Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Good news, everyone!

I guess I've been watching too much Futurama. I've never seen it in Brazil. In the beginning I thought it was a bit boring, but then you get used to it, especially if you are a "The Simpsons" fan. Cipri and Roberto are super fans, they both have the DVDs until the 4th year. As Roberto is in Indonesia/Singapore right now, he will try to look for the 5th.

Back to the good news, everyone. Cipri has just forwarded me the confirmation of our New Year's trip. The idea was to spend Christmas and New Year somewhere nice, but we postponed our plans too much and we are 'this' close to stay in London. The original idea was proposed by Mariana in July; we would join Mari and Barny in Marrakech. We were going to rent a car and drive around Morocco, doing a sort of beach degustation. In the end, Mari will have to work between Christmas and NYE, so she wouldn't be able to go for so long. Then we tried to convince Roberto, but he will also have to work. Then he tried to convince us to go to Morocco now, but it was too many trips for me, and he ended by going to Indonesia. Then Alireza said he would join us to Tenerife (the famous island where Daniella Cicarelli was filmed doing notty things with her boyfriend. hehehe), but Tenerife was TOO expensive. Then Morocco started to get too expensive. Then everything started to get to expensive. Then finally we found a Thomas Cook package that wasn't too expensive (but not as cheap as what we've seen before) and now we are going to Gran Canaria island.

Las Canarias, or The Canary Island, are a group of island belonging to Spain in the middle of nowhere.

See the circle? It is where we are going! :-) Thanks to this fantastic location, the weather is supposed to be mild all year long. Winter is around 22° - 24° C.

There are seven (I've counted on the map below) main island: La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. As I've told, we are going to Gran Canaria. Not sure how easy it is to go from one island to another, if there are day trips, or whatever, but I am sure Gran Canaria is big enough to be explored in 7 days.

We are leaving London on the 25th of December - yes, Christmas' Eve in London, and coming back on the 1st of January. For those who don't care much about dates, traveling in between seasons can be very cheap. For example, if you go on the 26/12 and return on the 31/01 you can find great bargains!

Ok, good news delievered. Now we all can go back to our normal lives.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Not too bad...

Yesterday we went ice skating. It was a very good experience indeed. I have to confess that in the beginning I was stressed, because I don't like to fall that much. Not because of the fall, but because of the pain. After the first fall, you see that it is not that painful and being run over by a car is worse. The problem is when the first fall comes only after two hours of stress-skating. My theories? Yeah, I love them. I think I was very scared in the beginning, although I was doing quite good when Cipri was holding my hand (holding ONE hand, not the whole me). Feeling safer, maybe. So cute, he didn't even complain about me squeezing his fingers every time someone got too close. After that, I think I was getting physically tired. Ice skating is a very good exercise. You feel your legs working like in a weight lifting class! But, yeah, after skating for awhile and having your feet being smashed in a uncomfortable skate, it is not good anymore. Besides, some suicidal kids arrived and the music became louder and louder. This was more or less when the first - and only - fall came. I think I should be more relaxed and simply go. If it hurts, fine, if the leg breaks fine, if it is an arm even better. I saw some pretty nice falls there and nobody died. Not there, not sure about future complications. Easy to say, hard to let go.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Believe it or not...

I still don't have the photos from Nice with me. In fact the camera is not even with me anymore. I have a couple of things that I NEED to do urgently. Download the pics and edit a video. I hope I can do both on the weekend and later next week.

Not many news, but here are some stuff just to keep this blog updated:
* Today we are going to see Josh Groban live. It will be a pocket show for BBC Radio at the Mermaid Theatre. For those who never heard of him, he sounds like those singers from Disney's themes (Beauty and the Beast, Alladin, etc). Ok, I assume, it is for free.

* Sunday we are going Iceskating. The first and only time I've tried was at Barrashopping, when I was 8 years old. 21 years ago... I just hope I won't break my leg again. Ouch!

* Also the British Summer Time ends this Sunday, so the difference between the UK and Brazil will be of 3 hours. When Brazilian Summer Time starts, this difference goes to 2 hours. Yey!

* Still on Sunday. It will be our elections and I have no idea how to justify the non-voting. I tried to find a form online, but I couldn't. I tried to call the consulate and the lines are always busy. Should I ignore and leave it for when I get back to Brazil?

* Next Tuesday will be Halloween. I'm curious to see how the British celebrate the date. Although the Holiday started in Europe, it is more popular in the US. I celebrated it twice, when I used to study in an American school, in Macaé. Our teacher used to distribute candies to the neighbourhood so people would have stuff to give us when we went trick-or-treat. It is quite funny, especially when you are 10 year old. hehehe

* Friday, the 3rd, we are going for a stand-up comedy. I hope I understand at least some jokes. Anyway, the trick is laugh when others laugh. It was in the same situation when I went to a Shakespeare's play at the Globe, with Lilian, Charles and Ciprian. I have absolutely no idea what the story was about (well, at that time, September 2005, I think I had a clue) and missed 80% of the dialogues and jokes. But, hey, I was at the Globe and I am more intelligent for it, huh?

