Story Time

My First (Real) Snow Day

I don’t know about you but seeing snow falls relaxes me. I’ve always loved the purity that is snow. No matter on what it falls, snow looks the same. A clear white blanket on all the ugly. I really can’t get over on how beautiful snow is. So imagine my happiness when I saw snow fall for the first time in person. When I heard that there will be snow over the weekend I thought a few snowflakes will fall but nothing massive but instead the snow came with a surprise with big and heavy snowflakes. I’m so happy right now because not only did I get one snow day, I got two right after each other. It was beautiful and so much fun!

On Sunday morning I woke up with a message from my cousin, the one who lives in England. It was snowing in England and he asked if we had any snow. I jumped up and ran to the window. There was light snow but nothing that exciting. I felt very disappointed. Where was my thick snow? So I begrudgingly went back to bed and spend two hours watching series. Eventually I got up for a bathroom pit stop and that’s when it caught my eye. Big heavy snow flakes falling. White covered everything. It was snowing! Real movie ready snow! I squealed and jumped up and down in front of the window in excitement. I immediately took photos for my parents and before they could reply I was calling them. First my mom whom then decided right there and then that instead of visiting me here in the Netherlands in the summer she is going to come in the winter. I chuckled a little because my mom is not known for her tolerance against the cold. I really can’t wait for the day my mom comes over to see my new home. I can only wish it will snow during her visit. After the two minute call, I dialed my dad who was just as pleased with the snow. Although he was very adamant that I should go outside and really enjoy it. I didn’t have to be told twice. I never dressed so quickly in my life.

The cold air that blew over my face when I opened my front door brought me more joy that I could ever imagine. I’m not exactly a cold blooded person. I’m the person who constantly complains that it’s cold and would rather stay inside and soak up the warmth. I basically embrace the hobbit inside of me. But this time around I didn’t want to turn around and go back in. I wanted to play around in the snow and that’s what I did. I danced. I made snow balls. I made a snow angel although, in the moment and the shock of how cold the snow was all over my body, I forgot to do my feet. I laughed so much. I destroyed Onno’s snowman because running through it was so much fun. It truly was so much fun. I love the snow. I even came to the conclusion that even though I was cold, I couldn’t care less because of how beautiful the snow is. I dare to even say that I wouldn’t mind living in a snowy country. Yes, the person who complains about a cold wind and loves being in the sun actually uttered those words. I even told Onno that one day I want to spend a week in a snow cabin with no internet connection. Oh that sounds so romantic. I really love the snow!

Day two in my snow experience I was out and about. My experience wasn’t unpleasant in any means but it could’ve gone wrong for me quite easily. So here in the Netherlands there was chaos. We made a new record for the longest time stuck in the traffic in years. I’m so happy I don’t drive here. There was trains delays basically left and right. If a train was running like it was supposed to you would consider yourself lucky. Now most people, those who could, decided to work from home that day. Onno was one of them and it is good that he did otherwise his day would’ve sucked. I will get back to that one in a minute. I had an appointment in Amsterdam that I couldn’t get out of, my visa appointment for England. It’s quite critical that I make the appointment otherwise there is no England trip for me. So Onno spend the morning constantly checking the trains. I left home just before one. My appointment is at three. It took me nearly two hours to get there. Once I got to the final station, I had a five minute walk to the agency. Maps of course didn’t know if I should go left or right and couldn’t understand the concept of a few bridges. It took me a few tries and wrong turns, but I found the place.

There I spend nearly two hours, just waiting. Oh I have to tell you this. It was so cool and impressive. I’m still giving my ninja self a pat on the back. I’m not kidding. The second I could, I told my husband about this because it’s that cool. So there is two rooms at the visa place. The right hand side is the entryway and the left hand side is the desks where they help you. Separating these two rooms is a knee length glass door that swings open into the entryway. So when your appointment is finished, you click on a button and the door swings open and off you go. The entire two hours I sat there the door always opened into the entryway. When it was my turn to leave the door swung the other way around. Before I could hit me, heck before my brain could even process what was happening. I sidestepped it and it missed me. I just casually sidestepped the swinging door before it could hit me. The guard was like wow and another customer was like wow impressive. I felt like a ninja. So fabulous with the reflexes of a cat. I’m seriously still patting myself on the back. I really needed that confidence boost because I’m still blushing from embarrassment at my little Starbucks Dutch blunder. I can’t even get myself to retell that story. Eeeeppppp! Hide me!

