This and that and also something else. Oh, and a gallery.

I haven’t been posting for a while, huh? Well, it’s kinda hard to post about anything kite-related when you’re back to the so called “real life”, with university, postgraduate studies and all that jazz… I love Warsaw, but seriously, could someone take me somewhere with wind and warm water already? Anyway, I have 3 pieces of news I wanna share:

1. On 27 January I’m going to Hurghada (Egypt) with my very good friend Asia! 2 weeks of Egyptian goodness! We’re going to sunbathe, see the pyramids (How sad is it that I’ve been to Egypt twice and I have not seen them? Please, don’t answer.) and of course spend as much time on water as the wind allows us. I’m giving myself these two weeks to learn a certain new trick I didn’t have time to try on Paros… provided I have not forgotten how to unhook haha.

2. This friday Regis, a crazy French/Italian guy who was hanging around paroskite a lot during summer, is coming to visit me for 3 days! πŸ˜€ We’re going to jam around the city, eat Polish food (haha, pierogi and ogΓ³rki kiszone… you better be prepared for that, Regis :D). A shame it’s not snowing yet, would love to take him snowkiting 😦

3. And finally, to put the cherry on top of the Paroskite cake, I present you the complete gallery from Paros 2011! πŸ™‚ There are a few people missing on the pictures, but I’ll try to do something about that later… as for now enjoy, and those of you who have been there with me – do you remember all this?! πŸ˜€


I’ll post a separate page for the gallery later, especially if I find a few more nice pics…

May wind be with you,
-Suzana

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That’s It That’s All


It’s the 1st of October now and tomorrow I’m leaving Greece for good. I’m feeling a bit sad and quite uncertain about how it will be living in a big city again, attending university and being so far, far away from water… the only highlight is that winter is coming, and with winter comes snow which means snowkiting whenever there’s wind πŸ™‚ hopefully I’ll be able to progress a little in SK this year, would be nice.

The wind today morning is pretty tricky, ranging from 20knt to 33knt, so I’m waiting for it to become a bit more even before I go riding… lately I’ve become picky about the wind, won’t go if the conditions don’t suit me, haha… I know I shouldn’t be that way, but I guess Greece spoiled me too much with its good wind this summer πŸ™‚

Some time ago I became a level 2 instructor, which is good cause it will give me more options when I choose my working destinations next year. I already have my one year long tour planned more or less, and it involves places like Poland (of course!), Greece, New Zealand, Thailand and Dominican Republic… but we’ll see how everything turns out, maybe I’ll end up somewhere completely different πŸ˜‰

It’s a good thing I came to paroskite to work this summer. It’s a really busy school, so you either adapt quickly or you fall behind. I gained confidence in my skills and learnt a lot from people far better than me. I learnt how to work with short and long lines and a whole range of kite sizes, from 3m to 13m. I learnt how to teach from shore and how to stay calm even when the situation gets sticky. I learnt how to work really long hours and still stay positive. And, most important of all, I learnt how to deal with people of different nationalities, characters, ages and opinions.

It’s a shame I have to go back home, I would much prefer to stay here a while longer… but I guess everything good has to come to an end sooner or later. So until next year, lovely Paros, until next year. And the countdown to the day I return here is on.

May wind be with you,
-Suzana

Awesomeness is here.

Did you know in Greece they have Fanta without gas? Yup, that’s right. It’s blue (can, not Fanta), delicious and availiable in every corner store. How cool is that?

I heard them saying something about it being like a drink for children, but hey, I don’t care. And technically I am my mother’s child my whole life, so…

Other awesome Greek things include:
Gyros pita
1kg pseudo-nutella cans
watermellons

…hm, I just noticed all of these are food. Disturbing…

May wind be with you,
-Suzana

Eight Euro Glasses

At the end of the course a few days ago, one of my students gave me her fake white ray-bans as a reminder of the fun we had together. Those were the eight euro ray-bans I made her buy after our first lesson, the kind you can find easily on every stall in Antiparos. They make me smile every time I look at them, so I think it’s the highest time to write about the Eight Euro Glasses Phenomenon we have here on Paros πŸ˜‰

The thing about Greece is that the sun here seems to shine stronger. It burns your skin and it burns your eyes. Without sunglasses you’re gonna go blind.

And if you have to look at the kite for three hours straight you’re gonna go blind at least twice.

When the student goes into the water for the first time, you can bet they’re going to look at the kite continuously. It would be unreasonable to expect them to do otherwise, since they are already overwhelmed with the wind, water, kite lines and all the other new things around them. To make it at least a bit easier for them, I always say before our first lesson “if you have any sunglasses that are not extremely expensive, take them with you into the water. If you don’t, go today to Antiparos and buy the cheapest ones you can find.”

Turns out I have good students. Veeery good students who listen carefully to what I say πŸ™‚ They do go to Antiparos and they do buy the cheapest sunglasses they can find. So if you ever wonder why so many people are running up and down the beach in extremely fake colorful ray-bans, huge black ’60 styled shades or zebra/tiger stripped glasses, this is probably partly my fault πŸ˜‰ I think for the past two months I went with my students through all the shapes and colors of glasses availiable on Paros… and we had always so much fun with it! πŸ™‚ I love how you can slip all those small details into your lessons which make people enjoy everything more. Because what could be more funny than a guy who just finished a crazy bodydrag, with a big smile on his face, water dripping down his nose and pink ray-bans barely hanging on one of his ears?

