Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ten reasons why I love England.

Since I was a teenager I had dreamt of going to England. I knew a little about the country, a mere stereotype. Polite people, 5 o’clock tea, Big Ben, double-decker buses and the royal family of course. What I knew was enough to keep me attracted to it and wanting to study English language all my life. However I never made any conscious effort to make my dreams come true, as 10-15 years ago in Poland, travelling to a foreign country wasn’t that cheap and easy.
Somehow a trip to Britain was planned in my destiny. At the very end of my university course there was a kind of student exchange programme, in which I participated without any hesitation. That’s how my British adventure started.

As soon as I got to England I was enchanted by it. The reality was much better than I expected and even though there aren’t many sunny days in that country and life happens at high speed there I took an instant liking to it.

1. Cultural diversity.

Although smaller cities in England are more or less homogeneous in terms of ethnicity, in bigger ones you can make friends from all over the world. I used to hang out with Thai, Japanese and Turkish friends, lived with Arabic, Spanish, Italian and Brazilian ones. Meeting them was a great lesson in culture and tolerance.

2. Typical architecture.

I’m in love with Victorian houses. I visited many of them and the idea of having stairs and various floors in a house really appealed to me. Well, not in terms of cleaning maybe. Each floor is a surprise. Bay windows, beautifully shaped banisters, porch windows letting plenty of light in. I just love them.

3. Unique shops.

I’m not a great fan of shopping but there are some things I like to shop for, like tea and coffee. There is an wonderful chain of stores called Whittard. I could spend hours there admiring the beautiful cups and mugs, smelling coffee, choosing new blends of tea or chocolate. They made a fortune off me as I was one of their most regular customers.

Another place, a real must, is Holland & Barrett - a chain of health food shops. A paradise for health diet fanatics like me, where you’ll find lots of nuts, dried fruits, seeds, herbal supplements and many other delicacies.

I frequently used to visit the Body Shop, which sells natural beauty products. All the pots and tubes are displayed according to their ingredients, which usually are of fruit and plant origin. Not a single visit ended up without me buying a delicious body lotion or a lip gloss.

 4. Camden Town.

There are many street markets in London, but the one that really attracts attention is in Camden Town . This part of town is a meeting-place for alternative people from everywhere. The market products and the variety of people from different “tribes” amaze even a person who has been there, done that and seen it all. Tattooed and pierced all over their body, individuals with different hair colour (including green or purple) and interesting clothes are the norm there. If you are looking for something you can’t describe or explain, you’ll find it there.

5. Car boot sale.

Once I was invited by my English friend Jason to visit him in Newcastle. He showed me round his city and at the very end of my stay there, he took me to a car boot sale. That was fun. Lots of people were selling stuff they didn’t need any more, displaying it - depending on the quantity -in the boots of their cars or on simple, improvised stalls. It’s a great place to find a bargain like a modern CD player for 40 quid or an LP of your favourite band you’ve been looking for for ages.

6. Notting Hill carnival.

The last weekend of August in London is a special time. Everybody who likes to have fun gathers in Notting Hill for a carnival. This carnival is not like the Venetian or Brazilian ones. It’s roots are Jamaican and it comes from racial inequality. With time it has gone through various changes and ended up being a cheerful, colourful gathering of people who want to forget about their daily routine and monotonous lives. There is a great parade of people dancing and following big cars playing loud music, there are huge loudspeakers on almost every corner playing various kinds of music and people dancing and having fun all around. Stalls with different kinds of food from all over the world attract hungry participants to restore their energy.

7. British people.

The stereotype of Brits is a very cruel one, I think: cold, reserved people with a peculiar sense of humour, strictly following rules. I’m not an expert in this matter, but after living in England for 3 years I must say I completely disagree with it. The English are reserved, it’s true, but this comes from their extreme politeness. They are also very helpful. Actually England is the place where I felt most respected compared to other countries. I miss it so much nowadays living in Brazil (no offence). Life following the rules is so much easier and organized and people following them are easier to deal with. Especially when we’re talking about social rules.

