Thursday, June 30, 2005

I Stole this Quiz...............

What is your favorite word? Whatever

What is your least favorite word?  Tummy

What turns you on?  1.)When man gives me flowers. 2.) A cute, shy geek/nerd in glasses. (love intelligence)

What turns you off?  Mullets, men with those moustaches from the '70s, and combovers

What sound or noise do you love?   The sound of the grasshoppers humming on a hot summer evening as the sun sets.

What sound or noise do you hate?  AIR HORNS, teenagers screaming

What is your favorite curse word?  Definitely the F word in both English and Spanish.

What profession other than yours would you most like to attempt? Translator, tour guide across Europe, Working for the UN. Sorry, can't choose just one.

What profession other than yours would you least like to attempt? Designing the next nuclear weapon. I might reverse the equations and blow myself up by accident.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?  I am so happy to see you, my child. Let's go see who's missed you while you were on earth.

What's on my mind

Hello Everyone,

Today I started part time job as a receptionist. It is temporary and they are flexible to my interviewing needs. It just felt good knowing that I would have some money.

I have been tearing myself apart and driving myself crazy with all this job searching. Especially because I am so desparate for work. When you are as desparate as I am for a job people can sense that right away and don't really want to hire you. It's kinda like dating I guess. So what am I gonna do about all this? Get a job. Any job.

I have been thinking and maybe I should just chill out for a while. Get a waitressing job or one without too many qualifications. That should bring money a little money in the bank. Then I start planning for the big job while I have money in the bank. Right now I am just stressing about paying the bills. I just need to ease my financial worries.

As you all know, the weather is getting hotter. I love that. I love wearing little shirts, shorts, sandals, skirts. I missed the hot weather especially since it was so cold for a while in Barcelona. My friends there tell me they are frying.

I better go. I'll talk to ya later.

Ciao.

 

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Just another day..........

Hello Everyone,

Well, today I got some calls and one of them was for an interview. I have another interview on Friday. All this job talk is boring me. I'll have to resume this tommorow. Trust me, I will. Just not today.

Today I took the LightRail and used a pass that my 16 year old friend gave me for people UNDER 17. I am 24. Normally no one is there to check passes. Besides, I have the adult pass for next month.

And today was my lucky day. The officer there looked at my pass. He started to walk away but then turned around and asked me how old I was. I told him 17. Then he asked me what year I was born and my math is so bad that I couldn't subtract 17 years from 2005. I was busted. I told him that I was sorry and to do what he had to do.

But I got off lucky. He even gave me a day pass for the day and took my Youth pass. I was so ashamed because I normally don't pull this crap.

Anyways, I gotta go now. I will talk to y'all later.

Ciao.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

So so so annoying

Hello Everyone,

Yes, I am on for the 2nd time today. Last week I got a lot of interviews in. This week no one has been calling me back.

I have no job, car, money.................... So do you know the agony of not receiving a single damn phone call ? All day ? Yesterday and today ??? What is up with that? I sent lots of e-mails out. No takers.

I can handle it if a dude doesn't call me back. That's fine. But when companies ignore me altogether ?? That's brutal.

The only thing I can do is just keep trying and going on interviews. And I am doing just that. But I have to admit that this gets frustrating at times.

For one, I don't just have the luxury of waiting for the perfect job. I need an income. If I pick up some crappy job, yeah I can always leave it. But then I could end up leaving on bad terms with the company by leaving so fast. Either that or by putting lots of energy into the crappy job, I miss out on good opportunities.

And another thing. I am new to all this. I don't really know what's out there. How do I know that if the job I am applying for is the best I can do ? How do I know that I am not going to pick a company where I will be completely miserable? Being miserable in a job is so not worth it.

All of this confuses me. I hope I'll eventually get it right.

 

 

And the search continues

Hello Everyone,

Well, Pitney Bowes e-mailed me back and told me that they didn't select me for the next step in the hiring process. I dunno if he sent me a pre-made e-mail but he told me that I do have a lot of qualities employers look for. I wish that he woulda told me the unfavorable quality that made him not hire me. He would be doing me a favor. But I also know that they have to be politically correct and that they don't wanna hurt anyone's feelings.

