Tuesday, 14 December 2010

the chill & the heat

14 dec 2010

am about to leave to Heathrow to get my TAM flight to Brazil. will be back to UK on Jan the 10th. it is cold here, it is hot there. it is hot here. it is cold there. wherever i go there is the heat and the chill. . .  love it!
i might then be away -  0h my! - from the blog during this time although planning to post post brazilian news.
wishing everyone an awesome Christmas & a very happy New Year. tropical hugs. . .

Friday, 12 November 2010

pub & music & pub = busy night

12 nov 2010

1. the crown inn: today at 6pm diana, susana, mariko, alma and I walked to the crown inn to meet up with other uni folks to celebrate susana's submission of her PhD thesis. the crown inn is always, i mean always, so busy that if you don't make a reservation for a table either you wait long or if you are a large group you'll just have to leave. we were lucky the manager let us sit at this table which was reverved from 8pm only. at the pub we met other people: stephen, adam, ian and his girlfriend, and esteban. we were all very happy for susana. this was actually a celebration for alma's application for her post doc as well. she is hoping to have it here at our uni (now i have a uni).

tonight i had the opportunity to chat with mariko about lots of things, ranging from mundane daily stuff to big time life and professional decisions and choices. we also chatted a great deal about some bizarre events that have been happening around. mariko is a nice person, always quiet and polite, but very much willing to engage in open and funny chats and in having a pint, and in going places. i like it about her because it is almost as if you didn't expect this from mariko. her boyfriend is back home in japan, awaiting her to get married. however, we talked a lot about mixed feelings concerning going straight back home after a degree here or staying a little longer. after spending some years in a new country the changes we observe in ourselves are sometimes out of control and do unexpected things to us.

2. turner sims concert hall: at 7.30 mariko, diana and I left the guys at the crown inn and were headed to the turner sims, just a five-minute walk away from the pub to attend a jazz concert. tonight it was Robert Glasper trio. the concert was fantastic. the first piece lasted 45 minutes. they are very talented musicians and i am very happy to be able to attend such art events paying so low. i bought this arts pass which turns the price as down as £5 per event. there we met up with karla and her friend who is now living in brazil and came to visit. i think her name is also called carla.

3. the stag's head: once the jazz concert was finished we five walked to the stag's head, this on campus pub, two minutes from the concert hall. more cider for me and more chat and laugh and fun. the stag's head is mostly frequented by the uni young students whereas the crown inn seems to be a meeting point for uni staff / teachers and mature / post grad students and alike. well, it was a great night with friends, filled with inspiring and inspired conversations and jazz, the music i love.

it was 11.15 when i realized i had to rush to catch my bus home. off we all went. diana walked home but the four rest of us needed a bus ride home. am i tired? a bit, but happy. today i also had a supervision session with Ros. my research is something i have to devote most of my time to from now on. i have so much to do. the thing now is that i have a better picture of what i should do. way to go, woman! cheers to life!

foge daqui, fica ali, volta pra ca

12 nov 2010

que texto lindo, simples, direto, claro e fluente. muito bom de ler, mesmo.
mas deve ter uma coisa que eu acho que fazer a vida inteira: arrumar outro servico pra fugir das obrigacoes principais e urgentes. eh assim: quando eu estava no mestrado nos estados unidos, muuuitas vezes eu senti um magnetismo incontrolavel pelos filmes na tv, especialmente nas semanas com prazos serios, parecia que era o filme mais importante do mundo, que aquela seria a unica oportunidade de ve-lo, e que se nao o fizesse jamais poderia faze-lo no futuro. (hehehe meu portugues ta de lascar hein) um exemplo desse fato eh o filme 'spartacus' com o irresistivel - alguem discorda? - Russel Crowe.

presentemente, nesse prezado instante e momento, precisamente 11.32hr do dia 12 de novembro de 2010, ca estou eu visitando esse blog Kafka na Praia, porque eh interessante mesmo o danado, ao inves de finalizar meus preparativos para uma reuniao de supervisao com minha orientadora, que sera aas 2 da tarde.

e assim sigo eu, lenta e enrolada, mas seguindo.

woody allen diz: "80% of success is showing up" e nessa fe eu sigo ass vezes, pela metade, mas com cara de quase tudo e insistindo na fe.
abraco grande Karen e como esse comentario ta parecendo um relatorio, vou transforma-lo em post no meu blog.

notas: 1. esse post nasceu de um comentario que fiz no blog da Karen, Kafka na Praia.
                2. esse post foi escrito acompanhado de um cafe delicia na caneca charmosa que meu amigo querido Noom (Wisut) me deixou de heranca. ele terminou o PhD e foi embora de vez pra Tailandia semana passada (assunto em outro post).

Thursday, 11 November 2010

film: another year

11 nov 2010

Director: Mike Leigh

Writer: Mike Leigh
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen and Lesley Manville
Jim Broadbent ... Tom

Lesley Manville ... Mary
Ruth Sheen ... Gerri
Oliver Maltman ... Joe
Peter Wight ... Ken
David Bradley ... Ronnie
Imelda Staunton ... Janet
Release Date: 5 November 2010 (UK)
for more check out imdb website

today we saw this film at harbour lights written and directed by Mike Leigh, released just six days ago. at first i told Mike i loved the film and am quite impressed with the actress Lesley Manville for her excellent interpretation of Mary, this all screwed up woman. but now i think back and have to admit Mike Liegh exaggerated in the blissful life of the forever happy couple Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen) (unlike the animation characters). the film portrays this couple's house as a magnet for friends and family for both good and bad times. throughout the four seasons of the year they are there for everyone.

part of Leigh's style is that much of the film dialogues are improvised. he is talented and makes ordinary people with ordinary life living ordinary events look remarkable. moreover, i do love the photography and the pace of the film, which is really worth watching. i like it, but i question the forever blissful happiness of the aged couple. 

however, i am also - have to confess - disappointed to see how miserable he portrays Janet, the woman at the beginning of the film, who is so lost she can't even remember a happy moment in her life. Mary herself is so lost. she buys a car, which instead of leading her to new places brings her lots of problems and makes her get stuck and have get tickets and all sort of troublesome stuff possible. a bit too much? anyway, Manville's interpretation of Mary is outstanding. Ronnie (David Bradley), Tom's brother who becomes a widower comes into the picture towards the last part (last season) of the film. i like him very much. Ronnie does not pronounce many words, he only displays Bradley's talent to say much with his presence and pass along all the feelings of the character. 'Another year' was filmed in Derbyshire,UK.

