“We was robbed.”

Losing is bad enough. Losing everything or having it taken from you is like going to bed in the evening and covering yourself with a comfortable duvet, dreaming of a good night’s sleep, only to wake up in the middle of the night to the harrowing sounds of a tornado that has snatched the four walls from around you and the house from underneath you. You wake up on a pile of rubble watching the remains of your home blown in the wind.

Should you breathe? Should you check if you’re ok? Should you run after what’s been blown up and try to save at least some precious items? Should you even allow yourself to cry? Or should you make a plan to pull it back together? First.

It’s a “real” shitty feeling, as they say back in New York.

Williamsburg state of mind.

It’s not walking down Bedford Avenue and trying out the different coffee shops and restaurants. There’s a different post for that.

It’s jogging down Kent Avenue all the way down past the Newton Barge Terminal Playground (which I know by name because I have just looked it up on Maps).

I’m listening to music.

And because it is winter, it is New York and I am feeling very “I-feel-like-taking-a-jab-at-you” (whoever you happen to be), the song of choice and on repeat is “What a feeling” by Irene Cara. And “Eye of the tiger”, of course.

Inside the cage @MMA.

I didn’t think I would find cage fighting interesting, but I did. My friend got tickets to an event in Atlantic City in February and we drove there for the day. We mainly went to see her kickboxing coach fight for the championship title. His fight was 10th in a set of 12.

I thought I was going to end up biting my nails and rolling my eyes of boredom for three hours waiting for him to fight, but there was no time for such a thing. The moment the first fight started, fighters getting in the ring, squad and all, jabs, crosses, leg kicks, knock-outs and submissions, I was hooked.

There is something instinctive and primal about two men fighting in a cage that immediately glues you in. It goes beyond sheer adrenaline and appeals to your survival instincts. Looking at the guys fighting, you are not necessarily a spectator as much as someone whose need to survive and walk out of that cage alive has been stirred and triggered and you respond accordingly.

I think this is one of the reasons MMA has become so popular. It is very easy to see yourself in the fighters’ shoes. At the end of the day, the only thing that separates you from them is a cage net.

 

Rules of Engagement.

I like long holidays by the beach and endless walks across London, New York and the world’s different towns and cities, so that I can feel their pace and get to know them; the magic of a well-lit boulevard and the seclusion of a hidden, noiseless street; the scent of freshly ground coffee, brown chocolate made with lush vegan ingredients and grilled seafood ideally served by the sea.

I like making my own food and enjoying it at home, although it is always interesting to discover the world’s cuisines and the places that serve it.

I like getting up in the morning and spending half an hour in bed with an interesting book and I like falling asleep with my window open and feeling the breeze.

I like summer days and nights and the humidity of summer heat, although I have recently discovered that low temperatures alert my instincts in a unique way.

I like walking into a room and thinking that everyone’s eyes are secretly paying attention and a couple of other things that I will not write about on a public domain.

enough.

I have recently returned from a trip back home. True to the promise I had made to myself (and to some others) ahead of travelling there, I used some of my time to de-clutter my parents’ apartment.

I managed to get through most the possessions I had stored in the bedroom and that I had gathered during my student and high school years, mostly books, clothes and other items.

Going through those things one at a time revived all the years I had spent living and studying in my parents’ apartment and in Bucharest. A period of about 13 years played in my mind. Every English grammar book took me back to secondary school or high school, when I delved deep into the language. Every novel reminded me of reading lists I had in high school. Class notes and coursework reminded me of literature and language classes at the School of Foreign Languages, as well as of the more economics-focused classes I attended at the school where I studied for my second degree.

Pieces of jewellery I had left at home when I moved to London in 2011 reminded me of their existence, the times that I used to wear them, and also of the fact that it was time to let some of them go.

A wardrobe full of clothes I used to wear in high school, at university or that I had been sending back home made me think that you can tell a person’s life story through the clothes that they have worn or still wear and the circumstances in which they have done so. It also made me think that I (may) have spent too much money on clothes up to this point in time and that, as people, we are in danger of gathering too many objects as time passes.

I felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I had left behind. The thought made me renew my commitment to stop buying and bringing so many things into my life and to continue de-cluttering on a constant basis both where I am at the moment (London) as well as whenever I go back home. I am not sure I will be able to get my mom to see things from my point of view, but I think it is worth the try.

Perfumes I Heart.

Perfumes I Heart.

Elixir des Merveilles (Hermes). This one is great during the summer. It is elegant, fresh and it feels rich.

Jo Malone (Lime Basil & Mandarin). I love the mystery behind it. I first found it through someone that I used to live with. It creates a sense of attraction and want and I immediately felt I had to have it.

Pure Poison (Christian Dior). My all-time favourite perfume, I like to wear it best in the winter. The cold air brings to life its more subdued tones and the perfume can be felt in all of its richness.

Interesting alternatives: CK One; Be Delicious DKNY; L’Eau par Kenzo; Play (Givenchy); Un Jardin sur le Nil (Hermes).