We can’t generalize about people anyway. I remember once, when I visited Ely, a small town close to London, I was really surprised when complete strangers greeted me on the street. “Hello! It’s a beautiful morning, isn’t it?” That felt so good. I wasn’t completely anonymous on the street; I felt I was a part of something. A nice way of noticing you and at the same time not intruding on your personal life without permission.

8. Pubs.

Even though I’m not a beer lover, on the very first day I made a point of going to a pub. Most of them are magical places. I always felt as if I was entering a different world that had got stuck somewhere in the past. Interesting decoration and dark lighting create a wonderful atmosphere. No wonder that once they get there, people stay for hours ordering pint after pint of ale, bitter or lager. I especially love pubs in villages or small towns. The houses there are built with raw stone and the entrance is so low that as you go in you need to bow your head. I said I don’t like beer that much, but there is a special kind that comes from Ireland, called Guinness . A mixture of that with blackcurrant syrup is perfect, although Irish people and real connoisseurs of Guinness would accuse me of profanation. What’s interesting about Guinness is the way of pouring it into a pint glass. It needs to be inclined at an angle of 45 degrees while it’s being filled and then has to be left to rest for a couple of minutes for the foam to go down. Then you top it up. If you are a skilful barmaid (and I used to be), as you pour the last few millilitres of beer you draw a shamrock, the national symbol of Ireland, on the head of the Guinness.

 9. A-Z maps and the London tube.

The London public transport system is amazing. Apart from the buses that in most cases are punctual (with small exceptions when they get stuck in a traffic jam) there is an underground system which is very, very, efficient. Trains come frequently and take you to any place you need. You just “dive” into one of the tube stations and emerge from another one right at your destination. There is something interesting about this means of transport. As it is under the ground the pressure there is different, which causes drowsiness. There were quite a few times when after travelling for around 30 minutes I almost fell asleep reading my book or the famous Metro, a free newspaper that is available at the entrance to each tube station. The phrase “Mind the gap between the train and the platform” heralds the approach of every train to the station, accompanies you on every trip and has become a symbol of the London tube.

If you decide to explore London on foot, there is a wonderful book called the London A-Z map. It made my life so much easier. Thanks to it, there was no place in the city I wasn’t able to find. I think I was born to use it, after all they call me Agata Zgarda for some reason. I regret so much having left it behind when I came to Brazil. It would be an nice souvenir to have around.

10. British music.

It would be a crime not to mention British rock and pop music here. I was practically brought up listening to it. Usually people are influenced by their peers or family when shaping their musical taste, but in my case, I came across various bands by myself. I discovered them and then, after some time, I realized they were British. There is something about the style that attracted me to the British sound more than to the American one. I grew up listening to Pink Floyd, Queen and David Bowie. Then The Police and Sting singing solo. Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Marillion were introduced to me by some friends. Nowadays I’m still faithful to them, but there are a few others I have learned to like: Coldplay, Keane, Travis, Suede, Madness and Pulp. I had better stop writing here because the list is rather long and I wouldn’t like to turn this post into a music encyclopedia entry.

I was just about to start writing about British series and films, but 10 is 10. Sorry. This may actually be a topic for the next post. Who knows...

Thursday, September 02, 2010

A cactus.

By Agata Zgarda

I used to be good with plants.  My apartment in Poland was full of them. There was a huge rack on the wall in the living room, filled with pot plants. I used to say I had a small rainforest there. Almost all the window ledge, almost all the shelves in my apartment supported some kind of  green species. Everybody said I had green fingers. I knew how to look after my home garden.

Since I came to Brazil my fingers seem to have lost their greenness. The tropical climate has changed them into dry sticks. I made some attempts at growing plants over here but all of them ended up poorly.

There was a beautiful areca palm, which became an ants’ nest after two weeks and withered. Then I was given a miniature rose bush. Watering it regularly and putting in different parts of my apartment didn’t do it any good and soon it joined the areca palm in the flower cemetery. The next guest in my house, a pink begonia full of flowers, shared the same fate.

