Tag Archives: life in germany

Cheap Steve Madden flats and the great Cholula discovery

Today I moaned and whined about not having any basic flats in my closet. Between my mustard lace-ups, my patent black buckled flats and an assortment of black boots, I basically have no quick warm weather shoe options. Sure, I could sashay through Kaufland in my thick soled bluchers, but I could also make a quick trip to the nearest mini mall and pick up some Chinese factory made flats, because I am poor and ignore the consequences of fast fashion like the horrible human being I am.

But I actually found these cool Steve Madden flats for 27 Euros, which is maybe $50 USD, but I generally ignore my depleting bank account these days so I can’t give an accurate conversion.

IMG_2164

They’re perforated and pointy, everything I need as a girl who refuses to wear open-toed shoes.

IMG_2192

IMG_2201

IMG_2181

IMG_2169

Cardigan: Primark
Top: H&M
Skirt: Aeropostale
Flats: Steve Madden (so damn similar)
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff
Necklace: Forever 21

Speaking of Kaufland, THEY NOW SELL CHOLULA AND FRANK’S RED HOT. One of my biggest fears about moving to Germany was having to give up my hot sauce addiction. When I first moved here, I only thought Tabasco and the cheap Fuego brand hot sauces were available. My suitcase was over its weight limit and I refused to let go of the three bottles of Cholula I had packed for my move. I used them so sparingly in the first few months, only choosing the best pizzas to have them with.

But as we were shopping in Kaufland yesterday, my German came over to me and said, “Come with me, and I think you need to hold my hand.” He led me to the moST GLORIOUS SHELF I HAVE SEEN SINCE DECEMBER 2015.

20160413_121050-2

I bought one of each.

The fun didn’t stop there, because Kaufland also decided that tiny overpriced fruit are the new hottest thing for summer.

20160413_120558-2

Also this week, we ventured out with the Wes dog to a park nearby that had a bountiful amount of daffodils that I lovingly refer to as “tax flowers” because they were planted using tax money from working Germans. Germany decides what is beautiful and worth spending money on apparently.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

We also stumbled upon several man-made branch huts, which I made Wesley get in with me for a picture, which ended up looking like an awkward engagement photo.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Today I made monkey bread for the first time, which I ate a regretful amount of. It’s a bit too sweet for my taste, but I am thankful it stayed intact.

IMG_2156

IMG_2158

I’ve spent the better part of my day trying to put together outfits for an upcoming sponsored post and making myself look ugly despite Snapchat’s beauty filters.

Screenshot_2016-04-15-20-33-11

I have work in the morning, which is apparently going to be my Saturday ritual from now on because it’s easy to piss on the new person when it comes to scheduling. I really don’t mind, it’s money, but I am hoping for an easy train ride there, unlike last Thursday.

Screenshot_2016-04-14-08-20-06

My neighbors (most likely) think I am from the Middle East

Being an Arab shouldn’t be a problem, and I am not offended by this assumption in the slightest. However, Germans (I am speaking for Cologne) have been more outspoken about anything they deem “odd” in their community circles since the New Year’s assaults.

In my last post I was upset about a woman who aggressively questioned me while taking blog photos. She tried to tell me that this area was private (it’s not), that I wasn’t allowed to take photos here (I am) and that she was calling the police (wait what). Even before this incident, I had a slight suspicion that their questioning may be racism fueled. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions because I am not one to become offended by that. I make fun of my skin, hair, poop brown eyes and Mexicans all the time. However, I do have a problem with those who are unreasonably rude to me because of the color of my skin.

IMG_2087

IMG_2096-2

IMG_2107

I may regret typing this, and I may delete it later so I’ll remain vague, but I experienced racism the first time I visited Germany as well. I had to spend some time in a certain place as part of a college study abroad program, and I was treated very poorly. I was even refused at the door by a shoe shop in the neighborhood. This place I was supposed to spend a few weeks at wanted me gone after a week, and I remember calling my mom crying because I was miserable.

