sábado, 4 de maio de 2013

Lights will guide you home

It was the last week before we had to move from Brunel's accommodation buildings. Maybe the night before. That meant it was almost time to go on and live it all behind and how hard that would be.

Place chosen was the grass outside "The House" and around the fire all of us sat. I can't speak for everybody but for me there was a mix of feelings. At one hand I had the joy of coming back home after seven long years, but the taste was bittersweet, cause I was sure that those were people who, lets face the odds, I hardly would see again. So, for me the occasion was dense and very emotional. Maybe that's the reason why that episode and song is so special.

Jorge and Lisette brought their acoustic guitars and I helped them singing one song or another. Everyone who matters the most were there. She came and sat right between me and my Turkish brother Arda and asked for a song: Fix You. And so Jorge made it.

She is just like that: an amazing mind, great intelligence, a woman with the power to make her ideas come true. The bottom of a pyramid where everyone climbs to reach the top she already reached, because she's the pyramid herself. A reasonable, smart, brilliant woman, who holds inside a child with a great urge to discover the world around and get rid of the chains she herself created to feel safe. The coexistence of call of freedom and the desperate need of protection, caring and to feel loved (and she is).

To be there and hold our hands was all she needed, to feel that that specific moment, that those 3 or 4 minutes could last forever, in a place no one could enter but the 3 of us.

Despite all of the great moments we had together, despite of all of the good memories I have with her, despite of the fact she's a friend that I'll have in my heart for life, this single moment framed her in this strong portrait and gave her a gift she doesn't need she has (at least until now). A present that for some people, maybe even for her, might be trivial, casual or just silly, but for me it represents a lot (and, since she knows me very well, she knows it).

Shikha, you made it. Your moment will last forever, at least here inside. And you got yourself a song: Fix You is all yours and you can be sure that every single time I listen to it, my thoughts belongs to you, my great friend.

There's always a song


A single and harmless word, but with just what it takes to make the heart pump faster and stronger. That little spark that takes you from doing nothing, just stay in bed playing Candy Crush or whatever to bring magic to the world (even if it is you ver own particular world, who cares?). Emotion, feeling, being human. 

This story begins just like that: a common Sunday night. Low light, Facebook, waiting Simone finishing her stuff to watch a movie and… Candy Crush. But there is a song (yeah, there's always a song…) and ITunes starts to play it. World stops and it brings me back 4 years in time (GOD, it's been that long?) to a particular place and a period of my life.

Verses of a song (another song, but remember, there is always a song) says that "the memory is better than it was back then", but not this time. That time was special and I didn't need to look from outside in to know it. Every second I lived I knew it was temporary, I knew it was like living another life, almost like an alternative reality placed in between two chapters of my regular life, if I can put it like that. I knew it was special. I felt it.

And every place I've been to, every street I've crossed, every Tesco shopping I made and specially every single person who took place in that Journey, my Journey came back to me. People who are irreversibly attached to my soul for as long as I live and maybe more.

Back in September 17th of 2010, I told to one of the most important characters in this story that doesn't matter the distance or how long we kept apart. The greatest thing is to know that everytime we're back together, the feeling will be the same. And one thing you guys can be sure: from me, it will be.

This post os not dedicated to anyone in particular, but to all of you who made my life more special than it already was, that made London a place that is part of who I am. To all of you who I miss and you have no idea how much.

Just because of a song.

quarta-feira, 5 de outubro de 2011


An year has passed (a little more, actually) since I left London and as time goes by, memories start to call me back and I gladly go. No fear, no regrets. Just my old days passing in front of my eyes one more time (or as many times as I want, since the memories are all mine).

DAMN, I miss those moth******ers! People that obviously are not part of my daily life anymore (unfortunately), but never left my thoughts.

This blog was once created to tell people here in Brazil about my European Stories (under my very particular and a little bit funny perspective). However, at a certain point of my journey its purpose has changed. 

For the ones who were stars on my European story I dedicated the last posts on this blog. It’s about time to come back to it and give my words to the ones that deserve it. My dear friends. Brothers and sisters that I left at some point of my life and that are definitely part of who I am today.

So… let the Round 2 begin!

segunda-feira, 11 de outubro de 2010

#08 - Emilia Mason (Em)

Nationality: English
A song: Abba - Dancing Queen
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You know… people should recognize a Queen when they see one out there. Ok, forget about Queen Elisabeth, for God sakes!  Just close your eyes and think about a fairy tale. Can you describe the Queen?

Mature, experienced, wise, strong and at the same time fragile, as every woman should be. She’s a leader with decision power and wisdom to hear what people around are saying and eyes where her King can read: “Yes, I can handle it”. Wouldn’t you trust a woman like that?!
And, of course, the Queen must be classy, fancy and amazingly beautiful. There ain’t no way for you to ignore her. There ain’t no way for you not to notice when she walks in. She is there and you, mere mortal, should find a way to free from the charming trance and make reverence, because SHE’S THE QUEEN, for God sakes!