This kinda bites because I was really hoping for that job. I have been getting lots of calls for interviews but I keep getting turned down in the end. I didn't realize just how hard and competitive that this is going to be. I have been making mistakes in the beginning, and I am not starting to see that and correct them. I think I am improving.

My old boss used to work in sales and she told me that something will happen sooner or later. She told me a friend of hers was looking for a job in HR for 6 months. So I know that things may be a while, but that something's gotta happen for me.

Anyways, it's morning now and I better continue the search.

Ciao.

Monday, June 27, 2005

My Weekend in LA

Hello Everyone,

Here are some pictures. The first three are actually taken in the plane when I arrived in SF from my year away from home. I woke up to that beautiful sunset and I had to pull out my camera.

Anyways, I was in LA for the weekend to do a beauty trade show: Expo Latina. It was so much fun. There were so many people there that didn't speak any English. It was so cool seeing all the different beauty products and collecting samples. I broke down and bought a ceramic flat iron for wholesale price. I also bought eyeliner powder for the exotic look that you see  on Arabic women and in the Bollywood movies.

In the pictures you can see the people I worked with. The guy was actually in the booth next to us promoting hairgel for the punk rocker look. He looked really mean at first but turned out to be a really nice guy. He tried to get all the girls to touch his hair.

We went to Disneyland on Saturday and there were so so so many people. The tickets cost $54 per person for the day. But it was so not worth it. That day there were 110,000 people in the park. I only got to go on three rides. The lines were so long, and I swear that we were standing in line to get to another line. And we also waited in line for a whole hour to get food. There were so many mothers with strollers. And my feet got bumped a lot by them. Don't mess with mothers on a mission. But even though the lines were long, we had fun. I managed to go on three rides: 1.) Star Wars simulation 2.) It's a Small World 3.) Pirates of the Carribean.

As for the job search, no one has called me back. They swore that they would call me back either way, but of course they never do. I learned that I have to be more agressive and play hard to get. I got some tips from my old boss and she told me that I should always send thank you letters after the interview and call back. I also have to let them know that I am looking for other jobs and play hard to get. She really have me some good tips and told me all the mistakes that I have been making. I really have a lot to learn.

I have been used to looking for temporary jobs as a waitress or retail to do while I was in school. This is a different ballgame. Looking for a career is kinda like dating and trying to find the right guy. Haha. Be agressive, make yourself interesting, don't show your bad qualities, play hard to get, close the deal.

Anyways, I better go now and try to work on landing that perfect job.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Just waiting....................

Hello Everyone,

Today is not my day. I feel so tired and lazy. I just want to sleep and do absolutely nothing. And it's an absolute drag to do somuch as make a phonecall.

I called one of my jobs back to see if they were interested in me: Atlantis Partners. The guy told me that I was very friendly and outgoing, but that I sounded a little hesitant at times, and that was a concern for him.So therefore, I didn't get the job. I am applying for a sales job, so I guess he is right.

To be honest, I was hoping that they would turn me down to make my selection easier. Although I loved the location, I wasn't really convinced when I went in.

First of all, I didn't like the secretary. She was making personal calls when I went in and talking about "Oh my God ! Our song is on !". She looked at me funny when I accidentally said the wrong name and went back to her personal call. I know that I seem uptight, but I would like to work with professionals for my first career. I am past goofing off on the job. Now I actually want to set goals and do well on the job. I am not in food service anymore.

The guy I was interviewing me was professional and nice. However he reminded me of a frat brother. I just felt like the office was full of teenagers. Maybe I have the wrong impression, but that's the one I was given.

What bothers me is that I got rejected. Yeah, I didn't really want the job. But the fact remains that I am a little miffed about getting rejected for a job I didn't even want. When will I be able to turn a job that I am qualified for?

I am now worried about the other 2 positions that I am actually interested in. Will they say the same thing? No one called me back yet. What will happen if I keep getting rejected like this? How often am I going to have to hear no? I dunno what I am gonna do.

Anyways, it's Friday and I am gonna post up my resume to some more places in case my other 2 places tell me no.