IMG_2092

While taking these photos today, an older man and a young girl were riding bikes together. I was putting my hand over my lens and standing to the side anytime people passed, and I heard him telling the young girl, “She has a camera.” I told them hello as they passed me, and I didn’t see him again until I was finished taking photos. He politely asked me if everything had turned out all right, and if I had taken any nice shots. I said yes and he asked to see one. While I was going through my camera for a non-derp photo, I joked about my German being embarrassing because I kept fumbling with my words. He responded, “My Arabic is too.”

IMG_2108

Cogs clicked into place in my head, but I remained calm and told him that I was from the U.S., Texas specifically. Even though he had been nice to me before, his attitude seemed to change from curiosity to relief and he left immediately.

I can’t help but think that the woman I encountered last week, and the people before her, are assuming that I am an Arab, the very people they are showing prejudice towards. I understand their concerns and worries, but since Germany managed to redeem itself from a grueling past, it would be a shame if they began to tarnish their reputation again with damaging assumptions. It’s worrisome enough how racially insensitive their Carnival celebrations are, but I’ll save that for another blog post.

IMG_2138-2

I still love this country and I am happy it is my home. I just hope to one day receive mutual respect from my neighbors. I have done nothing to betray trust, and I promise, as is evident here, that my photos are only of my dumb self.

IMG_2127

Jacket: American Eagle (similar)
Top: H&M (similar)
Skirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Topshop
Earrings: H&M

Alright, this is a style blog after all. These shoes are the most dangerous clothing item I own, and also the most comfortable. I was feeling a bit “dressed up” in this outfit, so I toned it down with a jean jacket. If you’re looking for a fitted soft denim jacket, I highly recommend American Eagle’s selection. I’ve outgrown their clothing, but their denim is hard to beat.

My neighbors are STILL suspicious of me: Police edition

This is an unexpected part 2 of the the blog post I wrote this past February: My neighbors are suspicious of me

I spent my morning recording a video about why bloggers wear seasonal clothing if the temperature hasn’t yet reflected that season. For example, why a blogger might wear a sundress and strappy heels when there’s snow on the ground in April. But this idea was completely halted when a neighbor decided to accost me while taking blog photos for this project, accusing me of photographing houses.

LET US SEE THE BACKGROUND, SHALL WE?

IMG_1917-2

Beyond my smiling ass face and cold legs, you can see trees, sidewalk, poles and apartments in the damn distance.

Oh wait, what about this photo.

IMG_2006

MY FEET. OH HELL NO.

Wait, wait, surely it’s these offensive photos that warranted being confronted:

IMG_1972

IMG_2010

IMG_1981-2

AirBrush_20160408171903

Oh, oh no WAIT. WAIT. This old German woman cleared it up for me. This is a PRIVATE. AREA. This sidewalk here, y’all. Private. This open, connected sidewalk in a public living area is private. My camera and tripod and brown self are not welcome there, and that totally justified her saying that she was going to CALL THE POLICE.

I am SICK of this. She aggressively approached me and I answered as calmly as I could, told her I have a style blog, that I am only taking photos of myself, and just, ugh, listen to my rant if you want to know:

(WARNING: Cursing, whining, multiple chins)

This is getting out of hand. I don’t know what to do. I had the idea of making a sign in German that I can prop up against my tripod for anyone who may be curious or confront me again. I can simply say, “Lesen Sie” and point to the damn sign.

What would you do? I have every right to take photos in this area, and a quick scroll through my blog is evidence enough that I never post addresses, street names, houses or anything else “private.” I need a nice, mature way of handling this problem because I will not stop taking blog photos around here and I will not tolerate being mistreated by members of this community.

Dress: Vero Moda (similar)
Jacket: H&M
Shoes: Zara
Earrings: H&M
Ring: c/o SammyDress (similar)