How does the skin feel after derma rolling

I used 0,3mm roller on a small patch of the face and another patch on the body, for comparison. There are no marks on the skin visible but in both places the skin feels a bit irritated. It feels like after having put your hand into a cactus pot that has those very fine needles that you're later trying to take our but you can't find any. Ah so that's how a tiny punctures in the skin feel like! Fascinating :) it's been one night and the sensation is this still the same.. I guess until it stops I should be careful with it..


So after a few days I tried it on the face. Same sensation but it was gone after 1+ day. After that the skin was a bit redish, and after it it became kind of.. thicker.. at least when I touch it I feel it less.. not exactly what I was looking for.. I have the impression that all the impurities became even more pronounced since they are sticking out more.. will wait some weeks to see if there is any other improvement, but regarding wrinkles or skin pores - no difference so far.


Meditation and Vipassana is not magic!

I do not quite like it when people refer to meditation as "new age bullshit", or accuse people who say it works of magical thinking.

When you go to a doctor, he prescribes you pills, and you believe that those pills will work. Why do you believe it? Because one person - the doctor - said so? Because there was a research done that proves that those pills work? Who told you there was a research done? People on the Internet? And you believe them? Why? Is it about sufficient amount of people before you start believing? Why don't you then become a Muslim or Christian - is there not a sufficient amount of religious people around? Or is it maybe about what the most people around you believe in?

I say until you study medicine and do the research yourself, all you can do is magical thinking that goes like this: "for some reason it works even though I don't know why". Then why is a person who says "I don't know why meditation works but it works" is accused of magical thinking and being silly?

In the end there is nothing mystical or magical in how meditation works. The basic technique of focusing on your breath - is simply an exercise drill in the ability to focus. It's focus training, nothing else! And it is not exercising staying focus, it is exercising bringing the focus back, and not understanding it is why many people give up on meditation thinking that they cannot stay without thoughts running through their head. Almost no one can. When you do muscle training you do not progress by trying to keep them flexed for maximum amount of time, you usually train them by doing repetitions. This is what the moment of bringing the focus back is - a repetition. The more times you bring the focus back, the better you become at it. The easier and faster you bring the focus back to what you are doing in your life, the more of your life you will spend in a focused state. And it goes without saying that a living in a focused state makes your life better.

Why focus on the breath, not something else - breath is the only thing in our body that we can do both voluntarily and involuntarily - you can control you breath, but when you stop you will not stop breathing, the body will take over. Therefore focusing on breath is especially efficient as it makes you constantly balance between two polarities: you do not want to go into doing mode and focus on controlling your breath, at the same time you don't want to go into watching mode where you space out like in front of the TV and start thinking about something else. It's simply tricky enough, and as a bonus it forces you to make some contact with your body (more about it below). And your breath is always with you, you can use it any time.

And now about how Vipassana works, the technique that comes from Buddha. Religion aside, the 10 day courses of Vipassana are nothing more than putting you in a very extreme and difficult prolonged situation (similar to a prison), where yes it is fucking hard to fulfill the expectations you had towards yourself when you joined. It's a set up for a failure. And of course in that hard situations everyone will freak out, and everyone will freak out in their specific ways, and of course it is your personal stuff that you would rather not deal with that will come up. And since you are not allowed to interact with people there, you are not allowed to read or write, you are not allowed to use any distractions, you are forced to actually deal with your emotional shit. And since all happens in a controlled almost sterile environment, where they even feed you, it is much easier to do it than it would be in a real stressful life. That's how people go through "spiritual transformations" in those courses. This "spirituality" is nothing more than ability to look into yourself, know your shit and deal with it.

I think that the actual Vipassana technique works in different way and - just as they say in the course - it is unlikely that someone will get a real benefit from it just after 10 days. So what is Vipassana - it is a kind of body scan. As it is now known to science, there are two kinds of long term memory - the explicit memory in hippocampus - a kind of registry of past events, as well as implicit memory - that is the way your whole body has been affected by your life. People have car accidents after which their body posture changes - the trauma gets trapped in the body. So what does body scan do - it brings the awareness to what is in the body, so that again - you can deal with that shit. As a bonus, you gain more awareness of your body, which lets you know far in advance when you are about to freak out or say or do something that you would regret and gives you a possibility not to do it. Yes, our body is a part of us! Something many people forget. Emotions start in the body, not in the head. They should really teach this in school.

