Thought of the Day: Random Act Of Kindness

“Mind the closing doors” is a phrase that commuters are sick to death of hearing. Its also a phrase that most people adhere to, save a few that we immediately roll our eyes and tut at. But that’s because they barge on for themselves, getting their arms or bags caught, just to save an extra few minutes waiting for the next tin can stuffed to the brim. But today, reader, I was that person. Or, rather, someone else was that person for me.

As I approached the platform, through the network of tunnels, I saw the tube waiting, with its doors open. I broke into a half-run, expecting to catch it, but alas, I heard the warning beeps of the closing doors, just as I reached the dreaded yellow line. But then, oh but then. A foot stuck itself out from where the doors slide out, and a kind stranger stopped the door, giving me time to board and promoting the message “please stand clear of the doors”.

Now, I wasn’t too bothered if I missed the train; the bakerloo line runs every couple of minutes so it made no real difference to me. But it was an act of kindness, from a man who owed me nothing, expected nothing in return, and that I would never see again. It’s prompted me to look again at my commute, at every aspect of my life, and think about how I could use small, random acts of kindness, just to keep the cycle of goodwill alive. Giving up my seat without hesitation (come on, you know we all think twice before offering it up); buying a round of coffee in the morning to help the day along for my teammates; smiling at strangers; all small acts that could really go a long way to improving someone’s day.

So, thank you, kind stranger, for keeping that door open for me. Please do mind the closing doors though. The delays can be a real inconvenience…

The Adventures of Graduate Life: Post-Grad Dinner Parties

Inspired by a recent Guardian article, I’ve started to examine my own experiences of dinner parties and how they present themselves, both at university and after graduation. There are some key differences about the expectations of both guests and hosts at these dinner dates, so to avoid you committing a faux pas and becoming a social pariah, here’s a handy guide to navigating adult dinner parties.

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Thought of the Day: Resolutions

It’s mid-January and most people will have broken their New Years Resolutions by now. Not because they want to. Not because they’re weak. But because they made unrealistic promises.

So many people decide to eat healthy, go to the gym, or otherwise better themselves, but it’s always on such a huge scale that they’re practically setting themselves up for failure, right?

What if people made resolutions to drink more water, buy more fresh food or walk instead of taking the bus? These goals would be so much more achievable, and people would feel better about themselves at the end of the month.

By this time in January, many people have thrown the baby out with the bathwater and don’t just break their diets, they eat more junk than they did before! Because they feel like they’ve failed. But they haven’t. You haven’t. Keep at it, break it into reasonable chunks, and go for it.

Me? My resolution is to blog twice a month – achievable. One post per 2 weeks? Yeah, I can do that. But a post a day? Well, for me, that’s just inconceivable.

Travelling on a budget

You know how travelling costs money? And students don’t have much of it? Well…

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5 Spanish Stereotypes

Stereotypes Which I’ve Found To Be Totally True

1. Siestas. For about three hours every day, most shops are closed to enjoy lunch and an afternoon chit-chat session. The exceptions are the bigger, international brands like Primark and Zara, which tend to remain open, but are usually pretty quiet. In terms of banks and public services, though, forget about it – once they’re closed for siesta, they rarely reopen.

2. Mañana culture is real. So real. Don’t expect anything to get done for deadline unless you ask for it three weeks in advance. On the other hand, if you don’t get things done by the deadline they’ve set, expect all hell to break loose.

3. Fiestas. Spain has tons of fiestas. If a city is celebrating a fiesta, all rules are broken. For example, drinking on the streets is illegal most of the year, but during fiesta days the botellon culture takes over. And I love it. Because even though people drink on the streets, they aren’t getting drunk the way us Brits do on holiday; Spain’s relationship with alcohol is, dare I say, healthy.

4. Spanish Speaking Speed. Spanish people speak so, so quickly. Especially if they think you can speak Spanish too. They’ll run with it and you’ll just have to smile and nod.

5. Iberian Passion. While the Spanish people I’ve met haven’t necessarily been short tempered, they’ve all had their moments of passion. Whether it’s over heating bills or The Lion King, when they’re particularly invested in something, they really fight for it. Honestly, it’s fantastic to see such conviction in one’s beliefs.