* Films seen so far:
1) Gothika (DVD), a bit scary. I do like horror films, but I also do get scared, especially the ones with ghosts and all that supernatural things.
2) The Last Kiss (cinema). Horror movie about reaching the 30's. I hate this kind of "reality" film that states that either you or your partner will cheat the other at some point and love heals all the wounds. Betrayal - coming from a lover, a friend, or a family member - hurts like hell, especially when there's no logical explanation. I'm not trying to be a moralist here, but I think that it is only possible to forgive when you love the person very very much and even though the trust gets affected. I think I would be able to forgive, but first I would have to control the impulse of killing the person. Thank God I have a higher degree and I can get special prison in Brazil.
3)The Guardian. With Kevin Costner and Aston Kutcher. It's a good film, but I would be happier without the bla bla bla at the end.

Looking forward to see Barnyard and Open Season. And Children of Men. And and and...

* Just to end up the conversation, the British favourite topic: the weather. Yes, it is getting colder and colder and I'm already wearing 2+ long-sleeve shirts. But I think it is not as cold as last year. But it rained more this month than in the 6 months Lilian spent here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Curiosities of Nice and Monaco

* Did you know that Rio de Janeiro is one of Nice's twin cities? Neither did I. It is not an active twinning, but who cares, right? If you are not familiar with the concept (well, I wasn't), check this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_twinning

* Nice was the birthplace of Giuseppe Garibaldi. He was quite popular in the South of Brazil (there's even a city in Rio Grande do Sul called Garibaldi). For those not really into History (Brazilians only), just remember the TV series "A Casa das Sete Mulheres". Thiago Lacerda was Garibaldi there.

* Nice's local language is Niçard (huh?). When we were walking through the narrow streets of the old town, we notice that all the street signs were in two languages. It was similar to Spanish, although with weird letters. Monaco has also a local dialect, which is Monégasque (huh, huh?). But do not worry, everybody there speaks French, so you are safe. Unless you are a French illiterate, like me. In Nice a lot of people speak English too, so, yeah, you can go fearless!

* Brazilians: the French pronunciation of "Mônaco" is Monacô. In English: Monáco. In Monésgasque: Múnegu. Whatever.

* Info on Monaco, taken from Wikipedia: "Monaco is the most densely populated country in the world and the world's second-smallest independent country with a population of just 32,410 and an area of 1.95 square kilometers (481.9 acres). It has more millionaires per capita than any other country in the world. It is the smallest French-speaking country in the world." Ahá, that's why I want to live there! I want to be a millionaire! :-D

Enough with the crap.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

We’re back to London after a wonderful weekend in Côte D’Azur. Nice, to be more specific. The trip was Cookie’s 1st anniversary present and I must say that it couldn’t be a better present. The weather was simply great, remembering Rio in autumn: warm sun, cold breeze, people having fun on the promenade, either just walking, or looking/sleeping at the beach, or taking the dogs for a walk, or roller skating. As we were on a romantic trip, we preferred long walks under the sun, ice creams and dinners, as opposed to huge queues to enter museums, bus tours, and trying to visit the whole place in just a few hours. It worked.

In the beginning Nice didn’t impressed that much, mainly – in my case – because it looked like any other city. Dog owners let their dogs poo on the beach (which, by the way, is not sandy, but made of awfully painful pebbles) and they don’t clean (can you image the smell), there are some people begging for money (well dressed and well looked people) on the streets, one of the main streets was a mess due to the construction of trams – or whatever it was. So, basically, it reminded me the chaos Rio can be, in a smaller version, and with people speaking French. As we arrived Saturday afternoon (the flight was 1 hour late), we decided to go for a walk on the beach, visit the center quickly, have dinner and go to bed early.

Second day we were more energetic, so we decided to explore Nice by foot. We went to the old town and its little isle, the castle (with gorgeous views to the Mediterranean Sea), and a street market. This part was lovely, as the old Nice looks like a medieval town. Fortunately, we didn’t smell any dog’s poo, but flowers, French perfume, olives and food. Overall, the city is not cheap, but it isn’t so expensive either. My impression was that tourist of all types could buy there. The food was good, but the only item of the French cuisine we’ve tried was the baguette.