Now why all this religious stuff around meditation. Well, this is where it historically evolved. And I think what is the other benefit of it is that it is easier to be brave when faced with your emotional shit when you entertain the possibility that there is a higher meaning behind it, that there is an entity that wants you to do it, that will guide you. It is simply the trick to believe that you can do it before you start trying - which, as we know, is super important for the outcome.


Vipassana in Pushkar, India

I have attended and completed (!) a 10 day Vipassana meditation course in Pushkar, India. Before going there I was of course looking for information and other people's impressions, so now I'd like to give something back and write about my experience. I will not describe what Vipassana is about as it can be all found on their website (www.dhamma.org). I want to write about two things: the centre I have been to (since myself when going to do Vipassana in India I was very concerned that I don't end up in some shabby place), and my experience in connection with what kind of person I am. Many people write about their experiences and they vary a lot, but it is out of context of what kind of people they are. For someone considering to attend a Vipassana course this context is important in order to appropriately judge whether it is something for them or not.

The Pushkar Vipassana centre

The centre is located close to a town Pushkar, which is in Rajasthan, a part of India that is very popular among tourist. Rajasthan is located a bit on the north side of India, and it is a desert area. That means hot days and cool nights. In January that means warm fresh days and cold nights.

Location. It's not located very conveniently for accessibility, we took a cab there and that was probably the best choice. It's a bit on the outskirts of a town. On the way back we adventureously took a bus to Pushkar (which stops right in the centre), which was an.. interesting experience. But nothing tragic or not even bad :) just crowded loud and shaky. They also can organize a cab for you if you wanna go back by cab.

Facilities. Of course basic, but not dirty. We were supposed to clean the accommodation ourselves before leaving, I kind of left it a bit cleaner than I found it. The bed has a mattress, also thick heavy blanket. Small flat pillow. We got clean bed linen. I needed a sleeping bag in addition to the blanket though (of course there's no heating). They are tiny houses with 2 beds and a private bathroom in each. I was lucky enough to be alone in mine, only two girls out of around 10 had to share a room (how do you share a room when being forbidden to communicate? According to our course organisers "surprisingly easy", luckily I did not have to verify it :p). It's important to note that all the buildings were built with the intention that they stay cool inside. Stone floors, high ceilings, probably isolated roofs, windows pushed a bit "in" so that they get no sunshine.. As it's possible to imagine in January with 9 degrees at night it was not exactly optimal. The meditation hall got enough warmed with the bodies of participants though. There is a place on the door handle to lock it with a locker (if one brought one), there are mosquito nets in the windows, and there is warm water, from sun batteries. There's a fan on the ceiling, electricity, even a power socket.

The meditation and me

Was it worth it? Definitely yes! But I was quite surprised to find out at the end of the course that few people (aka women, as men and women are separated, so I didn't speak to men) shared my opinion. That is what inspired me to write about my experience in the context of what kind of person I am.