Monday, 8 November 2010

le plat du jour: chinese dumplings

8 nov 2010

le plat du jour was this scrumptuous batch of chinese pork and chives dumplings. tong, my chinese flatmate gave them to me as a present. they are kept in the freezer. i steamed them in my brazilian steamer (a cuscuzeira) and ate them with balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. i also added some sweet and chilly sauce, which was also a present from another chinese flatmate, to the dish. sooooo good!

Friday, 5 November 2010

autumn & the lovers' walk

5 nov 2010

this is what the lovers' walk path looks like in these chilly but beautiful autumn days. this passage is on my way to the avenue campus. nature is so inspiring. the whole common has been so beautiful there is no photo to make it justice. our eyes see, our heart feels it, but the camera cannot register the real and breathtaking beauty.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

le plat du jour: light :-)

2 nov 2010

le plat today was this politically correct light sandwich with white bread, crispy lettuce, wild rocket, tomato, a slice of ham, and pineapple cottage cheese. it was followed by a nice bowl of cereal and a warm cup of tea. cheers!

autumn at the avenue

2 nov 2010

this is what the avenue looks like this morning in these gorgeous autumn days. i walked to the city centre and of could not resist and took some photos on my way to up town. the colors are unbelievably beautiful. they trees remain full of colourful leaves until the wind and the autumn rain come and make them all fall over the ground. later on the city council men come to collect them. and the trees will spend the rest of the autumn and the whole winter naked and unprotected to face the chilly days and the incessant rain.

St Edmund's Church is on the avenue. i found the image of the church behind the leaves very beautiful.

Monday, 1 November 2010

my daily fiber

1 nov 2010

at least monday through friday i have this as my breakfast: cereal plus oats plus some fruit plus yoghurt plus milk plus 3 or 4 drops of sweetener. i buy different types of ceral, but more or less around the ones i already know and consider to be digestive and tasteful to me, which are basically the bran and the swiss alpen ones, but i also like the cereals with red fruits like strawberry for a change sometimes. after the cereal i have a nice, warm and fresh cuppa tea. it is the perfect start for my days. then, i walk to uni or to wherever. this start makes my whole body function satisfactiorily. 

at weekends i sometimes vary my breakfast. i then take the time to make coffee and toast with butter, sometimes even a scrambled egg is added to my meal. very good indeed. i like to enjoo my meals, to respect food, and to give each the right amount of time to both prepare and eat it.

Sunday, 31 October 2010


31 oct 2010
trust me, this ice cream was really good. now i wonder if i did need it. went to tesco yesterday for some groceries and decided to give myself a treat. does it have to be an ice cream? i started eating it yesterday and finished today. bit by bit, in sin, giving in.
it is never easy to pick something in a supermarket that would be nice and sweet but not too sweet. i have the hardest time spotting the cool and 'safe' stuff on the shelves. this time i went for this haagen dazs ice cream. i usually buy lots of fruits and weight watchers ginger & lemon biscuits, but couldn't find the biscuits at tesco and maybe - maybe - decided to go wild this once.
i go wild at uni quite often too when i buy candies. this is not supposed to be funny or make anyone interested in trying the ice cream or doing the same silly things i do sometimes. it is but my reflection on my weaknesses.

le plat du jour: green salad

31 oct 2010

le plat du jour today was this fresh and delicious green salad: crispy sweet lettuce, rocket, tomato, ham, a pinch of salt, some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. love it!!! i could eat it every day, but i also need something very warm in my meals.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


28 oct 2010
what are you? what is it like to be passionate? what is it like to be professional?

how much passionate should one be about professional life? and love life? and personal life?
what is good about being a passionate person?
what is bad about it?

how much professional / practical should one be about professional life? and love life? and personal life?

what is good about being a professional / practical person?
what is bad about it?
do you think gender plays a role in that matter?

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

at the gym: one two three . . .

27 oct 2010

i started today going to the uni gym at the jubilee sports centre, in highfield. i did 4km in 50.36min on the treadmill and am now dead tired. i walk quite often at the common and i do walk to and from uni everyday, but being on the treadmill is a completely different challenge. i guess i burned a bit less than 300 calories, but it really doesn't matter much now. what matters to me today is that i did go to the gym and made a move towards a start.

last year i paid the membership for the whole year but went one day, looked around, felt absolutely lost, did not really know where to put a finger, where to look for help although there was a person at the counter, did not know where to leave my belongings, well, did not know. . . so i left as i entered the room, with my backpack on my back and nothing done.

this time i booked an induction to the facilities and i was the only one out of eight who had also booked to show up to it. the guy, an Iranian man called Ali, showed me the equipments around, showing me how to use them all. it was a basic, not full of mindblowing surprises to me, but still quite relevant instructions. we had a chat about speed limits, heart beating, calories, and all that came up to my mind at the time of the induction. he showed me the lockers where i can leave my things while exercising and how to use them. he also promised to design a programme for me. Ali gave a good view of the many, really, many, possibilities one can have in just a gym room. it was not a good idea that i came last year at rush hour, alone, and lost. maybe i did it to screw up the plan.

i saw Ali on my way out. i'll try and come when he is in next time. he said he'll design a suitable programme for me to follow. he was pleased to find out i am from Brazil. here is a tropical heart hoping for stronger beating. the exercise today has left me drained. wish i could sleep for an hour now. i think i'll go home :-) but i already did my share at the treadmill. rule number one: exercise. rule number two: rest. this is the precious lesson i learned from my personal trainer in Brazil.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

oxford street & . . .

23 & 24 oct 2010

yesterday, 23 oct 2010, they met at the junction of the avenue and london road and walked hand to hand to oxford street. once there they had dinner - calzone - at 'scoozi' restaurant. good food, good drink, great night, street packed with good looking people. later on, after some walk around street and an attempt at 'grapes' they decide to have a drink at 'the white star'. good music, good atmosphere, great warm up for the night. . .

Saturday, 23 October 2010

giving in not to give up

23 oct 2010

i just had this fair bowl of fruits with greek yoghurt. to made the 'meal' a banquete i added up a candy bar, all giving in not to give up. i know it is not very clear, but it is not any clear to me either. anyway, this was my means to manage the 'moment'. more, much more to come in life. hoping for the best.

autumn at the common

23 oct 2010

once again the common is getting more colourful and amasingly beautiful with the arrival of autumn. this morning i went for a great walk and was lucky to get some rain. oh My do i love it. breathtaking! this is such a privilege to have this opportunity to live so close to this park, which is my heart with its singing birds. love it. i can't tell how many photos i have of the park. this is one of the many i took this morning.