When I arrived at the Amsterdam station it was close 5pm, the snow was still going very strong and train delays were everywhere. I’ve never seen so many train delays in my life. Chaos I tell you. There was three possible trains I could take that would take me home, all delayed and it wasn’t clear which one would actually get me home. I took a risk and it paid off. I found a train that will take me straight to Rotterdam Central Station. It’s a long ride, over a hour but I won’t have to transfer anywhere and stand I chance to get stranded. Nope. None of that. Straight sailing for me. Once I got home however Onno informed me on how close I got to being stranded in Amsterdam for the night. The train I took…yeah it was the last one out. If I missed that one I would’ve had a very cold night at the station. I’m counting my lucky stars. If Onno went to work, he also would’ve been stranded.

So although I love the snow, I like being able to go home and enjoy warmth while I watch the snow fall. It’s melting as I’m writing this and I miss it already. Snow is still so beautiful especially if I can share it with my husband.

 

General Life Tips, Story Time

I Got A Present From My Mommy Dearest | NT2 Update

My Thursday morning started with going online and fighting the internet because for some reason it couldn’t open the website or it will shut down once I click on the ‘see results’ tab. I should explain a little. So remember five weeks ago I wrote my NT2 or Dutch as a second language test. It was finally time to see the results and boy could I hardly breathe while waiting for the internet to finally get its shit together. So I clicked enter after putting in my details, closed my eyes and blocked the screen with a piece of paper. After a few minutes I grew a pair and finally checked. Boy did I get a sucker punch. Please give me a few minutes while I rant. Just skip it but also feel free to read because it’s probably entertaining.

What the actual fuck man. I mean I failed the one test (writing) with 8 points. 8 points. Throw a bitch a bone man. I mean 8 points. Now I have to redo the test just to make an extra 8 points. Like come on! 8 points. 492. That’s a lot of points. The worst part is I have no idea where I went wrong. It wasn’t a test I was that worried about afterwards. The only part that made me second guess the success of the test was the two long questions at the end. They asked for 180 words and I gave them 350 easy. It could go two ways. First they only mark the first 180 words and then leave out the rest or mark everything as is. I suspect they only marked the first 180 words. That’s the only way I could lose so many points and fail. I really can’t think of how else I lost those 8 points. It was just really disappointing if I’m upfront with you. I worked really hard and studied my ass off and now I have to redo it again. What a sucker punch.

I failed the speaking test too. It wasn’t a super close call like the writing test but 37 points from passing is still pretty frustrating if you catch my drift. The speaking test is the one that made me panic and I honestly thought I would be lucky if I get half of the stuff correct but then again it still feels pretty disappointed that I failed. I don’t want to fail. I also really don’t want to retake this test. It was fucking horrible. I hated that test so much and now I have to do it again. It just really was a blow and I know it’s not that big and all but it does change my future plans a little bit. I think the worst part outside retaking the test is just how frustrating it. I just really wanted that part of my life behind me but now I have to wait weeks before I can retake the test and then wait weeks for my results. The positive thing is I know exactly what to expect and can properly prepare myself.

The one thing that really worried me was how this could affect my studies. I’ve been trying to start my studies a few years now. I’ve been ready but there is always something that needs to be done that takes months. My studies start in March and hopefully I can still start even though I won’t have all four certificates by the time I start. Oh that’s a messy sentence. All in all. It would have been wonderful if I passed all four tests but there is nothing I can do about it now. I just need to stand up, dust myself off and make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself either. The test isn’t known to be easy and at that point I was probably actively studying Dutch for four  months. I mean this test is for people who are fluent in the language. I was close, 80% fluent so it really just adds to the frustration. But anyway there is nothing I can do about it and after sulking for a few hours I’ve moved on. I will probably make the appointment for the next test this weekend. It takes six weeks so I have time to prepare.

