Monika’s Musings

miscellaneous tidbits on marketing, advertising, and life in general

Познах ви аз

March30

Една моя приятелка, която пише чудесно, но за съжаление само офлайн, ми разказа следната история, която намирам за страшно чаровна и искам да споделя с вас:

Така се случва тази година, че в началото на месец март тя е в Берлин заедно с нейна приятелка. Разхождат се наоколо, разглеждат града (който много ги впечатлява, btw, май е време и аз да намина), не обръщат много внимание на хората около тях и си бъбрят на български.

Изведнъж моята приятелка се сепва, тъй като някой я дръпва за ръката. Изненадата й е още по-голяма, когато се обръща и вижда напълно непозната възрастна дама, която видимо се вълнува много от нещо. Озадаченият поглед от страна на нашите хора е посрещнат от въпорс, зададен на развален български със силен дойч акцент:

- Вие от България сте?

- Ъхъ …

- Познах ви аз!! Защото имате … МАРТЕНИШОК!

A good one

March6

In Bulgaria one can always spot the “new money” folks. The ones who became really rich, but somehow without working to gain their wealth. The quick-cash people who live like they are immortal and superior to everyone else.  Seems like they’re preoccupied with this very thought – that you should notice them. All the time. They always have to have the newest, the most expensive, the most flashy cars and gadgets. They talk about them loudly – just in case you have supernatural powers and failed to notice them and their shiny stuff. Bottom line: they are obnoxious and annoying. But for some reason a lot of “regular” people are awestruck when faced with this form of homo sapiens. I, on the contrary, am fascinated by the quiet and modest wealthy people; the ones who do not identify with their money alone, but actually have a lot of interesting stories to tell you if you’re there to listen. 

And since today is a nice sunny day which seems to call for story sharing, here’s one of my favorite stories:

A few years ago, a couple of us were in Brussels for a friend’s wedding. Since the wedding wedding was scheduled for a couple of months later, we were there – just a few friends – for the “official” part.  At night, when the formal program was over, we went to a bar in one of the nicer hotels in Brussels with the newlyweds and the bride’s father. From what I know, the dad could have easily bought the hotel if he wanted to. Come to think of, he may have actually owned it. I had never met him before this day but I knew of him: he started from scratch and did really well for himself – he was one of the most respected and wealthiest businessmen in the city. To add to that, he was one of the kindest and most modest people I had ever come across and also an adoring father. When we sat down in the bar, the waiter obviously recognized him and flew to our table to take the order. The conversation went like this:

Awestruck waiter: Good evening, Sir. What shall it be, Sir.
Supercool dad: And a good evening to you. A cognac, please.
Awestruck waiter: Yes, Sir. What kind of cognac, Sir? [he was Sir-ing way too much, I tell ya]
Supercool dad: A good one.
Awestruck waiter: For you, Sir, I have the very best cognac, Sir.
Supercool dad: No, not the best one, thank you. A good one. 

I was so impressed, I will remember this story for as long as I live.

Fighting additctions

March2

It was about time [blah blah blah] … it’s bad for your health [yada yada yada] … there are many reasons I could quote, but none of them would be true. The truth is: I got a bad bronchitis, had to go to a lung specialist and got a little freaked out while waiting in front of the doctor’s office. So I figured that coughing my guts out might be as good a reason as any to take a shot at quitting smoking. Not that I really wanted to (quite the contrary: I love smoking).

Today is day 16 and I have only smoked two cigarettes (which don’t count) – one on day 7 and one on day 12. So here are a couple of observations without the obvious health-related cliches:

Pluses:

1 ) I have so much more time on my hands. Seriously, it’s ridiculous. On average, a cigarette took up five minutes to smoke. With a pack a day that adds up to an hour and 40 minutes. All this time is now freed up for other activities.

2 ) My perfume smells much nicer than I already thought it did. All the way through the evening.

3 ) I need to go to the ATM a lot less often than before.

4 ) I feel a certain sense of freedom.

5 ) Walking through all of IKEA or a similar-sized store does not bother me anymore. Before I could only stand about two sections and then I wanted out – to have a cigarette.

6 ) The thought “I don’t smoke” is a actually a nice one, if it manages to squeeze itself in between gimmeacigarettegimmeacigarettegimmeacigarettegimmeacigarettegimmeacigarette
gimmeacigarettegimmeacigarettegimmeacigarette. Still does not happen very often…

7 ) It is easier to be seated in a restaurant without waiting.

8 ) I actually eat less. Because you know that false sense that you get that a cigarette is like a digestive? Now that I don’t have it, I don’t eat as much so that I wouldn’t get a heavy feeling.

9 ) The constant fear is gone. Well, almost.

Minuses:

1 ) Waiting. People and public transportation in Bulgaria are always late. I never really liked waiting, but it was so much easier with a cigarette.

2 ) I feel like I should talk more. A cigarette is such a good excuse to be quiet, to sit back, relax and mind your won business without appearing anti-social.

3 ) Work breaks. Smoking breaks are legit. Back when I used to work in pubs, people actually started smoking, so they could have a break during the shift. No manager ever questioned a bartender who took a cigarette break, but if you just wanted to sit down on a chair and do nothing for five minutes – that was not acceptable. It is not much different in the corporate world.

4 ) I am finding it extremely hard to concentate at work.  Reading an A4 page is quite a challenge. Less now, but during the first week it was practically impossible.

5 ) Writing is even tougher than reading. For some reason, I write much better while smoking. Regardless of what I am writing – an e-mail, a blog post, a research paper or something for work. I feel that my talent lied in heavy nicotine consumption.

6 ) I miss my lighter. I have a gorgeous pink Givenchy metal lighter which stays at home now.

7 ) I get very nervous in bars.

8 ) All of the above can be summarized as: I REALLY miss it. And it is very very hard. One in every three thoughts is “I want a cigarette SO badly”. And that’s an improvement: the first three days that was every single one of my thoughts. I honestly do not recall any of the conversations with people from this time.

Funny observations:

1 ) The habit lies in purely physical routines as well. For example, Vesko and I have a Saturday morning tradition: he wakes up earlier than me, bakes croissants and brings up a gorgeous breakfast tray with which he wakes me up (am I the luckiest girl in the world, or what?). So I’d get up, pick up my tea mug and go to the window to have a cigarette. This past Saturday, without thinking, I did the same thing and just started laughing when I suddenly found myself standing by the window thinking “I don’t need to be here”.

2 ) I have to “manually” correct my train of thought when it runs on “automatic”. For example there is this monthly meeting at work which I really don’t enjoy going to, because it is long, completely outside my competences and therefore boring for me. It was this week and when I got the Outlook reminder my thoughts ran like this: “Oh, yuck. This meeting again. I have to go down early and smoke at least two cigarettes. Wait a minute. I don’t do that anymore. Crap. Now what?”

3 ) Besides cigarettes, for some reason, I am constantly craving cheese sandwiches. Go figure.