Friday, 22 October 2010

there is hope

22 oct 2010

when the person takes the time to go by the gym, pays for the membership, and books a fit induction it means there is hope. now serious: i really hope this time is a serious one. i could have booked all sorts of lessons - truth be said paying extra for them, from dancing zumba, salsa, or whatever to doing yoga, tai chi, pilates, among other possibilities of extra fit or fun classes. instead, i think it is more sensible that i start off at least going a few times per week and do some workout. there are also the aerobic classes, which i can naturally join, for free. help me, God. amem!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

a barca

14 sept 2010

Meu coração é uma barca
Que não sabe navegar
             Fernando Pessoa

Monday, 13 September 2010

Crazy English

13 sept 2010

If adults commit adultery, do infants commit infantry? If olive oil is made from olives, what do they make baby oil from? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian consume? A writer is someone who writes, and a stinger is something that stings. But fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce, hammers don't ham, humdingers don't humding, ushers don't ush, and haberdashers do not haberdash ...

... If the plural of tooth is teeth, shouldn't the plural of booth be beeth? One goose, two geese - so one moose, two meese? If people ring a bell today and rang a bell yesterday, why don't we say that they flang a ball? If they wrote a letter, perhaps they also bote their tongue.

Richard Lederer: Crazy English

note: a bit of honesty always helps. i found (or finded?) this nice little reflection on language at hans' blog,  Across Cultures

Sunday, 12 September 2010

the happy boy’s prayer

12 sept 2010

My Lord Jesus, please keep this happy boy hopping around, playing around, laughing and enjoying life to its maximum. Sometimes he is the Iron Man. He can also be in the mood for Spider Man. At times Ben Ten has his turn in Leo’s imagination. No matter the disguise, Lord, for they all come and suit the same joyful and sweet and wise boy. Please keep this child with his vivid imagination and a carefree heart, and do not forget his name is Leonardo.


Friday, 10 September 2010


10 sept 2010
jana, beatriz e felipe
Jana, que foto linda. gostei tanto do vestido com formas, cores, e vida. gostei de sua expressao de femea prenha e os peitoes estao grandes!!! muito lindo a beatriz dando um beijo abracado em voce e no felipe.

desejo que voce viva esse momento com todas as glorias que ele proporciona, ate mesmo com as provaveis noites dificeis de dormir por conta do peso e de nao sei o que mais, mas o momento eh fertil e especial. e unico. viva isso, jana!!! sinta a vida vibrante a seu redor e faca disso sua oracao de vida, de alegria, de promessa de paz, de calor e de caminho com cheirinho de gente miuda e feliz por perto. muuuita paz pra voces.

beijo, Kalina

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

por causa de uma abobrinha

7 sept 2010

From: Lima K.S.D.

Sent: Tue 07/09/2010 15:15
To: Vinha M.H.G.
Subject: RE: Reclamacao formal

Prezada Requerente Senhora Hilra Vinha

Eu, Kalina Lima, brasileira, coracao esperancoso de um amor tranquilo, portadora de cedula de identidade daqui e de la, quica dacola, titulo de eleitor sem tanto valor uma vez que nao ha mais esperanca na politica da boa pratica e tendo em vista que nao poderei fazer-me presente ao pleito eleitoral vindouro, venho acatar em sua integra a queixa aqui apresentada; a respeito do que passo a tratar:

- quando de vossa primeira denuncia da ameaca do virus 'abobrinhas' foi tomada atitude na forma de correspondencia enviada aa dona do blog em questao, senhora Thais. a mesma ate a presente data nao se manifestou;

- naquele momento e tambem neste, agora mesmo, sendo precisa, tentei eu mesma, nos limites da minha sabedoria cibernetica deletar o referido blog da minha lista de espaco de passeio, sem sucesso. nem mesmo sei se tenho vergonha do meu insucesso, mas verdade eh que nao localizei em pagina alguma possibilidade de parar de seguir o danado;

- aproveito o ensejo pra informar-lhe que infelizmente nao tenho escrito ultimamente tanto quanto tenho pensado em faze-lo em funcao de sentir que de alguma forma o blog ta precisando mudar pelo menos de template pra acompanhar os ventos, a chuva, os sentidos, o ritmo. . . da vida. . .

sem mais delongas solicito que vossa senhoria de uma tregua e ponha em segundo plano a possibilidade de processo pelas vias judiciais, considerando a boa vontade da minha alma. outrossim, aceito instrucoes sobre como eliminar de vez por todas a presenca de aboboras virais no espaco do dileto soton times para voltar a contar com a visita ansiada e estimada de leitora tao especial. saliento ainda que ofereco uma rodada de paz em forma de pizza e um bom vinho.

abracos calorosos,
Kalina Morena


From: Vinha M.H.G.
Sent: 07 September 2010 13:27
To: Lima K.S.D.
Subject: Reclamacao formal

Prezada senhora Kalina Lima,

Eu, maria nao sei das quantas, brasileira, casada, descasada, re-casada, descasada, e no momento tico-tico no fuba; portadora da cedula de identidade brasileira que nao serve para nada nessas terras, e do titulo de eleitor tambem inutilizado, residente no endereco mais que conhecido, venho informar-lhe que tendo em vista o nao atendimento de solicitacao feita por esta cidada em data nao remota, mas esquecida, sou forcada a iniciar um processo de reclamao formal perante as autoridades de direito, para tratar do caso. Como ja foi anteriormente mencionado em carta anterior datada de deus-sabe-quando, esta cidada, que vem a ser uma pessoa ocupadissima e nao tem tempo para balelas, encontra-se impossibilitada de acessar informacao extremamente necessaria a seu equilibrio mental, emocional e porque nao dizer corporal, afinal mens sana corpore sano.

Desde a data supra-omitida por esquecimento, encontro-me impedida de abrir o informativo diario online The Soton Times, pelo qual a senhora e a responsavel direta e imediata, alem de autora, administradora e unica funcionaria conhecida. Portanto, todas as imputacoes cabiveis e incabiveis sobrecaem sobre vossa pessoa. Estou lhe escrevendo apenas por gentileza, para informa-la que estou constituindo representante legal, o qual em breve devera entrar em contato com vossa senhoria para inicio do processo. No entanto, poderei abdicar do meu direito de consumidora fiel e participativa do dito informativo de entrar com o citado processo caso vossa senhoria faca a gentileza de tirar aquele bendito link pra o site das abobrinhas na cozinha, para que minha pessoa possa voltar a ter acesso ao referido blog da vossa pessoa.