I'll keep y'all posted.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I can't believe the week is almost over

Hello Everyone,

I just got done listening to Mariah Carey on the radio. I love her voice. I just have to say that I am glad that she made it to number one again. She sells the most records when she belts out the tunes instead of singing softly next to hiphop stars, which is what she has done in the past few years. With her latest album she is back to using her voice to the fullest. Just my two cents.

I had two more job interviews today and I think they both went really well. Both interviewers seemed very nice. I would be happy to work for either company. I will hear back from them within a week. At this point it's all up in the air.

I am also starting to browse through apartment listings and car listings. I am happy that I am coming to this stage in my life where I can think about a career and maybe a house. For a while I thought that I would never graduate from college and stop waitressing. Amazing how time flies.

This weekend I am also going to LA for a trade show in the skincare industry. We may go to Disney Land. I think that's cool. Get to do a little traveling.

Anywho, that's all for now folks. I shall keep you all posted.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Will someone help me find my job????

Hello Everyone,

I had one job interview today. I took the bus and the lightrail there. Lemme just say that the bus system here in the San Fransico Bay Area sucks balls. The bus I took today came once every 45 minutes. Shoot, the buses in the Austrian countryside are more reliable than that. I wasted a lot of time waiting.

The job I interviewed for was for telemarketing. But of course, I didn't find that out until I got there. They called the position "outside sales". Then they try to tell me that "we are not selling anything". That is so full of shite. It's like saying that I am pleasantly plump, and not fat. And that I am not going on a diet. I am just eating more vegetables. I was disappointed.

I have 2 more job interviews tommorow. I hope that I like the positions. I liked the position I interviewed with yesterday. I will call them back on Friday and see if they'll return the interest. I really hope so.

And this weekend I might be going to LA. I think that'll be so cool. I don't really get to travel within the US.

Anyways, gotta get going for now. TTYL. Ciao.

 

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A Day of Thinking

Hello Everyone,

I decided to post some pictures that never made it up here while I was in Europe. So in case my following post bores you to tears, you at least have some pictures to look at.

Today I had three interviews. They all went pretty well. I got up really early this morning. Here are my three interviews: 1.) Financial firm 2.)Upscale Restaurant 3.)Sales Firm.  I have two more tommorow. I just wanna make sure that I see a bunch of places before I make my final decision. I know that I really need a job and an income, but I feel like I need to kinda see what's out there first. It's a big commitment.

As I am going through the job searching process I am finding that there is nothing that really excites me. I am looking at all the positions and they are alright, but nothing that makes me wanna get up so early in the morning. I really wish that I knew exactly what job would really make me tick. Gosh, I am so confused.

Other than the job search I am looking at my credit rating and reading up on car purchasing advice. I really need to get myself out of this rut. I hate not having a car.

Other than that I am sorry to report that there is not much else going on in my life right now. I am just focusing all my energy on getting a job, a car and my own place. It's kinda a fulltime job right now. I am taking my time and getting all the facts first because doing everything in a hurry never solved any problems.

Anywho, I'll update more tommorow. Good night.

 

Monday, June 20, 2005

More Updates

Hello Everyone,

Well, today I had to turn in the car. I was sad to see it go, because I love to be independent and drive myself to where I need to go. I don't like relying on others nor public transportation. I haven't used the bus system here in CA for over 8 years.

I have two interviews tommorow. I won't go into any details because I don't want to jinx myself. Speaking of which, I was turned down the position in B2B sales I applied for due to my lack of experience.

I also took the light rail and bus to see where I have to go tommorow for my interviews. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, and I met some nice people on the way.

Anyways, I better go and get ready for tommorow.

Ciao.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Fathers Day !!!

Hello Everyone,

First of all I wanna say Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there. I hope that your children are giving you all the love you deserve on this day. Sometimes I don't think that fathers get enough credit.

I went to storage today and got rid of some more stuff today. Some other guy came to his storage unit next to mine. Wanna know what he was doing? He was massaging and putting lotion on his feet. In a friggin' storage unit !!! I don't even think I saw him putting stuff away. Whatever.

I went around and looked for restaurants to work in. Bad luck. I went to about 5 places. I filled out an application in one. As I was going to the other, it was getting busy. The other 2 places were closed on Sundays. And for the last one in a hotel, I had to go and apply through HR, and they were closed.