Finally one day a cactus appeared in my flat. It’s been there a few weeks now and it’s still green and there are even some new stems growing on it. I think I’m slowly getting back to my old skills.

There was a time in your life when you controlled all the things around you and you knew how to deal with them.  However, things change.  Pantha rei.  Our bodies change, our way of thinking changes, the environment and people around you are not the same anymore. One day you simply wake up and realise you don’t know what you want from life and you lose your bearings.  Life has swept you off your feet without any warning. You feel as if you have been thrown out of a spaceship and are now drifting aimlessly in space, completely lost.

Don’t panic! Even in empty space there are some random flying bodies to catch and hold on to.  Once you get a grip on one of them, you’re home.  Some constant things around you will help you to build up your confidence again.  Step by step you’ll get back on your feet. Start with small things, like the cactus.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Re-post (reply + post) to Ken's "10 reasons why I love Brazil".

Brazil. Such a short name for such a huge country and so much hidden behind it. Ken has been here ten times and I've lived here for 10 years. I thought it would be interesting to compare our impressions. 10 times, 10 years and 10 impressions or reasons to like it. Here I go:

1. The north east. That’s the place where I’ve lived in for nine years. It is very different from the other part of the country. I’ve heard, there were even plans to separate the north east from the rest of Brazil in the past.

Recife, as it was in Ken’s case, was the first place I stepped on, when I left the plane that took me from England to Brazil. It must have been the same flight Ken took, because even the time of arrival was similar, 2 am. It was a different year, of course. When I left the aircraft I wasn’t prepared for the heat that welcomed me. In Europe, we associate a night with cool weather and I was really surprised with the sensation of a sticky humid cotton candy surrounding everything late night. I had an impression I could get the air in my hands and make cotton balls out of it.

Things moving slowly here? Oh, yes. They really do. People in Bahia mastered the slow lifestyle to perfection. I think I’ll never get used to it.
Beautiful beaches on the coast? Definitely.

2. Brazilian Portuguese. There are so many different accents in Brazil, that it is impossible for a foreigner not to get lost in nuances of Portuguese language and impossible for a Brazilian to hide their origin. Thanks to this, people mistake me sometimes for a Brazilian from the south of the country. I live in the north east and the way I see it, Portuguese language here is sung, not spoken. It's beautiful, however unnerving, if you try to use it in TAP plane (Portuguese airlines). I'm not sure, if Portuguese flight attendants understood me, but I had a hard time to understand them.

3. São Paulo. I've never stayed there for a long time so, I can only say I got impressed by sky scrapers I've seen on my way from one of the airports to another.

4. Denise Stoklos. She comes from Paraná, which is one of the states in the south of Brazil, where Polish colony has its biggest concentration. I have the feeling she may be a Polish descendant. Her Polish name would be: Denize Stokłos.

5. Florianopolis. Well, it has something in common with Teresina: the energy problems. Not even the smallest drop of rain can fall without a power cut. Sometimes it's enough some street dog decides to pee on a lamp post.

6. Santos Dumont airport in Rio. I'm heading to Rio for the ABCI conference in July and I feel the urge to take the same photo Ken has placed in his blog. Awesome! Can you imagine to land on a small piece of ground surrounded by water from all three sides?

7. Astrud Gilberto. Ah, Brazilian singers... There are so many of them. Speaking of Gilberto, there is one Gilberto that I learned about, when I lived in London, before coming to Brazil. Gilberto Gil.
I had a friend in UK, June Darling, whose husband used to surround himself with various artists. June told me, there was a time, when Gilberto Gil had to leave Brazil because of political reasons. He fled to London, and was received with open arms by June's husband. I had no idea who he was, when I heard the story. I only learned about him, because I stayed over for the night, after a nice dinner June cooked. My friend put me up in the same room and the same bed, where Gilberto stayed some decades ago. It was also the first time I heard  Caetano Veloso "London, London". Lovely song.