It was almost like that with Em. It was opening day of the MA and we were waiting for our first contact with professors and the course crew. And she came in: she is tall, elegant and with a pair of stunning green eyes - believe me, the room was almost in the dark and I could see those eyes.

“C’mon, Leo! Focus!!! Remember: £11,500!!!! It’s not even the first lecture and you are paying attention to… Ok… you can keep looking a little bit more, but try not to look too much or look stupid. Play hard to get. =)”

My first real contact with Em was when I conveniently asked her to fill a survey for one of our assignments. She did and her responses showed me that she was also funny and spontaneous. She wouldn’t talk to you and feel like “Oh my God! Is he really cursing?! Watch your words, I’m a lady!” 

No!! A modern Queen would curse, swear, make funny faces, laugh, drink, make jokes and jump in the pool in a cold spring night with you, my friend, because she knows the value of the mundane things!

As I must have written in one of those previous posts, I have a personal belief that every single person who crossed my life has left their contribution to the man I am today and that I’ll keep reinventing everyday. In a lifetime of facts and happenings, sometimes we kept to ourselves important things that we should have said to people who played an important part in our lives and they end not having any idea on how important they were.
In a critical moment of my journey, Em had this important part and I’m glad I had the opportunity to tell her that. I consider that my small tribute to her, my way to say: Thank you.
That’s Em, my friends! She’s the Queen and I don’t understand what Britain is doing for not to notice such an obvious truth. It’s way more than a dynasty or a bloodline. It’s a light that shines from inside out and that just a few are born with. A Queen in a quest for the royal throne that belongs to her and she’ll find it. She just needs to remember who she is, the strength she has and forget some bad experiences and words she heard in the past. Forgive them, Queen. They don’t know what they say.

And one last and simple thing: Aim at the stars. The sky is the limit.

We’ll meet again, Em!!!

sexta-feira, 3 de setembro de 2010

#07 - Elif Ozbayrak (Elif)

Nationality: Turkish
A song: Jorge Ben – Chove Chuva
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Again Fresher’s Week – tough week, I might say. All the undergrads having fun and I myself finding a hard time to fit in (masters start their studies and activities a week later). I was down at Loco’s with 3 English kids trying to convince me that the Amazon Forest is an international territory, ruled by the United Nations (problem with drunk people is that they need to be over convincing, especially when they are talking nonsense).

Blabla here, blabla there and I see this woman coming in. She is brunette, long straight hair and undeniably trendy. Not conventionally trendy dressed, but in her own particular way, everything seemed to match perfectly even if it was completely different from what those “wannabe’s” underground, blondie, “I’m so hot” girls wore. She was authentic, she had an identity, she was just a woman in the pure expression of her self. Oh… and I forgot to say: she IS HOT!

Days later, I found out that (lucky me) she was one of my classmates. However, she was always with this security Turkish guard. If I wanted to get closer to her, I needed to gain his trust (later on, we’ll talk a little more about this young man). Walking to our classroom, I came next to those two and of course, I introduced myself to him first (respect is necessary, let’s face it) and she came next. That was just the start.

Elif is my Turkish Princess. A free bird with total aversion to the idea of being or feeling caged. A harmless spirit, always with a smile in her face. Elif is passionate about life and “since you were given this gift, live it as much as you can!” Believe it or not, I feel inspired by people like her, people who realizes that life is happening out there. People that realized that making their own histories, living their own destinies instead of watching ready-made stories on tv or books. She’s the owner of her own destiny and you know… It comes so naturally from her personality that she doesn’t seem to care.

And guess what is the place that she wants to know the most? Guess what kinda people she believes to share the same essence as her? If you guessed Brazil/Brazilians, you’re right. If she is right, that’s what we’re gonna find out.

Once me and Elif were in my room, trying to work in this future paper. That was back in April and Rio had suffered quite a lot with this heavy rain. That was all people in Brazil could talk about by that time. From a friend, I received this email with a video that some random guys recorded in the streets, during the chaos. As soundtrack, Jorge Ben – Chove Chuva.

-       "What song is that?" – She asks
-       "Did you like it?"
-      "Yes, that’s really nice! I loved it!"
-       "Ok… so sit down here and lets have some Brazilian culture immersion."

Tim Maia, Jorge Ben, Seu Jorge… I saw her sparkling eyes and her smile coming out when I showed her Moro no Brasil (Farofa Carioca) video.

-       "See!?!?! This is how I picture Brazilians in my head! Happy people! People who does these crazy things! This is SO AMAZING!"

She was convinced. Yesterday she just called me telling that she bought the tickets. In February she’ll see if the dream matches the reality. If it will, I don’t really know. What I know is that she’ll definitely find her way to have her unstoppable share of fun.

Just one last observation: Elif spelled backwords is “File”. In Brazilian slang: cute/hot chick. Sounds appropriate, doesn’t it?!

terça-feira, 31 de agosto de 2010

#06 - Leo Marti

Nationality: Swiss

Man, Leo will be the first one to leave. Tonight will be his farewell party with chocolate fundue. Curiously, if he is the first to leave, Leo was also the first classmate I met here.