I also have to turn in my rental car tommorow. I was gonna keep it until Wednesday but the charges are way too high, especially since I am under 25. The bus system here sux so bad. I am gonna be so miserable.

No car, no job, I have to move, no money, still jetlagged. I have got to get myself out of this rut.

Anyways, I am gonna look at all the job postings. Y'all have a good week.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I got the big fat finger today..........

Hello Everyone,

Today was interesting and I was busy. I called my old boss at Red Lobster and asked my boss for my old job back. He told me to look somewhere else. I worked with this man for four years and left because I went to Europe. I wasn't fired. I left on good terms. He even told a coworker of mine that I could have my job back while I was away.

But today a bug musta crawled up his ass because he told me to look somewhere else. I called him back and asked him why, and he said that I wasn't a good fit for the company. That was a slap in the face for me. I asked him politely to be more specific but he refused. I don't understand because I thought that I did a good job. In the beginning I admit that I wasn't a very good waitress. But in the last 2 years people gave me lots of compliments about my service, I always picked up extra shifts, barely called in sick.

I also applied to Denny's (yeah, I am that desperate) and the woman wasn't very nice. She also gave me a stained application form. Let's just say that they won't be calling me back.

I went to two hotel chain restaurants. One of them wasn't hiring and the other gave me a number to call.

What is up with all this bad luck? Good Lord. The time I need a job the most is when it is the hardest to get one.

What else? I also went to my storage unit. I got rid of a lot of crap today. I had so many clothes that I thought that I would wear again once I got back from Europe. And now that I am back I looked at them and realized that I didn't want to wear them anymore. I also have to go back and clean out some more.

Tonight I am supposed to go out with my friend. This is the only weekend that I will have a car because I have to give it back on Wednesday. So I will get out while I can.

So yeah, that's the latest. I hope something good comes up for me. Ciao.

Friday, June 17, 2005

What a Day !!

Hello Everyone,

Today was interesting because I locked myself out of the house. I didn't realize that the door locked behind me. I was going to get something out of the car and let the door close behind me.

I went to the neighbors house to use the phone. The guy was a dick. His wife was really nice though, but the guy kept questioning me about who lives with me and he wanted to go and try and pry open the doors with me. Yeah, way to go dude. Let's go break into my house.

I also had a little interview with a job placement company. They found a cool job for me for a position in B2B sales. The interview could be next week, and the whole process could take up to 2-3 weeks. The only problem is that I need a car for this job and I don't have one. That sucks.

I am in a really tight position. I need a job to pay my bills. I just need an income right now. And it's not like I can sit around and wait.

I am sure you can tell I am not in the best mood right now. The weather is also partly to blame. It's been awful lately. Cloudy and rainy.

There have also been earthquakes along the California coast recently. There was even a tsunami warning a couple of days ago. Luckily where I live hasn't been affected by any of this...........yet. But I know that we have ours coming too. I know that a major earthquake in the San Jose area has been predicted for quite some time.

Anyways, I am gonna go and do something useful................... like post up my resume again.

Ciao.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Getting back into the swing of things........

Hello Everyone,

I am slowly trying to get back into the swing of things here. It's kinda hard. I am tired during the day and awake in the middle of the night. But I am slowly, slowly adjusting.

I rented a car yesterday. So so so so expensive. I have it for a week so that I can do my errands and look for a job. So far, no luck. But it's only been a couple of days so I am not too discouraged yet. Right now my main concern is to get some income flowing in.

The weather here is also awful. It's supposed to rain until Sunday. I can't wait for the summer weather. Ice cream, short skirts, sandals, beach................

I also got a new mobile phone number so that future employers can reach me. I am slowly adjusting. The guy at the store gave me a good deal.

But I can't tell you how strange it all feels. I felt out of place the whole time in Europe. I always felt like I was a foreigner. Even though I got used to life in Barcelona, I still felt out of place. Everyday felt like an adventure over there. So I thought that when I came back to CA that I would surely feel back at home.

And it didn't work out that way. I feel really strange. Everything changed from when I left. My friends graduated and moved on. My parents moved, I have no job or car. I feel like I am starting all over again, just like I had to do a year ago. And sometimes it's really frustrating. I came home, and everyone has their life and things happening. And I don't right now and it feels strange.