Discipline and tough work. The course is difficult. Every day 10 hours of staying focused, interrupted with few breaks. The longest meditation segment is 4 hours, only with 5 minute breaks, which is barely enough to take a pee (drinking water and taking a pee become an issue to be scheduled btw). Getting up at 4am. Such regime is hard both physically and mentally. This meditation is about doing tedious mental job, and it is tiring, and it is not rewarding. You hear all the time "work patiently, patiently and consistently", and yes this is what you do, minute by minute. You need a lot of inner motivation. Determination. I think I am kind of good with that. It's not that it was easy for me, it was super hard, and for last two days I felt like mentally puking with it, but I knew I can make it till the end. Before my knee accident I used to do jogging 10km and I also ran an (unofficial) half marathon twice, and while the first days felt like 10km runs, the 8th and 9th day felt like mental half marathon. And how one other (dissapointed) person put it at the end "Sometimes you do this enormous effort, like climbing a big mountain, you are sweating and sweating, and everything hurts, but then you get to the top, you look at the view and you know it was worth it. This felt similar, except the last part.". Yes that is what I mean about being not rewarding. Do not expect a feeling of achievement, there is no immediate results. If you usually motivate yourself with expecting a feeling of achievement then you may get very dissapointed unless you change your attitude for Vipassana. Actually Vipassana is exactly about not expecting anything, not craving anything. Let me add one more thing, it is not true that being not a super disciplined person makes it useless for you to go to the course. I guess everyone does as good as they can. Also the fact that you are not allowed to speak with other people but you see them doing well motivates you not to give up. You will actually work much harder than you thought you were able to. But at the end of the course you will not be relaxed. You will be exhausted. But it is the good kind of being exhausted.

Perfectionism and overthinking. This would be a big trap for me, but luckily I read about it in some other Vipassana blog post (thank you someone!). Having perfectionistic attitude is very bad when it comes to Vipassana (is actually bad in general ;)). And also, having this attitude plus knowing that having such attitude is bad (just in order to be more perfect) is still not the point :D As Mr Goenka put it in one of the lectures: "If a house lady wants to wash a piece of clothing, she takes a soap, rubs it into the clothes, and the clothes get washed. She does not need to know about the chemical reactions that occur between the dirt and the soap, she does not need to help those reactions happen. She is just doing a simple activity of rubbing the soap, without caring about how the soap works. That is what the soap was invented for, so that anyone can use it". Exactly same with Vipassana. Just follow the instructions. This technique is made for "an average intelligence person", and is supposed to work just by applying it. One does not have to understand it inside out. And next, it is also hard to keep away from the perfectionist trap. Seeing other people, imagining how well they are doing, comparing yourself to them, even comparing yourself to yourself from 1 hour ago - all dangerous. Any act of evaluation of oneself is already bringing a judgement into play, one of the attitudes that should be avoided. It's hard, as of course you always want to know how well you are doing, where you are on the scale of progress. Just like you want to know how much time is left until the end of meditation hour. Patience, patience and tedious work. Not craving anything.

Not being allowed to speak to anyone (except the teacher or the course helpers). I loved it! No stupid small talks like "how are you?", "how was your day?". Seriously, I hate exchanging such superficial bullshit. And because our days were completely filled with agenda items, if we were allowed to talk, such stuff is all we would be able to speak about. For me - perfect! You get a chance to socialise on the 10th day anyway, so it is not that you will not have a chance to exchange your experiences.

Fear of religious stuff. Many people get suspicious when it comes to anything that is connected to religion or spirituality. I am not sure why that is, but since I was brought up Catholic, I have nothing against people believing in things and telling me about what they believe in. I am not afraid that someone will brainwash me. I do not think that it is so easy to influence my thinking, if I did then I would be more concerned about that than anyone religious or spiritual talking to me. Even though Vipassana is told to be non sectarian and totally religion agnostic technique, you do hear about Buddism beliefs as well as other religions during the evening lectures. Some people could get freaked out by this, or just simply shut down. I liked what one girl said "I am not afraid of fanatic people, I just listen to them and I take what I want, and the rest I do not take". I have a kind of similar attitude. Not that anyone was fanatic there, I'm writing it just to make my point. Also the morning chanting could make someone conscious, but same here, I do not see why I should be concerned. When I now think about it, of course it was kind of obvious that we will hear about Buddism, in the end it is not that easy to separate the two, as the technique was invented in the context of Buddism. For me it was actually interesting to hear about this theory. I understandd it as the historical context. In the end if I ever get enlighted by any chance, and see what Buddha supposedly saw, then I can still change my opinion ;)

Listening to the evening lectures. This guy in the video (called Mr Goenka) really explains everything well. Some things he even repeats multiple times. Yet still I get the impression that some people just don't listen. Either they don't listen or they don't understand, or they don't want to understand. Even having read other people's blog posts about Vipassana I already see that some people do not listen to those lectures and fall into the traps that are mentioned there. Please, listen to the fabulous instructions. I know that they are a bit longish and the guy is not the most concise fellow on Earth, but still, he knows what he is talking about. And he is speaking from experience of teaching many people. He knows what mistakes people tend to make. I am a software developer and it a kind of reminds me of people who do not read the documentation and then are complaining about the piece of software being useless.


