MY POINT OF VIEW

My opinion in a world with freedom of speech

What happened this year

After almost a year of silence I realize I did not at all fulfill one of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. However, I never said anything about where I wanted to write more blog posts, and I have been updating my other, Norwegian blog a bit more. I did finish high school and save more money though. I have almost completed this year’s photo challenge as well – only missing one picture at the moment. In September I got my first tattoo, after my cat [read her story here & here] died, and got that tattoo as a memory of her and the cat I had before her.

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And I did go abroad – three times in fact. First to America, then to six different countries in Europe in 12 days, and then to Denmark. Now as for the exercising more – I signed up for a membership at a gym, and have gone there quite a few times, but lately I haven’t had much energy because of work. And the urban exploration? Well, I’ll save that for next year.

I am going on an adventure soon though, to quote Bilbo Baggins. In about one and a half month I’ll pack my bags and travel to the other side of the earth. To Australia. So I believe I have quite the year coming up, and I’ll try to live as much as I can. See what the place has to offer and don’t miss out on anything.

I generally think that’s what life’s about. You know, living. I have said this so many times before: I do not want to be that old, grumpy person who in 40 years looks back at my life thinking about all the chances I let go. Uh-uh, that’s not going to be me – I see way too many people like that at work, and they all seem so miserable. It’s sad.

So as I close this post for now, I just want to remind you all to live. You never know when it’s over.

Monika

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Goals for 2014

Happy New Year to you all; I hope 2014 will offer you lots of joy and nice surprises!

76 Night
I do not have anything 
very exciting to talk about today. So what I decided to do was to tell you that in 2013 I was working on a photo challenge with 100 different topics. I managed to finish it and now have 100 very different pictures for each of these topics; I will publish those pictures on my tumblr blog, for those of you who are interested in checking it out – I write in English there too.

The next thing I wanted to do on today’s post, was to share my New Year’s resolutions/goals/plans for 2014:

  1. Do another photo challenge
  2. Get a tattoo
  3. Finish high school
  4. Continue saving money
  5. Go abroad at least once (preferably more)
  6. Exercise more
  7. Start blogging more often
  8. Urban exploring and road trip (ah yeah, I got my driver’s license on December 3, so some friends and I have decided to go on a road trip somewhere)
  • Do you have any New Year’s resolutions/goals for 2014?

Monika

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

My wishes are that you are all safe and warm wherever you might be in this world. I hope that you are doing what you love the most these days.

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Monika

Writing prisoners

I was thinking of making this topic a weekly topic, but to be honest I do not think I will manage to go through with it. I will rather just try to post a little bit about it now and then, when I have some new thoughts around it.

Anyway, I began a new adventure in September: I finally decided to write to prisoners. This has quickly become an important part of my life, and I am surprised to see how soon the four guys I am writing, have captured a big part of my heart. I am not “interested” in their crimes; they made some bad choices that put them behind bars, but I am not here to judge anyone. If they want to tell me their story about what got them in there, they do whenever they feel like it – if not, the subject is not to be talked about, I won’t ask.

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Now, it is important for me to point out that I do not support criminality. But I believe we can all make bad decisions, some worse than others, but as long as we are willing to learn from our mistakes, we deserve a second chance. I am not doing this to make myself feel better about myself; like, think that I am doing someone a favor or anything. I just want to get to know new people, people I know need someone to talk to, and who are interested in getting to know me. And this is something I feel I have found in the guys I am writing now.

This is interesting. Exciting. Honest and real. I have written to people in the free world for about for years, but when I get the letters from the inmates, I cannot help but smile. It is so different – although I still love writing to my old pen pals, these prisoners truly bring something new to my life.

I will make more posts about this, but until then – feel free to ask if there is anything you are wondering about when it comes to writing prisoners. I will try to answer as well as I can.

  • Do you write prisoners – or are you planning to?

Monika

Inspiration to do something

Saw this today and just wanted to share it with you all.

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I actually do wake up
with those thoughts very often. Then, somehow the thoughts never seem to become reality. At least that is how it usually turns out. Now, this story had some more pictures on it, but it ended up in someone playing video games, so I cut it; but my thoughts all the way down was exactly that; will this end up in some “but still I’m just sitting here… doing nothing”-thing? It kind of did. So I guess this is someone many struggle with.

  • What is your advice to people who want to do things like these, but need inspiration to go through with it?

Monika

Quote for today

I have to admit I am lacking some inspiration to write anything here right now. I do have at least one, maybe two – maybe make a weekly topic out of it – idea that I want to share with you, but not today. Kind of want to get more into it myself at first, but it will come. Because to be honest I think I have started one of the most exciting journeys of my life and I want to share it with as many as possible.

But for today, it will have to do with this picture from the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and this cute little quote I have written on it – and hey, I think this quote is something we should all think of.

41 Domino Bricks

 

  • Can you guess what my topic is?

Monika

The good deed for the day

I am starting to realize I mostly focus on serious – and let us call it sad – subjects in here. Tonight on the other hand, I want to tell you about my “good deed” for today.

As my art class headed to another city to see a couple of museums, we saw  a homeless man sitting on the street, asking for money. Now, even though I often want to, I almost never give money to beggars, mostly because I never know what they will spend it on. So as we passed this guy, we decided to buy him some food and a cup of coffee instead. Now this is something I have wanted to do for ages, but never have, but today we did.

