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3 most important things of the day

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When you’re far away from friends, distance can be your biggest enemy. After a small fight with one of my best friends over the fact that there is no time to talk, or conversations are not the same when we are not next to each other, or you get too busy with your daily life in the other part of the world that you let go of the friend that is far away from you.

So I was wondering what to do to keep things like they used to be before. It doesn’t seem fair to let this cold distance take away the time we took to build these amazing relationships, these memories. I want to know everything my friends are doing; What is new, what stressed them out, what made them feel emotional during the day, what problems they had at work, what new haircut they have, what new dessert they learned how to make and the list can go on.

And I’m sure most of you can relate to this scenario: You wake up in the morning, go to work and feel the stress there, come home and have to cook and care for the child/wife/husband and if you have some extra hobbies, there is no time left for anything else, even 5 minutes are precious and you think that if you start a conversation at that time it will take you forever and there will be no time to rest, especially when you have to do everything all over again the next day.

That’s when I came up with the idea of the 3 most important things of the day, the long distance relationship game. Every evening before going to bed I write to my best friends three things worth mentioning of what I’ve been doing that day. You tell me, I tell you. If at first it felt like a stupid childish game and I had to literally force them to write something, now they are the first ones to write about this and it seems that they are excited to talk about it.

The funny thing about this game is that it can engage into conversations 🙂 So even if you are tired or moody, you’ll still find time for writing those 3 things you did that day and comment on the things your friend wrote. This is how you keep in touch on a daily basis in a long distance relationship.

Hope you like the idea, it’s really working. Now I don’t “stalk” my friends anymore, they’re giving the information themselves 😛

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Picture taken from here.

Alaska – Bear Country

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If I haven’t told you until now, my second favorite place (except Europe) is Alaska.

Not only the beautiful landscapes that I caught your attention with, but also the healthy air, the clean streets, the people, the wildlife and the unique activities like whale watching, hiking and backpacking experiences, walking on the glaciers or just enjoying the Alaskan craft beer.

But going back to the bears… They have been in Alaska for centuries. A lot of the bears live here but surprisingly very few people ever see bears; even fewer people are ever threatened by a bear. This is because most bears tend to avoid people.

Bears are curious, intelligent and potentially dangerous to other animals, but when people are unreasonably fearful, both bears and people are endangered.

If you choose to go hiking in the mountains of Alaska, you also choose to risk the possibility of encountering a bear. To reduce these chances, follow these simple advices:

* stay on the trail and in groups.

* do not leave your pack unattended at any point along the trail.

* when ready to leave camp, take a visual sweep to ensure that no garbage food or personal belongings are left behind for bears.

* hiking at dawn may increase your chances of meeting a bear. Use extra caution in bushy areas, berry patches or where trails round a bend.

* bears have extremely good hearing so be loud and make a variety of noises.

* usually, bears will not approach a group around a campfire, but if it’s sensing the smell of food or garbage they may come while campers are sleeping. Cook away from your tent and keep a clean camp packing all your garbage.

* if you do see a bear, talk to it calmly and remain still; help the bear recognize you. If he doesn’t and he comes closer to sniff your odor, he is usually curious, not threatening.

* never imitate bear sounds or do high-pitches sounds, never scream or make a sudden movement; these may trigger an attack.

* back away slowly if the bear is not moving. Never run or climb trees, they will win in both.

* if you are attacked by a grizzly or a brown bear, leave your pack and PLAY DEAD. Spread your legs to make it hard for the bear to turn you over. Remain still until the bear leaves the area. If he starts eating you, hit the bear in the face with whatever you have at hand.

* if you are attacked by a black bear, DO NOT PLAY DEAD. Try to escape to a secure place such as a car or a building. If this is not possible, fight back using anything available aiming at the bears face.

Most bear encounters end without injury, BUT each of those encounters are unique and there is no single strategy that will work in all situations.

Your safety depends on how good you are in calming the bear 🙂

 

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Wish you were here

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Long time no see, but despite that so many things happened since I last wrote on this blog… I feel like I have nothing much to say.

To resume… I went back home in vacation and now I came back to the ship. And after one month and a half here, I miss home a lot. Now I feel it stronger. But let’s start with the good stuff.

