domenica 19 ottobre 2014

What I've learned from Italy: Guest Post!

Spaghetti. It's that wriggly, delicious pasta that's synonymous with the comforting culture of Italy; It also seems to be the key design element in Italy’s traffic systems.

I am Daniel, your guest blogger! And I’ve just returned from an awesome European adventure. I learned many new things in my trip to Italy and here I'll be dropping a few of my lessons as experienced throughout my own journey in the North of the boot.

  • Sometimes, Italians eat ice-cream as a meal. Sometimes, they eat it after their actual meal. Doesn’t matter, had ice-cream.

  • Roundabouts are like octopi. They don’t have standard exits. Exiting is like playing roulette with your car. Although, not large they’re still very confusing to people from distant lands.
  • Speed limits (and also indicators) are just suggestions. In Italy, what they call normal at 170km/h is what Australians call 6 demerit points, suspension of license and full car impoundment.
  • Different police sectors care only about their own sector. Eg: Italian finance police on the street: “Oh what’s that? A Giulietta going 100km over the speed limit? None of our business as long as they pay their taxes."
  • Running anything but a Vespa would be expensive. The last petrol station I saw was around 1.77 Euro/L.
  • Castles, churches and ruins are everywhere. Modern Italians are all literally neighbouring historical sites... And tourists *cough cough*!

  • There is a different accent or dialect every 5 metres. Not really. But pretty close to that.
"Are they your people? From the North?”
“No! They’re from Bologna. Listen to that accent!”
“Isn’t that sorta North?”
“They'd like to think so but they're not even close to Winterfell”
  • All your pizza or bruschetta are belong to you. Italians don’t share pizza. You slice it into pieces to make it easier for you to eat, not to share. Go away.

  • You don’t leave Italy the same weight you arrived with. I’m not talking about your suitcase either. The food is too good. If you have family or friends there who cook, you’re not going anywhere without two full stomachs and indigestion.
Pro tip: Don’t tell them how hungry you are out of 10. It’s a trap! They’ll feed you your own weight in food, multiplied by the number you answered. And then take you to ice-cream.

domenica 12 ottobre 2014

May the fork be with you

On saturday I finally convinced myself to stop worrying about duties and to take a proper day off with a daily trip do Bologna together with some lovely girls. Autumn calls for seasonal lolita meet-up! *yay*

We went for a stroll in the traffic-free city centre, where we were stopped every minute by someone asking about the fashion, or taking picutres of us, until we were the ones asking for pics with the official Star Wars cosplay group!

I forgot how to loli, hence the lack of accessories. Don't write me a secret pls >.<

Lolita meetings usually include tea/dessert related activities. But not in Italy I'm afraid! Our visiting friend from the UK (she is a Winterfell fellow too!) learned it when she had to sit at the restaurant and eat for about 2 hours ;)

Appetiser: boards of italian cheeses (yes, plural) and ham, salami, bacon, and anything meaty that could be sliced.

Main course: we could help ourselves to three types of pasta, not photogenic, but absolutely tasty. Welcome to Italy.

Dessert: choice of chocolate cake, fruit with liquor, and other sweet things I didn't hear after the waiter mentioned "warm pear cake with cinnamon and custard"

Group picture!

I am aware that the background doesn't look the best, but that's how Bologna looks like when you walk away from the main streets into the real city. Nonetheless I'm glad we could take a picture all together, even with the loli mamas! 

As I mentioned in some previous posts, I used to be a full-time lolita, which means I wore frilly dresses and had nice hair and matching accessories everyday. I stopped since I left for my year abroad mostly because of space issues in my suitcase and because, believe it or not, people tend to make fun and avoid lolitas. I figured the language and cultural barrier would be hard enough for an Italian in a British college, let's not make things worse adding head-eating bows and cupcake skirts!

martedì 7 ottobre 2014

Walk like you have three men walking behind you

I wanted to post another empowering style quote and I came across this picture on Tumblr which at first sounded pretty cool, I mean, models do walk like they have a crowd just looking at them *duh* but on second thought if I had three men walking behind me I'd probably take my phone out, dial 911 (I dont even know which is the Italian number for emergencies but let's assume this is not the point) and start running! 

On third thought, this is not empowering at all! And all the 'blame it on the victim' topic of the past months keep buzzing in my head. So walk however you prefer girl, you are not a sex object on legs. And if there's some hot guy nearby feel free to catcall him. After all, isn't it an innocent form of compliment?


giovedì 2 ottobre 2014

5 reasons why you need a nude beauty product

This wants to be an ironic post on why you (meaning myself) absolutely need a makeup product that is apparently nude. Comment if you can relate ;)

The said product for me is Mac paint pot in Soft Ochre, permanent collection, no need to rush to the closest store. You can walk normally.

  • The reviews
You know your beauty gurus, and they know their job. If they use a makeup product, you put it on your wishlist. If they say that product is phenomenal, you don't question it. You get it! 

  • The brand
Getting ready to go to the store, walking in, knowing exactly what you want. Talking to the shop assistant like you've known each other for ages and you share the same secrets. Walking out with the brand new packaging in the shiny shopping bag.

  • The swatches
It's sooo not the same colour of your skin. It's your skin but better. Nothing similar to that so-called dupe you bought, and has a different undertone compared to the other one you had for a while.

  • The haul
It's not consumerism. It's indulging in well-deserved pampering. Plus there's the "introducing the new arrival to the old products" process: organising your battlestation according to the season colours, placing the new item in the 'easy to reach' area, and getting rid of the empties. 

  • Spreading the word
Reviews, instagram attack, favourites of the month, and so on.
Or maybe not...

Dinsey knows best

domenica 28 settembre 2014

What I've learned from London

  • Mind the gap. Don't mind the Italians
As we all know by now, Italians are everywhere. You are walking down Carnaby Street and you notice the not-so-subtle tone and gesturing of a whole group of Italians. It doesn't have to be London, Berlin and Paris are not immune to this either!

  • When in doubt, use the GPS
I am an old school nerd so I went to London using my Moleskine-London edition. I used it also 4 years ago and I was sure enough street didn't move around ;) But apparently I tend to get lost around train stations! Thank you GPS.

  • If it's summer wear sunglasses, a sweater, and bring an umbrella aswell
I was ready for summer but, boy, was I wrong... I havent bought so many sweaters and cardigans since my Erasmus year at the Wall. Also beware the rainy trees!

  • High teas / Afternoon teas
If you check online you will also find some handy discount for afternoon teas in the area of your choice. I picked a fancy Hotel in the city *and I will tell you more in a specific post*

  • Primark defeats the belief that men are stronger than women
I wish I took a picture of this scene: staircase (I wasn't aware of their existence in the store) full of boys sitting down with bags, looking at each other like 
" 'Sup brah" 
*wipes sweat from forehead*
"I feel ya" 
*both take phone out*

  • The Harry Potter (Warner Bros) Studios
The studios are only 20 minutes away! For all the Potterheads out there, book your tickets now!! *shout out to all Ravenclaws!*

  • Pub crawl tours
Before this summer I didn't even know they existed. It's like a guided tour mixed with a pub crawl. You meet up at a pub and start bar hopping with other people in your same situation (tourists, people that just moved to the city, etc). Good thing is that the group skips lines and you get free drinks in every pub. Whey aye!!

mercoledì 24 settembre 2014

And those who were seen dancing

Pretty cool quote huh? It has a deep philosophical meaning but even without knowing Nietzsche's theory we can say that everyone is someone else's weirdo, but some have more fun!