8. Caipirinha. It's definitely one of my favourite drinks here. As Ken said – the best to drink on the beach, which I did, few months ago in Parnaiba. There is a modified option of caipirinha made with vodka instead of cachaça. It is called caipiroska. I must admit, there's nothing better than the original taste. If you prepare your caipirinha in Europe, using vodka and lemon instead of cachaça and lime, it's not caipirinha anymore.
Talking about Brazilian famous drinks, I can't forget to mention coffee. Coffee here is what rocks the world. It's drunk in small cups (takes about 5 sips to “dry the cup”), various times a day. It's actually offered for free in almost all bigger shops and offices (at least in Teresina). As black as hell and as strong as devil. "Pretinho que satisfaz" :-)

9. Socrates. I've never heard of him (I'm football-ignorant and Ronaldinho seems to be the most popular football player nowadays), but as we are on the subject of sports, I have to say that football in Brazil is a religion. World Cup has just begun and people here went nuts! Lots of noisy gadgets are being sold everywhere, lots of Brazilian flags are stuck to cars, windows, apartment doors and every second person on the street is dressed in a yellow T-shirt. The world here turned green and yellow. But what amazes me the most is the fact, that on the 15th and the 23rd of June, the days of the Brazilian game, everything will stop. Schools, banks and offices will be closed. Some of the places will remain closed even after the match, just because people will be drinking to celebrate the victory (or will be crying after the defeat). Days off! Brazilian calendar is stuffed with them.

10. Foot volley. I prefer hammock swinging.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Brazil, Brazil...

I left home and set off for Cultura Inglesa in my Chevrolet (General Motors). As I didn't have lunch, I decided to pop in to Teresina Shopping to grab a bite. Food square seemed to offer many options. Brazilian food is quite good, and as I don't cook typically Brazilian meals I looked forward to eating something different.

I looked around and the first place which caught my attention was Arabian Grill. Hummm... Few metres away there was Light Meals which is also called here a self-service restaurant (a posh version of a popular “pay 5 quid and eat until you explode” in London). McDonalds on the corner turned me off. Next to it, there was Cookie's, which is a good place, as long as you had your lunch and you were heading for dessert. No way. I decided to go to Riverside Shopping, hoping to find some local food. Bob's caught my eye. I didn't feel like hamburger, sandwich or milk shake. I've had enough. I wasn't hungry anymore. Opposite to Bob's there was Brazilian Coffee. That'll do. At least it had “Brazilian” in a name...

When I was having my Brazilian drink and a piece of cheesecake (I couldn't resist) I received a text message: “I'll be 30 minutes late. I run into some problems”. That was my VIP student, who was going to be late. Something I'll never understand: how come, surrounded by “English world”, people can't be punctual...

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Polish culture is, without any doubt, totally different from the Brazilian one. If I were to describe my life in Brazil in one sentence, I'd copy Sting saying: ”I don't drink coffee, I drink tea my dear...” Well, maybe not literally, as I looooooooove coffee , but sometimes I feel like Quentin Crisp, from “Englishman in New York” song.

To make life easier for any potential Polish immigrant in Brazil, I decided to write few entries in my Polish-Brazilian dictionary:

“Let's meet tomorrow”.
Polish: “I like you. I want to see you tomorrow.”
Brazilian Portuguese: “I like you and at the moment I feel like meeting you tomorrow, but tomorrow, who knows...”

“The meeting is at 5 o'clock.”
Polish: “I'll arrive about 10 minutes before 5.”
Brazilian-Portuguese: “I'll be there around 6 or 7 o'clock.”

Question:”How can I get to the cinema?” Answer: “Go straight ahead for two blocks and turn right. Then take your first left and there you are!”
Polish, option 1: “It's on …. street.”
           option 2: “I have no idea, sorry.”
Brazilian-Portuguese: thinking:“I have no idea but I really want to help you” says: “Take your first left, go ahead for about three blocks, turn left again and there you are! Good luck!”

Question: “I'm organizing a party. Would you like to come?” Answer: “Yes, I'd love to!”
Polish: “When? Where? I'll be there and I'll call if something unpredictable comes up.”
Brazilian-Portuguese: “OK, I'll probably be there and bring some people you've never seen in your life.”