Now let’s move on to the good stuff. So I mentioned my sulking and pity part already but the results couldn’t have came on a better day because today I was expecting a package from my mommy dearest. I went out in the cold and picked up my package, basically sprinted home, died a little carrying the package up four flight of stairs before switching on Facebook Live and digging in. Boy I was like a little kid on a Christmas morning. My mom went all out with this package. All my favorites treats. Three packets of my favorite soft candy in the world. Two bar of chocolates that’s literally heaven. Six packets of rice chips in a flavor that is home and so much more. Speculoos even got some toys and the husband is just as obsessed with his present. It was truly just what I needed to end my day and got me out of my pity party and into a yay I can’t wait to stuff my face party.

I will be honest. Its hard sometimes to be so far away from family and the country that was your home and all you knew for nearly two decades and it will probably always be hard but festive season just takes it up a notch. I get homesick and I wish I can have my family by my side as I celebrate this season but I signed up for this when I made the big move. I will find a way to deal with the homesickness I’m sure but for now I’m just going to feel what I feel and enjoy my time here with my two favorite boys. (Okay I have three but my dad doesn’t even count. I mean he is my dad. He is included.)

Here is the picture of my big present. Quite impressive isn’t it? I’m so happy right now. I already made quite a big dent in it as I’m writing this and you bet your sweet little booty by the time this blog goes online there will be another big dent in it. I can’t wait. I’m going to stuff my face.

IMG-5853

heart-2954170_1280.png

Fitness Tips

Challenge: Sumo Down With 500 Sit Ups In 30 Days (Level 3: Third Wheel)

Do you like a challenge? This is a 30 day challenge where you start with a small amount of sit ups per day and as you get stronger and more dead inside, you push the limits and do even more squats the next day. All the way till you can easily do 500 sit ups.

This is for someone in the third wheel of fitness. So if you’ve been working out for a long time now and really know your way through the gym this is definitely something to space things up for you. It’s a great way to challenge yourself.

Happy Sit Ups! 

500 sit ups 3.png

PS: If you complete or join the challenge use the hashtag #fitcouchpotatochallenge so I can get in touch with you.

Fitness Tips

Challenge: Sumo Down With 150 Sit Ups In 30 Days (Level 2: Middle Child)

Do you like a challenge? This is a 30 day challenge where you start with a small amount of sit ups per day and as you get stronger and more dead inside, you push the limits and do even more squats the next day. All the way till you can easily do 150 sit ups.

This is for the middle child in fitness. So if you’ve been working out for a hot minute and kind of know a thing or a two and just feel like a change than this is definitely something fun for you. It’s a great way to challenge yourself and build your strength.

Happy Sit Ups! 

150 sit ups 2.png

PS: If you complete or join the challenge use the hashtag #fitcouchpotatochallenge so I can get in touch with you.

Fitness Tips

Challenge: Sumo Down With 50 Sit Ups In 30 Days (Level 1: Beginners Luck)

Do you like a challenge? This is a 30 day challenge where you start with a small amount of sit ups per day and as you get stronger and more dead inside, you push the limits and do even more squats the next day. All the way till you can easily do 50 sit ups.

This is for beginners. So if you’re new and just decided to make a change in your life this is definitely something fun for you. It’s a great way to start and build your strength.

Happy Sit Ups! 

50 sit ups 1

PS: If you complete or join the challenge use the hashtag #fitcouchpotatochallenge so I can get in touch with you.

Story Time

Upcoming Travel Plans: I’m Going To England Baby!!

I’m going to England baby! I’m sorry for the repeat but I’m so beyond excited. I’ve been dreaming about going to England ever since I watched the Harry Potter movies. It’s been in so many of my favorite movies that I’m genuinely interested to see it. Now the main place in my dreams is London but I also really want to see the country side and the smaller towns as an entire country isn’t just one city.

So quite out of the blue my cousin who lives in England asked if I would be willing to look after his four dogs for two weeks while they go to visit the family in South Africa. At this time Onno was at the shops to buy stuff for dinner so me being a great wife said nothing before I spoke to the husband…but then my cousin said he would buy my airplane ticket and pay for the VISA and without any hesitation I agreed. Onno came home and I cheered and did my little I’m going to England dance which he rudely ended with; “What about Speculoos?” I will be honest. I completely forgot about my boy even though he was basically sleeping on top of me as he always does. I’m such a great mom. I mean my cat freaks out when I leave the house for 8 hours. What is he going to do when he can’t see me and cuddle with his favorite human for two and half weeks? The poor thing.