Sem mais para o momento e contando com sua boa vontade no que tange a este assunto, aguardo providencias no prazo aberto de alguns dias, ao fim dos quais serei obrigada a entrar com o processo na justica blogaria internacioanl, nacional e municipal.

eu mesma

Hilra Vinha
MPhil/PhD Student
School of Education
University of Southampton
SO17 1BJ

Thursday, 2 September 2010

good morning, gorgeous september sun

2 sept 2010

just came back from an invigorating walk at the common. the sun is shinning outside and it is not cold (13 degrees just now). i walked for 70 minutes. i don't always go fast, i speed up and slow down many times. i see people come and go. i have been descovering new avenues, sometimes literally 'avenues' at the common from my walks, sometimes metaphors for 'avenues' other than the concrete ones but not less important to me.

i walk, i breath, i feel awake, i listen to the birds, i think, i smile, i feel i am having the beginning of a good digestive process because of the moves, and it feels good. today i found a new path. i try to vary the paths i follow but essentially my walks start with no fixed plans, and i like it. sometimes i walk for a while in one direction to then realize i haven't walked for a long time. in this case i go towards other directions, but i don't care really where and for how long, i just understand that sometimes when i 'apparently' feel tired is the moment i am getting mostly warmed up for the activity, and this has kept me going. i love it. i feel very happy.

i will now get ready to go to uni and sort some things out. later on have lunch with my dearly friend Diana, who arrived yesterday from Romania. yey!!!

update at 2.47pm: got back from lunch with Diana at the crown inn at about 2pm. once again, great chat. i am glad my friend is back, but not for long. she's going to new york this coming tuesday and will not be back until the 24th. it is going to be a field work trip for her research. i think she'll also attend a conference.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

cheers to life

1 sept 2010
hilra & kalina at the highfield campus. photographer: Clarissa
I met with hilra and her troupe this afternoon on the highfield campus. What a great surprise to see the little ones all with lovely cards written to me saying they love me and missed me. I hugged them as we met. It is always a funny moment because they know I want a big cuddle. Hilra had bought the cards to give away to friends and they asked to write one for me, nominating me the first chosen one. I got two lovely cards and a cute book marker with nice words from hilra, leonard and clarissa and also a prayer. So so so sweet and heart warming!!!

It was fantastic to spend this time together. Because we were at first at the workstation at Hartley library we all had to whisper our words not to bother people. The kids behaved nicely. I think that when they saw me using a computer at the workstation they thought I had something there that was my own. Clarissa asked: ‘have you got a house?’ sooo cute. she knows I do, she’s been here to my place a number of times. I told her I do and that that place was where I went to study.

I had put the cards in my backpack to read them later on because I wanted to keep our presence there as quiet as possible. but Leo whispered determined: ‘when are you going to open the card?’ I whispered back ‘now’ and opened them to read. It was so much fun, Leo crouched down the chair to hide his shy face. He knew I was going to grab him for a big hug and a thank you kiss. We all laughed, I mean, quietly laughed. Then I got Clarissa’s card to read and she did the same crouching down the chair. One thing that was lovely was that the students around didn’t make any unhappy face with the presence of the kids in the room. They’re good fellas!!!

Hilra was finished with the printing thing and we were headed to enjoy the beautiful day at the gorgeous park we have at uni, where we stayed until nearly 5pm. Oh my was it good! The kids were joyfully running around and making friends with a girl their age. Oh and mr spider man paid a visit. Hilra and I talked non-stop – what a surprise! – and yes, it was refreshing and a perfect break even from big stressful deadlines I had for the day. We always simply talk, I feel so safe and tranquil to think hilra is around. It really gives me a sense of security. Amem!

After the great time at the park they left and I went back to Hartley library where I stayed until it was about to close, which is 9pm during the summer. at the library i did some more of my work which was due today. i am pleased i at least managed to complete a task and send it on the deadline, although i think i messed the application process. i am now also left with an important reflection about my slow and threating last minute approach to things that seems to want to become a pattern in my life. oh no!!! On my way to the bus stop I passed by Ros, who was I think walking home from avenue campus. ‘Hello kalina’ ‘hello ros’ and I rushed to the U1C bus that was coming. I ran not to miss it and when I got into it asked the driver if he had seen me run and if he would leave me there waiting for the next – 20 minutes later – bus. He said he did and that he would not leave me behind. I gave him a thankful smile and the trip home was safe and pleasant. from the middle of the bus i thanked nice bus driver before leaving bus. He responded back ‘cheers’.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

film: the secret in their eyes

25 aug 2010

o filme e a chuva
Hoje fomos pro cinema e cheguei em casa agora, quase meia-noite. Tava chovendo, uma chuva fina e insistente, mas eu nao ligo. Aqui eles reclamam muito do tempo, que pra mim eh as vezes muito bom. La pisamos em pocas de agua andando no estacionamento a caminho e de volta do cinema, mas foi divertido. Um povo vindo atras da gente fez o mesmo na pocinha de agua. Foi legal, mas eles acham que o dia eh horrivel. Horrivel pra mim tem que impossibilitar o transito ou outras coisas, o que nao vi acontecer aqui ainda. Era uma chuva fina, gostosa.

Assistimos o filme do diretor argentino Juan José Campanella 'el secreto de sus ojos' - 'the secret in their eyes', um suspense policial muito bom, que ganhou oscar de melhor filme em lingua estrangeira. A sessao comecou 9.20 da noite. Eh a historia de um funcionario da justica aposentado que resolve escrever um livro contando uns fatos, incluindo um pouco da vida dele e da investigacao de um crime. os aspectos tragicos de um assassinato nao desvendado e a propria vida de Benjamin Esposito se misturam muito bem no filme. Humor cinico e um final surpreendente. Adorei o filme.

No filme passou meia hora de comerciais e de trailers de outros filmes. Teve um comercial de um crème pra espinha de rosto de uma moca. Ele riu e eu perguntei se ele acredita naquilo. Ele disse que nao. Em seguida uma propaganda de cerveja, perguntei de novo se ele acredita naquilo, sim! Hehe

Ah, encontrei um povo conhecido no cinema. No banheiro encontrei a Jenna, que eh inglesa, so conhecida, nao amiga, apesar de ja ter ate ido a um pub com ela. Falamos oi e tal. Ai vi a Agota (hungara), que andava com a Jenna e mais um povo. Falei ligeiramente e subi pra ver o filme. Na saida vi uma professora daqui, acho que ela eh italiana. Com chuva, 9.20 da noite, e varias pessoas no cinema. Gostei tanto disso. Caminhando pro cinema, do estacionamento, eu cantarolei 'rain, I wonder why, today that such a different sky. . . Are you sad because you know my heart no longer sings. . .' trechinho que a sarah vaughan canta de versao de uma musica brasileira.

eu gosto tanto da minha vida aqui, e isso me da tanto medo aas vezes. Gosto dos amigos, alguns tao intimos e preciosos, com quem tenho conversas profundas e interessantes, sobre nossas vidas. Eh um povo proximo da minha sintonia. Gosto dos lugares, da cultura, dos ares, e da chuva. O frio eh triste, mas nao se pode ter tudo. Ah o medo nao eh so aas vezes, acho que preciso pensar um pouco mais sobre isso pra nao atuar e nao me deixar viver, o que ja fiz demais e causei danos aos meus sonhos nessa vida.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

you are not happy!

