Question of the day.

What are three things you like that other people don’t like?

My answer:

I like liking things that other people don’t. One reason is because it feels kind of quirky, and since I’m quirky anyway it comes to me without even trying particularly hard. Another one is that I like and have a strong tendency to personalise things or even abstract concepts, so my mentality is like if no one likes them, they must be really sad. 😀 And since I am an (overly, as it seems) empathetic person, I feel a genuine need to compensate for that.

One such thing that I like but very few other people seem to do as well is the beautiful Dutch language. The funny thing is that I also used to consider it quite an unattractive language when I was younger, but everything changed as I started to listenn to Cornelis Vreeswijk when I was 17 and got a faza on him (he mostly sang and wrote his music and poems and everything in Swedish and lived there most of his life since he was 12 but he was born in the Netherlands and also had some sort of a career in his native country however much less impressive from what I understand and it’s like he’s sort of known in his country for being famous in Sweden). Fazas can change one’s perspective quite a bit, and while it took me quite a while to take a liking for this language, at some point it was just like something randomly switched in my brain and suddenly I was like “Awwww it’s actually such a really really beautiful language!” and my brain was all melting with delight as it tends to in such situations. It feels weird these days that I could ever have not liked it. I’m not one for the Romance languages and the like. One reason is that they’re “over-liked”, everyone wants to learn them and considers them beautiful. Aside from that, I often say, and have said on here as well, that I believe a language is similar to pasta in that it needs to be al dente. Swedish is a perfect example of that. Perhaps Dutch is a bit undercooked to be considered al dente, but that’s still way better than overcooked, I totally don’t mind the former and as a kid even used to eat dry pasta or noodles, but I can’t stand the texture when it’s overcooked, ewww! Like a dish, a language also needs to be spiced just right, and not be bland or wishy-washy. I usually don’t like things that are aesthetically, as my Mum calls it, “farting sweet”, or cloying, unless it’s genuinely cute. Dutch is really hot and I guess not everyone has high tolerance for spicy food so perhaps it’s the same with this language. Anyway, most Dutch natives I’ve talked to seemed very surprised whenever I mentioned that their language is on my list of languages that I want to learn and that I love. They’d usually find it difficult for some reason to understand why I’d want to do it, and many would admit that they actually don’t like the language themselves, and that they prefer English. 😀 I love English too, but it’s everywhere so it’s a bit boring, why limit myself like that? And some would even tell me how their language is actually quite difficult. I mean, I don’t speak it just yet, but I don’t really see how it would be extremely difficult for me, when I already know two Germanic languages (three if you include my kinda sorta making friends with Norwegian since about a month). Perhaps I’m overly confident here or not aware of something but it seems pretty straightforward and I find it very encouraging that I can already understand small bits of vocabulary with the languages I know, so it feels like one of the easiest languages on my list, if not THE easiest one. Some things about the sentence structure, like sticking the verb at the end of a sentence, is fairly odd to me, but I suppose it’s just a matter of enough exposure and practice until it will no longer feel odd. Swedish sentence structure in some more elaborate cases, especially where time is involved, is also different from the Polish (which is quite loose really or at least not permanently fixed) or English one and felt slightly intimidating to me at the beginning and difficult to understand, but, while I still do make mistakes with it, overall it feels completely natural that that’s how Swedish works because it’s Swedish, if that makes any sense to anyone other than me. Or it’s amusing what I sometimes hear Dutch language learners say, that they visit or move to a Dutch-speaking country to be able to practice their target language, but it often turns out impossible because as soon as people figure out they’re non-natives, they speak to them in English. 😀 Some of my Sweden experience was very similar, and it was kind of confusing because it made me feel like my Swedish must be really shitty if they find it easier to communicate with me in another language rather than their native one, even though I theoretically know it’s because people want to be helpful. Anyway, I myself am quite a patriot and love my own language and country so every time I’ve heard Dutch people being so underappreciative of their language, I honestly felt really shocked and also kind of sad, and that gave me just another reason for wanting to learn that language, to give it some love it totally deserves. I also love and plan to learn Frisian, which also gets some really interesting reactions sometimes. 😀

Another thing I love truly and deeply but everyone uninitiated seems to hate, or at best just not get my love for it, is kefir. I drink loads of it, so does Sofi, it’s very healthy and yumilicious and very refreshing, and is good for your guts so a perfect thing to drink if you’re emetophobic and happen to need to take antibiotics or something. It’s also okay for people who have lactose intolerance like my Mum. Obviously there is kefir and kefir though so you have to find the right one which has some better quality if it’s really important for you that it has the health benefits it’s supposed to have. Aside from water, I think this is the best drink when you’re properly thirsty. I rarely drink it on its own, unless I’m very thirsty and happen to crave kefir, but I drink it with most meals. I also used to get bad culture shock in my early days of penpalling when I’d mention kefir to my British pen pals and they’d be like: “Uh, and what is kefir?” I have an impression though that it’s become more popular over the last few years in regions where it hadn’t been previously known.

