Browsing Category

featured

featured/ random thoughts/ Uncategorized

Book Review” German Men Sit Down To Pee & Other Insights Into German Culture” – By Niklas Frank and James Cave

I had the pleasure of being sent a book by the name of German Men Sit Down To Pee & Other Insights Into German Culture” sent to me by the author. I have a couple of humorous books about German culture, and I will definitely add this to my collection. The book was to the point, and very well explained. I actually gained some insight into some of the behaviors I witnessed in Germany.
The Author describes the books as:

German men sit down to pee… is a tongue-in-cheek guidebook to German culture that highlights the ‘rules’ Germans consciously and unconsciously follow, and tries to make a little sense of it all along the way. Why, for example, mowing your lawn on a Sunday will mean getting an earful from your neighbour, but lie naked in the middle of a public park and nobody will bat an eyelid.

Before you dismiss this as another book of tired stereotypes, he does use a disclaimer. We all know that not ALL Germans behave like this, but every country seems to have their own distinct culture, and the Germans are no different. They explain why German men sit down when they pee, German breakfast, and Doener kebabs. All subjects I knew about, but in the style of writing the authors made me chuckle. I had no idea about all the drink mixes. Beer and Cola? Yuck!

For the price, the book is a steal, and a nice little coffee table addition to your collection. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Buy the Book Here
51FzHBkcqzL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

featured/ Uncategorized

Breaking the Cocoon of Being Single 

Give and be Given the Best of Life.

Even though sometimes you feel lonely and frustrated, people around you think that everything’s fine with you. The problem is that they don’t realize you need a partner to share your life with. It’s high time you stopped hesitating, start breaking the cocoon of being single and feel as a complete human being.

A Person without a Partner is not a Complete Person

Human beings are conceived to live within a society and such society is sub-divided in micro-societies called families. In order to have a family you need a partner and, in some cases, the family does not have to be integrated by children as well, only your partner and you are more than enough. However, Breaking the Cocoon of being lone is not something easy, especially if you have been along for such a long time that now you have forgotten the enchantment of sharing and compromising. Don’t worry, we have all the tips for you to remember and put into practice everything you need to walk hand in hand in life.

Breaking the Cocoon of Being Single – There is More than Just Myself Out There

When you have been single for more time than recommended, you acquire certain habits that make it difficult to connect with someone again. Sometimes, people refuse to lose the comfort they have developed in the coziness of feeling the only human beings on earth, but that can be potentially harmful for mental wellbeing, so if you want to have a partner with who you can feel complete, you will need to discard such habits and begin to realize that there is a person on the other side that feels and needs things as you do. Some tips for you to start practicing are:

    Observe: pay attention to other people’s preferences, likes, dislikes, attitudes and so on, will help you understand and perceive the world around you with the people in it. This will make you look and sound as a more sensitive person.

    Listen: this skill is in high demand and is not that easy as it sounds. You have to listen to the other, react to what the persons says and wait for the answer to be finished until you continue talking. A good listener is definitely a good partner.

    Show Empathy: worrying for the people that form part of your environment is a vital part when you want to begin a new life with someone else beside you. Understanding and being able to put in the other person’s feet will make you an eligible partner.

    Compromise: this is an unavoidable advantage when you begin a life in which you have to concede to receive. Stop thinking that you are the center of the universe and try to make the people you love happy. There is no fullness without sacrificing part of your freedom and devote time and dedication to the other person.

All these tips will train you to lead the best kind of life when the right person reaches your life, since you are going to be accustomed to ask and wait for an answer and also to care about your mate and also to make decisions together, not only basing them on your personal likes.

Author byline: I’m the Co-Founder and Webmaster of several dating sites including Chicks For Dating. I started in the dating area in 2005, writing articles and press releases as freelancer and helping in the envisioning and development of international dating websites (most of them from Latin-America  and Europe), believing that technology can help soul-mates to find real love and long-term relationships. I enjoy my free time reading technology articles, walking and hearing music dreaming in new dating projects.
Follow in Twitter: @chicksfordating.com

featured/ random thoughts/ Uncategorized

What’s with this black American dating crisis? -By Joy Outlaw

As an author whose work overlaps the Women’s Fiction category, I’m aware that the Interracial Romance genre has been a quite popular one for some time now, and interest is growing. If Barnes & Noble hadn’t changed its Fiction display so that you can no longer see Women’s Fiction, Afro American Fiction, Romance, etc., grouped separately, you’d more easily notice all those virile young black American women swirling with white/Latino men on many of those covers. (Not so many depictions of black women with, say, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, or African men—‘sup with that?) The idea has become quite public. And while I wouldn’t say that it’s mainstream, advertisers are all over the black girl white guy pair now in commercials and print ads.

