On Selfishness, Selflessness and Singleness

Often we tell single twenty-somethings that this time of their lives is for them, that they should enjoy it because they will never have as much time for themselves as they do now. And yet we wonder why fear of commitment abounds and divorce has become the new normal.

We assume that selfishness can be turned on and off. We forget that selflessness, Continue reading “On Selfishness, Selflessness and Singleness”


This Is What “13 Reasons Why” Really Teaches Us

If, like me, you have not finished watching the Netflix Original “13 Reasons Why” because you found the themes too confronting, the main character rather self-centred and most of the scenes overly dramatic, I will spare you thirteen precious hours of your life and tell you how the series ends: Clay Jensen realises that he could have prevented Hannah Baker’s suicide if he had only been brave enough to admit his feelings for her.

What a ridiculous notion, would you not agree? 

And yet, on second thoughts, the author may have a point. Continue reading “This Is What “13 Reasons Why” Really Teaches Us”

Why We Should Celebrate International Women’s Day

I grew up in culture that celebrates International Women’s Day. And I mean really celebrates it: flowers, chocolates and cliché online greeting cards included. 

You see, “8th March” (as this occasion is known in Russian) is the Communists’ answer to Valentine’s Day.

And even though I am immensely grateful that the Communist era with its countless infringements of humans rights has passed, I am glad that “8th March” has outlived the Soviet Union and continues to be celebrated across the former Eastern Bloc. It is one of the very few things that the Communists got right and, in fact, I wish that the West would learn from them.  Continue reading “Why We Should Celebrate International Women’s Day”

How Can I Be Praying For You?

If you come from non-religious background (like mine), you will probably be startled by this question the first time you hear it. It might make you feel uncomfortable or even downright angry, especially if you are an adamant atheist or a sceptical agnostic.

And there is a very good reason for your reaction.

Continue reading “How Can I Be Praying For You?”

On Social Media Or Why I Unfollowed Your Blog

The Internet as a whole, but especially social media allow us to create our own reality. This means that, for instance, we can physically emigrate, but mentally (and emotionally) we can remain attached to the reality of our original homeland by reading the same familiar newspapers, by watching the same familiar TV shows and gossiping about the same familiar people, but now in an online format. Perhaps in a less comprehensive example, Continue reading “On Social Media Or Why I Unfollowed Your Blog”

On Multilingualism and Relationships

Recently I borrowed Elena Lappin’s memoir “What Language Do I Dream In?” from the library.

And even though I have not read the book yet, it has already got me thinking.

The book opens with three quotes, amongst them a Czech proverb: Kolik jazyků znáš, tolikrát jsi člověkem. (“However many languages you know, that’s how many times a person you are.”/”You have as many lives as the languages you speak.”)

The proverb sounded vaguely familiar; I think that my mother, who is fluent in almost six languages, would have said it on more than one occasion, probably when encouraging her students to be more committed to their English studies.

This proverb perfectly summarises what I have felt over the last few years.  Continue reading “On Multilingualism and Relationships”