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By Naughtie-McCourtie Rebecca
Romania is the land of the lost gentleman! OH, and the Polish were right to have arrested me…
One thing at a time though… first thing is first… Romania!
Just when I was starting to think that the allusive figure known as ‘the gentleman’ was nothing more than a mythological creature, I met the modern day Romanian man… or should I say men! Real men! Men that you only ever read about in fairytales… men that fit the bill as being masculine, manly, well-mannered and down right dapper! Man as a man should be! Devoid of the fact that I generally like my men brown and hairy, and certainly the average Romanian man fits this bill, it is the disposition of the general male populous in Romania that strikes me as being classically romantic. Ladies, Romania is where it is AT!
I believe the modern-day Western male is going through a drastic feminization process, whereby gender etiquette of the past is being exchanged for male cosmetics, fashion (tight and low-cut fashion), hair-obsession paraphernalia and basically anything and everything that was once purely associated with being ‘feminine’.
I can only assume that the historically recent (and continual) fight for gender equality in the West has resulted in the ‘male’ coming up confused about his place in society. This has seemingly started a revolution against the traditionally defined the roles of men and women. If women want equality then it would appear we must sacrifice chivalry. Women actively participating in the public realm has killed the gentleman and given birth to the modern-day dandy.
How does this play towards equality, though when statistics still indicate that women do the majority of domestic work in a household? Essentially, men are abdicating from their role as ‘masculine protector/provider’, however women are not only retaining their role as ‘caregiver’,but also assuming that of ‘protector/ provider’.
Women are bringing home the bacon and cooking it… and also doing all the washing up afterwards. How is this fair? When woman works, cooks, cleans and looks after you, one would think you could open the bloody door for her! Rarely in the West does this occur.
I have lived in Australia, New Zealand and England and traveled extensively throughout Continental Europe, and let me tell you, chivalry is a rarity. To highlight this trend, I have an example whereby on one occasion I was waiting at a bus stop in the rain (in a country I will not name). When the bus pulled up I was almost bowled over by the young man waiting with me. Evidently eager to get out of the rain and save his heavily gelled locks from the wrath of the rain-drop, I was literally shoved to the side in his desperation.
Should he have given way to me out of traditionalism? Was the saving of my hair more important than his? As a woman that faces every day social expectations as to the way I should aesthetically appear in order to get the ideological ‘attractive’ tick of approval, would I be judged more harshly with hair looking like a wet dog? Or is the modern-day male also subject to this social scrutiny?
If so, has the game of chivalry turned into a game of ‘survival of the fittest’, whereby men and women are equally judged by their appearance? Are we competing against each other for the title of beauty queen? These are the questions that now arise in the modern-day Western world. Perhaps when the men are also gazing into the mirror and asking: ‘who is the fairest of them all?’ chivalry cannot exist. It would be like asking one tennis player to keep one hand behind their back, while the other has use of both. It wouldn’t be fair! Dog-eat-dog world appears to be the new norm!
Mind you, life is a comparative measure, and I by no means wish to suggest that ALL men in the West are manner-less, there are worse things that women could be subjected to. I did have an Egyptian boyfriend once, he was ok on the manners front, but then again he compensated with some pretty dogmatic and degrading cultural expectations that I was just NOT willing to conform to. I would rather have a door slammed in my face as opposed to a d*ck up my arse any day! At least with chivalry or lack thereof in the West, a woman can save herself! So maybe the answer is accepting change in light of a comparison to that which has not changed and probably never will.
Back to Romania, when I came here I was expecting something similar to my initial expectations of Poland. I was expecting sadness, gloominess, coldness, depression, and just like Poland, I was pleasantly surprised. I arrived on a very hot and sunny day to happiness, brightness and all-round pleasantness. The country is amazing! Despite their less than fantastic economic situation, everyone seems happy. Everyone I came across was smiling and as mentioned above, the manners these people have are overwhelmingly classic and dapper in their demeanor.
Bucharest is like a pinball machine, with its night lighted criss-cross of narrow old alleyways and its outer new city curved streets that encapsulate the grid of the old town. I felt like a pinball buzzing up, down and across the streets lined with trendy cafes, bars and boutiques.
Everything is set within the rustically old and ornate buildings that serve as whispers to the beauty of the past. The elaborate stone awnings and artistically crooked weather worn doorways are a reminder of the word sublime. Bucharest is certainly a place where the past meets the present in the most stylish and fashionable way. I have literally spent my days in this city winding myself around the uneven stone-slabbed streets. Forget the dandy-esque notion of cute Continental European cobblestone alleyways, this city is bold, masculine and handsome in its exterior.
Whoever defined Paris as the ‘IT’ city had clearly never been to Bucharest. These people actually smile, are friendly and exhibit a genuine modesty and appreciation for your tourism. It’s a city where young women are clearly participating in the work force, but young men are still holding the doors open. From the taxi driver who carried my bags to the entrance of the hotel, to the countless men who have stopped in their steps to allow me through a door first… right down to the young teenage lad who waited and held the door open for me in a shop… the men here are getting it right! Classic chivalry still reigns the day!