“There are some rules, you can not do that!”
Polish: “Damn! What a shame. I have to find another solution.”
Brazilian-Portuguese: “There's always a way... Let's bend some rules.”

“It costs R$500. Expensive.”
Polish, option 1: “I'll be saving for some time and finally I'll buy it.”
           option 2: “Heh, 5 months without going out, but I'll have it anyway.”
Brazilian-Portuguese: “Ah, no problem. I can divide it into 10 times. In about a year I'm done with the payment.”

“It's raining”
Polish: “No sun again... I hope the rain stops soon.”
Brazilian-Portuguese (considering a person is not from Amazonas state): “What a beautiful day!”

“Alexandre's birthday is in 10 days.”
Polish: “That gives me 5 days to think what to buy and another 5 to look for it.”
Brazilian-Portuguese: “I'll worry about it in 10 days.”

“I saw her entering Pedro' car.”
Polish: “They know each other.”
Brazilian-Portuguese: “They have an affair.”

“My dictionary is not finished yet.”
Polish: the same meaning.
Brazilian-Portuguese: I wonder what this would be...

Sunday, May 09, 2010

How to commit a crime and get away with it.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning in Teresina (Piaui, Brazil). The sun was shining, birds were chirping, the temperature was still relatively low (who cares anyway with AC in the car) and I was happily going to work.

The last turn, a ride under newly bult bridge and there it was, waiting for me... Various red and white cones narrowing the passage of the road, directing cars into a narrow part where few nice men in khaki uniforms were kindly pointing vehicles to stop. The traffic control police.

A wave of heat went through my body in my air conditioned car. Naaaaah... Why so scared... The car is new, papers in order, no worries. I relaxed a bit and with a smile opened the window handing in my licence and car papers. The police officer had a look at the documents, went around the car and finally spoke to me: “Madame, your driving licence has expired 3 months ago”. I didn’t understand at first and I was looking innocently at the guy. “Excuse me?” My green eyes met a hard dark-eyed stare. The man patiently repeated his statement. In moments of distress my speaking skills tend to disappear and Portuguese vocabulary gets terribly rudimental, so the result of my explanation was rather poor. The police officer just looked at me, smiled and said: “I don’t like to let people drive without a valid driving licence, but I’ll make an exception. Just make sure you validate your papers asap”. I could start breathing again, coming back to my normal colour.

When I finally got to work I found out I could have been heavily fined, had my car detained and driving licence taken.

What saved me that day? I believe it was my blonde hair and green eyes which are unusual here. After all in the kingdom of blind one-eyed is a king. Who would fine a king...

Friday, December 11, 2009

New post :-)

Ken Wilson

I was invited to post in Ken Wilson's blog. Have a look there to read it:
guest post

Ken Wilson is a teacher, trainer, author of ELT materials and a director of the English Teaching Theatre. What's more, he is a wonderful person I met in ACINE conference in 2008.

One more time: Ken, it was a great pleasure to write for you. Thank you very much for your invitation.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Teachers having fun in Brazil

A new code of conduct for teachers comes into life next month. The code was elaborated by the General Teaching Council for England (and thanks God not Brazil!).

The old one was not bad at all. Let's have a look at some more entertaining parts of it and imagine we're in England.

2.1 General
"...Ambiguous or ambivalent comment and conduct, in particular, should be avoided."

Gosh! Don't we all interpret what we hear through our personal filter? Imagine your student finishing their fruit after the break. Eating time is over; having a snack in the classroom isn't welcome. "Eat you banana" you order. Well, watch your mouth, what a nasty thing to say!

2.2 Physical Contact
"...Touching pupils, including well-intentioned informal and formal gestures such as putting a hand on the shoulder or arm, can, if repeated regularly, lead to questions being raised."

Oh, dear... I read in magazine that human touch performs miracles, makes us feel relaxed, closer to people around which decreases our stress level, newborns develop better being touched... Careful. It doesn't work with students. They are a different species. The sex obsessed one.