I’m applying for the VISA somewhere in the next two weeks and I’m flying over the pond (I made a funny) just after New Years. There I can meet their fur babies and human babies before they make the long flight to South Africa. I’m so excited to have a dog again. I love dogs and I can’t wait to get one. They have four huskies! I’m a sucker for huskies. They’re absolutely beautiful. I can already promise everyone on my social media that there will be a lot of dog photos on my instant stories. I’m going to be on my own for a week before Onno joins me. Once we meet up we will do a little London tour and all that jazz and the best part is…wait for it…I’m celebrating my birthday in London! Insert fan girl squeals. I’m seriously jumping up and down while I’m writing this. Okay that’s a lie. I’m sitting on the couch with a blank facial impression while writing this but it’s only because I’m so focused and…Speculoos just bit my toe. Okay another lie. His resting his head on my foot but I promise you the second I move I will be bitten.

I must not tell lies

I must not tell lies

I must not tell lies

Oh hell yeah Harry Potter reference for the win! As you might tell; I’m pretty excited for my upcoming trip. I haven’t really gone to another place like actually properly travel in quite some time. If I don’t count Onno’s trip in South Africa which I should totally write a blog about then the last travel I did was Crete, Greece and that was over a year ago. So yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to the time away although I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do before Onno joins my little mini vocation.

Please stand by while I Google possible things I would like to do. Annndddd I’ve returned…I guess I will just wing it. Maybe try to meet up with England fitness babes but otherwise I’m just going to enjoy the dogs, take them on walks, drink a lot of tea and catch up on my series. Once Onno joins…that’s when we go full tourist on England. In case it’s not clear yet, at the start of every trip I have no idea what I’m going to do on what day. I normally have an idea of what I want to see but never in great detail. I’m just talking in circles now but no worries the after travel blog post will be awesome.

Can I just say how incredibly excited I’m for England! I’ve started with the VISA process, my appointment is in December and damn I thought it was all behind me. The documents, the letters, the entire process. The requirements border line on being ridiculous like do you want my unborn child as well? Just so I can go on a two week holiday 300km away from where I live. Sorry I just had to complain about it once. The Dutch culture is rubbing off on me insert chuckle at my funny joke. It’s always such a big thing before I can travel anywhere but awwh well it’s something small. Anyway till the next one!

PS If anyone knows of great gluten free restaurants that can be trusted in London please let me know. Thanks!

 

 

Story Time

My Second Date With My Husband (His Perspective)

Insert the romantic music with slideshow of every couple picture we have. While I’m here insert some romantic poems.

Two_hours_later

Okay now that is behind us here is Onno’s journal entry of our second date. Reading this gives me so many warm and a fluffy feelings. It was also the day we kissed for the first time and also our first selfie together ever. The ball really started to roll after this date and in a blink of an eye we were girlfriend and boyfriend. Nevertheless here is what you all came for. Onno’s thoughts. I’m sure you will miss my brilliant words but no worries I will be back tomorrow.

19 July 2015

The day started quite early for me, it was our 2nd date and I remembered being very excited, saying we had a great first date would be an understatement. I had high hopes it would only get better. We went to Blijdorp on Saturday and its literally been years that I went to the zoo, Cassy also was very excited about it, there were some animals that are seen in the wild in South Africa.

The action started around 12, we had been texting all morning and I picked Cassy up from the station. We went by Starbucks and I introduced Cassy to my favorite drink. The weather wasn’t ideal so I got an umbrella and we started walking to the zoo. It was a small 5 minute walk and we just spend it chatting away and further getting to meet each other, a short walk felt even shorter and before I knew it we were at the zoo. There we’re some animals we really wanted to see, Cassy was excited about the lions and I wanted to see the aquarium and Polar bears. We had a lot of time so we could take it chill and just spend the day. There was almost too much to mention but time passed quick, we spend some time sitting near the pond with the birds and it was just perfect. I felt completely happy and just so comfortable already, it was an instant connection.

Next we’re the little piggies, I’m not sure anymore which species it was exactly but they stuck their noses thru the fence and could lick your fingers, it was adorable and the feeling was very ticklish! We moved on past the Gorilla’s, and giraffe’s. Next we’re also some tropical animals including birds and crocodiles! As we moved thru the zoo we slowly got hungry and Cassy introduced me to something I, in hindsight embarrassingly, didn’t know about before. It was a potato on a stick that got fried off and dusted with a flavor mixture.