Moving onto Poland. While indulging in the delights of Bucharest, I started thinking about my whole Poland saga. I had spoken to a few people who told me that my story just didn’t seem right. I told them that I knew I wasn’t the only person who had been told everything was electronic… but alas there were certain people who were adamant that I had been misinformed.
So I double checked… I double checked and after some running around by the embassy, it was determined that I had, in fact been misinformed. I was shocked! It was so unlike Sweden to make a mistake! Their processes and procedures for just about EVERYTHING in life left no room for error- or so I thought. I guess mistakes are human nature though. It’s not the mistake that defines us, but rather how we resolve it.
In typically efficient Swedish fashion, my issue was resolved at the speed of administrative light. I emailed the Swedish embassy here in Romania, who subsequently communicated with the department of immigration in Sweden, who subsequently advised me to attend the embassy in Romania to rectify the problem and HAY-PRESTO! All this in 24-hours and my ID card issue was resolved.
So I guess this means I have to apologize to Poland. They were right… or kind of right. They were right to question my travelling without an ID card. I did have the visa; I just didn’t have the legal proof on me. So I was lucky, as lucky as could be that they did not deport me. Nonetheless, even though I admit I was in the wrong, I still think the Soviet style interrogation room with my daddy-doppelganger was a bit too much.
If the Maltese let me through their airport with a bottle opener knife in my hand luggage (giving me nothing more than a giggle when I pulled it out of my bag in horror, realizing I had forgotten to pack it in my check-in), then I think the Polish could have been a little less intense. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Role playing crazy Kremlin antics circa Stalin era does not assist an administrative process involving multiple languages. Nonetheless, contrary to my previous assertion that my visa was electronic and Poland should have known this, I stand corrected. So, I am sorry Poland for unknowingly not doing the right thing. Thank you for not deporting me.
Week one in Romania down! Week one with no vampire encounters. We’ll see what Transylvania brings… mwahahahahah!
To save up money for the future, you probably opened up one or more savings accounts at banks you trust. But have you noticed that your money isn't growing as much as you would like it to while it sits in those accounts? They probably are not earning much money in interest, so the amount that you have saved likely has not changed much since you put the money in the account. This can be frustrating and disheartening, and it can create quite a bit of fear about the future, especially with coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions and rising costs.
The good news is you can do something about this. Putting your money in the bank is not the only way to make it grow. Instead, you can invest in assets that will appreciate in value over time. That way, you can build your wealth, and if you ever need more cash on hand for any reason, you can sell the assets you invested in and get the money that you need.
What are some of the top assets that you should consider investing in? HotForex has created this infographic to illustrate some of the options that are available. Keep reading to learn a bit about them.
Asset #1: Gold
When it comes to assets that you can invest in to grow your wealth, you probably think of real estate, right? A lot of people do. Unfortunately, many people these days can't afford to buy real estate because they might not be earning enough, they might not have enough money saved for a down payment, or the home prices in their area might be too high. But, again, there's no need to get discouraged because there are other assets, such as gold, that can be much more affordable but still give you a great return on your investment.
Gold is an awesome hedge against inflation, so even if the value of your currency drops, the value of your gold may remain stable or increase, thereby supporting you and your wealth goals. So, definitely consider buying some gold when you are ready.
Asset #2: Commodities
Another way to hedge against inflation is by investing in commodities. According to HotForex, industrial metals and oil have done well since COVID-19 restrictions were eased around the world in the recent past, so when you look at how their values have changed, you may realize that they have increased in value and price. If you invest in them now, you might be able to reap the benefits of their value continuing to increase in the years to come.
Some of the commodities that you might want to consider investing in include oil, palladium, copper, and silver. Going with materials that are in high demand across a variety of industries is a good way to ensure you will be making a sound decision and a financially responsible move.
Asset #3: Forex
Finally, there's the forex market. If you have never heard of it, it's basically a market in which you trade currency pairs to make a profit, much like you would trade shares of stocks on the stock market.
To succeed in the world of forex trading, be sure to get a good quality trading platform, like the MT4 for PC download. That way, you can gain access to valuable tools and stay on top of every trade with ease to increase your earnings.
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and contains some commercial links)
While wine has long been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, a new study shows that alcohol-free versions may also give you all the health benefits of the real stuff. According to researchers at Anglia Ruskin University, it's not the alcohol, but the benefit of wine comes from antioxidants in grapes, the Daily Mail reported. The team analyzed data from nearly 450,000 people aged 40 to 69 to look at the impacts of moderate alcohol consumption on their health.