What are the benefits of this whole affair. While some people write about being high or almost out of the body experiences (btw focusing on it is one of the traps), I think that the sensual or audio-visual experiences are really not that important. It is fascinating though what the brain can start doing when left on its own with minimal input from the outside for long enough time.

There are obvious benefits coming already from how the course is organised. Because you are not allowed to talk, read or write, you give away your mobile phone (!), you really have nothing else to do than focus on yourself. And you have all the time in the world for that. It made me realise how little time we actually have for it in everyday life. I would say it is close to zero. So, introspection, forced introvertism. And it is not that you start thinking about situations from 10 years ago, or you remember about how it was when you were a child, no. You actually live very much in the moment, you go to the meditation hours, go for lunch, take a shower, go to the meditation hours. But in the meantime you react to what happens outside you in your typical way (in the end there are still people around). And because there are no other distractions, your typical reactions are very exposed and clear to you. I became shocked to realise my typical reactions. It's making your problems very visible, as long as you are attentive to them and not get washed away with "omg this is so annoying why did I come here". Better pay attention. One can learn a lot about oneself just because of this.

Then, meditation. First three days is practicing Anapana, which is supposed to help you focus. I am a very "multitasking" person, and usually find it really hard to focus on what someone is even saying to me for more than few seconds. Sometimes I find myself having more than 1 train of thoughs at a time (or at least it feels so to me). These three days actually did make a change. The time of spacing out while watching the evening lecture got descreased from my typical 10-30 minutes to 2-10 seconds! Of course now, after 2 more weeks of vacation this effect is almost gone, but that is because I have not practiced it since then (still planning though, once I get into my normal week work rhythm).

Next 7 days we were practicing the actual Vipassana, which is about doing whole body scan, part by part, while keeping certain state of mind. A side effect of this was that I realised how small I am. I realised that being trapped in all my thoughts and projections about what other people think about me, I imaginerily expanded myself way beyond my physical body. When I entered a room I would imagine I take all the space of that room, while most of the people would not even notice me. Realising that you are only actually as big as your physical body takes away so much weight from you. It made me feel much lighter. Smaller. Humbler.

And now to the real effect of Vipassana. This is what the actual point of this meditation is, though I am not sure if I got that benefit yet. Purification of the mind. While you meditate emotions come to you and those emotions feel very familiar. You are supposed to acknowledge them but not react to them emotionally. I am not sure if what I experienced was caused by Vipassana, since every time I had those emotions coming they still came in response to some external event, though right after meditation. It happened twice, on the 7th and 8th day. And yes, both of those emotions were very intense and they brought up really deep negative beliefs about myself. I have been crying but without tears. Yes, I felt those emotions coming in waves. After the second episode I thought to myself "wow, now I feel like I felt when I was 23". I am not sure if those beliefs got eradicated now. When I think about them now they feel untrue to me, but maybe when I am in some very bad mental state I may still believe in them? The time will show.


Guilt versus abuse - completely unprofessional psychological theory

I remember the beginnings.. the moment when I went down the stairs, I was playing with my tooth that has almost completely gone out, and I was feeling.. this kind of weird-guilty mixture. As if the world became a bit darker. I remember noticing it and thinking that it is most likely just temporary mood and will soon go away.. or maybe was it was the fact that there was never enough light downstairs? - I thought. Or was it because my grandparents are old and will soon die? - I was asking myself. Or maybe it is in the end all about the tooth, because yea, it did feel a bit odd to be able to feel the bottom of the root with my tongue and suck the blood while later watching TV in my grandparents' bedroom.