Anyways, just thought I'd share. I hope that it'll get easier. I am supposed to be actively trying to find a new job and doing errands this very moment, but I am a little tired. Maybe this afternoon.

Ciao. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Back Home :)

Hello Everyone,

The day before I left Austria my grandma treated me to a day out in the town. We took a little boat ride across the Salzach river, took a tram up to the high fortress, walked around the old city a little big and had some food in a famous cafe and apple strudel near the fortress. Very nice. I really enjoyed the time I spent with my grandma. Just me and her. I miss her a lot right now.

Before her, I hadn't had a big hug all year. So she gave me a couple of big hugs. I really needed them. It's amazing what no hugs will do to a person.

I got back to California yesterday. I changed planes three times. And the sun never set the whole time so I didn't get a lot of rest. I changed planes in Madrid, Barajas airport. I had an hour and a half to connect. And I made it, but with no time to get anything to eat. I had to take two different shuttle busses, go through two different checkpoints, and stand in a huge line to check in. Claiming the luggage in Chicago was a friggin' nightmare.

And my flight from Chicago to San Franciso was delayed. I was happy to get off the plain, though.

And now I am back in California trying to get my life back together. I am really miserable to be honest, but I think things should look better. I hope, at least that they do. The jetlag isn't helping at all. I don't have a desire to eat, I don't have a job, car or even cellphone. I don't even know where to begin. 

Anyways, I better go look for a rental car so that I can take care of some important errands.

I will try to update as much as possible on my latest happenings. I will hopefully be more cheerful next time.

Ciao :) 

 

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Last Entry From Europe

Hello Everyone,

The end of my travels in Europe has come. I will spend the rest of my time here with my grandma and then I will fly home back to the US early Tues morning.

My grandma is here and I have her all to myself for a couple of days so I am gonna let her spoil me rotten with a little trip to Salzburg and Austrian pastries ;)

So, for now I must say goodbye and I will pickup again once I am back in the USA and have internet access.

So, my travel adventures are over......... for now. Because I will be planning my next travels while I am in California. Like the rest of most of my family, I have a traveling spirit and I want to keep that going. I love the USA and am American as apple pie, but I also feel like I need to see how everyone else lives their lives because I feel that as Americans, we are sheltered from the rest of the world. The media does a good job with that.

In CA I will be writing about adjusting back into the swing of things in the USA after being away for a year and the plannings of my next trip. Here and there I will also be writing about drama I have now and then :).

So, thanks everyone for reading about my travel experiences. And just remember that they aren´t over for good.

Ciao, Auf Wierdersehen, Tchüss, Saludos, Adios........................

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Yeah !! More Pictures

Hello Everyone,

Today I went to visit the oldest saltmine in the world, here in Austria. So beautiful. Then we walked around the peaceful town, Hallstadt.

I have taken so many photos here in Austria. However, AOL and the computer I am on are both so retarded that I am only able to download 8 photos. I can´t believe this. I have taken hundreds of photos in the past few days. And right now I can only choose 8.

Today I just posted the photos from my trip today and my stay in the alps with my grandma. I am gonna post a lot more photos when I figure out how to do it.

I don´t know if I am gonna be able to make another post before I leave, so this may or may not be goodbye for a short while until I am back in California with internet access.

Ciao :)

 

Friday, June 10, 2005

Some Ramblings...............

Hello Everyone,

First of all I want to thank everyone that has been leaving me comments. I always appreciate comments. It´s just too bad that I can´t directly resond to them here in my comment box. I could if I were back in the states, but AOL here in Europe absolutely sucks. So again, thanks everyone :)

I have been responding to e-mails. So for those of you that sent me e-mails, you know I appreciate them because I usually respond.

On another note, I slept in today. Felt really good. The weather sucks as usual so I am considering staying in today. Gotta start packing becaus I am gonna stay with my grandma on Sunday till I leave on Tuesday.

When I was at Mauthausen I bought the latest edition of the Diary of Anne Frank. I read it in middle school. But now I am reading it again.I really love that book. She was between 13-15 years old when she wrote that and she really was mature for her age. She writes about things that adults think their children don´t understand. I don´t think adults give children and tennagers enough credit sometimes.