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And this man’s face 
when we gave it to him… You could tell by his body language that he was a tired and old man, and even when we approached him and he did not yet know we were going to give him anything, he looked so exhausted… But then, when handing him the coffee and buns, everything about him changes. He smiles, both with his eyes and mouth, and does not even know what to say, just looks at us and says, “Thank you… Jesus” and kind of lifts his arms up to us.

I can not even explain how good I felt after that. For me, it is not such a big deal really, it only cost us about 3 Euro, but seeing how much he appreciated it… How he started warming his hands on the warm cup of coffee right away … It made me realize how much that meant to this man. How our 3 Euro pretty much saved his day.

So I guess what I want to say about today’s post – it is not to brag about “my good deed” and stuff, it is more to explain to you that a couple of minutes of your day can actually make another person’s day a million times better. Try it sometime, it is worth it.

  • Have you ever done a small thing you know saved another person’s day?

Monika

Maniacs on the Internet

I always keep an open mind when it comes to getting to know new people. I never judge anyone before I actually have a proper conversation with them – alright, I might have some thoughts upon how they are, but never decide not to give them a chance based on those thoughts. In 2009 I decided to broaden my horizon and joined two international pages; StudentsoftheWorld and InterPalsThrough both pages I have gotten to know people all over the world – some I have talked to for just a short time, others for months or even years. But wow, does these pages have many weird members.

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I began thinking about this today, when I had my last conversation with a Turkish guy who contacted me on e-mail a while ago. We sent a few e-mails back and forth for a little while – and he seemed pretty nice – before he asked if he could add me on Facebook, and not thinking too much about it, I gave him my name and permission. Then the stalking began. The non stop talking – from his side, that is. And as I thought it was just too full on I simply quit answering him much. Then one day he calls me. I never game him my number. Never thought of the chance of him calling me.

After that I ignore him and his messages completely, until today. He sends me a message on Facebook again, saying a lot of crap really, and I tell him it just was not appropriate that he called and just wouldn’t understand I was not interested. Then suddenly he says, “Such a Norwegian girl , arrogant …” And oh my God, that tipped me off the edge. I usually do not care if people call me things, and honestly I did not see this as a personal insult as the guy does not even know me, but the fact that he just spoke like that as if he knew every Norwegian girl. As if he had met a Norwegian girl in person – which he has not. Well, I told him exactly what I thought of him after that. I never say things like that to people, because the description of “arrogant” is as far away as you could get from me, but in this conversation I had enough.

Anyway, in the end I told him he has some issues he needs to deal with (this really is the first time ever I say something like that to someone, but this guy totally deserved it as he just did not take my point), and then deleted him from my friend list. A couple of minutes later he says “An advice to you, if you are afraid to talk to stranger people, don’t talk to them on Facebook. I am lucky, cuz you are not my friend”, then blocked me. This is probably one of the most pathetic people I have ever spoken to, and by everything he said I saw that he does not know me at all.

I love talking to new people and getting to know their stories – there is a reason I have this blog, there is a reason for why I have written letters for four years – but even I have limits. And the limit is a couple of miles before this guy; I do not have the interest in talking to people who expect me to be in touch 24/7 and who I do not actually have anything in common with. Or those people who have made up their minds, already decided Norwegian people are like this or that. And particularly not; those who think I am in for an Internet relationship …because believe it or not, this is not the first guy who has turned out to be pretty crazy, but luckily the worst one this far.

I really hope I do not sound too shallow or anything now, because I am not, but this guy just pissed me off.

  • Have you ever had experiences like this on the Internet?

Monika

Sachsenhausen ~ post three

This will be my last post about Sachsenhausen. And I will focus on showing you some pictures this time, explaining a bit more on some of them.

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No, the rocks above 
are not for playing. The prisoners were forced to walk back and forth on these to try out new shoes. They tested out the shoe soles, and how much they could bear. Sometimes they had to carry heavy bags on their backs to put on more weight. And hours would pass as they walked like this.

DSC_1236_“In memory of the victims of Sachsenhausen concentration camp”

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This is the Norwegian Memorial 
place, where my class put roses. “The Norwegian government honors the 2500 Norwegians who had to suffer through the terror at Sachsenhausen between 1940 and 1945 because of resisting the Nazi occupants. Many of them lost their lives after the inhuman treatment in this camp. We will honor you forever.”

Monika

 

Sachsenhausen ~ part two

I want to share one of the first stories we were told at Sachsenhausen.

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Can you imagine moving this? 
I cannot. It is way too big, way too heavy. But while Sachsenhausen was used as a concentration camp, people were forced to. They used it while they worked, to fix the ground. Good choice of words to explain, I know, sorry.

Anyway, on days some of the Nazi guys just felt to be worse, they enjoyed playing with the poor people trapped inside the camps. We were told some of these stories, one of them was about the big thing on the picture. They were usually 12 men when they pulled this one around, just for “fun” they could be eight. Then four, and this is where the short story begins… when a Nazi decided one of the four men didn’t work as hard as the others. And he decided to make the man pull the whole thing all on his own.

The man, obviously, does not have enough strength to move it. So the Nazi says he doesn’t do as he is told. Then deals with the situation by killing the man. No questions asked. The man did not obey his orders, so he needs to be punished.

Even though I have been told stories like these through the years, I can still not understand how the Nazi could work in these camps, do so horrible things and then walk home to their families, their wives, their children… and just be a nice husband, father… It is probably something I will never get my head around.

Monika