September 25, 2017

Things that bother me on social media

Just a short intro, I will mostly be talking about Facebook and Instagram, because although I do have accounts on Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, I don't use them as much.

First thing's first, I don't trust people without a social account. I do admire people who tell me they are off the grid (although I did manage to find a lot of information online about someone who was not on social media because she wanted her private life to be private), but I don't buy that crap "I live in offline" stuff. It's just my thing, you don't have to agree with me.

But since you are reading this, I do assume that you are at least on one of the social networks so here it goes. On Facebook:

1. Put a profile picture

It's not that hard, in this smart phone age everyone has at least a selfie. Post that one. If you don't have a profile picture and your account is older than a day, then you are out. I do have to say that applies on Facebook to my private profile, because I do have a "business page". So on my private profile I have maybe 300 friends, but they are people I've interacted with at least once in the offline life. I don't have "a community" and that page is strictly personal. I am talking about that profile now, and on that profile I don't interact with people without a profile picture.

2. Have a profile picture or a cover or any of the pictures with your face on them

If you don't, you are out. I am a little bit hypocritical on this, because my own husband has a monkey as a profile picture, but I do take care of that taging him in all our photos so that he has at least one photo with his face on it and you are not talking with a robot.

3. Photoshopped pictures?

I'm not sure on this one because it is strictly your business what you do on your profile. I've heard that people try to picture a perfect life on social media, I've read studies about that, but up to now none of my friends do it, so it's fine. I guess I'm in the right bubble :)

4. Asking for my friendship without a message

This is for people I don't know. I get about 5 friend requests per day from people I don't know. I have that option activated, so you can send a friend request to me only if we have common friends, but even so I will not accept you as a friend without a message explaining who you are and why do you want to be friends. To me it seems obvious as to why I would want that, but I guess people are still in 2000 when Facebook meant as many friends as you could gather. As I've already explained, I am not interested in a community and I do have a page, so like that one.

5. Adding me into groups

I still haven't figured out how that can happen, but it did happen once and I was pissed. Who are you and how stupid can you be to do that? I don't have the knowledge about managing groups, I guess it matters the number of people in one group, but I don't care. I choose my own groups, based on my interests and not because someone has added me in some stupid group. And plus if you do manage a group and add people like that you have only to lose and I'm not your mother to explain you why.

6. Sending requests to like pages

On the same note as the previous point is this one. If you manage a page and you want more traction on that page post quality content, post beautiful pictures, post links relevant to the page's topic, but don't invite all your friend list to like it. I did that once for a friend's page (because I'm too stupid to do it for mine) and I've sent the request just to the friends that had a real interest in the topic of that page. To me that is the right way to do it.

7. Find a balance between posting five times a day or five times a year

Guilty of that, but I try to sort that out. Problem is that I am on Facebook for long periods of time only in the evening, or only on certain evenings. Otherwise, I will have a quick look on Facebook and then leave. But on those instances when I do spent more than 5 seconds on Facebook I find interesting things to share and I do. I know that I should not share 5 things (links, pictures, whatever) in bulk, but I do it. I'm not after likes so for me if one person finds the post relevant it's OK. It means I've done my job.

Should I tell you at this point that I'm talking about my personal way of handling social media and not my professional one? For the ways in which you do social media as a profession, there are other posts online, I'm sure of that.

Crossing to Instagram now, I have to say that I love Insta Stories. I love, love, love them. I am guilty of over posting on social media and Insta Stories are my escape :) That is because I love all the photos that I take and I do take a lot of photos and I can't decide which one is Instagram worthy. Also, on my personal online life I do share from Instagram to Facebook and Tweeter, I would share even on LinkedIn and YouTube if I could, that's how lazy I am.

On Instagram I have a personal profile, which up to two or three months ago was private, so I don't have a business profile. On those ones there are other commonsense rules.