One really sad thing is that she and her family didn´t make it out alive. As you read the book and realize that all their dreams of "living a peaceful like after the war" will never come true, it makes you wanna cry.

But this book has taught so many people a lesson. I wonder if this powerful message would have gotten across just as well if she were still alive ? I think that the fact that her story was so sad, and that she didn´t even survive after the war makes people think twice. I think she is a very strong voice for all of the victims that are no longer able to tell their story because they were killed.

And what about the voice for the living ? Luckily we still have holocaust survivors that talk about their experiences and write books. And the fact that they survived is a source of hope for many and a strong reminder of what happens when people excercise hatred.

I really can identify with her thoughts as a girl growing up. I think it´s comforting to read her book. I can identify with most of her opinions and almost everything that she says. I have always wanted to go and visit her hiding place. I didn´t make it this time, but I really want to go back next year. Really, really bad.

I tell my parents that I want to go to Amsterdam and they automatically think about the Red Light District, the drugs, the marijuana, the sex shops................ But No. How can I get them to understand that the only thing I really, really want to see is the Anne Frank House ?? That and the Van Gogh museum, the canals, the wind mills................ I had a marketing teacher that was from Holland and I think he once wore clogs to class. I swear I gotta plan another trip back to Europe.

I also bought a summer dress yesterday very, very cheap from the Czech Republick and I didn´t think it would fit, nor look good, due to the fact that I am short and dresses never fit properly around the waist area. It was an impulse buy and the woman there kept shoving the dress in my hand and lowering the price. So I took it without even trying it on. But it fit, and looked good. So I am happy. Just gotta find an excuse to wear it.

Anyways this should be enough for now. I´ll try to write again before the weekend. I won´t be able to write after tommorow because I will be with my grandma ( who doesn´t use e-mail).

So, if I don´t get a chance to write tommorow, I shall be saying hello to y´all in the good ole USA.

Ciao.

Thursday, June 9, 2005

I went to the Czech Republic !!!!!!

Hello Everyone,

Today I took a little day trip to the Czech republic. I went to Budweis, where Budweiser originated. I won´t go into any details, but I am sure that most of you know that there are 2 different beers with the same name, Budweiser, and there was a long legal debate over the whole thing. Anyways, this is where both beers originated.

The train ride was about 2-3 hours long, and the whole thing costed about 35 Euros round trip. I was happy just to get out of Austria for a day. I even got my passport stamped. I am sick of seeing the plain old EU stamp. And today I got a Czech stamp. Anyways, traveling there was like going back in time 50 years. After I got off the train I noticed the change. For starters, I had to change my money. Even though the Czech Republic joined the EU last year, you can bet it´ll take a while for changes to be seen.

The language was also completely foreign to me. I couldn´t understand one single word of Czech. I wouldn´t even know how to pronounce the words with all the accents. Luckily some people spoke German. 

The buildings. Don´t even get me started. Everything is old and falling apart. In Austria everything is clean, orderly and repainted. And with a trainride of 2 hours, buildings are falling apart. The CR used to be a communist country up until 13 years ago. It is so obvious.

Everything is so much cheaper there. I bought some really cute clothes.

Everything closes at around 7pm. Then after that I feel like the whole city shut down. No one was really on the streets after that. It was wierd. I was looking for a place to eat, but I gave up in the end. I couldn´t even understand the menus and I didn´t have the energy to a.) find a waiter that spoke english b.)listen to all the explanations. Plus I didn´t have enough money for a restaurant because I spent it all on clothes. So......I ended up going to McDonalds instead.

I didn´t see much. But I did see the Black Leather Tower (if I am correct with the name) I also visited a couple of cathedrals and did a lot of walking around. I took lots of pictures. As usual, the weather was crappy today. Very cloudy and cold. But I did the best I could with what I had.

I was happy to go back to Austria to cleanliness and orderliness. I had a nice afternoon. I really felt like I went back in time to the postwar era. Haha. The US is so modern and new and fast paced. This country is slower paced with a strong culture. I wouldn´t mind coming back for a vacation. I did a little daydreaming there and imagined myself staying for the summer. However, I couldn´t imagine living there longer. I think I would get bored and fed up.