And another such thing are olives. I guess it’s not like everyone dislikes them but there seem to be two camps, people who love olives and people who dislike/hate olives and hardly anything in-between. I much prefer the black ones, but the green ones are okay too, certainly better than none. Olives weren’t a thing my family would eat when I was a kid, as we’re not very fancy with food really, and I remember the first time I ate them was on the train station in Warsaw when my Mum and me were waiting for a train to go home from my school. We were ravenously hungry so we bought one big Greek salad for us both, and that was how I discovered olives and immediately fell in love. Even though I have always loved them, I think I get why people wouldn’t, they really do have a very particular taste, and even I wouldn’t be able to eat a lot of olives without something that would complement the taste, it starts to feel weird pretty quickly. Since my Mum loves olives too, when she found out that so do I they became a regular ting in our house, even though everyone else here hates them. I also love capers, which seem to be even less popular with normal people.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hey people! 🙂

Is there a food everyone hates, that you like?

My answer:

Oh yes! I love olives, and a lot of people seem to hate them. It seems to be definitely one of those things you either love or hate. I can well understand why people would hate them as they have such very strong and characteristic taste, which is also quite different and unlike anything else. I also love capers, and even more people hate them. Admittedly their taste is even more unusual and even people who love them like me can’t eat a lot of them at once. I normally do not like things which taste vinegary but capers are definitely an exception. I also looooove love love kefir and people hate kefir. Especially people who aren’t Polish/Slavic/Balkan as they aren’t used to it, and even many of these people who are Slavic or Balkan hate kefir anyway because as far as I’m aware even though it’s a common or even traditional drink in many countries it’s not something everyone grows up with and drinks every day since childhood, a lot of Polish people I know have never tasted kefir. Similar situation is with buttermilk, although I guess buttermilk is a bit easier to like.

I’ve no idea if this is more international a thing or not – I only know people around the globe hate Brussels sprouts and so do I, they are absolutely gross – but here in Poland loads of people hate spinach. And there’s actually an interesting sociohistorical reason for that. In the 80’s, and I guess 70’s too, Polish nurseries/kindergartens were really obsessed about spinach. I don’t know what the exact reason was, but suddenly there was one big boom on stuffing kids with vegetables, and probably because spinach was easily available, they would eat spinach all the time. It can be really yucky and tasteless when not seasoned properly so, there’s like a bit of a collective trauma around that. And it doesn’t only affect millennials/gen X, because they pass it on to their offspring, and I’ve also heard older people saying very unfavourable things about spinach for no apparent reason and not being able to give some real arguments why they thought it’s so bad. So it’s a bit like everyone hates spinach by default and spinach is evil. But when you ask an average person if they ever ate spinach, they will either say that they did in nursery, or not at all, because, duh, it’s yuck and everyone knows it so why would anyone want to eat it. When you ask them why it’s so bad, chances are great that everyone will tell you only that it’s bad when unseasoned or overcooked or that it’s difficult to make it right. Fair enough, but so is also with lots of other food. Who likes unseasoned meat? How about overcooked pasta? Yet no one is screaming that they are evil just because they can be unseasoned or overcooked. And who says you have to cook spinach? It seems like not many people realise that there actually was such a spinach propaganda around the country and not just in their nursery. There especially is a default opinion in people’s minds that children hate spinach, even though children these days aren’t bombarded with it like their parents were, but they still do hate spinach because everyone sort of tells them they should. Recently it’s a bit better, people are more conscious and of course there’s the whole fit lifestyle trend going on, all the different diets, more and more people are vegetarians or vegans, others want to lose weight, so spinach is slowly gaining some more favour and positive attention.

I also was one of those kids thinking I hate spinach just because. And indeed I remember hearing a lot about how all children hate spinach. I think the first time I ate spinach was at my aunt – who wasn’t exactly my relative at all, but I always called her aunt and she was extremely helpful to me, she lived near my school and I often visited her in her house. – She once had spinach with some meat and rice for lunch and I was like: “What? Spinach? Why would anyone normal want to eat spinach?” She told me that it’s really good when it’s well-seasoned and that most people don’t know how to cook it well and that’s why they don’t like it. I tried it but wasn’t impressed, not because of it’s taste, which as far as I remember wasn’t bad, but I didn’t like the texture of it particularly much. Then we had quite regularly lasagna with spinach at school, and I actually really liked it, perhaps because you couldn’t really feel the spinach in it very much. And some years later, my Mum has become a proper lifestyle geek, she’s always had such tendencies but it was then that it really progressed, at the same time she had just started to wear braces and wasn’t able to eat a lot of hard food and one of her obsessions at the time were veg smoothies, and she often added spinach to them. I hate veg smoothies, but since due to that, we had plenty of spinach at home, I tried how it tastes raw and… surprise, or not, I thought it was really cool. I usually tend to like raw vegetables more than cooked, baked etc. These days I often eat even sandwiches with spinach instead of lettuce. These days my Mum no longer makes those veg smoothies, as they make her feel very bloated, but we have spinach in our garden here where we live now and we still eat it raw. But even the texture of cooked spinach doesn’t bother me that much anymore and I like for example pierogi with spinach. I mean, I’m certainly not a spinach lover or a die hard fan, as I am with kefir, olives or capers, but I just like it, I don’t see anything wrong with it, I think people are being very unfair to spinach.