1. People chasing likes

I am aware that the more followers an account has, the more stronger it is, but there are decent ways on getting followers and then there are others. To give you a personal example, I had a girl liking all my pictures on the first second, commenting and interacting with me, until I went on her profile and started following her. Then she stopped, like that, without a warning. Guess what happened? Unfollow, of course. I know this is a strategy in getting followers, but I will follow only profiles that I have an interest on. And I had an interest in her profile (because she was an expat in Luxembourg, too), but I was offended by her methods.

2. Follow robots

Only recently (actually I've discovered Instagram only a year ago) I found out that on Instagram there are robots and you can buy fictive followers. What is the point in that, I wonder? I guess that if you have a business profile it makes sense, but still why? Wouldn't you like to build an actual community of actual people who would interact with you, who would exchange ideas, thoughts and pictures? How do you build a business on fake followers? Do you know what they want?

3. Fake profiles

Again, I've studied this and it is a real thing, it is called "the most beautiful day" or something. Basically there are people with different online life than the offline ones. And to some extent it makes sense, because you share only the nice stuff, only the most beautiful pictures of yourself, so all profiles resemble a holiday, but what happens with the real you? In Luxembourg we have Insta Meetings and you do get a chance to meet the people you are following or interacting with on Instagram. I have to say that there is one person that is very different on Instagram than on real life. So fake, photoshopped pictures, fake everything. It was a real disappointment, but then again it's anyone's business how they live their life. To me that would be too much of an effort. I've already told you I am lazy :)

4. Who is watching my Insta Stories?

I see who watches my Insta Stories, but from time to time I get messages from Instagram with "more then 500 people watched your story", I have about 200 followers so who are those people? I do get there is the sum of views, but once I've counted by myself and I did not have more then 100. So who are those 400 people and where do they come from? Well I guess that is for me to discover, but if you have the answer, please enlighten me.

And that is it for now I guess. I don't have as many points on Instagram as I have on Facebook, although I do tend to sent more time on Instagram, but some points could be common to the two social networks, I guess.

I am aware that without any pictures this is a boring kilometric post, but if you made it this far, I thank you! If you liked my post and find it interesting please do share it on social media. You can find me at my fb. page:

September 18, 2017

5 misconceptions about Romania (Romanians)

Without any introduction let's dive into it:

Romania is a dangerous country from Eastern Europe

First, as my good friend would argue, geographical we are kinda in the middle of Europe. I don't have a problem being included intro the Eastern European group as long as it is not pejorative. I do like our group, I've met some lovely Bulgarian girls and on my visits I've loved Bulgaria, I like Hungary and Czechia and Poland and all the other countries in the Eastern block.

Still, Romania is not a dangerous country. Nothing new will happen to you if you visit Romania, different from what could happen to you in Western Europe. Yes we have pickpocketers, yes we have madly traffic, yes we do have prices inflated for tourists, but so do London, Paris, Rome, Brussels, just to name a few. So if you've been to London and survived, or if you drove in Brussels and you still have a car, Bucharest is just a peace of cake compared to those two.

Romania has stray dogs and beggars

On the same note as the previous point is this one. I do have to say that the stray dog problem is somehow in the past. On my last trip to Bucharest I've found just one stray dog and he was on a neighbourhood far away from the centre and even him, I think, was owned by a store lady, cause was hanging around a store. So yes we had a stray dog problem, I'm kinda afraid to ask how that was handled, but... Still Romanians have a deep love for their dogs so you will see a lot of people walking their dogs on the street, with a leash and everything. And what is even a plus point for Romanians is that you will see a lot of former stray dogs walked on the streets. So Romanians prefer to adopt than buy, which is so positive I can't even tell you...

Beggars. Yes we have and we seem to export them to Europe. So yes you will see beggars in bigger cities, but they are civilised and not aggressively begging as I saw in Paris. So yea, they are ours and Romania still has this problem, but little by little I think things are improving.