I am thinking about joining the Peace Corps. There are 71 different countries to chose from and I am heavily thinking about going somewhere in Eastern Europe. And visiting the CR today makes me consider it even more.

My mother´s side is all in Austria (close to the Eastern Block). And my great grandparents on my dad´s side were Russians (in the Eastern block). I feel like it is part of family history one way or another. I don´t know what I will do. It´s all up in the air.

Ciao.

 

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

We Must Never Forget What Hate Can do..............

Hello,

Today I visited Mauthausen, a concentration camp here in Austria. I won´t go into graphic details. I took lots and lots of pictures, but I won´t post them either.

Mauthausen, the town, is small and beautiful. Everything seems rather old there. The train there was old, and the trainstation was oldschool. After getting to the trainstation, I took a taxi to the camp. After driving through the nice little hills, the camp pops up out of nowhere.

Many buildings aren´t there anymore, but I guess the most important ones are. After the main entrance area, Just a couple of the barracks, the old laundry building and the gas chambers. There was also a new memorial museum with personal belongings and testimonies.

The weather was awful today. There weren´t many people there so sometimes I was all by myself. Being alone in the torture chambers was eerie.

Being there was intense. I went to the gas chambers and the rooms where people were tortured. And the intensity in that room is so thick you could cut it with a knife. I can´t see ghosts or energy, but I sure felt it. Just to stand there and know that people were brutally murdered in the same room was awful. And although 60 years have passed I could still smell the stench of death.

Seeing all that brought to life all the things I read about the holocaust in school. I also walked back to the area outside where people had to carry heavy stones.

I was, and sill am at a loss for words. I couldn´t cry. All I could do was take as much of it in as I could because I never am going back there again.

This is what hate does. Everything in that camp was systematic. This hateful acts were carried out systematically and with accuracy. All this energy of building the camp and conducting experiments was done to kill. It boggles my mind. Records were kept, there were lists of names and people were given numbers. Did you know that around the barracks flowers were planted ?

One thing that was nice was the memorials. There were so many memorials from so many different countries. All these different countries came together to show support and vow that people don´t forget. There were also so many pictures. In the gas chambers, outside, on walls........ People came back after all these years and put up flowers and pictures of loved ones they lost at the camp.

Although there is no more holocaust in Europe, there is still a lot of hate in other countries. Unfortunately history is being repeated. The world definitely needs more tolerance. We don´t even have to like each other. Just accept that we all have our differences and leave the other person alone.

Anyways, tommorow the weather should be sunny, so I am going to do something fun. I may go to the salt mines. Or I may take a train to the Czech Republic. Who knows.

Ciao.

 

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Edelweiss, Edelweiss.............

Hello My Lovelies............... ( As Fez would say)

The weather here is so depressing. It´s June and I am cold !!!  It´s also cloudy, rainy, windy......... That´s not right.

I just came from Barcelona last week. I was sweating like a pig there and starting to wear my little tops. And now I am back to sweaters and shivering. The first three days here in Austria were beautiful. Now it´s awful.

Anyways, I spent the weekend in the alps with my grandma.  A couple weeks out of the year she stays in a hut and serves hikers food as a volunteer in the Mountain Club. Bergsportklub, as we would say in German.

I got to go with her this time and I served food and helped with the dishes and talked to our guests. Thank God I didn´t have to help woth the cooking. I am a horrible cook.

 My grandma, or Oma as we say in German, doesn´t speak English. So I got to brush up on my German. She always scolds me if she finds out that I am not practicing mein Deutsch. When I told her that I was in Barcelona and learning Spanish, she scolded me for not learning German. " Nein, Sandra ! Dein Deutsch !!"

I like having a grandma that doesn´t speak English. I think it´s rather cool if you ask me. Even though I am not very fluent in German, I always end up understanding her. All of my mother´s side of the family is here so I like to come and visit whenever I get a chance. 

Anyways I got to eat lots of good Austrian food and good Austrian cake. I also read a lot because it weas rainy and there was nothing else to do. I also played Solitaire for hours with the spare deck of cards. I also taught one of the guys how to play so he wouldn´t be so bored.