It was a Monday afternoon. I was in this conference room, waiting for the Brunel Post Graduate crew to tell me how great the University is, how accurate was my choice of being here and how “we haven’t only chosen Brunel, but we were also chosen to be here” and blablabla.

I was talking to this guy from Nepal (Dao), who, by the way, I barely saw again after that. He went to get a glass of water and I sat down. Right in front of me, there was a guy, long curly hair, with this surfer looks. The conversation started and he said (with his undeniable French accent):

-      Hi, I’m Leo. And you?!
-       - Leo.
-      - Yes… that’s my name.
-      - Actually, I’m also introducing myself. I’m also Leo.

Leo was my main bridge to most of the biggest friends I made here. Thanks to him, I met some of the guys I’ll be presenting here - and he is one of these good friends, of course.

I won’t deny: we’re a lot different. Our lives beat in different frequencies. He likes GOA, FOR GOD SAKES! But it doesn’t mean that we didn’t have our share of fun together. I actually went to one of these Goa Parties and was an interesting experience. Not my kind of music, but you know… You’re in London! You should go and see what’s going on. Despite of the fact that I pick on him because of that, I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it. It was cool. If you’re amongst friends, it will always be great.

There ain’t no picture where you will find Leo posing normally, like a normal person (actually, here we have some rare samples of normal faced pictures - but I reassure: IT'S PRETTY RARE!). Funny, scary or stupid faces. There is always something unusual because “there is no fun in making regular faces”. That’s his brand, that’s who he is: a free spirit always looking for his share of fun, exploring new horizons, trying life as it is. If there is a party, an occasion, an event or even just friends in The Hub there you will find Leo and you bet he will invite everyone.

But one thing must be said: if he wants do go out, exploit the world, know different places, travel around, live in Berlin, the joy of leaving is more powerful because there is a place called home: Switzerland is his safe port, home, his identity, part of himself.

A young man with an acid sense of humor, a teaser in essence, this guy gave a hard time to the Chinese community. There was no occasion when he didn’t try (sometimes succeeding) to put LOTS of alcohol down their throats. Poor naive Chinese… In the end, I might say, it worked pretty well for him – if you know what I mean.

See you soon, my friend!

quarta-feira, 25 de agosto de 2010

#05 - Richard Craig (Rick)

Nationality: Irish

“Sorry?” That’s probably the word/question that I’ve asked Rick the most.

This guy is the ultimate challenge for your English skills. Ok, Rick, I must confess: I must have missed 50% of the things you said in this period, especially in the beginning. Rick is Irish and their accent is my level 3 of difficulty. And more: it was not only myself! The other guys used to face the same sort of problem. =)

Hey, Leo! Yesterday I was bhdsj hhdue h reuhu reuhr eu udhdeuhdue. It’s weird because I dhuahs hueudhuhsuh hudehuh dhusha. Don’t you think?! Hehehe

[Oh, my God… Think fast, Leo! THINK FAST!!! Say something clever and that fits to any situation!- I’d think with myself.] "Mmm... mmm... Cookie?"

It used to make me feel stupid. You know… first, the guy says what he has to say. If you don’t understand, it’s ok to ask him to say it again. If you need a second round, you start to feel a complete ignorant, but you ask anyway – the communication must be established. By the time of the second, if the sentence was a joke, the mood is completely gone and, instead of a funny atmosphere, what you get is impatience and the need to be understood, which makes everything really awkward. So, instead of asking again, for the third time, you just accept you didn’t get it and laugh as if you did.

Nowadays, I’m doing quite better, I must say. Not majored, but I only ask him once, but with a warning: Try to slow down the pace, man!

Rick is the final element of the “Monopoly Dudes”. Actually, he was the first one to get excited with that: “We SHOULD DO IT!”. We did it and it turned out to be really good for all of us.

A short story:

It was my second week in Brunel. Me and Rich were at the Post Graduation Welcome party. Just two new friends talking, walking around and trying to meet new people.  In the middle of the conversation, Rick abruptly interrupts whatever he was talking about just to say: “Oh my God… She’s beautiful!” From this moment on, he couldn’t talk about anything else. The beautiful woman in green was the center of his universe. All of sudden, I was alone as he started to walk around, trying to find a way to look at her properly. With his slightly frenetic way of walking, especially when he's excited, and pointing the finger up as if he was about to say something (so peculiar), he asked:

Yes... She is beautiful. Do you think I should go and try to talk to her?

Of course, man. It’s just a conversation, isn’t it!? Go slow and smooth and you’ll be ok” – I’d say.

And he went. Both seemed pleased with the conversation. He was really comfortable with that and made her feel comfortable around himself at the same time. I was sure he was fine. He was definitely fine. And, you know… They are perfect for each other.

Rick is like this: nice, kind, friendly and extremely intelligent. Owner of a really good sense of humor and always available for a good chat, especially if there is beer involved (he’s Irish, remember?). F1 enthusiast, this guy has a special attachment to Brazil, since it’s his hero's birth country: Ayrton Senna. 

You know… he promised me he would come and visit. I really hope he will. I’ll be waiting for the perfect couple!