The Caribbean was nice and I enjoyed it very much, but Alaska is AMAZING! Really… uau… Places like Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Heines, Seward and of course Vancouver are awesome. Because the people here are awesome. Very polite, clean, friendly, warm, interesting and full of energy! From the To Do List here we checked hiking in Juneau, barbeque in Heines, travelling across the White Pass in Skagway and eating Chinese food in Seward. For the next weeks we are planning to go whale watching and visit the ice cave in Juneau, barbeque in Heines (yes, again), hiking in Skagway and flying over the glaciers, doesn’t matter where. A lot of fun stuff to do here. And we still have nice weather too

Which reminds me that all I see in my facebook news feed are pictures and check-ins at the sea side…. Am I a little bit jealous? 😛 My dear friends… wish you were here … I’ll keep you posted soon, I promise!

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Becoming a Casino Dealer

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When I quit my job to become a Casino Dealer, I thought that was easier. In my mind, all you had to do was drawing cards and smile.

The funny and scary part is that I’m not working yet, but starting in 2 days. But the one month training… Before I get to the amusing situations that can happen to a trainee dealer, here are the basic rules of the 2 games we learned: Blackjack and Roulette.

 

Blackjack is played with eight standard 52 card decks. The cards 2 through 10 are worth their face value. Kings, queens and jacks are each worth 10 and aces may be used as either 1 or 11. The main objective for the player is to draw cards totaling closer to 21, without going over, so as he can beat the dealer.

Ex. If your cards total higher than the dealer’s cards without going over 21 you win. If your hand or the dealer’s hand goes over 21 you lose. If the dealer busts (he exceeds 21) and you do not, you win.

As a player, you have the options to hit a card, to stand, to split two cards of the same value, double the bet you have obtaining one more card only, or insure your bet if the dealer has an ace and you think he may hit blackjack.

Roulette. There is the wheel and the layout. Spinning the wheel will get the lucky number. The layout has 36 numbers, a 0 and a 00. Bets are placed on the table/layout. Also, on the layout are inside and outside bets. The inside ones are the numbers from 1 – 36 and outside are:

  • 1st 12 numbers  – pays 2 to 1
  • 2nd 12 numbers – pays 2 to 1
  • 3rd 12 numbers – pays 2 to 1
  • 1-18 numbers (low) – pays 1 to 1
  • 19-36 numbers (high) – pays 1 to 1
  • Even numbers – pays 1 to 1
  • Odd numbers – pays 1 to 1
  • Black numbers – pays 1 to 1
  • Red numbers – pays 1 to 1
  • First, second or third column – pays 2 to 1

Inside bets, bets placed on numbers, have higher paying odds. You can bet:

  • “Straight up” betting on one number – pays 35 to 1
  • Split betting on two numbers – pays 17 to 1
  • “Street” betting on three numbers – pays 11 to 1
  • Corner betting on four numbers  – pays 8 to 1
  • Six line betting on 6 numbers – pays 5 to 1
  • For American roulette, there is the Five-number bet which covers “0,00,1,2,3” and pays 6 to 1

 

Coming back for the funny part and getting used to being a dealer, here are some situations that for sure will happen to a trainee.

Blackjack

Most of the times, you’ll be very stressed at first to shuffle the cards correctly, to deal them properly, to make a nice conversation with guests and totally forget that one or two of them have blackjack. So you’ll be like a counting robot; “Eleven – TwentyOne?” No. It’s Blackjack.

Or after the 3 minute shuffle, you gave the 8 deck of cards to be cut by one of the guests, put the cards in the shoe and realize that the other red cutting card is on the table.

Cash chips will be flying all over the table because at first you can’t held them properly. Thank God for chipping, drop cut and size cut 8 hours per day at training!

And when dealers first card is a ten and he keeps dealing cards to customers, he forgets to draw the second card for himself. Then when checking for Blackjack… it’s a sin 🙂

Let’s say dealer doesn’t have blackjack. He deals all guests cards and finally gets to his 19 card. Everyone who has less than 19 looses. But you cannot remember how much they have, you only remember that you have 19. You look at the first bet to pay – 20. Take chips out of the tray and pay, move to second one – stand off – then you forget how much you have and pay a 17 bet. Supervisor: “How much is there?” You: “17” Supervisor: ” And how much do you have?” You: “19” Supervisor: ” Then why are you paying it?”

Roulette

You can make a no spin for.. 7-8 times in a row. Then you panic.

Or adding a big payout. 11 corners plus 2 streets plus 4 sixline plus 2 straightups…. you forget how much the first adding up was. Count it two times, two different results. Just focus. Speed will come in time, they say.