24 aug 2010
at the U1C unilink bus

i went to city centre today with viktoria to get my tickets for our trip to brighton this coming saturday. we had to stop by asda to get the passport photos for my 'young person' railcard, which will give me some discount when i buy train tickets. well, the photos are taken from a photo booth there is at asda. we get in the booth, insert the money, which is £5 for four photos, and follow the instructions until we get our photos. the machine gives precise information about how to take the proper passport photos, give step by step that i should show the face, not wear glasses, one person per photo, and other instructions. i had problems getting to a lower position to fit the screen for the photo because the seat was too high. viktoria was waiting outside (we have to close the curtain) but listening to all instructions. the camera capture the image of me and showed it asking if i was happy with it. then it said that if i were not happy i should press a certain button to try a new shot, which i did. when i did it the machine repeat the process for a new photo and viktoria realised that. she said 'you are not happy!' referring to the words from the machine. they way she intervened from outside the booth was SOOOOO funny i wanted to burst into a big laughter but shouldn't because i had to have the photo done.

photos in hand we were headed to the train station for both my railcard and tickets to brighton. after being in the queue for a while the man said i still need the uni stamp in my photos!!! i was surprised, but he showed the information in the form for the card. i had a document stamped by the office from uni and found it should be enough, but i was wrong. trip nearly totally wasted, i bought my tickets paying full price.

Friday, 20 August 2010

the gentle rain

20 aug 2010

sent out this sms this morning when i was back:

just had a nice walk
on the common
with drops of light rain
on my face and arms.
it felt great.
have a safe journey.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

doce lirismo

19 aug 2010

Erro de português
Quando o português chegou
Debaixo de uma bruta chuva
Vestiu o índio
Que pena!
Fosse uma manhã de sol
O índio tinha despido
O português.
        (Oswald de Andrade)

os ventos da paz

19 aug 2010

sorting out life at the unilink bus
my very dear maroquilda,

this is just a note to say many thank yous to you for bringing me the winds of peace, discipline, and a proper management of the situations that pose challenging in my life.
it was magic to once again hear your voice on the phone asking and saying things like: 'por que, fia?', 'pense assim, nao, kalina', 'olha, nao eh assim nao'. all these words, in your smooth voice in the right moment, so truly and softly put me back in the right track, you know that, right? i love you, nene. i've already said it once, but here it goes again: your voice and words bring me the sounds of my heart.


Monday, 9 August 2010

journey into myself

9 aug 2010

Sadie Parker is back here in southampton for the summer job with the uni pre-sessional course. i am very pleased to have her around again. we became friends last summer when we shared a flat with other pre-sessional tutors in monterfiore 3. that was a time of discoveries, lots of chat around a bottle of wine and good food, and also high level of stress. i learned a lot from it and don't miss it. sadie was one of the nicest things out of the whole experience. she is a good woman, good at heart and in search of some things in life still, in a way like myself i would say.

well, we decided to walk from the avenue campus at about 3.40pm to the cowherds yesterday to catch up on our chat, and stayed there until 7.30pm. i was at first sad i didn't have my camera with me because it seems to me now that my memories and all of my posts start out from an image. while i can still question why that is the case, i can try and write anyway. i found this image in my files and thought it serves the purpose of illustrating a synthesis of our conversation today. yes, go beyond the very comfort, the familiar zone, challenge yourself, trust the unknown that will not exactly hurt you badly and this might provide you with what you want. this is the main lesson from our insightful chat. we drank cider and ate greek and middle eastern food: eastern spiced houmous, Roquito pepper aioli, Greek Kalamata olives, minted feta tzatziki and warm falafel, served with grilled flatbread. good food indeed.

autumn is in the air, the days are shorter, and another year announces itself to my soul in this land. i have been pensive about my life and of my choices. it has been made clear to me that every choice offers an inevitable, not always desided, consequence. what is the role of love, afterall? what is so risky about it?

Friday, 6 August 2010

zzzzzezzoz Zoe

6 aug 2010

i was talking to a Chinese student and asked him his name. 'Andy', he said. i told him this is the same as his teacher's, Andrew, and that Andy is a nickname for Andrew. Andy was very surprised because he didn't know that. he said he picked the name out of the internet as he liked it.

i walked around and spoke with a Chinese girl. when i asked her name, she said 'zzzzzezzoz Zoe'. i smiled, repeated 'Zoe', and we talked about other, more relevant for the moment things.

i've seen this adoption of an English name by a Chinese speaker (both Chinese and Taiwanese) happen so often i decided to ask them why they do it a while ago. the ones i spoke with told me their name doesn't matter much. for them what is really important is their father's (family's) name, which is kept, along with the new, English name.

although i could understand and see the point in their argument, i still wonder why the need to do that. i would just simplify my name if it were too hard for foreigners to pronounce it, but i don't see people calling anything else rather than Kalina. do i have identity issues?

Thursday, 5 August 2010

como o olho olha

5 aug 2010

sera assim mesmo? se eh assim, o que isso significa? eu nao concordo com a sugestao do grafico. acho que eu estou entre esses extremos, e identifico tons mais ou menos claros nas cores, mas tambem nao passa disso. mas eh curioso que essas ilustracoes sempre trazem um homem direto, pragmatico, e uma mulher que eh insaciavel em explorar coisas, ate mesmo cores. saudades aos montes. . .

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

some extra calories

20 july 2010
at pizzarina with kassandra and jota
well, who needs extra, unnecessary intake of very fat calories? those three in the photo do. it's like a must-do thing, and i have to do the whole gastronomy tour. it's true they make fantastic pizzas at pizzarina. actually, theirs is for me the best pizza place in teresina. but now, looking back i wonder if we really needed that. we don't need any hunger to drive to these places, sit, order, stuff ourselves, spend money, and many times feel the guilt later on. our chat we great, anyway. why is it nearly always too late when i realize i could have gone without the food intake?  too late now, at least for this one. hope i learn from these photos and memories in both my mind and belly.

