if I don’t make the single men train, soon I will be making home wrecker, divorcee and midlife crisis train. But she was wrong. It’s not the pool that’s getting shallower, it’s us, who are scraping the bottom of the mulled wine bottle.We shed a tear at Christmas ad, now we go and get drunk on festive eggnog cocktail, skimming over the fact that there is no-one waiting for us at home.

Happy Holidays.

It’s The Loneliest Time Of The Year

Gone In 60 Seconds

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Back in January, I found myself sitting in the cafe in a vain hope to cure my hangover with a litre of coffee and medium sized bowl of French fries. I was traveling solo to Paris for my birthday again. It was rainy Sunday morning and nothing was wrong about it. This year I spent my birthday in a rented AirBnb apartment hugging a bottle of champagne and listening to chansons. Getting old is a traumatic experience and that’s precisely why I celebrated my last birthday as a 20 something by hiding from the world in the attic in Pigalle. I could, on the other hand, stay in London and get drunk in the bar but I’ve been doing it through out my early 20s. It got old, just as me.

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It wasn’t entirely my choice to spend my birthday solo in the foreign country. Sometimes the force of circumstance can make you reconsider your plans, especially when they clash with other peoples plans.One thing I learned to appreciate with age however is optimism. Instead of mourning the last year of my twenties, I chose to venture out on my own and see what surprises the universe will throw at me. Any thing could happen. Who knows, Paris is a city of love.

I was supposed to catch a train back to London the same night. I love Paris and leaving it feels like leaving a warm bed on cold Monday mornings, however I am always intrigued by a possibility of a random romantic rendez-vous with a destiny in a form of a handsome single guy. That serendipitous moment when you realise that your entire life could transform forever, simply because, you were at the right place at the right time for a change. Like on that one night when I met a finance guy on the train from Camden to Waterloo. We were both drunk and he offered me a french fry from the box he found on the seat next to me, it was hardly romantic, yet I appreciated the momentum and remained appreciative until he stood me up on the third date. My life didn’t transform, yet I had one less frog to kiss.

f52d897a60419fa2568432e0b5756368On my way back to London, against all odds, I learned that I was sat next to rather handsome guy in his early 30s. He was half french half English and residing between Paris and London. I had to pinch myself. The whole encounter was exciting. We developed fondness of each other within seconds. It was a match made in heaven. Ten minutes into the journey we found out we both like same books, unfulfilled love stories, existentialism and festivals. Twenty minutes into the journey, we were drinking champagne and toasting to my birthday.

The rest of the journey was filled with deep meaningful conversations. Instead of feeling like the first date it felt like we’ve known each other for years. All this time however, I had a nagging thought which sounded pretty standard – this all seems to good to be true. I tried really hard to shake it off. To be fair, it’s not that all women are crazy and paranoid, usually it’s symptomatic of their past dating experiences, not their personality. And while everyone around me is slowly transitioning into the coupled up life, I couldn’t help but hope that may be it’s my time, may be, for once I will be able to come to a party and stop being looked at like I ‘m after literally everyone’s boyfriends, because, apparently, so many single women are…..

So there it was. After 2 months of casual dating something happened. The romantic french guy I met on Eurostar disappeared into the ether. Of course, in my mind, there could be only two reasons – either he died or lost his phone. Neither of these theories proved to be true. He’s well and sound, still glued to his phone and I still got no validation explaining 2 weeks of silence. Naturally, it’s not the first time a guy pulls Houdini on me, I already know that any attempt to get any closure would be in vain. I  may never be able to explain such mercurial change of his heart, neither I know how to be noble or wise about it so I went ahead and wrote this whole experience off as cosmic fuck up. Moving on dot com.

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Note: A month later a doomed text message came though and against the general opinion it carried no sign of remorse, regret or explanation of the unprecedented absence, instead it carried a nonchalant tone and a candid invitation for “Netflix and chill” or to be even more precise “Mubi and chill” because he is a classy guy, just like his actions. Of course, being as classy as I am myself,  I used this god sent opportunity to invite him to piss off (in a much classier choice of words of course) and get my much needed closure, which in an ideal scenario would have followed by a hand gesture. Since emoticon version of the hand gesture wasn’t robust enough to my liking, I decided not to spoil my revenge fantasy and left it to his imagination. Also, against the popular opinion, I also decided not to follow up and left it for better of for worse. The shift in power itself was a validation worth thousand word anyway. I can now put this tragic story to bed and look forward to my next trip to Paris in May! 

