Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pretty Things: Munich

Oh Munich is a dream! Some snippets...

Going the Distance.

There aren't a lot of legit movie choices in Germany for rental. More than I thought there would be, but our options were limited to either bad B level action films or Going the Distance. Which I wanted to see anyway, but just as a nice happy throw away film on a weekday night at home with a bottle of wine and some school prep going on simultaneously. Anyway, I watched this with Rachel and her boyfriend and I must say I laughed a lot...and was then smacked again with the reality of how tough the next 5 months are going to be for me and PAG. Oddly, I am in the exact same situation as Drew in the movie (except a mere 3 hour time change and 5 hour plane ride has NOTHING on a 9 hour time change and 12 hour plane ride...just saying). I have this amazing job opportunity here that and I LOVE that would continue in the coming years, I would get to live abroad and would even get a chance at my dream career as an art teacher at the school. Its not so easy to just walk away from that.

I guess its a little different though since all of my friends and family and culture are back with PAG too...but still. Giving up a career and "dreams" for someone isn't exactly easy. Literally, this eternal question of whether to stay another year or to come home in July constantly wears on me. PAG has specifically told me he doesn't want me to come home just for him, and just like in the stupid movie, he doesn't ever want me to be unhappy at home and resent him after awhile.

But I have to say that being with Rachel has made me miss my real home quite a bit more. I am excited to go back to Bratislava-which I just called 'home' in my head which is weird- to go back to work, get my warmer clothes (SO not prepared for the cold front here in Munich)...etc. But I see her with her boyfriend and miss mine. And I feel so at home around her and dread going back to being surrounded by people who will just never know me like my girls do. Who I have nothing but work in common with.

I forgot that feeling. Where your heart is at home. 

Something in my heart keeps telling me to just wait. That soon I will miss home so much on top of missing PAG that the choice will be obvious.

But what if it isn't?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Neighborhood?

Yesterday our receptionist took me to see a flat she found for me within my budget and OH MAN it was SO nice!!! One bedroom with brand new everything and a balcony looking into this little courtyard. It was furnished nicely and even the bedspread and pictures on the walls were cute. 

The neighborhood was pretty fancy, I was VERY impressed. And I just walk out of my building and can get italian food, chinese, pizza, and there is a nice grocery store. OR I can just walk down the hill and will keep hitting restaurant after restaurant. Its in the old city! Its my dream! Plus I would be right around the corner from the castle in the city center! The one in all the Bratislava pictures! 

This is the one I snapped while waiting for the bus last weekend, just to the right of it is my apartment!

While waiting for the owner to come show the apartment, we just walked around the corner to snap this little picture. Can you imagine?!

Well, I told her I wanted it and she even said the school could arrange to have me move in asap. But then I asked to make sure she remembered I only want to have a lease until July, "How long is the lease then?"
"oh a year. A year."


So once I am back from Munich I will ask her about it. Keep our fingers crossed!

Loving Munich by the way, taking lots of pictures for a few big updates once I can get myself to bed before 3am. Yes, thats right, Munich is FUN.

Harper Lane

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Life.

The following images basically depict my daily life.

Today we learned about the 5 senses and I mixed coffee, chocolate, and jasmin oil into different colored paint. Then we finger painted a big roll of butcher paper. Oh, it was lovely. And finally our classroom smelled nice instead of like stinky butt kids. Of course the kids had it all over their noses from smelling the paint and we had to keep reminding them to stop trying to taste it, they're too funny. I just laugh and laugh all day at my job!

And then walking to work in the snow everyday is just a dream. It just keeps on snowing and snowing and I cant get enough. Some pretty pictures of where I work and what I get to look at everyday...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why Do We Do It?

I have been feeling bloaty and gross lately and could see it in my face and belly every time I looked in the mirror. But instead of just giving myself a break because, um HELLO we just had Christmas, I've been under a ton of stress moving across the world and starting a new job as a first year teacher, and am in a new place where not only do carbs and chocolate rule the world but BEER is only 1euro and so tasty! Instead I've been disgusted every time I look in the mirror, talk crap about myself all day in my head, and then post underneath icky looking pictures of myself on my blog rude comments about my weight. Initially I had thought that people would see the pictures and think "dang she gained so much weight!" so I was making snarky comments in order to preemptively strike...but then Melissa rightly "yelled" at me over gchat. I am being ridiculous.