this pizza was giant. we got two as the offer of the day says. i took some slices home with me and jota did the same. we make  did a good combination of the leftovers from the two pizzas. naughty people! anyway, my mom loved the one with figs and pineapple.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

the warmth of friendship

11 july 2010

i met jana long long ago, maybe around the year 1994. she was actually my mother’s classmate in a french language course they were both attending at yazigi. jana was also going to uni then (her subject was computer sciences) and came to our apartment to see my mother a few times because mom ordered some address labels jana made to get some pocket money. we became friends right away. i remember in the beginning i didn’t really know much about her yet but she invited me to go to the movies. we first started talking about movies, and to move on to other subjects was just a matter of time. since then we’ve been friends and meeting up when life makes it possible. this time jana wanted to see the two old time friends of hers: my mom and myself. we indeed had a great time together, talking about marriage, men, children, discipline, birthday parties, life. beatriz planned to come back on a later date to sleep over at my mom’s. so cute! we ought to pay close attention to what these little people say for they utter wise truths and reveal a lot about life.

one good thing about old time, true friendships is that whenever we meet, no matter the time span, we just smile and converse and swap details and or facts of our lives that have taken place in the meantime, so much naturally. with jana i feel particularly comfortable to talk about whatever, and she apparently does feel the same. it’s about trust, i think. she contacted me right before i left to brazil, because she read in my blog I was going there and she was going to teresina as well, as a vacation trip for her, her chatty daughter beatriz. jana is 5-month pregnant with felipe, and is married to fabio. they have lived in brasilia for a good while now.

happy sunday meal at mom’s

11 july 2010
today we had another cosy, intimate, family lunch today. my dad is always present to these family moments, which i hold invaluable. today there were only the five of us: mom, dad, jota, kassandra, and myself. i like it that we don’t spend too much time cooking. we can just easily buy some ready to eat grilled chicken and paçoca and rice or whatever, and the banquet is set up. in our family meeting the menu is never a worry, lunch serves more the purpose of the time that places us all together around the table, for around the table we are indeed together. right? sometimes i still wonder. anyway, just for the record, today we had chicken, fresh, delicious, mom’s rice, and kassandra’s ‘brandade de bacalhau’ as the great treats of the day.

my thought is that whatever the family do it has a significant impact on the ones growing up, i mean, the impact is important on everyone involved. we make the effort to find time to be together. for us, grown up people, it is a sign of maturity and responsibility, and of course, of love and a sense of family as the first and most important reference of us as human beings. For the young ones it is an opportunity to fill their minds and souls with cherished moments of family ties. Hopefully this represents a rescue for them when they go somewhere else and have those moments of questioning exactly who they are and what they expect from life.

Friday, 9 July 2010


9 july 2010
this is me planning the course – still checking out on last minute changes in my plans for the carrying out of the course. worried about the whole process, worried about managing everything properly, but also confident that it will all be fine in the end. all texts are already printed out and put together to be handed to the participants. my family is so absolutely supportive it makes me feel i am not left with much to fear. this course has the new ingredient of it being carefully observed by me. i have a twofold role time, both as the facilitator and as researcher. i am happy. amem!

lunch with fatima

9 july 2010

today i had lunch with my old time dear friend Fatima. believe me, this was another non-stop, women’s conversation. we met long ago, when we worked as English teachers at Yazigi. at that time she was pregnant with Segundo and divorced her husband. now segundo is a big man, studying at university, which means we’re growing old, and she is married to Humberto, ‘o super sincero’, so she says of him.

first thing in the morning i went to tribunal de justica to sort out some things. fatima picked me up there about 10.30am and from there we went to the Municipal Secretary of Education, where i expected to meet with the secretary for a booked interview. well, not quite, as he was not there. that was not a problem at all and fatima and i ended up having more time together. we had lunch at the restaurant which used to be called “Peixaria do Alfredo”. there we had a scrumptious ‘peixe à delicia’, and drank cajuina. fatima is a mature, funny and very family oriented woman. i admire her multi skills as a mother, daughter, wife, and professional. she is often running up and down the city, she even works in a different state a few times a week, and always has a smile to her face. way to go, girl. every time we meet we talk about our professional experiences and plans and frustrations, well, on life. i hope she manages to go to the UK or anywhere in Europe for a conference some day while i am still there. it’d lovely to go visit some places with her here.

loo at the secretary of education

while still at the municipal secretary of education i went to the loo anyway and found this rather intriguing note on the toilet door. what does it tell about its habitués?

Thursday, 8 July 2010

photocopies: taking shape

8 july 2010
at bate copia

Since my attempts to get the photocopies done at Centro de Formacao failed I decided to go professional and went to Bate copia, these people who are everywhere in the city and whom I had known before from CEUT. I spent a total of six hours there and the people are so professional. I went home for lunch but the materials (book chapters and articles) all had numbers and they would make the photocopies and put them in the right order. It was a big emotion to see a complete set of materials for the course prepared. My heart raced and it made visualize myself in a hammock reading again everyone and getting prepared for the course, which is next week.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

warming up for the day

6 july 2010
what can be better than starting out the day with an invigorating walk by the river? just a little before 9 o'clock in the morning, with my mom, under the vast shade that also offers a breezy wind. free to go when i got up, had breakfast, and decided to do it. it feels free to be free and to enjoy life. priceless.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

hectic sunday: family lunch & walk & pizza

4 july 2010
family lunch:
at Kassandra’s, with everyone again: Manuela, Andre, Vanessa, Caio, Danilo, Laiane, Jota, Mother, me. . .
i took ten photos with Caio by his request; we watch an 'agua-com-acucar' film on tv as if it were really interesting. we need to do things together to keep together, and agreeing on points we would normally disagree is part of the deal. loved those magic moments. more endless chatting with more than one speaking at the same times, obviously. good to see Vanessa has time for her family. she is so young and started not long ago working as an oncologist. cherished moments in my memory. i also think this get togethers are good for little, imaginative caio. he was fascinated with kass' big collection of magnets he got about ten i his little hands and asked her: 'aunt kassandra, if someone comes here and asks you to take your magnets for a day would you allow them to do that?' soooo precious! he helped kass on this and she said no, because she loves her collection of magnets from places she's visited.
oh, how could i forget to mention the food? it was fantastic. we had green salad, rice with beans, and bbq. everything, everything, was freshly made and tasted delicious. ice creams and fruits for dessert. oh Lord, save me from temptations for they may lead me to undesirable roads. i fear this time in teresina is leaving significant / visible marks on my person.

walk by the river:
about 5pm i was off for a walk by the river with my mom. walking after stuffing oneself is especially useful and helps release the guilt, plus the ay was beautiful. i am not going to list the endless advantages of walking, by the first ones that come to my mind are: helps me sleep better, breath better, feel my body, some aches go away, and it makes me smile, especially if i get to see people i know along the walk. the specil one i know and whom we met this day was kassandra - LOL! yes, she went from her place and we all met by the river.