Try not to smile at that. Try not to think “there is no better job than mine.”
It really is impossible. πŸ™‚

So yeah. Eight euro glasses on Paros are THE thing to have this season. And if you ever decide to wander into our humble abode, you better not forget to bring them with you.


May wind be with you,
-Suzana

How Emptiness Can Make You Happy

Looking back at today, I think it was the most hardcore day I had so far at the lovely Paroskite school πŸ™‚ Starting at 8 a.m., 10 hours straight with no break and no food (well, cough cough, that’s my fault cause I was too lazy to cook the day before… but oh well, I survived). The day was hard but funny, filled with nice students… who realize that a simple “thank you so much Suzana, I hope you will have a great rest of the season” at the end of the course can make me smile even when I’m barely standing πŸ˜‰

It’s already quite late here, but today I don’t really mind. There is NOTHING written in my schedule for tomorrow, and when I say nothing I mean beautiful, white, vast emptiness. Emptiness meaning I can sleep until 9 and ride after… at least until noon, as new people rarely appear at school before 12 o’clock πŸ˜‰ I have some new stuff I want to try on water… and for the first time in a while I’m pretty excited at the very thought of riding.

The wind is playing with my hair.
The air smells of salty water.
I can hear the waves calling me…
and today for some reason everything is OK with the world again.

Life is awesome after all. And tomorrow’s gonna be good.

May wind be with you,
-Suzana

Simple Things Do Matter After All

Yesterday evening Dawid and me went to Antiparos to take care of some things and hang out a bit. And as we were sitting on a bench in front of the port, just talking and enjoying the evening, a girl stopped next to us and out of nowhere started taking pictures. First we were confused, then we started laughing, all until her father, who was strolling not far behind her, came up to us.

“Do you want to know why this young girl wanted to take photos of this bench?” he said.

She blushed and hid her camera quickly. So that’s it, I thought, it’s not us, it’s the place she wants to catch in her lenses. She had this geekish look – big hoodie, glasses, messy hair – yet she was somehow cute. “They don’t want to know,” she muttered to her dad.

Oh, but that was way too late. Of course we wanted to know.

Her dad smiled at us. “The first time this girl came to Antiparos, there was a young boy waiting for her in this very spot, on this bench. Now she wants to have the pictures to be able to remember this place and that moment forever.”

After that he smiled again and they walked away, just like that. And the funny thing was, suddenly things weren’t the same anymore. Before it was just another dirty public bench. Now I looked at it and it was the bench, her bench. Something important. And it made me remember that sometimes even the most insignificant things can have extraordinary meaning. You just have to open your eyes and look for it.

True story folks. Just to give you some food for thought πŸ™‚

May wind be with you,
-Suzana

When Your Body Says I Can’t

Written one morning after a long string of tiring ups and downs… Nevertheless true.

Lately I’ve been thinking the job I chose to do as one of my two main occupations is a strange one. If there’s no wind, you do a whole lot of nothing and it can get pretty boring. If the wind is there, you work nine hours every day, and after two weeks of working non-stop you kinda feel like going to sleep and never waking up again.

Tired. So tired.

The funny thing is, sometimes this tired makes me wanna drop everything and go back home. On other times it’s the best feeling on earth. Cause you see, it turns out this job is not easy. Screw people who look at me and judge and say “this is not real, it’s just fun.” Haha, whaaat? Teaching, especially teaching something you love so much, is hard. Amazing, and at times extremely rewarding, but hard. The longer you work, the harder it is not to make silly mistakes, like choosing the wrong size of gear or overlooking important details. And I like to be perfect. I want to be perfect, I need to be perfect to be satisfied with my performance.

And another interesting thing, it all depends on other people. When you have nice students with whom you’re kinda on the same page, who want to learn and try hard, waking up in the morning, even when your every muscle hurts, is easy. Smiling is easy, talking is easy, giving it all you’ve got is easy. Time passes by quickly, and when at the end of the course your student says “Hey, thank you so much, I really loved it. Can I have your email adress to keep in touch?” it’s the best reward in the world. Not the money, just the knowledge you made someone happy. And then I think there is nothing else I would like to do. But then you get a student who’s mean and treats you like dirt and your whole day is fucked and you just wanna drop everything and go home and drink coffee while listening to Kings of Leon and never go back. You need to build a firewall around yourself, the “I don’t care” attitude towards those people, but when you’re tired even the best firewalls can go down.

And damn, they do, they really do.

But as I sit now in our instructors’ house and look through the window, the sun is warming up the beautiful blue sea. And I think to myself I still love it. No matter how hard it gets at times, I just can’t not love it. And I can take it all, even if sometimes I think I can’t.

So come on, weather gods. Trow more wind at us. Bring it on, I dare you. Let’s see who’s gonna be the last one standing.

May wind be with you,
-Suzana