Third and last day we had this great idea of spending in Monaco- Monte Carlo. It is only 17 minutes from Nice on a non-stop train, and the return ticket costs € 6.20 per person. It worth every cent, as the trip is breathtaking and Monaco is even nicer than Nice. The streets are so narrow and the buildings rise from the rocks, giving you the feeling of being in a labyrinth. It might be claustrophobic for some, but I love it. The minute that we left the train station I said “I wanna live here”. Maybe I wouldn’t, if I’ve spent more time there. Monaco – Monte Carlo is a tiny piece of land surrounded by sea, France and Italy. It is well known by its Princess Grace Kelly and her daughters Stephanie and Caroline (I remember when I was a kid that I thought that these two were the most beautiful women in Earth. It was probably because they were princesses), The Grand Casino and the F1 race. If you think that Nice is a posh place, you should see Monaco. Well, you can see the photos here, but I’m sure they don’t translate what the place is in real life.

We went to almost every place we could in Monaco. We saw the change of the guard (which I haven’t seen in London!), saw the Palace on the outside (we weren’t in the mood to visit palaces and museums), walked through the streets of the old town, and went to the Cousteau Aquarium. That one was my favorite. Mine and the kids. :-P Oh yes, after that, we crossed the place and went to the Casino, where we (I?) performed two of the most pathetic episodes of my life abroad.

The first one was me, trying to ask the employee of the Casino – who, by the way, spoke very little English, which, by the way, is very surprising, once the place receives people from all over the world – for two coins of € 1.00 to try the machines. I showed him a € 50.00 and I said slowly “I just want one token for the machines, but don’t have smaller”. And he said “€ 1.00 or € 2.00?”, and as I was already too embarrassed for getting such little betting coins, I asked of € 2.00. The guy got my € 50.00 and gave me a bunch of € 2s. I was waiting for the change, surprised how many coins € 2.00 could get you, when I read on the side of the coins that it was 25 coins of € 2.00 = € 50.00. As it was useless to explain him in English that I didn’t want all those coins and I wanted my money back (“this is all the money I have in the world, sir”), I called Cipri – who was supposed to know some French, from old school days – to talk to the guy and get our money back! I think that the guy understood what we’ve wanted since the beginning, but he didn’t want to believe in what his ears were hearing. He is probably used to high bets and rich people and must have been offended by us! :-) By the way, Cipri talked to the guy in an even slower English than mine. “No… we – pointing at us – want one – finger showing # 1 – coin, not – head nodding – all. Just want to try. Money back, s'il vous plaît”.

The second one was in the ladies toilet, when some ladies were trying to talk to me in French, and instead of just saying that I didn’t speak French, I was replying “oui” to almost everything, nodding my head, smiling and ending with “merci”. The only part I’ve understood was when I said to an old lady with legs problems that she could skip the line, and she explained the ladies behind me (those that were speaking to me, without noticing that I didn’t speak French) that I said she could do so. I think the ladies were saying something like “very good, you should do that, merci, merci, merci”. So, “oui” and “merci” sounded very much appropriated.


This post was written yesterday, but I was without internet connection. So here it is. Tomorrow I will post pictures and more information on Nice and Monaco.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Around the world

I was reading the news (blah, not really, just looking at pictures) when I saw those two pics. The first one is a flower sculpture in Beijing (Pequim, in Portuguese), for the 2008 Olympic Games. I wonder if we would do something nice if it was in Brazil. Don’t get me wrong, but Brazil is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but we have such a bad taste. Probably the politicians would steal the money and rely on the natural beauties of the country. Anyways, I would like to visit Beijing, although my inner self (huh, does this exist?) says I would suffer a bit with the cultural differences (I “heard” they eat anything that is alive).

The other picture is from St. Petersburg, in Russia. Some crazy dude put soap power in a water fountain and transformed a square in an open air washing machine. We can’t deny it was funny. Reminds me of Rio, when the funk clubs were using bubbles (“banho de espuma eh muito legal”) to amusing the crowd. Yeah, probably this person spent some holidays in Chapeu Mangueira and is now spreading culture.

And last minute news: this is the place where we are going in late January. Cookie has just booked the tickets. I hope it snows, otherwise I will just freeze. And I want to see snow… yet freeze.

This is the last post of the week. Tomorrow morning we are heading to Nice, South France. According to the weather forecast, the weather will be sunny and warm. Lucky us! But guess what? I’ve forgotten to pack my bikinis. Dum’ass!

All the pictures in this post were stolen from the internet. The first two ones were on UOL website (Beijing: Aly Song/Reuters / St. Petersburg: Ilya Snopchenko/AFP), the two last ones I found searching on Google images. Sorry if I didn't credit the photographers of the last ones, but I was too lazy to find out who the heck are they. Copyright is a serious issue when we talk about internet, huh?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I don't want to be a super woman

Man, I hate those women - feminists? devil? bitches? - that say that women should be independent. That they should study, take care of the house, pay their bills, work, take care of the children and of the dogs, help the kids on their home work, cook (well), take care of dinner, be a good wife (and up to having sex whenever their husbands ask for), a good daughter, a good friend, a good sister. Not to mention being pretty and in shape all the time (and we are even criticized if we do plastic surgery or liposucction). No wonder why our society is collapsing. This is insane and impossible. Ok, in a short term you can do it, but we suffer of pre-period tension, we explode, we are too emotive, stressed, expensive, we need to be taken care of (without we having to ask). In the end, we will raise our daughter demanding that they should NEVER depend on ANYBODY, they should be auto-sufficient. In a million years, they will become mutants that will reproduce alone. Hermaphrodites.