in the evening i went to La Pizza with mom, jota and kassandra. you can have a dreadful idea of the amount of calories i have already consumed in less than 48 hours after i arrived in Teresina. this is all so challenging, and i am a week soul, this is the plain truth.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

film: julie & julia

3 july 2010
Definitely for me the book should come before the movie. The movie is fine, Meryl Streep is phenomenal, but the film, which of course is another, completely different language from the book, presents only bits of the real story. I don’t understand why some film producers and or directors feel the need to change details in recent facts. I’ve read somewhere that important bits about Julie’s life were left out of the film. Oh well, it was good to watch, anyway. The said part to it is that now I don’t feel like reading the book. But I do believe it is important that our knowledge about the story doesn’t limit to the selected information presented in a film. Although I am not a movie expert I dare say the director could have made better use of the rich material available. Oh, I loved to see Shakespeare and Company, the great bookstore in Paris in the film.

festive arrival - family lunch

3 july 2010

During our breakfast Manuela invited us to come have lunch at her house at 1.30pm. Kassandra and I said YES right away. For me it was precious chance to see Vanessa, Andre, Lorena, Fernando, Danilo, and the kids Fernandinho and Caio. The food was routinely excellent. I couldn’t help but eat a lot of this Thai lamb, cooked in coconut milk, which was superb. There were other things to eat but I concentrated on the lamb, rice, and veggie salad. For dessert we had some chocolates I took there myself plus a chocolate cake and ice cream. Any meal at Manuela’s is always a big feast.

The relaxed chat involved technology, life, trips, chocolate, study, death, kids, and all the natural issues families talk about when they meet. When we left Manuela’s house it was nearly 5pm. Every time it is the same: we just linger on and on and on for a long time after the meal is over. The funny thing is that we remained around the table, biting this and that.

festive arrival - family breakfast

3 july 2010

I said goodbye to Liliana around midnight and left Fortaleza in a GOL flight at 00:45 in the early morning. When I got to the airport in Teresina it was nearly 2am. My mother and Kassandra were faithfully awaiting me, with the most wonderful and welcoming hugs and kisses in the world. We spent the rest of the night at Kassandra’s but went to my mother’s in the morning because a big family breakfast was planned for us to have. I helped with the pancakes and there were so many other things to eat. Oh my God, eating always ends up posing a problem when I go to Brazil, because it is everywhere. Family members and friends came to eat with us, and there was of course great chat and laughter and everything. Caubyra brought me beautiful flowers.

Our family breakfast was very very good. This trip through Lisbon was not tiring at all and didn’t even last too long. It was more than 24 hours for the whole journey, but I had the advantage of the hour in Brazil four hours behind. I felt quite rested. During the breakfast Manuela invited us to come to her house for lunch. this is the topic of the next post.

trip: uk - brazil

on 2 july 2010

My trip to Brazil this time was (coach) Southampton – (TAP) London – Lisbon – (GOL) Fortaleza – Teresina. Because I had fours hours in Lisbon between the TAP flights I arranged to meet with my friend Fernanda. She came pick me up at the airport. We drove around the city, which I found beautiful. It is interesting to be in a place where people speak a variation of my own language, but clearly not quite the same. We visited quite a few historic places, but unfortunately didn’t have time to try the ‘pasteis de belem’. Leave it for another opportunity.

When I was back in the airport to leave to Brazil I realized from talking to people at gate 42 that my departure gate had changed from 42 to 44. The Brazil and the Netherlands match started exactly when we left Lisbon. During the flight a flight attendant announced she was ‘sorry to inform Brazil lost the game to Holland’. Who asked? Some whisperings of sadness as well as some manifestations of joy were heard in the plane. Fine! It is said a game is a game and it implies that one has to lose for another one to win.

when i was in the queue for immigration in Fortaleza the noise from the gathering of people drew my attention. i looked back to the many people in the queue and only idea came to mind. the synthesis of my thoughts was 'they are all much alive'. when i get to Brazil i instantly feel the difference in the incessant heat everyone displays, starting from a big round of applause we give when we land in Brazil, which i see as a beautiful moment that holds us all together.

I got to Fortaleza and met with my cousin Liliana, who stayed with me at the airport until I left to Teresina. We talked non-stop, about life, about us, about love, about work, and about whatever else popped up on the menu of our chat. It was fantastic to spend this time with Liliana. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time. Last time we had seen each other was 2007, I think. Getting together with Liliana is getting together with people I have loved all my life, people who i grew up with, people who know exactly who I am, and know of me, of my deeds, of my fears, of my dreams. Liliana is not only a cousin but also a very close friend of mine. Years away from face to face encounters don’t make us one bit more distant or anything of strangers. On the contrary, we need more time to catch up. I was worried about her, because I was going to embark to Teresina sometime after midnight and thought it would be not safe for her to go home after that. Well, she had plans and she actually took a taxi there from Silvana’s home, where she is staying with her mom while Silvana is in Paris with Heitor, and that’s why we didn’t get to meet this time. The warmth and tenderness of familiar love were clearly set in the air.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


1 july 2010

i can hardly believe it is already july and i am going again to brazil. i'll leave in the early hours of the day to london by coach. at 8am i fly to lisbon, get there at 11.50. fernanda will meet me at the airport. it will be nice to sse someone and help pass the time in the new place. it will be great to see fernanda after so many years. she lives in lisbon but has been to brazil a few times. i am a little anxious about this trip.
i'll leave lisbon towards fortaleza at 3pm and arrive in fortaleza at 6.30pm (local time), but it will be 10.30pm in my watch because we are four hours ahead of brazil.
i will stay six hours at the airport in fortaleza. my cousin liliana is going there to see stay with me. this is fantastic. i am so thrilled to see her after so long. liliana is not only a good cousin but also a very special friend.
i will fly to teresina at 00.45 and get to teresina nearly 2am. it will be am in my watch. in teresina i will be receptioned with much love from family. can't wait to give my mother and my father and everyone else a big hug. when i get home the feeling is one of safety and peace.

i might be absent from the blog for a few days as i don't know yet how i'll manage the posting thing. so, if i don't come by it only means i am in teresina taking care of my business there, which is the main phase of my research and also to be homey for a while and be very happy about it. i love brazil.