Thanks God they let teachers touch their students in few cases. For example when a pupil wants to jump from the window or when they cry - but only if it's a kid (crying adult is out of rich!) and also be careful here because : "...Particular care must be taken in instances, which involve the same pupil over a period of time..." Sorry little boy, you can cry only once in my classroom...

2.3 Private meetings
"Private meetings, by their very nature, provide opportunities for pupils to make malicious allegations..."

Run Forrest! Ruuuun! Whenever student wants to clarify a doubt after the lesson - run for your life!
Ana, sorry, we can not be friends any longer as you are my student. Don't come to my place anymore, unless you quit studying...

2.6 Comments and Discussions with Pupils
"...Employees must avoid comments to or about pupils which could be taken to have sexual overtones..."

Editors of course books - PLEASE, no more "How old are you?", "Are you married?", or "What's the best place for the first date?" questions.

What about new code of conduct? Well, it requires teachers to uphold 'public trust' in their profession outside school. No more partying, no more drinking, no more shagging. It's immoral. After all, tutors need to give an example.

I was reading it and I felt a great relief. I live in Brazil where people touch each other all the time during a simple "How are things?" conversation.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Few thoughts from Poland 2

Nina and Filip by Agata Zgarda

Whenever one thinks about passage of time, at the same time dreams about lasting forever.

Yesterday my daughter met 5 year old Filip. They played the whole day together and when the boy was leaving Nina hugged him. Filip said: 'I'll come here tomorrow if you do it again.'
Twenty-something years ago I played with Filip's father...

One minute passes, nobody notices. Two more add to it, we still don't pay attention. After twenty years reality blindsides you at 5 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Tragic death

"Brüno" by Sacha Baron Cohen

I saw Brüno (2009) yesterday. I wasn't sure but now I know... Contemporary American cinema is dying.

A few minutes of not writing to mourn the loss...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A story.

I read this story and felt like sharing it with you :-)

Once upon a time, there was this little sparrow, who while flying south for the winter froze solid and fell to the ground. To make matters worse the cow appeared and crapped on him, but the manure was all warm and it defrosted him. So there he is, he's warm and he's happy to be alive and he starts to sing. A hungry cat comes along and he clears off the manure and he looks at the little bird and then he eats him.
The moral of the story is this: everyone who craps on you is not necessarily your enemy and everyone who gets you out of crap is not necessarily your friend and if you’re warm and happy wherever you are, you should just keep your big mouth shut.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Mutual admiration circle

Photo by Agata Zgarda

What a great motivation other blogger can be! Your enthusiasm made me feel like writing more or rather coming back to writing after a while. I always complain about lack of time, which turned to be a great excuse for everything. The truth is, time can be moulded the way one wants it. The great challenge here is to realise that and take things firmly in one's hands :-)
Grip it, shape it, use it, it's yours.

Thank you Ken :-)

Few thoughts from Poland.

I was exactly on the left side of this port wine

This is what went through my mind while I was lying on the grass in my parents' summer house with a pen, paper and a glass of port:

"Time is a slut. Present mixes with past and future. Here I am in the middle of the forest again, listening to Olsztyn radio station playing some oldies. Nice soundtrack to my stream of thoughts... It took me back in time.

I used to come here every summer when I lived in Poland. Now I'm here again, doing the same stuff I did years ago. Only things have changed slightly and their perception isn't the same anymore. Am I doing all these things again because I want to go back in time, because that's what I'm supposed to do here or because what I do now will change the future?

Who cares...I'm here now.

NOW. I love this word. Saying it I feel as if I caught the present moment red-handed. Few weeks from now the present moment will be the past already. What a shame."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Great expectations.