After this it was off to the polar bears, there was a female with 2 little cups and it was super cute! Our next move was the Aquarium, this is where we shot our first selfie! Little did I know there were so much more to come, although at this point I was very much hoping there were. Just look at how pretty Cassy looks, I was mesmerized. After the aquarium we ran into the gift shop and there were a lot of fluffy stuffed animals, I wanted to give Cassy something to remember this day by so was happy to look around and pick something out. The polar bear looked cute but we decided on a little gorilla, I saw a little heart and couldn’t help myself and wanted to give it to Cassy. She loved it and said she would never take it off! Little did I know she truly kept this promise.

At this point we crossed the zoo and planned our return journey thru the zoo, there was still the lions, and this was perhaps the first disappointment of the day, Cassy had really looked forward to them but there we’re only 2 very small ones, not what we were expecting at all. After the zoo it was time to go back to the apartment, we walked the same way back thru the central station and just chatted about the day and the rest of the plans. There was also some mental preparation for the stairs! We managed to climb it easily and were back on the couch. It was around 5 and we we’re deciding what to do for dinner. Eventually I thought it would be best to go to a simple restaurant down the street. There wasn’t much special about the food, it was a Vietnamese place and we ordered a bit much thus we took the chicken wings back home again.

It was now around 20:30 and we were back on the couch, we cuddled for a bit and I knew at this point how much I liked Cassy’s company and the whole day had just been perfect. I got a bit nervous as I realized how much I wanted to kiss her, in the end it wasn’t the perfect moment but a moment I will not forget for the rest of my life anyhow. It felt significant and I’m not sure how much skill I managed to show in the kiss as the nerves did get the better of me. We basically spend the rest of the evening perfecting our technique though and by the end of the evening I felt a lot more confident. Overall it had been amazing but Cassy had to leave soon as she had a curfew and an early morning with the kids. We walked back to the station and shared a great last kiss of the evening, it had been a truly amazing day and I was just in the clouds with my head.

It would be a while till I see Cassy again and the feeling I felt just made me realize how much I loved spending time with her. A week just felt so long, Cassy had to work and then had a trip planned to Berlin. I knew I was gonna miss her a lot, and couldn’t wait for the next time I saw her.

***

Oh this is our first selfie together. So young. So new. So fresh. So innocent.

IMG_4907

Story Time

My First Date With My Husband (My Perspective)

The first year of our relationship I documented everything. I had my journal with photos, tickets and a little journey entry on every day we shared together. I would write the journal entry on my phone and every two months or so I would spend the entire weekend catching up with my entry. I’m so far behind I’m not even sure I can catch up. I’m 6 months behind on making a journal entry on my phone and now that I live here and see my husband every single day I can’t even try to catch up. I would have to pick the good days out and where do I even start with that one. To make matters worse the last entry I made in the journal itself is somewhere in March 2016. Yeah…Catching up isn’t an option. Well I guess I can try but I would rather not thank you very much. I still save every ticket and instant photo we take together. Old habits die hard.

Anyway my point is I have our first date in our journal and I wrote it just before we celebrated our one month anniversary but I’m probably going to add a few details here and there to make it into a nice story. The actual journal entry is in the cursive writing and the new bits and pieces I added to have the entire thing make more sense for someone who wasn’t on the date themselves, is in normal writing. I’m not sure if I explained that correctly but you will understand once you see it.

I love being able to look back at the beginning of our relationship. It’s so sweet and it makes my insides all warm and fluffy. The journal entry itself is quite cute. I mean the time I wrote it I had no idea we would get married. I knew I wanted to spend my life with him somehow. I just had a feeling but putting it in reality wasn’t going to be easy and it sure as hell wasn’t. Anyway I’m getting slightly off track. I use the word anyway quite a lot in my blogs. I should whip out Google and see if I can find anything else. Regardless, however, nevertheless, anyhow and probably so much more. Nevertheless back to the topic at hand. Oh that makes me sound so posh. Like hello my dear would you like a cup of tea? I’m seriously so far of track I’m going a different direction. Let’s return to the first journal entry. Oh the second journal entry is our second date (now duh!) and later on I made Onno write a journal entry for that day too! I should definitely make that into a blog. I mean he already wrote it. Score! Nevertheless here is the journal entry you had to wait so long for.