Traffic is horrible

Yes. No argue on this one. Traffic is terrible especially in the big cities. That is why I advise you to walk. So if you lived your whole life in a quiet town such as Arlon or you drove in Ireland, taking the Bucharest traffic is too much for you, but if you live in Paris or Brussels, the Bucharest traffic is no match for you. It all depends on what you are doing in Bucharest or Romania, if you really need to drive or not.

All the gypsies come from Romania

No they don't. If you look just a little bit back into history you will probably hind out that at their origin gypsies come from Asia. It was just unfortunate that the 50 years of communism that Romanian people endured, forced them to stay in Romania. If you are familiar with the traveller communities in Ireland, originally gypsies were migratory people, too. They are now doing what is in their nature, which is to migrate. I am aware of the negative press about gypsies, but if you take your time and get rid of any misconceptions, you will find out that they are fascinating people, with a lot of traditions, culture, a universal language and colourful clothes.


I don't know how I jumped from gypsies to Dracula, but here it is. Actually Dracula is not Romanian. When I've lived in Dublin, I've researched a little bit Bram Stoker's life and found out he never went to Romania or Transylvania. Still, he placed his novel in Transylvania and we thank him for it. Dracula is a never-ending well of revenue and some of it is spilled into Romania, so thank you mister Stoker! I've heard there are thematic tours around Transylvania, there are books about Dracula, there are dishes and restaurants themed around the character, there are hotels and motels all around the country so why not, Dracula comes from Romania.

I do have to say though, that there is a little bit of truth around Dracula being Romanian. Apparently Bram Stoker heard about a Wallachian price who used to impale his enemies. That one is ours and he is called Vlad Țepeș, the son of Vlad Dracul. You can read about him from wiki, but from what I remember from the history lessons in school, he did a lot of good besides impaling people.

Transylvania is a real land

I don't know how people could think that Transylvania is like the Shire or something, but yes Transilvania is a region in Romania, it is real and it is lovely. If you have a chance to visit it, Dracula fan or not, you grab it with both hands. You will discover picture perfect towns and a lot of legends far more interesting than the Țepeș one and good food and adventures to last you a lifetime.

Romanians speak good Russian

Actually I was asked a couple of times myself, if I speak Russian and I don't, but yes, at some point Russian was studied at school as a second language in Romania, so the generation of my parents maybe remember some Russian words. My generation though studied English or French so no Russian speaking Romanians from the age of 40-45 down, it think. Except, of course, the ones that actually liked Russian language and studied it.

To make things a little more clear, Romanian is a Latin language so it is closer to Italian, Spanish and French in this order. Still, Romanian language has a few Dacian words, a few Turkish words and a few Slavic words and you can find the explanation for that in the history books. So maybe that is where the confusion with Russian language is made. We have Slavic words in our language, but we don't speak Russian.

When speaking English, we speak it with a Russian accent

No we don't. We don't speak any language for that matter with a "Dracula accent". If all my English teachers throughout the years could read this (maybe they will pas over my grammar mistakes) they would tell you I am right. There was such a pressure on us as students to speak the posh, British English, that I don't think any Romanian speaks English as Dracula does. Actually the posh accent is considered the right one by Romanians even now when we have the opportunities to travel and work in English speaking countries. Personally I love the Dublin accent, the Irish accent on television (which of course is not the true Irish accent) and the Scottish accent, in this order. I try to speak English without an accent, cause that was what I've aspired towards when doing radio in Ireland, but I would love to have the Dublin accent on my English. It pops up from time to time, especially when I'm in Dublin, but it doesn't stay with me :(

Bucharest is the capital of Romania and not Budapest

Ever since the 90's when Michael Jackson first came to Romania and said "Hello Budapest!" this confusion is being made and I've heard that it has reached such a scale that people booked flights to Budapest instead of Bucharest and the other way around. So, just to make it clearer, Bucharest is the capital of Romania and Budapest is the capital of Hungary. Still, if you made the mistake, both cities are worth a visit, so no disappointment there, it think.

