Things that happened to me while I was in New York:
1. We hired a shuttle bus service to get to the city. It took way too long and I got impatient twice. The long time got me angry too and I even thought the driver wanted to kindnap us. He won us over though, for he managed to say something nice to every single passenger as they got off the van. We overtipped him.
2. Our first night out almost turned sour because we took the wrong subway line, which led us to a random place in Brooklyn. Then we waited for 30 min in the wrong side of the platform until we figured that one out. Luckily, we ended up in a nice little alternative spot, in which we saw The Pains of Being Pure at Heart totally by chance.
3. A nice saleswoman convinced us to buy sunglasses based on her sincerity: she told us twice some model didn’t suit us well. We felt obliged to buy the ones she said looked good on us. Actually, I was the one persuaded to purchase without the need, my friend really wanted a new pair of shades and was more than happy to get them.
4. I was hit on by a salesman in a hat store who was really sweet and charming and interesting. He told us he was from Oklahoma and that he lived in Harlem in this very nice street and that he wasn’t scared of the area at all. I pictured myself already falling in love with him and sharing his apartment which I would decorate with nice things I would pick. Nothing really happened between us and I didn’t get his name. I’m still curious about it.
5. We had a major fight but ended up theorizing on why people who love and know each other well are still capable of hurting one another. We came to the conclusion that sometimes harsh feelings and bad habits are just too difficult to withhold.
This could be me:
Or I could be here very soon:
Which destination should I choose, sea or mountain?
Inspirational pictures by Ryan Kenny.
Even though I honestly believe Brazil is the land of opportunity, creation and creativity, my personal growth requirements might lead me once more to go abroad. But mind you, I will not be choosing just anywhere to live.
Here are the Top 5 Things that most matter to me in a country:
- Cultural openness. Even more important than awareness of other cultures, it is truly important to me that the people in the country I choose to live would be open to different cultures no matter how far they might seem from theirs. Culturally self-centered nations are as xenophobic as they are boring.
- Ethnic diversity. From my experience, I reckon that the more ethnically diverse a land is, the more exciting it becomes in culture as well as in sociological ways.
- City-life vibration. Although I cherish and value the lifestyles of the countryside, I consider a rich and enticing city life to be an absolute necessity. I need to have choice in order to be satisfied; entertainment, shopping and transportation options are a key aspect for my happiness.
- Laid-backness. I know I probably invented this word, but I just love it when people are so laid-back they don’t waste time worrying too much about minor things. Life can be simpler if our heritage helps us keeping from being uptight.
- Gender equality. Sexism and homophobia walk hand in hand and thus push me farther and farther away from the place where they thrive.
Quite obviously, as I person who’s avid for so many forms of cultural expression, these five points are undeniably connected to culture. I am not the kind of human being who can be locked away in a library/gallery because everyone outside is aggressive or unwelcoming.
To contribute that sense of multiplicity and openness, here’s Jónsi‘s new video:
Although I’m almost positive Iceland does not score so well in my requirement list due to its lack of diversity, people like Jónsi definitely help not only his countrymen but other people everywhere become a bit more open to multiplicity of ideas and lifestyles.
Let us continue our unplanned trip around the globe; now to Argentina.
I am very pleased to report that our neighboring country has become the first one in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage.
In a region where sexism reigns, it is a great relief to see that a whole country is ready to let go of one of its inequalities, which is based on nothing but religious-driven misconceptions.
It is a simple question of Law. If homosexual citizens have the same obligations as other citizens, they are entitled to having to exact same rights. There is no support for the existence of two standards other than religion.
Everything should be in its right place.
In every-day terms, when such an initiative becomes a reality, very practical consequences are to be seen and felt. To the concerned people’s lives, it is not just a legal disposition, it is a life-changing moment. I have seen it happen in Spain and it is easy to see how gay couples there feel so free and proud they no longer have to hide.
As a tribute to my fellow Latin American country, here are some drawings by my all-time favorite Argentinian artist, Leon Ferrari:
El Arca de Noé, 1964
Words on art when nicely and carefully done are so appealing to me. A wonderful combination of two worlds.
Continuity and repetition are some of the constant ideas behind Ferrari’s artistic production and techniques.
Let us just hope and fight so that other countries in the world decide to follow and repeat Argentina’s refreshing attitude.
Today is France’s National Day. Although I don’t usually like to take part in nationalistic celebrations, I’ve decided to pay a tribute to Paris (for a change) and list my favorite places from when I lived there in a bilingual post.
A cause de la Fête Nationale de France j’ai décidé d’écrire ce post bilingue pour rendre un hommage à Paris. Malgré mon malaise par rapport à ce type de célébration, je fais ici une petite liste des lieux que j’aimais le plus quand j’y habitais.
- Café du Centre Culturel Suédois. I know, I know. It’s still connected to Scandinavia, but this tiny café is so cozy and has such delicious cakes it was a delight just being there. Je sais, je sais. C’est un espace quand-même lié à la Scandinavie, mais il s’agit d’un tout petit café si agréable avec des tartes si bonnes que c’est une vraie délice d’y être.
- Le Pink Flamingo. The best and most stylish pizzeria in Paris. This lovely kitsch spot serves the most interesting pizza flavors in wonderful, unpretentious atmosphere. Voilà la meilleure et la plus branchée pizzeria de Paris. C’est kitsch, c’est chouette et on y sert les pizzas les plus intéressants de la ville.
- Pop In. My favorite bar/club of the city. Indie music, nice atmosphere & great drinks. The dancefloor is quite good; unfortunately it closes at 2 am. Keep an eye for the concerts; interesting groups have played there. De la musique indie rock, des boissons super et une ambience cool. La piste de dance est plutôt bien, mais malheureusement on la ferme à 2 du matin. A faire attention aux groupes qui jouent là-bas.
No matter how big my issues with living in Paris might be, there are still some very nice places to check out and people to be met. Just remember to avoid the obvious.
Même si j’ai mes problèmes par rapport à Paris, je crois qu’on y trouve quand-même des lieux très sympas et des gens bien intéressants. Il faut juste se rappeler qu’en s’agissant de la capitale, on doit absolument éviter les choix évidents.
A friend of mine is returning to Brazil after yet another attempt of happiness abroad. This time it was Australia. Before it was France and years ago it had been Québec, in Canada.
She is just convinced she’ll never be happy here and is always on the look for new opportunities to escape. Then, after some time, she just dislikes everything about the foreign country where she is and decides to return. A short time afterwards, the cycle begins again.
Having lived abroad on several occasions myself, I have learned to detach (or at least try to) enjoyment from the place I happen to be in. No site can be an infinite foundation for fun if one is not ready for feeling free to embrace a different perspective on living.
Detaching oneself from one’s culture is a much harder endeavor, nonetheless. But I guess that if you know how to recognize the behavior and sociability patterns, adapting becomes much less challenging. But again, you may never adapt. And that can be okay too.
Immigrant Icon in a pic on Dazed (pic by Rankin)
M.I.A. is there to prove it. I have always loved her take on being who she is exactly because she is an immigrant in the UK and never feeling a full Brit (whatever that means) has contributed to building her persona as much as her own personality.
Her new album is out now and, apart from the controversy, it is plain brilliant. More on that later.
Sorry about the absence. It was due to my 10-day trip to New York City from which I just came back.
It was a fantastic time to be in the city; the weather was lovely and the atmosphere charged with that lively spring feeling.
I’ve got tons of things to say about it, but I’m still a bit tired for doing it in a proper way. I must rest first.
Great shopping, lots of art, wonderful food, magic experience. It was so good it really shook me.