But yes, what is this strange weird-guilty mixture? Isn't it the same feeling you get after someone else caused you harm? How bizarre is it to feel guilty after being abused, yet this is such a basic and universal human reaction, and it really amazes me how the world still seems not to have acknowledged it. Why do we feel the same way when someone does us bad as when we did something bad to someone? What if I challenge the concept by saying that the feeling which we call "guilt" is actually primarily felt when someone else hurts us, and we also feel it "extra" when we hurts someone else only because of empathy. Mirror neurones. Empathy allows us to feel what the other person feels after we have hurt them, which is.. guilt. Is it really not just the very same feeling on both sides of the action? Yes when you are hurt you may feel resentment, anger too - but aren't those just learned reactions? What does a small baby feel when it's abused? I think it does not feel resentment or anger, so it is likely that what it feels is: guilt. I don't mean here feeling guilty for doing something, I mean this weird feeling of feeling guilty in general, it feels a bit like having lost a part of oneself, forever. I think that as we grow, we learn tools to prevent ourselves from even getting there, we learn how to fight back, how to start an argument, how to blame, sabotage, and what not. But before that, when we are just children - we are defenceless, and - my theory is that - what we experience at young age when being abused is pure guilt.

So I was standing there, in my grandparent's hallway, feeling guilty and weird. And not, this feeling never went away since then. Slowly, over weeks, it started to change into a conviction that I must be faulty. Broken. Like, because something just literally broke. I used to be fine and then one day the world became darker, and it would never go back to how it was before.


The danger of being with a young guy

As of the year 2016. They are young, they feel powerful and have a vision for their life. They wanna shape it, they don't want compromises. They feel  enthusiastic. They feel entitled. They will not want to see fault in themselves, they will blame others, they will blame the world. They wanna choose. They will say "we don't match each other", and move on to picking the next one. Not because they are heartless, but because they still believe that they can shape their life. That they can decide on how the other person should be. That they have all the time in the world to find the relationship that will feel effortless and successful, just like they want to be successful.


Armenia and Georgia trip

We have two friends from Armenia, and one day there was this idea: let's make a trip to Armenia! The two friends we know independently from each other, and they got to know each other through me. We also decided to make a trip to Georgia while we were there. Initially I hoped that the main focus of the trip would be hiking, but since I had my knee injury, the focus shifted from hiking to eating. Both of our friends were in Armenia at this time, spending their vacation there. They said they will organise everything we want and show us around. But not everything what they said about Armenia was how we imagined it. I want to write about what really surprised me, and which things i found really awesome. I will also mention something about Georgia, though that was too little time to gain any cultural insights.
Khor Virap


Armenians are really proud of their country, of their culture, of their everything. That strucked me especially when I compare it to how Polish people think and talk about Poland. I could even say that this is a complete opposite. Also the behaviour of our friends confirmed this, and since they both work in IT field and are rather smart people, I could not attribute this to primitive instinct of belonging to a group (which some poorly educated Polish people show e.g. during football matches). It is also not the nationalistic kind of pride, more like a very strong sense of where they come from, where they belong, almost as if it was something sacred. On one trip we were told that the national identity of Armenians has always been very tightly connected with religion (as this is where apparently the first Christian churches were built), so maybe that is where my impressions came from?


People seemed nice. Of course it is a different thing when you are a tourist in a contry and you actually live there (I can say that especially after moving to Germany), but I cannot help connecting those impressions with what I already know about my Armenian friends. It seemed to me that people treat any other people with respect. I did not see any sign of "I am better than you" attitude, even in man-to-woman relation. That may of course just be only a superficial impression, or biased with the fact that I knew some people from there before. It was also visible that people are not afraid of being not perfect, which is again completely opposite to what I see in Germany. A street musician which sounded as if he just started learning to play guitar, or people singing terribly out of tune in Karaoke parties, dancing and having loads of fun there. I would say that this is way more healthy way of living, and I presume that because of this people there must be happier in general.