14 July 2015

Our first date was perfect, magical even. Onno and I haven’t been texting very long when we decided it was time to meet. We met on Tinder only weeks before and although Onno was busy with his thesis and wasn’t an active texter we still felt like there was something there. Something worth going on a date and seeing what happens. So he arranged the big date. I had no idea what we would do till the day before. I for some reason thought he wouldn’t even show up so I got ready and decided if he doesn’t show up I will buy some snacks and go back home but he was there and awkward. He immediately pulled me in close and did the Dutch three cheeks kisses which completely freaked me out as it’s something that never happens to me. He picked me up with his mom’s little red car. We drove to Rotterdam, the conversation flowing. We just clicked. It felt so right. With a few twists and turns, a wrong turn here and there, we finally made it to our first stop of the evening. The escape room. The first 30 minutes went smoothly. I found all the math clues and Onno worked the math out. Along the way we got stuck on the math problem that would open the last lock, the white lock. And I on the other hand couldn’t wrap my head around what the short pipes could be a clue for. It didn’t mean anything in the end (the guy who gave us clues every now and again used the pipes so we could hear a new clue coming in after the tubes ran out), but we both agreed it was a valid thought process. Afterwards we went to a very nice restaurant where we enjoyed a great pizza and I impressed Onno with my excellent knife skills. (I fidget with my hands when I’m nervous and flip the knife around so I would constantly try to cut the pizza on the dull side.) Closer to the end of the dinner Onno exclaimed that he forgot to pay for the parking. It was our first lucky moment as a couple. Just as we walked to the car, the car guards arrived and we got away with +2 hours free parking and no fine. We wanted dessert (restaurant ran out of yummy ice cream flavors) next and so Onno parked his car close to his apartment and his excuse was that he has to pay the parking ticket on his laptop. (PS it’s a completely valid excuse. He gets a discount if he parks it through the one website as he lives on the street.) So I of course said: “Sure, let’s go upstairs.” It was clear that I liked him because the stairs to his place (75, we counted later) is hell. There we spend the rest of the night eating ice cream (I got stomach ache in the car on our way back) and cuddling on the couch watching some boring old movie, that only Onno would remember the name of. Eventually it got late and I had to go back home. On the way home, the conversation was smooth and I felt like I would see this guy again. I remember thinking that maybe I don’t dislike his annoying nervous chuckle. I would say it was a pretty good start to a great relationship.

***

Cue romantic music with a fade out on a wedding photo.

violin-2921485.jpg

General Life Tips

5 Things That Never Leaves My Handbag

I’ve learned the hard way that going out in the public eye unprepared can make life unnecessarily difficult and thus over time I have started to assemble five things that makes life easier in general. I never leave the house without it.

  1. Medicine Bag

This is my top one. I suffer from hay fever and toothache so I never leave the house without hay fever tablets, eye drops, pain pills and band aids because I’m clumsy.

  1. Gluten Free Snacks

As someone who has celiac it can become quite difficult to get a snack on the go when hunger strikes. I can’t exactly run in any shop and expect to find something to eat. So I always keep something small in my handbag to snack on; cookies or pretzels. Although I do have to add that in the Netherlands every AH (supermarket), which is basically everywhere, has snack fruit and vegetables that I can eat if I don’t have any gluten free snacks to put in my bag. I will put a plastic spoon in my bag if I plan to buy fruit or vegetables but otherwise nuts is a good last minute snack. All in all, I always have some type of snack or food in my handbag.

  1. Hand Sanitizer

This one is critical for me. If I can’t wash my hands when I touched something gross this one really comes in and save the day. I also use it when I go to a public bathroom to disinfect the toilet seat before I sit down. I’m very aware how dirty and gross a public bathroom can be.

  1. Tissues

This one kind of goes hand in hand with the medicine bag and hay fever problem of mine. That and it’s nearing winter here and I catch a cold by just looking at the cold and gloomy weather outside. I started carrying tissues all year around in my handbag after I went to a public bathroom and there was no toilet paper. Now it just serves as a good safety net.

