To my readers

I’ve always been very curious to know who are you and why would you read my blog (besides my real-world friends, of course)??

Feel free to come forward. All I know is that you come from many many countries around the globe.

Today, by the way, I decided to wear my war colors for the Brazil-Cameroon game. I think it worked!!

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Mosquitos and bathrooms

So he gave me this notebook as Valentine’s day gift, thinking it will help me write. I’d have preferred to receive flowers. It doesn’t make me want to write. It just makes me feel guilty for not writing more. It would just lie there days on end, looking all colorful, along with his red-dotted friend and stare at me saying: “write inside of me, use me!”.

Writing isn’t something so easy for me. I’m most scared about sounding banal. I had had some friends throughout my life that would write shit and then expect me to comment on it but basically pet their ego. But it was shit. And they were my friends. So I would feel guilty to tell them it was shit. I would also feel guilty not telling them so. I have a complex relationship with telling the honest truth. The reality is that some people just need to hear it but other just can’t handle it. One never knows really in advance. Plus, one’s is someone else’s gold (as someone’s grandma would say) so who am I to judge?

Anyways, truth-telling is a complex decision tree that my not-so-developed emotional intelligence skills have not equipped me to solve.

One thing I know for sure is that being outside and seeing people is the best kind of inspiration. So I head over to the worst kind of place for expressing originality: Starbucks. In NYC, I’ve always hated it with passion (from the obvious reasons) but here in Brazil, it gives me a certain sense of comfort. It must be the “light and cozy” atmosphere. Maybe it is this thing called longing for home (America??!!).

Normally, I face 2 problems when I leave home: bathrooms (need to use those every 30 mins — I must have the tiniest bladder in the world) and Mosquitos. The former one is the worst. Mosquitos love me to oblivion. Every excursion turns into an ankle-itching nightmare. Repellent certainly helps but of course I always remember I should have put it one once it is too late and am already stuck in itching-hell. Fucking Mosquitos.These two factors making the writing inspiration window more limited.

There are many other reasons too: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, CNN, huffington post, buzzfeed, skype, whatsapp and every other appcrack I’ve gotten hooked to. I am staring to sound like a pre-teen version of Bukowski. I guess I should write now about quitting my job (or trying to get myself quitted) being that sleeping with crack whores is kind of out of the question and all.

I’ve also attempted becoming an artist. I think that one is a no go as well (evidence below – I personally think it came out as something between a whale and a vagina but everyone is entitled to an opinion) Plus, I also realized that writing on paper is highly impractical because I had to spend more time typing all this shit (no one’s gold) once I finished scribbling.

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The less known side of São Paulo

Whenever you ask Brazilians outside of and even inside São Paulo about their impressions of the city, the two most common reactions you would probably hear are: “big” and “traffic” (and to diversify, “shopping malls” may come up). My conclusion so far is that “traffic” to Paulista is the equivalent of “weather” to a New Yorker – the most common subject of small talk.

The São Paulo I’ve come to know has much more to offer: great food options, great nightlife, art and fashion. Despite it’s highly urban landscape, it is full of green leafy trees and Ibirapuera park is always a great pleasure. Of course, it isn’t NYC (but what is?) but it offers enough fun for everyone.

This time, my strolls around São Paulo took me to fashion-start-up Moema district, Vila Madalena with its wonderful graffiti art, Casa 92 bar modeled after a house with alternative rooms, the park and chic Oscar Freire street with its flagship stores of both Brazilian and foreign brands.

And the added bonus: everything was decorated with the World Cup theme.

Street art at Vila Madalena
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Oscar Freire

Melissa shoe store front
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Havaianas Flagship Store

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World Cup Havaianas
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The Lego store
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Moema
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Ibirapuera
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Casa 92
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The green side of Campinas

After living in Rio I’ve learned to really appreciate having green public spaces. Campinas, my new home for the next three months, proved to be quite challenging in this sense. A visit to Taquaral park and lake provided some comfort, even if the best part – Largo do Cafe was full of “stay away from the disease spreading ticks” signs.

The Blue Marie Antoinette

French(?) style cafe in a smaller town. I am reading another one of Murakami’s books (670 pages of melancholy so far). Marisa Monte is singing her touching song about longing – Ainda Bem. I’m already feeling strange and mostly lonely so this isn’t really helpful. Or maybe it is. Grandma always used to say that crying is healthy. It washes the eye ducts. Thinking about her while writing this makes me want to cry as well. Only later in life one comes to understand how much this dominant family figure helped shaping one’s current self.

I’m stuck in this melancholic mode and tears start dropping down my cheeks. But then an extremely flamboyant middle aged gay couple comes in and sits next to me. They remind me of the “Bird’s Cage”. I don’t even remember what that movie was about (I never do). I just remember that it made me laugh. Suddenly I feel my tears disappear and I start feeling better again.

Story of my life. Constant ups and downs but an overall upward trending line.

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