Gone In 60 Seconds

The Time When Election Fever Hijacked My Brain

As the election fever has subsided and the majority of raging lunatics went back to their luxurious dens to perfect their master plans, the rest of the country is left with the aftertaste accentuated with drizzle of panic and pre-apocalyptic anticipation. I would like to proudly declare – I have nothing to do with it. Mainly for being a EU citizen – I couldn’t . So imagine after getting all worked up after my last episode of political street shaming, I was informed by my fellow non uk resident of London, that despite all my hard earned and donated tax money, I still have no word in deciding whether I am getting kicked out or not. Caught up with the agenda, thank you very much. Without much hesitation I happily proceeded with my life and marched to a patisserie for a cup of cappuccino and the best darn ÂŁ3 slice of apple tart I had in my life.

Acknowledging that right now I am having a much better time than Ed Milliband, I faced an ultimate question – am I a hypocrite? Just few weeks ago I sworn not to ever speak of politics in public, today I am literally restraining myself from posting a political meme on social media and adding some sort of clever pun to display my political erudition – ultimately failing miserably at both as only a month ago I couldn’t give two fingers about who’s promising what. Promising is the operative word here. Probably I am, or perhaps I enjoy a small politics chat – it’s harmless and I’m taking part in something worthwhile – group whining. Despair bring people together, we love finding a common ground to bitch about things we hate, it inspires our creativity and makes us feel like for once, we really mean it.

While I am safe here for another five years, I can proceed with my normal life of being politically ignorant, and this time no cute guy will make me question my integrity as a law abiding resident on London town. Having said that, why did I assume having any knowledge or interest in politics is ever sexy?

Women in power are honestly having a bad rep, especially if you live in United States. While Michelle Obama is perfectly fine performing yoga moves on national television, Hillary Clinton is being dissed for her choices in fashion. I’m not even touching on Sara Palin although it’s asking for it. Back to the continent, remember that infamous scandal which broke out when notorious David Cameron has suggested his “dear” female MP to “calm down”? Except for that little hiccup, UK could be seen as rather utilitarian in their views, having in mind that the country has been under a watchful eye of the Queen for centuries. Iron Lady name alone tells a lot about the woman in power. And of course, Angela Merkel could be seen as a dark horse of the European union, however it didn’t stop her being photoshopped out of the picture for JE SUIS Charlie march. Clearly, having a political opinion doesn’t always guarantee you respect, however it could sort of land you a compliment – depends which way you look at it.

Allegedly, this is what has been said about this young lady:

‘You’re too pretty to be interested in politics and should be in Girls Aloud’: What Labour councillor Karen Danczuk says Harriet Harman told her. It’s not shocking men can say that, it’s shocking these men sit in the parliament.

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Evidently, here’s what Aussie lonely boys find attractive in their fist ladies.

WOMEN’S INTERESTS THAT ARE MOST ATTRACTIVE TO MEN

  1. Personal growth
  2. Health/exercise
  3. Food
  4. Family
  5. Dancing
  6. Art
  7. Photography
  8. Friends
  9. Outdoor interests
  10. Work/career

You won’t find any politics there. Although it’s debatable. We could imply that Personal Growth stands for spending all morning reading political section in the newspaper, although, on the second thought, it would be pretty darn difficult to mindfully shift the conversation from Conservatives to conserving fruit. Let’s just get over the fact that being a political erudite will not get you laid in Australia.

Wait a second! This can’t be right.

As I was digging deeper for evidence to support my, fist of all, politically incorrect assumption, verging on gigantic false and probably insulting generalization, I opened either the pandora box or found the holy grail, can’t quite decide.  Apparently, women being less interested in politics than men, is a thing on the Internet and men are generally bothered by this. According to writer for Huffington post, quote:

This will not do, ladies. Politics is important, no matter your gender. You need to do better.

Well thanks there mate for pointing that out, perhaps now I know why I am still single. I should feel profoundly ashamed for not paying enough attention to politics. This tsk-tsk moment was a deja vu, all over again. Thankfully, this time I did not have to stand through the 5 seconds of theatrical eye rolling. Cheers to that. All of a sudden I had a burning desire to hear what Russell Brand has to say about this, probably lots, a lot more than that one time when he was married to Katy Perry, and even the time when he felt the need to tell press she was bad in bed. But who cares now anyway. Elections are over. I can now go back to my simple life of simple pleasures. Let the men now do what men do best….

Drama and cynicism aside, let’s just agree that all of us have different goals and ambitions in life. Historically and evolutionary it happened that men are more drawn to power and politics, while women are more drawn to beauty and family. You can disagree with me. I do not support political apathy, especially when your future and the future of your children depends on who is getting elected, but in the recent history, track record hasn’t been especially satisfying. Over the course of the past month I learned that casting a vote is important, however in my position, my vote is irrelevant. Plus, who needs a debate when public have pretty much made up their minds about either of the parties?

11238972_2189073994473112_2344641224166704452_n Have a great weekend x

The Time When Election Fever Hijacked My Brain