The study, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, showed a 40 per cent reduced risk of coronary heart disease among people who drank up to 11 glasses of wine a week compared to non-drinkers and binge drinkers. The same reduced risk was found among those who regularly drank non-alcoholic versions, suggesting the goodness of grapes, the report said. Grapes are high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which can improve the function of the inner lining of the heart and increase levels of good cholesterol.
While wine has long been linked to lower risk of heart disease, a new study shows that alcohol-free versions may also give you all the health benefits of the real stuff. | Photo by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash
On the other hand, drinking a moderate amount of beer, cider, or spirits, was linked with about a 10 per cent increased risk. There is an "undeniable protective beneficial relationship" and drinking grape-based alcohol, lead researcher Dr. Rudolph Schutte, Associate Professor at the university was quoted as saying. "This relationship is also seen for alcohol-free wine, so it suggests the benefits are thanks to the polyphenols in the wine rather than the alcohol," he said.
However, the positive associations between wine and health benefits are offset by other risks, especially from cancer, the report said. Those who drank low levels of beer, cider, and spirits had higher levels of heart and cerebrovascular disease, cancer, and mortality, the study found. The researchers noted that their findings "do not support the notion that alcohol from any drink type is beneficial to health", the report said. Schutte said drinking alcohol, even at low levels, can be damaging to health.
"A group of non-drinkers will contain individuals who abstain from alcohol due to various pre-existing health reasons, making this reference group surprisingly high-risk. "Comparing a group of low to moderate drinkers to this 'risky' reference group of non-drinkers could wrongly indicate that alcohol is beneficial to health," Schutte said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Wine, alcohol, free, grape, advantages, diseases, health
Have you ever matched with someone online and realised you have no idea what to say to them? Do you worry about setting a bad impression with the first thing you say? In the world of virtual dating, it can be hard to think of ideas to go beyond 'hey' or 'hello', but nothing beats the chemistry of a good conversation to calm the nerves! Your first (virtual) date should be lighthearted and a two-way street. The easiest way to do so is to ask questions that matter to you and check your partner's interest in the same. All in all, don't be afraid to be yourself, after all the aim is to find someone as like-minded (or goofy) as you are.
Having introduced people to their love stories for over two decades from all around the world, dating app OkCupid lists down five conversation starters that will get you and your date talking!
'What's something that you really want to do?'
Being able to uninhibitedly discuss your dreams, goals, and desires on a first date can be a terrific approach to get to know someone better. Your goals don't have to be strictly professional-sharing what you'd like to achieve, whether it's learning to play the guitar or mastering Italian cooking, might help your date gain a better understanding of your life and priorities. Break the ice with your partner and ask what they seek from their life and what they truly wish for. In fact, 34 per cent of daters on the platform find questions around the partners' goals, plans and wishes a good conversation starter.
Your goals don't have to be strictly professional-sharing what you'd like to achieve. | Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
'Dogs or cats?'
Pets too have been perfect conversation starters for millennials; getting to know if your date is a pet parent, their views on adopting pets, and their bond with these furry creatures can reveal interesting insights about their personality while also giving them the opportunity to learn about you. Safe to say, millennial daters in their search for unconditional love, look at the relationships their potential partners have with their furry friends with 31 per cent of daters reveal that pets are an ideal way to start a conversation with their match.
Pets too have been perfect conversation starters for millennials. | Photo by Andrew S on Unsplash
'What's next on your watchlist?'
There's no shortage of streaming services or access to movies, shows, or literature in today's world. With this in mind, discussing TV shows you're watching, recommending must-see movies, and telling your match more about your all-time favourite novels can help keep the conversation flowing while you and your date learn more about each other's personalities and favourite characters. And who knows, this might even lead the way for a virtual movie date or book reading session!
Discussing TV shows you're watching, recommending must-see movies, and telling your match more about your all-time favourite novels can help keep the conversation flowing. | Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
'What do you want from a relationship?'
When seeking a long-term relationship, it's important to know if the person across the screen is looking for the same thing. Twenty per cent of the daters revealed that learning about their partner's perspectives and what they seek from a relationship is an intriguing conversation starter. This can stem from the fact that dating has changed phenomenally during the pandemic, and millennials have discovered an impatience with entertaining dead-end connections and instead truly investing in the one with potential. The focus has shifted to discovering romance and compatibility with a potential partner through the quality of conversation and time spent together.
The focus has shifted to discovering romance and compatibility with a potential partner through the quality of conversation and time spent together. | Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash
'What's next on your travel bucket list?'
Travel! The perfect conversation starter to break the ice and transport your date into a dreamy world where you could go wherever you want to -- soaking under the sun by a beach, backpacking across the country, or watching the Northern lights. Travel will open the door to a multitude of other topics such as food, cuisines that your partner is fond of, places that they've been to already or what's on their wishlist. And this just might help you and your date decide where to get a bite in the city or try something that you wouldn't have otherwise!
avel will open the door to a multitude of other topics such as food, cuisines that your partner is fond of. | Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: date, world, virtual, pet, interests, pets, travel, dating