But I have to ask myself, as women, why do we do this to ourselves? I even have a man who would love it if my ass was bigger, but I still get into these ruts where I feel awful about myself. And my clothes still fit perfectly fine and after a few days of no beer and less carbs I am feeling fine again and my face and puff have gone down. My room mates even keep telling me I'm whats the deal?

One word: Crazy.

So I am trying not to be such a weirdo. And embrace the forced amounts of fat looking layers brought on upon by the lovely snow. And just be.

But damn, being a girl is tough sometimes.


The longer I stay here, the more I never want to leave.

I am just buzzing around my job, the city, and with my new semi friends and loving it. Especially my job...I just love every moment of everyday. I have basic themes and lesson ideas to follow, but can totally do my own thing and its just...everything I've ever wanted. Plus, with the new management thats coming in - there are serious and really amazing changes happening to the school. Areas where I was iffy about in the beginning in regards to the school, are being changed dramatically for the better. I just heard yesterday that I am probably going to get to take on their after school arts program! Either visual or dramatic arts or both. I mean really...I'm living abroad in this fantastic city teaching at an up and coming British school with the cutest kids EVER. I am just so happy all day!!!

Well of course a part of me misses my family, the sunshine, friends, burritos, English, etc...but I just keep remembering how unhappy I was there. How there are NO jobs. How much my family drives me crazy when I live with them. How most of my friends don't even really live there anymore anyway. How boring everywhere besides downtown is.

But mostly I just miss my PAG. I can deal with missing the other things, especially when I get to come home for so long over Christmas and summer. But missing him is like this constant dull ache in my chest. When I hang up after talking to him for 2 hours I get all teary and upset and just lay in my bed and mope. I just don't know how to balance my life. Do I stay and work this amazing job and live abroad for another year? Or go home to my lover but have to live at home and attempt the job market again?

I don't need to make a decision until April so I have time. But its just really hard.

Where is Natalie Imbruglia when I need her to sing back up?

In my heart, love always wins out, but in reality after the butterflies fade away will I be unhappy back at home possibly just working at Starbucks?

Oh man, my life.

N is for Necktie.

I dont know if your aware, but my class is SO MUCH more fun than yours. 

We painted our bodies yesterday and then learned and added organs today...

And of course, no letter N unit would be complete without a professional necktie. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Out in Bratislava...

Some of us out...poor roomie can never keep her eyes open in pictures, too funny. 

FINALLY I got to go out last night with new friends and the roomies here in my new city. And I have to say, I had a fantastic time! Don't know if I can say the same for some of the other girls there...but more on that later.

We met up at an Irish pub right in the old city center and got dinner (menus in English! Yay!) and drinks with everyone...around midnight we decided to venture to a Moroccan hookah bar down the street too. So we smoked some hookah (cue coughing myself to sleep) and talked and I had another drink and it was just dreamy. I haven't smoked hookah since I was in Berlin a few years ago, I forgot how awesome it is. Except the coughing myself to sleep part...tender little lungs. AND then we took the night bus home (which runs all night, thanks:) which left the city a little after 1a and the bus was PACKED. I just love Euro cities!!!

I am not totally sure what the deal is with some of the girls here, but for some reason there is this weird clique and gossip fest that goes on every time they all hang out. And I say "they" even though I am present...because I really don't feel like I am even there. Nobody asks me about myself and when I do talk about something no one seems to really care. In fact, I sense they dont even like me that much. Two girls in particular send off one of those "Im better then you and dont have to wear make up or dress cutely to prove it, so Im just going to look like this and think your weird for dressing up" vibes. Which gets really old really quickly. Tonight was the merging of the gossip clique with the English couple that they always talk shit on. I got the sense they weren't really looking forward to hanging out with the English couple and have told me so many stories and not so nice things about them...but seriously, every time I hang out with them I have the nicest time! FINALLY some people to talk about good music with, psychology, travel, ANYTHING BESIDES SCHOOL. And they like going out and having a good time while gossip clique just like to sit around and watch movies and eat dinner. This is not to say the English couple won't show their true colors one of these days...but I think I would like to make my own decision about them. And there is something to be said about the fact that when you get 5 people together talking shit about 2 people constantly...exaggeration, overly excessive venting, and bitching ensues.