What is such food for you? 🙂

Question of the day.

What are three foods you would eat every day, if you never, ever got tired of them?

My answer:

I absolutely love olives. If I had something good to match them with every day, I could surely eat them every day. I looooove Silesian dumplings! But not the kind you can get in any grocery market over here, it is a mash and pulp of something poorly imitating potatoes and it is just a total profanation, only real, homemade Silesian dumplings. I could eat them every day, but I feel for a person who’d make them for me because they’re laborious, and I feel for myself, because I’m sure I’d be severely overweight after such a gorgeous diet. So if we want to stay realistic, no, thanks, if I had to choose between the extremes I’d rather prefer to be underweight as I’m now than to be so overweight as I predict I would be as a result of eating Silesian dumplings every day. But if it doesn’t necessarily have to be very realistic, I go for Silesian dumplings, yay! And the third food… hmm… well, it maybe isn’t a food itself, but my life would be definitely much more boring without spices. So they’d be my third food choice. Especially Cayenne pepper or chilli.

Yours? 🙂

Question of the day.

Now we’ll start a bit of a lifestyle questions series, hope you’ll like them. 🙂

Name three things you consume because you believe them to be beneficial to your health.

My answer:

Olives, black and green – I love to eat them (I NEVER eat anything strictly for health purposes if I don’t like it, unless I’m somehow very ill and it’s like the only option to help myself) and I’ve heard they are helpful for our brains, which is very important for me, as I am a freak in this matter, both because I’m simply interested with the brain and am afraid of neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer, Parkinson and others, any dementias and anything capable of destroying human mind. I eat quite a lot of almonds, nuts etc. for the same purpose.

Kefir – as much as I believe milk isn’t the right choice for other people than babies and I don’t like milk and often feel a bit weird after drinking it even though I don’t have any allergy to it, I do like many other milk products and believe they are good for people. Kefir is my favourite. I just love it. It has a lot of calcium apparently, as well as probiotic bacteries. I always use it as a probiotic when I take any antibiotics and it really does work for me. Plus it’s just yummy and refreshing so you can just drink it when you’re thirsty on a hot, summer day and not have any water with you and it quenches thirst really well, just like water.

Lots of spicy things, like chilli, Cayenne pepper, piri piri peppers, garlic, onion, ginger, etc. I’ve heard it all, or some of these products have in them something called… capsaicine? I hope I spell it right, actually I only know for sure how it’s spelled in Polish so just guessing, but it can’t be much different. Anyway, this capsaicine or capsaicin or capsaicinum or whatever it is, is very popular recently, I guess especially amongst people struggling with overweight, because it apparently speeds up the metabolism. I’ve never struggled with any extra weight, actually, I’ve been pretty much underweight for most of my life, but I have hypothyroidism and hypopituitarism which are generally said to slow metabolism down pretty much. Other than that, I love garlic for its antibiotic properties. I hate antibiotics for one reason – actually there are a few, but they all come from one major thing – I’m emetophobic. And if you are emetophobic and on an antibiotic, you might have quite a few reasons for being anxious, the biggest one is simply that vomiting/nausea etc. are one of the most common side effects of such therapy. So any time I feel like I might be sick with something more than a cold, the first thing I do is eating deterent amounts of garlic. Deterent both for the bacteries – at least in some way – and for people around me as well. 😀 Well it may not cure me totally if I’m particularly sick, but it does help usually. Another reason why I love to eat healthy spicy things is that they help our bodies get rid of extra mucus. As you may know our so called modern lifestyle and modern diet affects us in many negative ways, among others we eat a lot of mucogenic foods and too much mucus isn’t good for our bodies. I have an issue with it after my Mum that I have a tendency to have a lot of mucus in the respiratory tracts whichi is a bit shitty in combination with allergies and asthma and which I definitely don’t want, so I need to somehow clean of it and spicy foods, along with some others, are fantastic for it. I eat especially much of them when it’s winter, ’cause it’s my life long ritual to get some nasty bronchitis in early winter, it can linger for weeks or even months at times and a few years ago I saw that when I eat a lot of spicy things it helps my bronchi to clean more effectively. But even if spicy foods wouldn’t have all those fantastic properties, I’d still love them, I couldn’t live without them, at least since I got out from the boarding school and can eat whatever I want, people even often look at me like I’m crazy or frenzied when they see how much of them I can eat at once, but somehow I can tolerate it and my limit seems to be higher than most of people around me. 😀

What are your three things? 🙂