Monday, 28 June 2010

le plat du jour: food and thought

28 june 2010

le plat: pizza and a great chat

l'assiete: null

la boisson: diet coke for me, orange juice for hilra.

dear nene,
it was great to enjoy part of this warm summer day with you in highfield, first walking to the stag's head, then going to your office. LOL the music was loud, huh. i'm glad we found this time to have a meal together and catch up a little on our endless conversations. ah, the pizza was good, wasn't it? i like it there but it is too much per person if we are two only. it becomes ideal for three people. anyway, for the rest of the day i only ate grapes and had a cup of tea. my name is guilt.

it is always interesting how we talk about so many things and never lose track of the topic. is it a woman thing or is it that we really trust each other and thus feel free to talk whatever? people may think women talk most of the time about foolish things. that is not our case. thanks a lot for the truthful tips on that subject. i really appreciate them. when i am back from Brazil we'll get together and talk more.

big hugs,

Saturday, 26 June 2010

le plat du jour

26 june 2010
le plat: bluecheese, chinese noodles with seastick and scrambled eggs, palm hearts, plus other ingredients:
i put ginger, garlic, butter, salt, chilly and mixed it all together with the seasticks in pan with hot butter. the smell was irresistible. i added the cooked noodles with a few spoons of the water in which i had cooked the noodles and then the bluecheese. yummy!!!
in a separate pan i prepared the eggs and also sliced the palm hearts. two banquets in a row i had this week. and there is leftover for another one or even two meals.

l'assiete: grapes.

la boisson: tea. cheers!

Friday, 25 June 2010

le plat du jour: feeding body & soul

25 june 2010

today I still felt a little lost with the crumb of freedom I have now from the many recent responsibilities. I came to the office today wearing the official Brazilian shirt and went to watch the second half of the match Brazil vs Portugal at the Stag’s head. Not much emotion, it was a draw, but we’re safe, that should make up for a reason for celebration, I think. on my way back home i stopped Somerfield, a local supermarket, and this guy started talking football with me. he wanted a chat but at present i don't have enough information to carry out a proper conversation, i'm afraid, but we still had a nice chat.

le plat: Then I came home, hungry and thinking I do need to cook up some of the food I have in the house. i just put two veggie burgers with sliced mushrooms in a tray, sprinked salt, chilly and olive oil on them, and put it in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes. the burgers were frozen. the mushrooms look dark, but the 'plat' tasted fantastic. when i was making the food one of my flatmates said it smelled really good. i added seasticks to the plate and voila! it was surprisingly different and turned out better than i expected, considering my lack of planning for the cooking and my natural inability to cook good food.

l'assiete: dark lindt chocolat

la boisson: english tea. i had a banquet today. really loved the different food, with no carbo this time. i only ate one of the great veggie burgers, saved the other one for another meal.

other than finding time to cook some, i started to read a good yesterday, as i feel the need to feed my soul with other words, other images, freer and maybe more poetic. please don't get me wrong, i love my readings, really do, but want to vary a bit. doing the fun reading makes me feel like someone who can afford a luxrious hobby. ok, so yesterday i started reading 'time was soft there', from Jeremy Mercer. he worked as a jounalist who specialized in crimes in Canada. in the book he tells of his experience of living in the Shakespeare and company bookstore in Paris. the book is very interesting and Jeremy a great writer. i actually contacted him the other day through email and he replied to me. Everytime i speak with someone famous i remember my cousin Silvana saying i never lose the habit of approaching famous people. why is that? maybe a symptom. i am, with the good food and the good book feeding body & soul :-) cheers!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

carpe diem

24 june 2010

I worked all day completing the plan for the course. There are still many things to do, from photocopies to designing questionnaires and getting the final version to course plan and other things. It was a productive day and I feel tired but very much knowing what to do and how to go about this. This is very comforting. The feeling of familiarity with my study, the readings, the decisions I have to make about the course, they are all so important. I love it when I have the sessions with Ros, like we did have one yesterday, and I present my understandings and my work to her and she agrees and helps me out keep the focus and in the right track. It is fantastic. I am in love with my research study.

Of course, at the end of the day, about 6pm, Rob (British), Mariko (Japanese), Diana (Rumanian), and I were headed to a pub and enjoyed the warm sunshine of the day. It was The Stag’s head, the pub right there on the highfield campus. We had clear plans, as stated before, to go as cheap as possible. Diana and I ordered a pint of cider each. The bartender offered some options but our answer was: the cheapest one, please. The cider was cheap and nice. Mariko and Rob had cider too, but of the more expensive brand. LOL.

We had a great chat until sometime after 11pm. We sat outside, enjoying the breeze, drinking our ciders, and talking about so many interesting things. I really love to spend time with people who have stories to tell and are happy to share them. Rob has just been to Asia: China, Thailand and Taiwan, on a field trip for his research study. Mariko got back from her trip to Southeast Asia, also data collection for her research, somewhere in February. She went to China, South Korea, and Japan. Diana has been to many places: Israel, Amsterdam, Berlin, and last week she interviewed somebody in London, all of these are field work trips. I went to Brazil for four weeks in December (data collection) and also visited Prague, Vienna, and Budapest this past Easter break. These experiences leave loaded with impressions and stories to tell. The nice thing is that we have an open, peculiar eye to differences we encounter in the different places we visit. So we talked about isolated events and then our impressions and how we managed unpredicted situations in a foreign land. It was wonderful talk!!! I didn’t know Rob could get so funny and be such an open young man. If I need to say one word to summarize the focus of our interest in the conversation among these different places and peoples it can be ‘identity’, concerning language and culture.

Besides the cider, we had pizzas. We buy two pizzas for £4.50, which is really a good deal. When we had one last slice of pizza, it was sitting there for a while until we started asking ‘who’s going to eat it?’ everyone said ‘you have it’, ‘go ahead, have it’. Then we talked about this situation in our cultures. I explained to them that in Brazil when we have one last slice or piece of food on the table, called ‘the piece of shame’, there is a joke that we should switch off the light so that we feel fine to go for the piece of food. The problem is that some people go with hands and some with their fork (guns) and when the light is switched back on, well. We bursted into laughter. It was really very funny. Mariko said that in Japan, in Tokyo the piece will always go to the bin, as no one is impolite enough to get it. People are very polite in Japan normally. However, in Osaka yes, someone would have the piece. What we did? We called Rob ‘the Osaka man’ and said he should have the piece, which is how our pizza was finished.

Because we get two pizzas it is common that it is too much if people are not hungry. Well, in a nearby table there were three students also drinking something and having pizza. We didn’t even realize when they left. Diana and Mariko decided to go to the loo. As soon as they stood up we had the vision of untouched three slices of pizza in the next table folks’ tray. Their leftover looked like a whole half of a pizza, baked and ready to be eaten, of the type that makes us feel sorry it we don’t do so. Once again we all bursted into laughter. Inspired Rob said ‘osaka’, which was rightly understood and agreed upon by us: we, we should grab the bounty and have the feast. It was a highlight in the night. Diana got the pizza and brought to our table. It was really quick because it was the next table. Then she decided to put the tray back there and keep only the pizza in our tray. Smart one! The girls went to the loo and Ron and I treated ourselves to the slices of pizza.

It is summer now but it still gets a little chilly in the night sometimes. I put on my coat and we all left sometime after 11pm.

Carpe diem, Kassandra.