Hence another reason why I think I would like to move into my own place. I could spend time with whoever I wanted, make new friends outside of my room mates and people I work with (hopefully), and would be away from the constant talk about work or gossip which is driving me crazy. Plus, its really difficult to talk about your room mates and work mates to friends back home when you all live together...and they can hear you in your room...Im too old for this crap.

But until then, I finally made it to Ikea and am dedicating the day to getting it fixed up accordingly. 100euros well spent.

Harper Lane

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pretty Things: James.

Oh, James Dean. You woo me on this fine Saturday in Slovakia.

Flat Update

First of all, I apologize again for being a failure of a blogger and not posting very much lately. But seriously, I am working SO much at this new job and trying to get settled, make new friends, and stay in contact with everyone back home. I am just exhausted all the time. But I am trying. At least every weekend you will get a good update until I get my schedule fine tuned. 

Sooooo I was talking to our new director last night who was in shock that we lived so far away from the city center, its 20min by bus, but we have a little town of sorts around us with grocery stores, bars, a gym, cafe, nice restaurant, etc. I told him that when I came I asked to be in the city center and our HR girl (who recently got let go, ahem) said that either I could live alone not in the city center, or where I am now with friends but also not in the city center. So I asked him if thats true, and he said absolutely not. That I could totally live in the city center somewhere and to just ask the receptionist to find something for me. So I am thinking of moving...

I would have to live alone, which seemed unappealing at first, but now that I know the city better and am much more independent then I was even when I first told them where I wanted to live a few months ago, and have seen the other apartments that are all brand new inside and SUPER is sounding more and more awesome. Plus, after a long ass day I find I dont always want to hang out with anyone. A lot of nights I just hit the gym, make dinner, and sit in my room and work more or talk to friends online. I would probably get an apartment much more modern and would be able to walk and be at any amount of cafes, restaurants, malls, and cultural places. I think I'd get to meet cool new people too...still having a hard time connecting with anyone at work or my roomies. For instance, they have now seen both The Social Network and Black Swan and didn't like either of them. Plus, they continue to play this horrible music around the house, talk SO MUCH about work and school, one of them has a boyfriend here who makes me sad because I miss my PAG, and we just have nothing in common. We get along fine, no issues there...but whats so appealing about living on the outskirts of a city in an old outdated apartment with 2 roomies your only eh about? So maybe Ill ask about it on Monday. Even though I know my parents are going to FREAK OUT about the idea of me living alone. But this is seriously the safest city I have been to in all of my travels, I feel safer here then even Paris or Rome. Ill be fine. 

Anyway, we are supposed to venture to Ikea today...but I think I may end up going alone since its already 1p and none of us have emerged from our pajamas yet. 

Here are some photos of the progress on my flat so far...

This table and chairs are probably my favorite things we have. They are so cute! I added the flower and we are going to get a cute new table cloth for it too.  

Most days the back of our kitchen looks like this. It sucks. We want to get pretty curtains to cover it with. 

My room in progress. I just need a new duvet/sheet set, curtains, and a mirror. 

I'd like to get something to go under the strings of post cards too. Hoping to find a lovely poster of sorts in Vienna when I get the chance to go. 

But now I am wondering if I should even bother redecorating and just move to a new place thats already cute and modern? hmm...

But for now I HATE so many aspects of my room that its driving me crazy! I miss my pretty stuff at home I've collected over the years. This is why I want it to be awesome when I get back to my room here each night so I like it here and don't just miss home half the time.

Thoughts? Ideas? 

Love from Slovakia,
Harper Lane

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Took this today of my little dolls who were all excited because they had dance class today after school. Please try and visualize little German 5 year olds being taught to dance by a big slovak man. 

Just had the talk.

And that just happened.

After a year of being told the reasons why the EX (Number 2) didn't want to be called my boyfriend...
I finally found a real man who when I asked said, "well of course you are".

Done and Done.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my life?

Pretty Things: Paris Catacombs

Speaking of Paris...

My dear friend Melissa sent me this photo expo on the amazing catacombs of Paris. I've heard of them before but never like this! Beautiful stuff you can view more of here.