What bothers me is all the statistics and negative labels that complement this steady flow of images, and the scarcity mentality that insists that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a black woman to find a suitable mate. I’m one of those weird mind-over-matter types who believes in the idea that what you think and expect are what you get. And I’m not convinced that Black Women are in dire straits or that we should allow a barrage of that kind of information to make us believe that. Why the heck would I, of all people, want to buy into that?
I recently checked out that movie Frustrated: Black American Men in Brazil (I know I was late to discover it, but it was insightful nonetheless.) It told the stories of dissatisfied black American men traveling to Brazil to escape “drama” with black American women and find love and/or sex. I immediately caught on to the sense of scarcity, doom and gloom conveyed by the elements of the film, even down to the relentless, pathetic piano music.
In a resulting blog post, I responded with this:


“Maybe with one more push we’ll just evaporate into thin air. We’re already so much more likely to be uneducated, uncultured, unemployed, poor, obese, sick, diseased and without good healthcare, imprisoned, financially illiterate, just generally illiterate, divorced or never married to begin with, the product of single parenthood, parenting single, or likely to become single parents eventually, on drugs, raised by somebody on drugs, robbed by somebody on drugs, shot by somebody selling drugs… Whatever the atrocity or misfortune, we are most likely to suffer it.
“We get a steady diet of statistics that prove our inferiority. And it’s not some grandstanding Klansman or Fox News anchor giving them to us. It’s CNN. It’s NPR. It’s W-something-something-something, your local news station. It’s our community leaders and folks who are on the front lines daily trying to help others get ahead. It’s our own brown-faced beauties, in whom we take so much pride, shoveling the Pitiful Black Folk statistics down our throats every day.”

 
And it’s all such B.S. As noted in that Clutch Mag Online article entitled “Is Europe the Single Black Woman’s Promised Land”

“For the past few years, the media has seemed to be on a campaign to convince African-American women we are the unhealthiest, least educated, most undesirable, and least likely to get married women on the planet. And while the numbers don’t bear this out (we are kicking ass in college, and by 35, 75 percent of sistas are married), the media keeps harping on our supposed crisis… To be clear, marriage rates are down for everyone.”


Need I also mention the recently populararticle
debunking the myth of the absentee black father? Says the writer,
“In fact, in its coverage of the study, the Los Angeles Times noted that the results ‘defy stereotypes about black fatherhood’ because the CDC found that black dads are more involved with their kids on a daily basis than dads from other racial groups.”

I’m a thirty-four-year-old, college-educated, black woman married to a brilliant and hard-working, black man. Other men that I dated in the past included, black Americans, West Africans, Caribbeans, and one white guy. I studied abroad in Tanzania during college, and while I did not date a Tanzanian man, there was plenty of romantic interest to go around among us all.
I’ve played the dating game. I’ve had bad experiences, from dishonesty to cheating to physical assault. But I’ve also had many experiences that I can only describe as blissful. An Individual’s dating life can contain myriad experiences. And Kimberly truly hit the nail on the head when she said in a February 2013 post: “Sometimes the reason you are single is your issue, not the men.” The same is sometimes true when you continually have problems with a partner.
I’ve come to learn that love has to be approached from a mindset of abundance and with a certain degree of detachment from our highly tailored (and sometimes petty) expectations, not from a scarcity mentality and a fear of being left without. I had to ask myself why I was choosing to believe that I was at the bottom of some proverbial dating barrel, as some vehemently claim black women are. I had to leave generalizations behind—the belief that “Italian men loooove them some black women” or that “all West Africans are hung”, for example.
My conclusion: If a lasting, loving relationship is what anyone wants, it will serve them well to be open to it wherever they might find it. Travel? Hell yeah—it’s one of the most enriching experiences you’ll ever have. But, be leery of any advice that paints with a broad brush, even if it comes with a sobering statistic or a promise of love-at-first-sight.

Joy Outlaw is an author and blogger at www.joyoutlaw.com
. Her debut novel, Pretty Little Mess: A Jane Luck Adventure can be found here.