  1. Hand Cream and Lip Balm

My hands go dry and rough in the winter so I never leave the house without hand cream. Otherwise I pick at the dry skin and just makes things worse. I have dry lips all year around and I constantly loose lip balm so days will go by without any moisturizing. I have a horrible habit to play with the loose skin and will often chew on my lip till it bleeds. Dry skin drives me insane. I learned if I have a separate lip balm that never leaves my handbag it’s always there to save the day.

Bonus: Feminine Products

Hey it’s better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes there can be a little surprise outside your shark week so you can never be to safe. I always carry an extra panty with me in case the little surprise ruins my day.

*

This blog post was a little out of the blue if you ask me. I was just cleaning out my handbag the other day when it popped into my head. Take what you will from this post. I’m a clean and most likely control freak or as I always say; I’m always very well prepared. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Basically somewhere in my life came a time where I wished I had one of these things in my handbag but I didn’t and it was a bitch to deal with. It really doesn’t take any extra effort to put these things in my bag before I leave (I never take it out of my bag either) and it has saved the day since then.

Story Time

I’m Scared Of Sharks

First of all I want to start off by saying that if you ever meet me in person ask me to tell this story. Apparently I tell it very passionately. Galeophobia or Selachophobia is a fear of sharks and I have it. The story is quite entertaining so sit down, grab your popcorn and prepare to chuckle a few times but also feel my pain because sharks are scary.

My first encounter with a shark was around the age of 7 and 9. Somewhere around there. My dad caught sharks for aquariums. One of my clearest memories is visiting an in between storage place for sharks before they make the big move. Anyway they kept the sharks in a large salt swimming pool. Which obviously made me picture sharks in a swimming pool for years after. You couldn’t get me to relax in a dark pool. Our one pool has a lump at the back of the pool in the deep end. It just appeared over night and when my foot accidentally grazed over the lump I practically learned how to fly and jumped out of the pool with lightening quick reflexes. I scratched my stomach on the pool side. One of the scratches made a scar. It’s my war wound. I wear it like a badge of honor. If anyone asks I got the scar from falling out of a tree or fighting off a tiger. Something erotic or cool and not I nearly peed my pants as I tried to escape a harmless pool. It took me weeks to climb back into the pool and much less enjoy swimming in it. I suffered that summer. Anyway back to the pool of sharp teeth. A man that worked there also lost his arm feeding the said sharks although that could’ve been a story my dad told me to scare me away from the pool. It scared the living shit out of me. Those sharks could’ve swallowed me whole in one bite. Heck I wouldn’t even have filled their stomachs. I would’ve been their snacks. You know like a fruit snack before lunch.

My second encounter with a shark still makes my skin crawl. Around the same age my mother and I went for a boat ride with friends. It was a lovely Sunday afternoon and we went further out than we planned. The boat wasn’t exactly equipped for the deep sea. It’s a rubber boat. Which is basically a little blow up boat that can go down with a nick or scrap of sharp shark teeth. It was all fun and games till a shark circled our boat for who knows how long. We just sat there, terrified to breathe as the shark contemplated its next meal. Luckily it decided to skip human flesh and settle for fish blood and we went home. At this point not only was I terrified of swimming pools and possible sharks in it, swimming in the sea started to become uncomfortable. Believe it or not I had one more shark encounter which is the last straw.

At the age of thirteen my friend and I went for some beach fun. Believe it or not at that time I would still go into the sea without a full blown panic attack. I was okay and actually had fun but I remember the feeling. My instinct told me to get the fuck out and if life taught me anything it was to always listen to that voice. I panicked out of the blue and forced my friend to get out of the water with me. Eventually we went home and once I left the beach I relaxed. This happened on the Saturday if memory serves me correctly. That Monday the news read that a teenager boy was bit by a shark in the very area my friend and I were swimming and guess what. The time was pretty spot on with the time we were playing in the water. After that day I’ve had enough. You couldn’t get me in the water no matter how hard anyone tried. I’m comfortable at knee depth water. I will see it coming and I can still escape it. I’m very nervous and two steps away from a panic attack at hip depth water. This time around I won’t see it coming but I can still get away with my life if luck is on my side. The absolute big no, no is in shoulder depth water in the sea. It’s a full blown panic attack I can’t even try to explain it.

great-white-shark-398276.jpg

Over the years I’ve had many nightmares to do with sharks. Two are still bright in my memory mostly because it’s funny. I don’t ever want to have that dream again but because this blog isn’t nearly long enough to go up I’m going to tell you all. Trust me, it’s funny and definitely worth the read.