When I left to go to the train station my grandma loaded me up on chocolate and candy. She always feeds me. I ate so much chocolate on the train. And it was sooooo fingerlicking good.

And let me tell you about the train. I absolutely love taking the train throughout Europe. I used to take the train in Spain too. Gorgeous view, or sometimes you get to chat with your neighbor.

Today I took a train to Linz. I was going to the art museum, but when I got there it was closed. So I went to the Schloss Museum and decided to learn about post war history of Upper Austria. Very educational. It was all in German, and it was so hard to understand most things. But I managed through some of it.

They also had an exhibit of Austrian life during the postwar years of 1945-1955. There were exhibits of typical furnitures, kitchens, advertisements................. The kitchen they had on display is similar to my grandma´s kitchen.

Anyways, enough for now. I am gonna go and think about where I am gonna go tommorow. I would like to sneak out and go to Italy or Holland while I am still here in Europe, but I know I can´t because I am broke.

Ciao for now.

 

 

I Made it to Editor´s Pick of the Week :)

Hello Everyone,

I just came back from my little trip on the mountains to find out that ´my AOL journal was chosen as the pick of the week.

This happened last year too, but my journal didn´t get picked in the end because I was too busy with school in Spain to send a reply.

I am really happy about this and I am so happy that people are finally leaving me comments. All this time I would receive maybe 1 or 2 comments on a good day.

So I wanted to thank people that have been reading my journals and leaving comments. I will reply to my comments and e-mails as soon as I can.

I will also post more updates about my little trip to the alps. I have to go get ready for another little trip.

Ciao for now :)

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Hello,

Not much to write about today. Stayed in all day and did absolutely nothing. I watched TV in German and just read stories online about Barcelona.

I am gonna get out of the house tommorow. I will go to Salzburg to see my grandma and then we will spend the weekend on the alps. I will bring lots of books and my digital camera to keep busy.

Thats all for now.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Journey in Spain is Officially Over

Hello Everyone,

As of this morning I am no longer in Spain. I am now in Austria and will go back to the states in a couple of weeks. I love Austria. It´s beautiful and peaceful. But, it´s not Barcelona.

Yes, my journey in Spain is officially over and to be honest it feels really strange. At both airports in Barcelona and Frankfurt I think I was in the same terminals as when I left for Spain. It brought back so many memories. I also found the huge luggage that I left behind in Austria before coming to Spain. Seeing my old motorola cellphone and the papers and magazines that I left behind made me feel the same way as I did the day I left for Spain.

I kinda relived the same feelings I had the day I was on my way to Spain. I remember feeling so excited and anxious about going to Barcelona. I only had a little idea of what I was gonna do there. I was so excited to get to the airport. I had no idea what to expect, who I was gonna meet, how I would end up, how I would change. And now it´s over. And I have bittersweet feelings.

I have come a long way. As I look back I realize that besides getting my TEFL certificate, nothing happened as planned. Yeah it was rough because it was really my first year away from home without family in a foreign country without knowing anyone but I stuck it out.

I can´t deny that though I did struggle a lot and openly bitched here about it, I also had a lot of fun. Especially the last two months because my roommate invited me to take train rides with her and go out to nice clubs. The weekends were awesome. We were both from the US and left to come and live a different life in a foreign country. I miss her a lot now.

Yeah, I made a lot of mistakes here. So many its not even funny. You wouldn´t believe how dumb I can be sometimes. (Wait, people that know me, can.) I also didn´t see and visit every place that I wanted. I know that I am gonna miss Barcelona so much more when I am back in CA. That city really does hold a special place in my heart. I feel like I am under a love spell.

But although Spain is so beautiful and I enjoyed it a lot when I wasn´t working, it´s time to come home. Although I could live in Spain without any problems forever if I choose, I don´t really feel like I would be going anywhere.

I know that I am gonna look back on these memories that I have and give anything to relive them. Luckily, I am a young, single woman withoutso much as even a plant to look after. At least now I can take comfort in the fact that I can come back and do it all again or experience other countries if I want to. It´s all up to me.

Anyways, gotta go now.