.

featured/ random thoughts

Lessons in Berlin: Black Experience

Living in the USA, African Americans are the dominant Black population in America. Sure we have a lot of others, but I did not have many Black friends from other places while growing up in California. In fact, I can only remember two: one from West Africa, and the other from the East. I knew little about their experiences. I learned more about the experience while living in Berlin in the super minority of people who were of African descent living in Berlin. I learned that things were certainly not all good for those who had the unfortunate circumstance of having the “wrong passport.” The hassle of not being able to get a job, finding a place, down to traveling within Europe. It all seemed much harder. Some of my African American friends would try to separate themselves from the African community, but I could not ignore the glaring differences in treatment by Europeans after they discovered I was from the USA. I had times where I was questioned relentlessly at airports, before my passport was ever requested, then as soon as I took it out, their whole demeanor would change. I started to wonder how would I be treated if I didn’t have the coveted “blue book” or the “red book” for those from the UK.

There were times when before I would even speak, people would place me in whatever box. Only one person has ever guessed correctly where I came from. (A Turkish man at the Farmers market- I was shocked). In the States, it is about race, but here there certainly is a divide in culture, and national country of origin.

I met many people from the continent of Africa while living in Berlin, which always made me wonder where people were looking when they said they did not notice a larger African community in Berlin. Trust me, it is here, but I also found many people here self segregate on racial and nationalistic lines. The largest group seems to be coming from immigration, but there are many people who were born and raised in Germany. Every group had their gripes. I sat at meetings filled with Afro Deutsch people, where I learned calling someone biracial is extremely offensive, because in German race translated into breed, and of course no one wants to be thought of in that respect. I met a few that knew nothing of their African side. I learned that there was not even a non offensive term from people who were both African and ethnic German until the 1980s. I met groups of guys here while hanging in Goerlitzer, that were here just trying to make enough money for their families back home, or to simply survive. Stories of long boat trips, stints in jail, all the for opportunities found in Europe, which many found upon arrival were few and far between. I met central and S. American Blacks who ranged from old rastas to college students. I met old Black American jazz musicians, living here for 20 or more years. All with interesting stories on how they found their way to Berlin.

I also learned that my issues with the country were not just figments of my imagination. People complained about staring, about other Germans being surprised that they spoke German, despite living here their entire lives. Their thoughts of not feeling accepted by both groups. It was nice to hear about the lives of others. I had to check my own privilege, and realize that despite even the worse experiences, that I still had it better than some. That just made me want to change that, rather than find some sort of pride in my condition.

With all these exchanges with my fellow melanated brothers and sisters, I felt a since of belonging. That despite our differences, we faced similar circumstances, and we can create safe spaces to uplift each other no matter where were from in the world.

featured/ Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

Tourist Trip: London

Getting to London from Berlin is quite simple and cheap. If you are looking for short weekend, London is close and relatively inexpensive to get there. Once your there, the prices can be high, depending on where you stay.

There are a few transportation options, but I personally prefer to take a flight. You can find cheap flights through RyanAir or GermanWings. I normally check the website, Fluege.de
for cheaper flights, since they obviously specifically cater to the German market. Flights from the Schoenefeld airport are typically cheaper than those flying out of Tegel. They also offer direct flights.

My travel companion was my boyfriend. This is our third trip together, and I was excited. We started at the W, but due to some unintended consequences, we were moved to their sister hotel, Le Meridien. That place was a bit of a mess. We were in the Picadilly area, which was located near landmarks such as the Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. To say the place was expensive, was an understatement. I wish the quality of the food coincided with the prices that we paid for it. We were close to landmarks, so we managed to walk around and see what we can while enjoying the rare gorgeous weather we were having in London.

Walking around alone. I don't do too many full body selfies anymore.

Walking around alone. I don’t do too many full body selfies anymore.

20150611_170411

IMG-20150613-WA0001

IMG-20150613-WA0000

The boyfriend has to jet off for some business meetings, so I decided to meet an old friend of mine who just happened to be in London. We met each other which in summer school at University. He was on his own world tour, and graced me with his presence. We went off to Brixton for the day, and caught up on our respective lives. To my surprise, Brixton was a short train ride away. I have been to London a few times, but it was nice to be so centrally located to things I actually wanted to see this time around.

Brixton!!

Brixton!!

Ty and I. Remember this dude, he is  hilarious

Ty and I. Remember this dude, he is hilarious

Smoking at the park across the street.

Smoking at the park across the street.

I broke down and had meat. There were not so many good veggie options available.

I broke down and had meat. There were not so many good veggie options available.

