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The first letter of the alphabet

 

Alphabet at a Berlin flea market.

© aNadventures

As a letter and language lover I simply HAD to participate in this week’s Photo Challenge featuring the alphabet. The alphabet accompanies us on a daily basis. Its members are spread all across this world forming words and sentences and shaping communication. We may find it randomly on Berlin flea markets, such as on the picture above. Letters of the alphabet may also be carved into a tree to symbolize eternal love. Or into a padlock.

Let me share the following story with you:

About five years ago I visited a small town in Czech Republic with my boyfriend at the time. We went there to celebrate my birthday and while strolling around, we thought it would be nice to leave a trace of our love. I know… So we grabbed some dark nail varnish and wrote our initials onto a purple pinkish padlock we had brought with us. Then, we went to find a spot for it. We left it dangling from a barbed wire next to a bricked wall. It was a not too obvious yet beautiful place with a marvelous view of the town.

Years went by, hearts were broken and I completely forgot about that padlock. Now, as life goes, I recently found myself in that very same small Czech town. My visit there wasn’t planned at all but once I noticed it was THAT town, I thought I might as well have a look. I was curious to see if the padlock was still at its place. I remembered the path we had walked down at the time and found the bricked wall. I didn’t spot the padlock, though. I kept on walking up to a point where I noticed I had gone too far. So I turned around and followed the bricked wall again until I found the barbed wire bit. I leant onto the wall and had a look at the wire. It must be somewhere here, I thought to myself. I slightly turned my head to the left and Read more…

Reviewing NaBloPoMo 2015

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

I’ve been procrastinating to write this post tonight. It’s the last one of this year’s NaBloPoMo series and that makes me feel a bit nostalgic.

Even though blogging on a daily basis for the last thirty days has been quite challenging, it has, once again, been a very rewarding experience. Coming up with a topic to write about hasn’t always been easy and on several days I’ve been exhausted after work and other daily obligations, just wanting to stumble into bed. Yet, the will to carry on has been stronger and I’m proud of having achieved this challenge. In case you’ve missed any of my recent posts, here’s what I’ve been posting throughout November 2015: Read more…

Turkish Daylights: Salep          

Guess what I’m drinking right now?

Let me give you a few hints: It’s a Turkish winter drink. It’s neither tea nor coffee. It’s milky with a hint of cinnamon. Correct, it’s salep! The title of this post was quite a spoiler, wasn’t it?

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

Salep is one of my favourite Turkish beverages. It’s the perfect drink for a cozy evening at home or to relax throughout an eventful day. The drink consists of salep powder with sugar that is added to hot milk. Depending on your personal preferences you may Read more…

Gallery

Zürich in autumn

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Woolly hat

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

Stepping out

Of the flat

With my dear

Woolly hat

Knit by hand

By my mum

It’s so warm

Woolly hat

Is it funny?

Is it mad?

I don’t care

Woolly hat

Keeps me warm

Has its charm

Orange blue

Wolly hat

Spaghetti alla puttanesca    

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

Italian is quite similar to Spanish. So I can understand most of it. When I first heard about a dish called spaghetti alla puttanesca, however, I thought I wasn’t getting it right. Prostitute style spaghetti? This sounds so wrong. But it’s correct.

I was curious about the origin of this Sicilian dish. One of the explanations I found was that apparently prostitutes could have this meal in between clients as it’s quite fast and simple to prepare. Another explanation is that they were only allowed to leave the house once a week and that they would cook this dish consisting of mostly canned ingredients when they were running out of fresh ingredients.

So what do you need to prepare spaghetti alla puttanesca?

  • Throw some garlic and chopped onions into a frying pan.
  • Then add anchovy.
  • Then some tomatos and peperoncini.
  • Let it all cook for a while and season it with pepper and oregano (no salt is needed since the anchovy are salty enough).
  • In the end you add pipless black olives and capers and pour the sauce on top of your spaghetti.
  • Parmesan cheese or Pecorino cheese are optional.

You may also prepare this dish with tuna. In my version that you can see in the picture, I used canned tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatos. I also added some canned corn.

Buon appetito!

The tea trio

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

The first three words a Turkish kid learns to utter are anne (mum), baba (dad) and çay (tea).

In Turkey, you’re very unlikely to go one single day without çay. It comes as a package with hospitality and good company. A glass of çay is served in a small tulip-shaped glass that is put on a traditional little plate. The spoon is a third important component to stirr the sugar you might want to add to the beverage.

For other interpretations of Trio have a look here.

Going the extra mile

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

The U12 isn’t running through Berlin anymore. This metro line was temporarily (for almost eight months) connecting parts of the U1 and the U2 metro lines due to construction works on the U2. For me the U12 was a blessing though, as it made commuting into work very convenient. It only took me thirty minutes from door to door which was especially practical when running late in the mornings. Now I’ve noticed that changing trains extended my trajectory by fifteen minutes per ride. Considering that I work five days a week, this adds up to a total of 2.5 hours per week that I will be additionally spending on the metro.

So I’ve been brainstorming for ideas on how to use that extra time in the train every day. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Reading a book
  • Reading the news
  • Reading my fellow bloggers’ adventures
  • Commenting on my fellow bloggers’ posts
  • Brainstorming for blogging topics
  • Reflecting on my life
  • Thinking about what to get my family for Christmas
  • Making my grocery list
  • Guessing at what stop the person opposite to me will get off
  • Imagining what the person opposite to me might be thinking
  • Studying some Turkish
  • Texting my friends / family

 

Do you have any other suggestions? What do YOU spend your time with while commuting to and from work?

Wise words from Lisboa

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

This is one of the many graffitis I came across when I visited the Portuguese capital, Lisboa.

The message is quite straight forward, don’t you think so?

Take your time or the devil will interfere

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

One of the many things I learnt when living in Turkey was taking my time. In Germany, we are used to things going according to plan. And when they don’t, we freak out. It’s a very performance-based society, I would say. Our lives tend to be packed with appointments, deadlines and commitments. But I guess that’s an issue in most cultures nowadays as with modern technologies the pace of life seems to have increased.

Even though people in Turkey work very hard as well, they go about their daily business differently. There’s always time for coffee, tavla and a chat. That’s one of the many things I loved about my life there. Just sitting and being present in the moment is socially accepted. You don’t always have to actually be DOING something. And things don’t necessarily have to happen fast, either.

I remember returning from the pazar with my flat mate one day after our weekly grocery shopping. Our hands were full of bags and Read more…

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