Visual taste

A hotel covered in blinking lights, making it look like a toy castle for a princess little girl. Casinos lit up with orange and light green colours. Flea market souvenirs with awful lot of flowers and decorations. Many times what crossed my mind was the word "kitsch", but I suppose that this is just the fact that it is another kind of taste that is foreign to me. But isn't it worth attention, that things like taste in visuals can vary between people, but when you think about music, what is out of tune is simply out of tune for everyone. I also learned once that the notes that sound good when played together sound good for everyone, because of how our brains are wired. It is interesting that it is not so when you think about visual art, especially as sight is supposed to be our primary sense. I remember the girls being amazed at one kind of jewerly where real flowers were sank in some kind of solid transparent medium, and I was thinking that even though the idea is neat, I would never wear something that looks like piece of transparent plastic with a dead plant as a bracelet.

The window of a stationery store..


Since my recent idea of being a vegetarian I did not explore a lot of meat dishes, and meat seems to be main type of food in Armenia. Everyone, but everyone would immediately make jokes when they heard of someone being vegetarian, even the waiter. I did try some meat dishes though, and I can say again that the dish called "barbecue meat" is just awesome, and once I tried it, I do not see any point in eating meat prepared in any other way. Luckily, same kind of meat can be found in Munich's Georgian restaurant, it's a little pricy though.

Armenian barbecue at my friend's home

What I liked the most of all the foods that I have tried was a dish called "barbecued vegetables". Well, one of the mistake our friends made when presenting us Armenian foods, was calling the dishes by their name, for example not explaining that "BBQ vegetables" is not simply vegetables that have been put on a grill for some time, but they are special sort of vegetables, barbecued in certain way. And here it is: tomatoes, eggplants and peppers are put in fire until they are cooked inside and burned outside. Then the burned part is peeled off. Here, surprisingly the burned part is just a layer of the width of the vegetable skin, so it is actually not that much that is left out (I was lucky to help preparing it at my friend's house). Later, the vegetables can already be served, or they can also be smashed together, creating a kind of vegetable mash.

Grilled vegetables in Georgia

Does not look very inviting, but tastes just amazing. You can even feel a tiny bit of the burnt taste but without any bitterness. The whole dish is very juicy and the vegetables look as if they were sank in oil, but in fact it is only the vegetable juice. This dish has so much taste, that you could easily distribute it into 3 times the volume. Definitely the best thing I ate in Armenia and Georgia, and the next thing to do is to learn to prepare them myself.

Another popular dish is "kebab", but it has nothing to do with the kebab we eat in Germany (good that this semantic difference was mentioned to us by our friends :P). It can be made from any kind of meat, and to me it felt like a kind of cooked minced meat that is formed in something of a shape of a long sausage. I am not a fan of this dish, mainly because the meat feels very soft and loose, and this is simply not the way that meat is supposed to be. But I know that some other people loved it.

The remaining dishes, like khachapuri or khinkali can be googled of course ;)

Taking a taxi/car

Taxi is the main means of transport, also within the city, and it's cheap. And again, the semantic difference has not been clear to us. Taxi can mean both the car with a TAXI sign on the top, as well as a kind of private car which you order with a smartphone app. I am still not sure if the latter is a legally approved ways of transportation, but it seems that when people say "take a taxi" they mean this. Even the hostel ordered this kind of "taxi" for us to bring us to the airport.

Apart from taking a taxi, you can also take a car. But that does not mean renting a car, which apparently can be quite pricy there and is not popular at all. What it means is renting a car together with the driver. He will take you wherever you need to go, wait for you, and bring you back. And all is very cheap.

That said, it is interesting how getting to a nearby town becomes same kind of affair as going to the other side of the city. When one uses public transport, getting to another town has to be planned in advance, one needs to check the bus schedules, compare it with train schedules, compare the prices. Here you get into a car and tell them where you want to get. Not very environment friendly, but so convinient.


At the beginning I did not quite understand what my friends meant by saying that renting a car and driving in Armenia/Georgia without prior experience of the traffic there (or other 'non-paranoidly-ordered' countries) is a sure way of getting into a car crash. Now I understand. Let me try to explain.