I had a teacher once. She wasn't the most brilliant teacher in the world, but good enough to have productive lessons with. I loved the subject and I liked the tutor. The best combination in academic world ever.
One day there was a lecture whose topic got my full attention. After returning home I started searching for more info trying to feed my curiosity. Not only had I gotten intellectually satisfied but also discovered something I thought the teacher may not be aware of. The next step was printing some stuff out and delivering it to my lecturer. Considering my colleagues' lack of enthusiasm, my 'display of interest' was a well planted seed. The teacher got really excited about having a keen listener and since then on she kept presenting me with various extras. All the lectures were directed straight to my ears and the eye contact got so constant I had an impression she didn't acknowledge the presence of about 40 other students in the room.
The worst part was about to come. Since the teacher ran out of interesting topics, my attention decreased proportionally. The tutors's enthusiasm didn't. Things kept coming into my hands. Printouts, copies, extra volumes of books. The collection of it was growing as fast as my interest was falling. My mentor expected too much from me. She saw in me someone interested in her knowledge, while my interest was limited to that single topic from which everything started. I got fed up. She saw my lack of interest and got hurt because she found out I wasn't the way she expected me to be. I got hurt finding out she got disappointed.
That was a great lesson. Expecting too much from others hurts. It clouds our judgment and gets the real person out of focus.

Final countdown

Olsztyn and it's Gothic castle. I'll be there soon...
9 days to go. Going back in time or traveling to the future? Heraclitus of Ephesus said "Panta rhei". You can not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you. I guess traveling to the future then. I have an impression it'll be like a surrealistic dream. The one in which you know the surroundings but people and some other details are strange, and then - you, in the middle of it. A bizarre combination of old and new. Do I still belong there? Will I embrace old friendships or look in the eyes of strange people speaking different language?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Here I am!

My reality got kidnapped by the stream of life. I managed to climb a driftwood after struggling a bit and finally I can start observing life again. For how long? Dunno.... Let's hope for some time.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Out of the blue.

Life happens.
It never stops bringing new things on. Picking the best out of the bunch is a skill though. I think I got myself trained enough to distinguish what's bad and what's worth living. I'm living now like never before. And it's only going to get better and better. I know it.

Monday, July 30, 2007


You never know when unexpected happens. It's unexpected, so how would you know anyway.
My whole weekend was unexpectedly interesting. I thought that world was in 3D and apparently I was mistaken. I just got myself close to Fifth Dimension and from this point there's a totally new perspective.
One thing's for sure - small drop of water stirrs the surface.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Life is a sinusoidal wave. Once you're up, once you're down. High and low. I was high yesterday and started falling today. I refuse to fall completely, so, I'm acting like a cat sometimes - falling down I'm trying to catch anything, scratching and pulling things on my way. It works. I bounce back to a good mood stage, or at least get onto a nice nauseating plateau where nothingness is a common issue.
Is it a good place to be? Hummm... They say people who live intensly burn quicker. But imagine life on an emotional plateau. No ups no downs. Things get pretty much the same way every day. Blergh. So this is only a stage to get a deep breath, recover the strength and dive into the stream of a great speed again. Back to action.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Waking up always sets my mood onto a happy mode. Light breakfast and a black coffee are my religion. Always in a company of a good book. How bad a day can be after such a nice beginning? No way for things to go wrong. As long as you don't expect to win a lottery of course. Who needs it anyway...
I try to keep my eyes wide open throughout the whole day, not to miss anything around. Looking carefully I can notice things that make my day worth and then my brain is processing them slowly classifying into a right category . That's how the normal day goes by.
This weekend though, was completely mad. It left me lost among millions of small happenings that weren't planned. For a control freak (me) it might have been disasterous! Imagine things happening without any plan! Things that were planned just at the last moment and changing few minutes before!!! Whoa! That's too much! But - amazingly - it was great. I gained some stuff and lost some bucks (talking about VERY unexpected shopping), cooked and ate lots of good food with very, very nice people (and I didn't have to wash the dishes), was exposed to some pampering... Life is beautiful! I want more!
Now I'm sitting in front of my computer and I can't stop my mind from running through what happened. Life with the speed of a bullet train. Stop for a while - save some of the speed for tomorrow!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Para o Professor.

Photo by Ivaneil Lima Mesquita

"Professor, de onde nós viemos?"
"Para onde nós vamos?"
Ele não respondeu...
Porque não sabia...

Friday, July 13, 2007

What can be better?

Photo by Eric Reis

"For a lonely soul,
you're having such a nice time..."