20150611_162237

One of the pieces we saw while walking around

One of the pieces we saw while walking around

20150609_225117

20150611_163549

The last few days was back with the boyfriend. We switched hotels to the Hyatts- Andaz that was located in the financial district. We had some breakfast and made a plan to see the British Museum. I heard they had a huge Egypt collection that I just had to see before we left. We also walked over to see big ben, or at least the clock in front of the bell that is actually big ben (thanks Max for that heads up). I donned my red coat again, which I feel makes me look like Carmen Sandiego (totally my outfit for this years Halloween). We managed to find some meatless food for me, and ended our time at London’s oldest Indian Restaurant- Veeraswamy. I had a good time overall, but dang, central London is expensive for a girl on a Berlin budget like me.

IMG_20150611_174515

The clock in front of big ben

The clock in front of big ben

Me trying to eat an American breakfast

Me trying to eat an American breakfast

The Gherkin as the Londoners call it.

The Gherkin as the Londoners call it.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Hmm Pancakes

Hmm Pancakes

Lion Goddess - Sekhmet

Lion Goddess – Sekhmet

IMG_20150613_155325

IMG_20150613_154933

Me eating lunch

Me eating lunch

20150610_141331

Where in the world is Kimmy Sandiego

Where in the world is Kimmy Sandiego

This is the actual Carmen San Diego

This is the actual Carmen San Diego

featured/ music

Berlin Music Video Awards

imgres

I had the pleasure of being inited to the 3rd annual Berlin Music Video Awards. I did not know what to expect. I had never heard of these awards, but when I looked at the lineup, which consistent of rather unknown artist, at least unknown to me, I decided to attend to see what this event was all about.

It was held at two venues. One was located in Friedrichshain at club K-17 and the final awards ceremony was located at Neue Heimat club near Warchauer. The event was 3 days long with a red carpet after party on the last evening. I went early the first day. I grabbed my girl from Chicago and headed over where we were greeted at the door with a shot of Jagermeister of course. There was an outside area with food being served, and a DJ. We made our way inside where people were screening video nominees for each proposed category. That area was packed, and with the warm weather, I could not bring myself to sit in there for more than a few minutes. I noticed an artist area where we ran into one of the hosts. There were characters everywhere. It was a hipsters paradise. My friend ended up knowing the host, a Black British guy by the name of .. who was dressed in a custom tweed suit of his own creation. There were many people who were scantily clad.

We sat back and watched on the screens in the back room, and talked about what we watched. I hoped that there would be some things that I liked. I noticed I am rather particular about my music. I am not into electro, but I must say this Chicago house is rather interesting. There were some more mainstream artist videos being played from artists such as MIA, and Irma.

I loved the Irmaa video. The visuals were amazing, and the vibe was African singer, songwriter.. complete with guitar and natural hair style. I loved it. I had to look it up and post:

We posted up for a while, digging the scene, until of course we were approached by one very drunk Frenchman, who simply could not believe that my friend and I were from the same place. I thought it was funny. She has her hair curly and short. It is what my ignorant ass family members would refer to as “good hair.” While he attempted to guess everything under the Sun except for African American, and of course no African countries, he finally got the hint and left. We left soon after that. I had a good time. Great experience to see this world of music I am not exposed to all the time here in Berlin.

featured/ Uncategorized

Tshirt, Tacos, Tunes

T­shirts Tacos Tunes returns, continuing it’s mission to up­cycle and customise your wardrobe. Reinvent previously purchased articles of clothing at Berlin’s one and only pop­up printing event! At T­shirts Tacos Tunes your doodles, paintings, photos, and found images can be printed onto t­shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, or denim jackets. For further up­cycling options,browse our look book to select limited edition images from local and international artists, or collaborate with guest artist Rosario Salerno to create a custom image during the event. The authentic flavors, spices, and seasonings of Peruvian cuisine will be presented by Chicha Cevicheria and Pisco Bar. In addition to savoury vegetarian options, Chicha will serve Ceviche (raw seafood marinated with lime, herbs, and spices) and custom cocktails. Chrijs (Chrijstøphe Måuberqué) will provide the perfect ambient soundtrack for a creative, chill summer’s day. T­shirts

Tacos Tunes will take place on Saturday, June 13th from 13:00 hr to 19:00 hr at
UNIKAT, located on Wesser str. 53.

T­shirts Tacos Tunes volume II is presented by Heroic Accents in collaboration with
UNIKAT.

Poster for Event-

Poster for Event-

featured/ Food/ random thoughts

Carnival 2015

Hey Folks,

It feels weird to think of things as my last time I will do this or that, because frankly I cannot guess what the future will bring, or whether or not I will be back in Germany at any point in the future. With that said, this is my last year celebrating Carnival as a resident of Berlin.