Firstly, it is not that people drive in a mean way, or agressively - which one may assume when somoene says that it is tough. They seem to always pay attention to all the other drivers and pedestrians, and whenever the have to slow down and make space for the other to compensate for their mistakes they do it gladly. People watch out for all other participants of the traffic a lot.

And they do it in order not to have to strictly follow traffic rules. The lanes are just a recommendation, the "don't overtake" signs are just a suggestion, moving your car to the side so much that one wheel almost drives on the grass is perfectly normal manouver, so that the car from the opposite direction can overtake another car next to you, on a two-lane road. Logical, isn't it :P Changing the lanes is also simple, you do not have to change them one-by-one, if you see that there is a passage opened, you just quickly drive across, and of course all other drivers will see that and slow down if neccessary. Indeed, huge room for cultural misunderstandings here :D

Also pedestrians.. I have seen two pedestrians crossing a road outside of a pedestrian crossing in the way that they got to the middle of it, and then stood there and waited for an opportunity to cross the second lane. All is good until now, except there was no grass or any other gap between the lanes. They were just standing on the white double line separating the lanes, in the middle of heavy traffic, and no one even bothered. The cars would just pass few centimeters behind and in front of them, and it seemed that this is a very normal way of crossing the street.

I would say this is a lot of trust for other people, and the traffic seems to function as whole, rather than a set of independent units. It is also less dummy proof, of course.

One more think, honking. Car honking is not just a way of expressing anger or strong disagreement, it is means of communication. They have this funny way of barely touching the wheel, quickly two times, which makes a very indecisive short double sound. From what I got, they use it to say hi, or just to say "hey, here I go, please watch out for me now". Even in Yerevan standing on a hill and looking at the city panorama we could hear the double short honk here and there. I am tempted to say it is almost cute :)


The first thing we could say about Georgia was that the capital - Tbilisi - at least its center - is very beautiful and modern looking. Of course not without overwhelming amounts of blinking lights, but by that time we have gotten used to it ;)

Freedom bridge

Tbilisi at night

Cafe at the end of the cable car

The freedom bridge made the biggest impression, by its light effects, even despite looking like a huge snail ;) There is also a park with singing fountains and a caste on the top of a hill, with a cable car going there over the city. Definitely a great place to be for 2 days, but I am not sure how much there is beyond that. Also we could see that it is only the centre that has been strongly invested into, of course the other parts of the city look less stunning.

The food, the food is just amazing. It is hard to answer the permanent question of our friends "is the food better in Armenia, or Georgia, Georgia right?", as we have simply tried just a very limited sample of both. But yes, the restaurant we were taken to by our driver in Georgia was definitely awesome. And yes, the wine in plastic bottle I bought there for 10€ was finished during next 2 days :)

And that's it

I definitely want to go there again, both Armenia and Georgia, maybe best separately. The duration of this trip - 9 days - was definitely not enough. I want to go hiking there and sit in the nature. I want to visit some music/jazz concerts, for which we simply didn't have the time/energy. I would like to hang out with some local people, going to some local events or hikes. So simply feel the place, rather than rushing through with a camera in my hand. But for what we had available I think that this was a good overview :)


Being vegetarian - after 3 months

That has been much easier than I thought :) What I learned in last 3 months:

  • self-made vegan (even not vegetarian) food can be super tasty, even without artificial flavours
  • self-made vegan food does not have to be something complicated or following some fancy recipe - simply fry onions add peppers and then all the other vegetables that you have, add garlic, and lentils, peas or couscous; vegetables do taste awesome!
  • if you add sunflower seeds to a salad, it becomes much tastier, and heavier (which is good in case you don't eat meat)
  • there are meat grill replacements (other than grilled cheese), if you still want to attend barbecues
  • in many Asian restaurants you can still order your favourite dish just ask them to make it without meat

I think I still eat too little protein though, my plans of eating more beans and lentils did not really work. I started to eat even less eggs, which does not look good combined with the above. I started eating couscous, but that does not have much protein either. I am adding sesame flour to muesli now, but that is not much (tastes good though).