Romanians are welcoming towards foreigners/tourists

No argument here, it is true. I've experienced it when I've took my friends to Romania, so yes it is true. I don't like it, but that's it. And I don't like it because I am a foreigner living in a foreign country and travelling to foreign countries and I don't experience the level of friendliness as the Romanians are capable of giving. We love to host guests and we give them everything and the legends are true, if you go to a Romanian's house you will be treated like family. We try as much as possible to take the same friendliness with us when we move to different countries, but not all the people are as friendly as we are. No finger pointing at anyone at this moment, but I do miss this level of friendliness which you can find in Romania.

So here they are, all the misconceptions I've heard about Romania. They are more than 5 as the title indicates and some of them are not misconceptions at all, but I've liked the title and I think it will go well on google so it will stay like this.

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This is an interesting video, long video, about Romania. It is focused abound an Irish guy who discovered Romania and made it his second home, but in the video he ticks most of the points from my post. So do watch it!

September 11, 2017

Luxembourg - Melusina is back

It took them 4 months and the whole Luxembourgish summer, but they brought Melusina back. I am so, so happy and I love the sculpture, maybe because it is made from ceramic, or because it was placed during our stay in Luxembourg so it is actually part of our own history with the city, I don't know, but Melu is back and I am glad.

I can't believe I've never shown you, here on the blog, this sculpture, but she is present on my Instagram and Facebook.

So long story short, Melusina is a legendary character, one of the few truly Luxembourgish, she was a mermaid as you can see. The sculpture was placed in the Grund area of Luxembourg in 2015 and every time we visit her I snap a selfie. It has almost become a tradition of ours.

In May this year someone broke Melusina's tail. The article in Wort almost made me cry, seeing her all bandaged up and looking sad. This was actually the second time that the statue was vandalised, the last time someone took a ceramic tile from her back, I think. So in just two short years the statue was vandalised twice. So it is very fragile and unique which makes me love it even more.

The restored statue was put back on its place at the beginning of August, but as it was a busy month we did not get a chance to visit it. That happened last weekend, when we left home with the sole purpose of visiting Melusina.
And here she is! Back and melancholic as ever!
I have a ton of photos of this statue, but none from this angle. This goes to show that every time you could discover a new way of looking at Melusina's statue.
And this is The Selfie! August 2017. Melusina is back!
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September 4, 2017

France - Calais - Cite de Dentelle

I debated a lot if I should write a post about this museum or not. The reason of my indecision was that I did not like the museum, but since I've liked the temporary exhibition (despite not being a fashion fan) and I did take a lot of photos I've decided to do a post on it and let you decide for yourself if it's worth a visit or not.

Believe me, I have my fair share of museums visited and I am able to form an opinion, but even if this would have been the first museum I would have stepped into, the total darkness and the somewhat scary monitors which would start talking unexpectedly made the experience of visiting the permanent collection a very creepy one. I do understand that old pieces can only be shown on a specific lighting, but there has to be another way. It was a dark room, with dark display cases and I felt bad from beginning to end.

Don't get me wrong, the information was there, it was good and well condensed, but after a three or four display cases I've met an old lady and we scared each other out of the museum. Why paint the room black? Why?

I did take other pictures, but I feel you have to experience the creepy feeling for yourselves to understand. Instead, I will post pictures from the temporary exhibition about the designer Hubert de Givenchy. One thing though, I've posted only the outfits I've liked. If you like fashion and you are in the area the Givenvhy exhibition will be open until December, 31st.
I would wear that shirt 
Embroidery on velvet 
The awkward moment when two people meet wearing the same dress, in this case it was The Duchess of Windsor and the Baroness of Redes, both wearing the striped Givenchy dress. Picture behind the mannequin.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis 
I have a similar dress, of course made by an unknown Romanian designer :) 
The little black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's 
Me and another of Hepburn's dresses designed by Givenchy 
You can't see from the picture but the blue lines are made from long beads embroidered on the dress  
A Givenchy bride 
From the exhibition book, Hubert de Givenchy and his dog
That's it folks! 
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