Harper Lane

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Goal in Life.

To get PAG to meet me in Paris for a long weekend in April.

I. Would. Seriously. DIE.

Too bad tickets are like $900 and my man is a bit of a poor student...

But we'll see if I can make some magic happen.

I do have quite the ass that works well and luring men.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pretty Things: The Little Canoe

Oh I just love Etsy! Everyday is like Christmas!

Thank you thelittlecanoe for making such beautiful prints. I just swoon for them.

Pretty Things for a Pretty Sunday.

Today was a GORGEOUS day in Bratislava, Slovakia. Not a cloud in the sky and in the 50s so you only needed a light jacket. I had big plans to sleep in, clean the apartment, make a pot of beans for the week, and maybe craft. But instead I accidentally woke up early and lazed about with my windows open and the sweet succulent sun drenching my body, then ventured to the store down the street to get a few groceries I forgot I needed for the beans. All of Bratislava was out with their kids and dogs enjoying the sunshine- it was precious. However, my sparkly shirt drew a lot of attention while walking to the store, it was kind of funny.

After I got my groceries I spent the day in and out of the kitchen making the beans, catching up on my blog reading, cleaning the apartment, and then napping. Twas a perfect Sunday indeed.

An Evening in Slovakia...

Oh thank God its the weekend again.

This week was tough trying to adjust to the new job, people, place, and TIME CHANGE.  I am finding it hard to really connect with anyone here...I literally have NOTHING in common with anyone and it makes me a little sad. I miss my girls and the lover back home...but I keep having to remind myself that all of my friends "back home" aren't even really there anyway. We've all scattered about the globe and now its my turn to scatter. 

I will be glad when I have my room finished as somewhere suitable to live in, then my weekends won't be filled with trips to Tesco to buy hangers...and coffee mugs...and trash cans. But for now, it was another fun filled Saturday at Tesco. Both room mates and our two other work mates had to go so we all ventured together the 30min packed bus THE MOST AMAZING HOT CHOCOLATE EVER!!! from a cafe there, then attempted to get the things we needed weaving in and out of the rest of Bratislava that goes there on Saturdays. Then you pack it all up, whatever you can carry, and wait in the rain for the bus, then take the packed bus 30min back to your apartment where after unloading its high time for a nap. This is what Im saying, Tesco is an event. Its funny to try and balance all of the things you bought on the crowded bus too...Jackie had a new broom and mop for the apt plus 2 bags...I had two bags with fragile things in them plus a box of hangers, etc. 

After we rested a bit, Christina (one of my room mates) and I ventured to the city center to meet up with some awkward work associates from the school for someones birthday. OH MAN our city is the cutest EVER! There is a big promenade with fountains and cafes and statues and bars and just everything I could ever want for my city! The opera house and what I think is city hall were just gorgeous, and so cute with ice skating rinks set up around them. The birthday thing was at the cutest coffee shop EVER, of which Starbucks pastries SUCK compared to anything I saw there, so we just chatted with the strange people and hung out awhile. Other friends were supposed to meet up with us for drinks...but we are all STILL not used to the time change and work schedule and everyone was tired, so Christina and I just got a quick dinner and then ended up back home around 11p. 

I tried to take some pictures, but its dark and we were walking so they pretty much suck. But they will at least serve as a sneak peek of more daylight and spring time adventures to come!

 My 1 euro delicious beer from Friday night!!! I love cheap Europe!

The hot chocolate here is like pudding! Its SO amazing and creamy and delicious. They have a sweet cafe at Tesco where we chatted before exhausting ourselves shopping. 


Just snapped this really quick while waiting for our bus...someday I will see you up close and in the day light, I promise.

Fatty walking across the beautiful bridge from Au Park (awesome mall) to the old city center. 
Thats the Danube river. 

Beautiful statue welcoming you into the promenade...

Opera House we all want to go see something at before we go home, probably my favorite thing Ive seen so far. Besides all the castle ruins of course. 

The vegetarian got herself a much loved and missed chicken shwarma. 
BEST ONE IVE HAD YET! And a whopping 2.70euro. 
Behind me is a pretty fountain and to the left they were ice skating in front of 
this big pretty building I couldn't quite capture- but I love it here!