Monday, May 31, 2010

The Coffee Society

  • Let's meet up for coffee?
  • On va se prendre un petit café?
  • Zeit für einen Kaffe?
  • Prendiamo il cafe?
  • Fika?
  • Kape muna tayo?
  • Vil du ha en kafe?
  • ............................. ?

As this suggestion can be translated in all the different languages, not only do we understand why the coffee culture is a timeless phenomenon; but we get to realize that it is also one of those things we can consider "spaceLESS" - a custom which all nations/people seem to like having in common. From the traditional black coffee to the hip caramel macchiato (of course never forgetting some of those lovely pastries accompanying our drinks), from Vienna to Manila passing by Capetown to Buenos Aires; our interest for "coffee time" -- or the more accurate term would be our enthusiasm for coffee get-togethers -- is why I proudly announce to be part of the coffee society... And adoring it.
It is weird to mull over it but don't you believe that many nice feelings occur in these spots without us even being truly conscious about it - and thus on a daily basis? Just the taste of this rich aroma is a wonder and appreciating it with a good read or the quotidian su-do-ku can be the highlight of one's day. Yet the coffee society is manifestly more than just the love for coffee, it is the people blending with it. The coffee break with colleagues grants us small but well-deserved 'victories' in our everyday, busy lives. One knows how blissful it is to have the 'usual" place to spend quality moments with friends and loved-ones. Meeting up for coffee after an eternity in order to catch up always sounds like a great idea. And do you remember that whimsical get-together? 
When I sometimes look back, I recall having defining encounters around the coffee table. Simply being in the company of .........! I remember those conversations that  mattered, that meant something, that changed days, opinions and even lives -- whether those talks were wanted or accidental, serious or easy-going! I can still see, smell and taste every single moment as it revives and sweetens my precious memory and/or presence of these unique individuals. I have influenced a few people and they have inspired me! I've been through hardcore laugh and have shed profound tears as well! In the end, it is always a delight to touch a life in the most basic way: by talking and by listening.
The coffee society then remains one of the best things that illustrate beauty in the ordinary. Indeed, we might regard it as absolutely normal, part of the routine and being without any particular importance whatsoever... and it certainly is! But we can ascertain that this natural product turned out to be the easiest yet most effective way to bring people together. It starts so small. It begins with you and me. Looking into each other's eyes... And God knows that having two persons intertwined has the possibility to trigger a bigger-than-life follow-through. Interacting, discussing, sharing, reaching out, enjoying and literally crashing into each other's lives -- is sight for sore eyes. And doesn't the coffee make the ride a little more tasty? Sure it does. Drink away.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The first date

The moments before one of the most stressful situations ever called the first date; and the impression you get – from that person in all his *something something*, from the impact you believe you made on him –  is truly the most hilarious time to ever go through. The little voice in your head. The feeling. The atmosphere. There is definitely a whole lot of preparation and analysis – before, during, after - Please, don’t you just wish you won't screw it up?

Yes, indeed. There are a few rules that remain timeless for the WOW! date. For instance, you honestly need to look your (very) best, but not in a way that your outfit may be too revealing nor to have make it appear like you prepared for it way too long, way too much. Looking good... Looking fine ? Alright... Next step. There is a list of Don’t-s you are aware of; and should preferably avoid in any given circumstance. Talking about ex-boyfriends and your weird obsessions, for example, may appear on top of that list. Acting cool... Acting fine ? Alright... Next step. Finally, all know that the one essential tip to a perfect rendezvous is to simply be yourself.

Be myself... Be MYSELF?!?! Yes, about that, it’s actually not that easy when you are nervous like a wreck. It is not that you don’t have any trust in yourself, but you surely do not trust the YOU who is jumping all over the place! This is the part where self-confidence needs to kick in immediately. "You got it, girl! You know your thing! That it is, woman!

Hmm... Honestly, I hope he doesn’t realize that I’m a total freak!"


... But what if you did cross the line of the Don-t’s list? What if you were plain clumsy when that was the last thing you wanted to be? And what if, curiously enough, that actually made it funnier and you had a good time despite all the mistakes? Were you not ridiculously happy? At this point, you come to realize that having 
this kind of behavior i.e. being clumsy is also part of being... well, yourself. And of course, isn't it triggered by how much you like your date as well?

Your first impression after the WOW! date is truly the most hilarious time to go through as you also wonder how things can/might turn out in the near future. "Is there going to be a second date?" But when the first date's conclusion is that you had a whale of a time and laughed through the night – against all the odds - Please, don’t you just wish you won't screw that up? That little voice in your head. That feeling. That atmosphere. There was a whole lot of preparation; but for the first time for a first date, maybe not one bit of analyzing. It was so horrible, it was actually awesome.

Friday, May 21, 2010


In the long run, all it takes to make a woman float on cloud nine is a down-to-earth man.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


You need to invest in your talent before anybody can ever invest (money) in you.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Double standard

Having a prestigious family name is a blessing.
But just because you got the privileges and comfort that go with it;
Does not mean that you shouldn't prove yourself as one, single individual. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Profile picture

No matter how gorgeous, plain or photogenic you are,
A genuine smile will always be your best shot . 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pressure cooker

It is very common for people to claim that no one, and that means absolutely no one on the face of the earth, comes close to their mother's cooking. This is especially, but not necessarily, a typical remark from individuals coming from Latin-speaking countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Philippines or Mexico. Both women and men feel this way about their mother's food: they praise her delicious dishes, brag about them to everyone and indubitably, they will miss her baking, her roasting and her grilling immensely when they haven't got a taste of it in a long time or do not eat it as often anymore. Case in point, a mother’s kitchen remains a sacred place: somewhat impenetrable and never, ever replaceable.