In nightmare number one I was around 15 years old. It started off as a weird dream. I can’t remember the details but I was on a swing in the middle of the night talking to the president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela at the time. You know the scene in the one Harry Potter movie. I think it’s the dark prince one. The scene where Harry and  Dudley are in the park before the year starts. They’re having an argument and suddenly dementors showed up. That is basically how the park looked in my dream. The weather was dark and gloomy and the park is definitely one of those you shouldn’t go at night or you will be murdered. Anyway I’m going of track. Back to the nightmare. Nelson Mandela was fresh in my mind because for about two weeks at the time we were learning the Apartheid in history class. I have no idea what we were talking about but the next moment a wolf appeared. Therapists would say the wolf was my step dad from the time but that’s a story for another day and I’m not sure I’m ready to share it. Anyway the wolf lunged to my chest and at that very moment in real life my cat launched onto my chest so everything felt so real. My shirt moved. I felt the weight of the wolf (or cat) and I definitely felt the claws. I woke up with a start completely freaked out and heavily unimpressed with my cat. Now what does this have to do with sharks? I’m getting to that one. A few nights later I have another dream and this time around I was on a yacht. It was a big party and people were jumping off from the top of the boat and swimming around in that area. The scene comes straight from a movie. I have no idea what movie it was but you get the idea. Anyway in this scene I was one of the idiots mocking about in the water when the camera angle changed and the shark music started to play in my head. I could see the shark come up and bite my leg. Another scene from a movie I’m sure. Fuck me did I feel the pressure on my leg. The sharp pain. I felt it. I woke up nearly pissing myself from fright and guess what? My cat jumped from my closet onto my leg at the very same moment the shark bit me. It scared me shitless and I couldn’t fall asleep after that. Stupid cat.

In nightmare number two I was probably 16 or 17. This one was really and I mean really weird. I’m not even sure if I can tell the story correctly because it’s also kind of confusing. So I was on a row boat in the middle of a very dark lake. Surrounded by a orange like mountain on both sides. More like a cliff, it just went straight down and into the water. It was on all sides and I was basically trapped. The only way I could escape was somehow row myself to the edge and rock climb the mountain or cliff to the top. It was the game plan I had in my head after waking up in the row boat. So I tried to row with my hands and suddenly a shark swam up to where my hand was. I had seconds to pull my hand away before it broke the surface. It came straight up in the air and suddenly it shape shifted into a human man. Apparently I knew this man because I squealed from happiness, jump into his arms and kissed him like he was my lover. He quickly pulled away and in that dramatic way like you see in the movies begged me to leave with him immediately. Apparently our love was forbidden and his parents just found out and if I don’t run now I will be killed. Before we could get very far with the stupid tiny row boat his entire family showed up. They stayed in their shark forms but I could understand what they were saying. They were angry and pissed off that he was with me a lowly human and basically said if he doesn’t leave me right now I will be killed. Lover boy begged his family, proclaiming his undying love for me and why my life should be spared. Somehow he won his family over and it looked like everything would be just dandy when there was sudden commotion. Another shark family, the enemies in this dream, was on its way and they hated humans. They won’t hesitate to kill me and lover boy because well he made a human his lover. So everyone jumped into action to protect my life. Lover boy jumped out of the boat, changed into his shark form and pushed my stupid little row boat to the edge so I could climb the cliff and escape. Before we made the cliff the boat was thrown over and I could see a fight between my lover boy and another shark. I swam as hard I could and made the cliff. With adrenaline pumping through my veins I climbed the cliff like some Spiderman to the top. Once at the top I looked down and it was a bloody murder scene. Everyone killed themselves and traumatized me beyond repair. I did the dramatic scream into the sky before I woke up. So even though no shark bit me it still scared me and definitely made me feel all type of weird things. It’s a funny one.

Again I repeat myself; if you ever meet me in person ask me to tell this shark story in person although I haven’t told the story about my two nightmares in awhile. Awwh well. It just happened somehow. Nevertheless I have an agreement with sharks. I stay out of their home and they stay out of my home. So far it’s been working for us but I did have one dream where the sharks started to walk on its fins on land and I woke myself up with a big fat NO.