I'm not trying to generalize, but I was raised to be one of those. And I've just realized that I don't want to.


I recommend Hoodwinked. Very funny animation movie. Full of reference to other movies. Nie version of a classic tale. The other film we've seen was The Departed. It was good, but weird. In the beginning I was confused, but then I could understand everything without asking. Cipri thought it was too violent; he was very anxious and stressed when he got home. That's weird too. Anyway, it is another film about bad cops. The cast is very good. Jack Nicholson and his eternal evil face (The Shinning), Leonardo di Caprio, which I've learned to like, Matt Damon, which I think is ok, nothing more, nothing less, Martin Sheen - Papa Sheen, Mark Wahlberg - who was once a singer and did a cool version for Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side and Alec Baldwin and his very weird lips. Watch it, if you have nothing better in the queue. Otherwise go for Children of Men (haven't seen yet) and The Devil wears Prada, both recommend.


Today I'm going to meet the masseuse. So anxious. I feel like I'm going to meet an artist, or go to a job interview! :-D



Wednesday, October 11, 2006


We had a "little" storm today, reminded me of Rio during these days I was there. :-P I like storms, when I don't have to leave the house. I have storms when I have to leave the house and I'm not wearing appropriate shoes. Which was the case today. The sad part is when you leave the house under a storm, get soaked, and when you return the rain stops. What is his name again? Murphy!

I went to the gym yesterday. I'm feeling a bit of pain, but not much. Maybe it's because I didn't do all the exercises I was supposed to. I have to have my nails done. I have to organize some stuff. I'm going to to movies tonight; the master plan is to watch Hoodwinked and The Departed (or The Children of Men or The Devil Wears Prada). By the way, there's a huge list of films I want to go. Now that I don't have access to College's DVD library anymore, I have to keep the cinema updated. Tomorrow evening I'm going to meet a Brazilian masseuse. She is massaging Mariana and she charges the same price as the massages in Brazil. This is great news. In fact, this is almost paradise.

Is the New Year beginning or not?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Just to keep this busy...

I don't have much to say. Since I arrived, I have been organizing my stuff and trying to get adapted to the new timezone.

The room is almost done. I think I can finish it today. I like organizing my stuff and having them organized, but I confess that I'm not very good in maintaining the organization. It is something I have to learn. I have to learn so many things...

My today's fortune: "You are going to have some new clothes". well, I did got soem new clothes already, back in Brazil. Orkut is good in predicting the past, huh? Talking about Orkut, I am slowly activating my account again. Adding 2, 3 people per week, not adding strangers at all and so far I didn't join any community.

Another thing which I am starting slowly is a diet. Nothing too hard, just to reduce some type of food to 1) stop putting on weight, 2) lose some extra kilos, 3) get back to my ideal weight, 4) maintain that ideal weight forever and ever. Besides diet, I will also try to dedicate myself to the gym. So far, this has been a joke (paying, not going). As my year has just started, this is part of Project New Year (aka Project 2007).

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I'm Back!

Finally I'm back home. Not that I was missing London that much, but I was missing my Cookie and also I'm looking forward to start this new stage in my life.

Everything went fine in Brazil. I couldn't see everyone I wanted to see, but this is what happens when you have little spare time. The good news is that I manage to solve everything and now I can relax.

What's the next step? Now I will start looking for a job. And organizing my room. I brought so many clothes and shoes that I don't have where to put them. (But, hey, I just have a two-door wardrobe). As I mentioned somewhere before, a new year is starting!!

On time: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAURICIO! I'm a bit late, sorry, but I couldn't access the internet on the 4th! São Francisco day, huh? I hope you have had a great time, I bet your wonderful wife did something special and nice for you! ehehehe

Speaking about nice... my cute boyfriend made me a surprise. Next 15th we will celebrate our 1st anniversary (wow!) and we are going to Nice!!!! :-) Well, it was supposed to be a surprise but he couldn't keep the secret for too long and he told me while I was in Brazil. And the present I got for him arrived today and he couldn't wait until the 15th. He open the package as soon as I told him it was his present. I'm not gonna tell what it is, unless he allows me to do so. hehehe

Well, 2.30 am (22.30 in Brazil), I have to go to bed. I hope to come up with good news and photos soon.