Me at the table, making a 5 stack (100 chips) payout and trying to move them around the table. I knew that 2 stacks should be on my left and 3 on my right; the player was on my  right. SO I tried to pass them, they were falling apart. Put another stack on the left. No. On the right. No, I moved it again on the left. Still, it didn’t work. Put it on my left again. Then on my right. Supervisor: “Oh my God, you’re making me dizzy.”

Oh, and the clean hands is terrible. You are NOT allowed to take ANYTHING from ANYBODY from hands. In the casino it’s ok, you will do that. But then you go to the supermarket and clean hands after touching potatoes, shopping bags, change, milk… same in the bus. Ask politely the bus driver to put the ticket down for you to pick it up. And you don’t even realize you’re doing that.

So.. I start my trip on Tuesday with the beautiful MS. Nieuw Amsterdam, two months in Europe. First two weeks – Italy, Croatia, Greece, France and Spain.

 

Wish me good luck!

ship

 

 

Prima saptamana in Klaipeda, Lithuania

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Am ajuns cu avion pana in Riga si apoi cu bus-ul pana in Klaipeda. So far so good, doar ca aveam doar euro la mine si pe drum (5 ore cu busul) n-am putut sa cumpar nici un biscuit ca totul se platea in litas – moneda lor. Nimeni nu vorbeste engleza in orasul asta. Doar lituaniana si rusa.

Am ajuns la destinatie si am luat un taxi pana la gazda. Pentru un drum de 5 lei am dat 20.

Casa unde stam (ca suntem 6) nu e o pensiune sau ceva. Stam la o tanti careia ii spunem “The Landlady” si e o scorpie ordinara. S-a enervat la culme si ne uraste inca din prima zi pentru ca i-am atins cainele si ca am stat la ea in curte sa fumam si sa bem. Si cica am fost galagiosi. Si i-a sunat pe cei de la compania unde facem training, la 12 noaptea, sa le spuna ca ne da afara and so on.

Au venit cei de acolo a doua zi, au vorbit cu ea, dar ce sa te intelegi cu Hitler (also called Adolfa)

Doar se uita la noi si zice “Upstairs!!” cu gesticularea mainilor, fatza incruntata si toate cele.

Si toti sunt asa. Nu zambeste nimeni in orasul asta.

Camera era murdara, am facut noi curat in secunda in care am ajuns aici.

Nu avem aer conditionat, nu avem chiuveta la baie, nu avem voie sa vorbim tare, nu avem voie sa stam afara, nu avem voie sa bem dupa ora 22:00, nu avem voie sa aducem alti oameni in vizita la noi, etc.

Si cea mai horror parte de pana acum: stam la periferia orasului. Facem 15 minute pe jos pana la autobuz si pana la locul unde se tine trainingul mai facem inca 20 de minute.

Cei de la training ne-au spus ca si scuza ca e very common ca aici sa nu fie chiuvete (desi ni s-a spus ca e bullshit asa ceva…), cand ne-a vorbit de bautura dupa ora 22_:00, a zis ca “it’s a rule in Lithuania…blablabla”

Asa ca ne-am facut reguli dupa oamenii de aici:

1. Don’t touch the dog.

2. Don’t touch the landlady

3. Don’t drink beer (only after class, in the backyard and only in coffee mugs. we’re students and we’re learning)

4. Never all a cab cause they’re not coming. De cate ori am sunat a fost ceva de genul:

– Hi

– *(^%&^EE^&Y*^&R

– we’d like a taxi to Kraziu street 18

– $*#&^&#( KRAZIU?

– yes, kraziu

– no no no… KraZiu

– …… Kraziu…

– NO.kRaziu

– ….. yes, Kraziu

– NO NO NO. KRAZIU

– …. ok. do you have a taxi?

– no.

sau

– Hi

– *(^%&^EE^&Y*^&R

– we’d like a taxi to Kraziu street 18

– $*#&^&#(*^%

– Six people please.

– SIX!?!?! NO NO NO NO…

and then hung up.

In a treia zi, Adolfa a dat buzna peste noi in camera pe la ora 2 dimineata si a inceput sa urle ” I listen!! Listen! Listen! Beer beer beer beer beer… bla bla bla in lituaniana…. listen!!” si a plecat.

Cateodata tipa la noi aratand spre dormitoare si spunand “Sleep sleep sleep!!”

Ca la caini, asa.

In fiecare zi descopar aici alte lucruri surprinzatoare.

Nu am avut voie in autobuz cu cafea de la Mec, cea cu capac – harmless. Ah, la Mec-ul de aici nu au aripioare. Can you even imagine?! Plus ca autobuzele nu mai merg dupa ora 22:00.