I was excited to go this year, most years I really have not been in the mood to navigate the crowds. I prefer going with one or two people, but I ended up with two big groups. That was annoying, because everyone wanted to do everything.. all at once. I wanted to drink, to chill, and make sure I get some good west African food before I left.

I attended Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was the frustrating day. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes. This is Berlin, it is not going to be a perfect experience of order. It is a bit chaotic. People pushing through everywhere, long lines. I am used to it though. I bring my own water, my own booze, and plenty of coins for the bathroom or napkins if I have to be creative. I know the places I want to be, but most of my group did not. I separated myself from that and actually was in bed by 9pm the first night. This was not on purpose. This was too much rum.

I decided to attend on Sunday with a smaller group and accomplished what I needed..west African food. That was frustrating experience just because those lines are the longest, but the end result is always worth it.

I cannot believe I have been going to this thing for 3 years. May 1st is the only other place I have been going to for 4 years. I will miss it, but maybe one day I will be back myself.

20150524_165515

20150524_153301

20150524_160823

20150524_155649

20150523_135717

20150524_153328

20150524_173158

featured/ random thoughts

The Big Dick Berlin Show

Hey folks,

I had the pleasure of attending this show here in Berlin at the popular Greenhouse located about 15 minutes by bus away from Hermannstrasse. This even caught my eye after seeing it listed on my facebook suggested events. The title seemed interesting enough. I was not sure what to expect. I have been to many sex themed shows in my life, but this seemed to be more about artistic ways to appreciate the penis. Here are some pictures below of the show.

They taped this woman to the wall, and removed the bench. I would pass out.

They taped this woman to the wall, and removed the bench. I would pass out.

20150515_220913-1

The golden cock.

The golden cock.

20150515_231959-1

These look like old school dildos

These look like old school dildos

A wall of pictures of penises

A wall of pictures of penises

20150515_231930

Courtesy of: http://www.concept-of-elegance.com/elegance/en

Courtesy of: http://www.concept-of-elegance.com/elegance/en

Courtesy of: http://www.concept-of-elegance.com/elegance/en

Courtesy of: http://www.concept-of-elegance.com/elegance/en

20150515_231920

featured/ random thoughts

Why I have to leave Germany- Soon

I have been a bit quiet lately. I have had a lot going on. Earlier this year, I received a warning deportation letter.. which seemed like an empty threat once I proved I could be here. Then, I finally got the job of my dreams in Marketing, and I just simply never received a visa. I know this sounds weird, but I went down to the office for weeks, which turned into months, and each time they told me to give them my email and to wait because they needed to see if a German wanted the job first. I signed the contract, and I know my rights but after fighting for years to find a job that I really liked, in English, I was devastated and decided to give up the fight.

Berlin was just starting to get better for me. I moved to the neighborhood I wanted, I figured out now how to get the apartment I wanted. I had carved out friendships. I was relying on my ex less and less. Romantically this city has sucked balls, but I was happy with other things. I had access to cheap organic foods, I could walk to most things that I needed, and I finally got on track in terms of having a career.

When it became clear that I would not be getting that job, due to god know’s why, I decided to throw in the towel. I signed the contract, and I know my rights, as mentioned before, but I just stopped wanting to fight. I came here for love, I met a whole bunch of interesting people, and done a bunch of things. Maybe it’s time to move back. This had always been in my head, however, at that point it just seemed like the right thing to do in my life.

Besides, I had met an American in Berlin, and while he is in the EU often, with my recent “luck,” we decided being near each other and me starting over in my home country might be the best idea.

I am not excited about moving back to America. I am from Southern California, where yes, the weather is nice, but the cost of living is expensive. Not to mention, I would need a car, and a job. Most importantly, that. I mentioned in my Broke Person Expat Tips
post that I do not exactly have parents with money coming out of their pockets for the older kids (which includes me) to stay in Europe. My parents think I am crazy for staying this long and being single.

So with my apartment lease ending, there goes my last ability to stay here. I am sorry. Staying in a shared apartment with a stranger just to stay here and try to wait for a visa, seems asinine, even as an American major city has the National Guard in the streets.

It is time to close the chapter on all of this. I am doing my best to see everyone that I have gotten to meet before I left, and attend as many events as I can afford to. Leaving in the middle of the Summer will not be easy, but I am excited to see what is beyond this experience.