It is a very interesting – and yet at the same time, a questionable – observation since I could not help but wonder… Food for thought: If the world's best cooks are mothers i.e. women, then why is it that the greatest chefs nowadays are men? Shouldn't it be women since a majority of people value their mom's cooking so much more? [Pause for reflection] If you haven’t noticed it yet, just look around the next time you hit the restaurants; there is a very high chance that it is a man who is preparing your next, great meal.

As I tried to come up with some answers on my own, I realized that it was such a difficult task since I was left completely clueless. I tried to foresee, imagine the reasons behind this certain phenomenon; but none that quite satisfied me. So I surveyed around, asking friends and family about their opinion on the given subject. To their own surprise, my inquiry made them contemplate for a while [“Oh that's right, I never really thought about that…”]; and my research resulted into odd, comical situations. Many, like I, just could not find a direct answer. Some presumed that it was because these male chefs learned from the very best (i.e. their mothers) after all; others believed that most women prefer to keep their cooking low key (i.e. mothers do not automatically want to bring their talent to the public and/or work in a restaurant). A few then justified the fact that men ultimately have another – perhaps an even better – ‘culinary’ touch. Finally, I had a few people who were more straightforward, and suggested that men simply, genuinely aspire to become chefs more than women do.

It is only after discussing it with this one special friend that I stopped my investigation, finding the answer I was looking for. The weird thing is that it was only to discover that becoming a chef has basically nothing to do with being male or female. The reason why a large number of people – men as well as women – compliment their mom’s cooking more than anyone’s is because, in the end, a mother’s kitchen is more than just her exquisite cuisine. My very good friend mentioned a passage in one of his favorite books entitled “For One More Day” by Mitch Albom, that reads: "It was as delicious as it was familiar. I don't know what it is about food your mother makes for you, especially when it's something that anyone can make- pancakes, meat loaf, tuna salad- but it carries a certain taste of memory." Enlightenment.

A mother’s expertise, more than preparing the best meals in the entire universe, does indeed give a taste of memory; and it also procures the feeling of belonging and symbolizes the warmth of home. It is then no surprise that every single one of us searches, longs for, needs this somewhat empowering, comforting sensation; especially when we have been away from it for a long time. In the end, this particular taste will never be replaceable; just like a mother can never, ever be replaceable. Sadly, not all of us grew up with a mother (figure) and many claim not having such a great bond with theirs. But if we were lucky enough and were blessed with such a wonderful and admirable person in our lives, we should always be grateful for it and never take her for granted. Being a mother is not a job, it is a vocation. So let us show her how much we appreciate: from the second we were born to us eventually becoming responsible, independent adults; we should learn to sustain and always cherish the relationship we have with our mom. It is a gift from God to have someone care for us, and whose love we will never be able to see the limit of it. It is unconditional, and like her cooking, nothing ever comes close to it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The smartass theory

There is no such thing as a dumb question.
Only people who say there is make a fool of themselves.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Come What May

There is a special time of the year that I always look forward to. It is when spring reaches its glorious point: with its green coming out, the flowers blooming in all their beauty, and it finally comes the time to bring our lovely selves out there with our (new) sexy shades and clothes! Bless, only one (or two) layer(s) needed! Ever since I can remember, no matter what I am doing and whomever I am spending it with [and not], the month of May has always been my favorite moment of the year!

We all have noticed how time goes by so fast. It is already May... As a matter of fact, many of us may have the impression of not being able to keep up with the pace. Something and everything is always happening! Work has to be done, exams are to be prepared, errands are to be run, summer holidays are to be organized (though we shall not complain about that!)... Don't we sometimes feel like life is moving one step ahead of us and it is quite hard to catch up with it? But even though I feel the immense stress and the time pass much quicker during this period of the year, knowing that the academic year is on its final straight line, I cannot help but be mesmerized by/during this month. 

Something sensational in me arises -- each time, every single year. And the funny thing is that I cannot really define the taste, whether it is sweet or spicy. Light flutters. Like a grasshopper jumping from one leaf to another, like a faded smile wanting to reappear, as if the heart had its own melody... It is an afternoon delight slowly melting in my mouth: at times it is sweet and fruity; other times, the feeling is more spicy and hot. Maybe it is the sun or even the rain, it is  perhaps due to that particular smell or the season's sale, we are also able to take the coffee outdoor at last... Or, in the end, isn't it simply because of all this positive energy that we people produce? It is then no wonder why 'love is in the air' is a common belief during this period.  

I grew very fond of May over the years. And I presume I will always be ridiculously, deeply, unbelievably smitten with May... Like love, it is a beautiful feeling and I do not know why and how it has such an effect on me. It just has. And like love, all I know is that every single second of this month will take me to a higher place. I am clueless to how and why; but it just does, without any particular reason behind it. Sounds a lot like love, doesn't it? Come what may.