Am mai avut o tentativa de sunat la taxi, era un tip care avea 6 locuri in masina si neluase intr-o seara. Ne-a raspuns (dupa 3 zile in care l-am sunat) si ne-a zis ca vine.

“Really ?? Your’re coming?! Thanks, man!!”

Am asteptat jumatate de ora. Binenteles ca am plecat pe jos acasa.

In fiecare zi cand spunem “This is the worst day of my life”, vine a doua zi si iadul se dezlantuie.

Am facut pace cu gazda noastra dupa ce ne-a parat ca am mutat mobila din casa in strada (macar de-ar fi fost adevarat), I-am luat flori si ciocolata si ne-am cerut scuze pentru ceva ce nu am facut.

Sa nu ajungeti niciodata aici.

 

Xoxo

Cris

 

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“Taste of Romania” by Vodafone

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Vodafone Romania lanseaza pe plan local concursul international #Firsts alaturi de bloggerul Adrian Hadean.

“Pitch your First” e o initiativa menita sa ii incurajeze pe oamenii din 10 tari sa faca lucruri extraordinare pentru prima oara, cu ajutorul tehnologiei mobile.

Taste of Romania – primul “First” romanesc

Adrian Hadean, blogger si bucatar pasionat, isi va vedea visul implinit, acela de a face un tur culinar al tarii si de a descoperi cele mai savuroase retete specifice fiecarei zone a Romaniei. In luna iunie, Adrian Hadean va strabate regiunile tarii si va impartasi, pas cu pas, din experientele, retetele si povestile stranse pe parcursul calatoriei sale, prin canalele de social media.

Retetele sale vor fi cuprinse in aplicatia mobila “Taste of Romania”, dezvoltata de Vodafone, care va fi disponibila pentru toti utilizatorii, inclusiv pentru turistii care viziteaza Romania, aflati in roaming.

Multu mai bine zis, romanii care au idei ambitioase si isi doresc sa isi vada visul implinit cu ajutorul Vodafone se pot inscrie pe site-ul www.firsts.com, in perioada 14 mai – 15 august, prin completarea unui formular online. Ulterior, un juriu independent va alege 10 finalisti din fiecare tara, iar in ultima faza a concursului, cele 10 proiecte selectate vor fi supuse votului public in fiecare tara in parte.

Cei 10 castigatori vor fi anuntati in data de 3 octombrie 2014. Premiul va consta in sustinerea materiala pentru realizarea proiectului castigator, precum si in producerea unui film documentar care va fi promovat ulterior pe toate canalele de social media ale Vodafone Romania si pe site-ul www.firsts.com

Despre Taste of Romania direct de la Adrian Hadean, aici. 

Sa-i tinem pumnii lui Adi sa-si indeplineasca visul si sa ne faca mandri ca suntem romani!

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Prima oară într-un camping

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Sau prima oară la cort. Sau prima oară în Vamă de 1 mai.
Panică. Plec singură, nu cunosc lume, nu am dormit niciodată altundeva decât în pat, oare cum o să fie, omege și d’astea.
Noroc cu colegii.
“Trece pe listă: cort, izopren, sac de dormit, lanternă, haine groase, pelerină de ploaie, ia-ți și umbrela, cizmele, rucsac mare, șervețele multe, pungi, apă, banane, elastice, etc etc…” Încă o mai aud pe colega mea cu lista infinită.
Binenteles că toată lumea a râs că am vrut să testez cortul în casă, că am pus lumina de la bicicletă în cort sau că eram stresată că nu erau prize destule în camping.
Revin.
Prima noapte la cort în camping la Sandalandala. Genială, deși ne plângeam că e cortul mic sau că o să ne plouă. A fost maxiiiiiiim de genialo-minunat!
Acum nu știu ce să vă povestesc mai întâi, cât de mult confort am avut acolo sau cât de distractiv a fost cu gașca nou-înființată de nebuni.
Le iau pe rând, campingul Sandalandala s-a deschis fix pe 1 mai și are o capacitate de 400 de corturi. Gazonul e pregătit perfect pentru asta și e foarte foarte curat. De băi și dușuri nu mai zic, impecabile.
Are bucătărie și bar proprii, cinema în aer liber, wifi gratuit și aprox 30 de prize.

 

O să revenim la vară în Sandalandala, să fim la fel de alandala!
Până atunci, să ne mai încânte o dată Marius Matache, cum a făcut-o în Vamă de 2 Mai 🙂

 

 

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