It doesn’t matter how we die, we always die alone.

September 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

I just wanted to write a few thoughts on the 10 years of the WTC attack.
I’ve read through these past days many people accusing the US of being just as guilty of terrorism as those who took threw the planes against the World Trade Center. People keep saying ‘WHAT ABOUT HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI? WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE PEOPLE THE US ARMY KILLED IN THE MIDDLE EAST?’.

It surprises me that someone would respond to a grieving situation, to a terrible mark in the history of the 21st century (and might I say, of the human history) and to all those more than 2000 lives lost, with such a statement.
Of course Hiroshima and Nagasaki were terrible and yes, we do still see consequences of it today, of course the War on Terror that followed the 11/09 attacks was a horrible thing (and sadly it still is) and so many other horrible tragedies, but can you stop thinking about your ideals against capitalism for a moment and think about families and lives lost?

The way I see it, it doesn’t matter what nationality were the people who died or when or who did it, it matters that it was unreasonable and…well, evil. What matters now is the pain and the healing process and whether you like it or not, the 10 years ‘anniversary’ (if you can call it that – I always reserved that word for good things) of those attacks is part of that process. For those people who lost friends and family there, it’s not about which terrorist attack was worse, it matters that it happened and it seems all unthinkable and wrong and people are judging a country for wanting to show respect for those lives lost.

I’m not saying other lives lost in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Baghdad, Belfast, Madrid, London, Mumbai, Kandahar and so on, mean nothing, because they DO and they mean as much as any other life taken by prejudice, fundamentalism or xenophobia. These past 10 years have been shaped by that one day in September (and I remember hearing on the radio and thinking it was the beginning of the III World War), as you like it or not, the US is the geopolitical force of the last 60 years, so it’s sad that their tragedy seems to matter more than other tragedies around the planet, but blame the journalists, blame the politicians and their games, don’t blame the victims.

I’m sorry that my sister (who was only 2 when the 11/9 happened) had to grow up watching repeatedly news of terrorists and war against this said terror and seeing the replay of those planes hitting those buildings, of car bombs being exploded, of suicide bombers murdering innocents in the name of a god. I’m sorry she had to grow up seeing armies murdering civilians in the name of democracy, or that she had to see that prejudice and xenophobia are still part of the world culture even after the II World War, and I’m sorry she has to see people who dislike the US saying that grieving is only an excuse to ‘play the victim’. I’m sorry she has to see that the answer to violence seems to be more violence and hatred.
Don’t blame the victims of fear and hate of all over the planet on ideologies and acts played by politicians.

E a lista continua…

August 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Agora a lista dos Deputados Estaduais, que aprovaram o reajuste dos seus salários em 73% no final do ano passado (21 de dezembro! Presentinho de Natal…) para entrar em vigor esse ano.
“A partir de 1º de fevereiro de 2011, o vencimento do parlamentares, que hoje é de R$ 11.564,76, ficará fixado em R$ 20.042,34.” informa a Zero Hora (de onde eu também tirei as informações sobre quem foi a favor/contra).

Todos os candidatos do PT votaram CONTRA (Adão Villaverde, Daniel Bordignon, Dionilso Marcon, Elvino Bohn Gass, Fabiano Pereira, Ivar Pavan, Marisa Formolo, Raul Pont, Ronaldo Zülke e Stela Farias) e também votou contra o Deputado do PTB, Cassiá Carpes. A proposta do PT era fixar os salários em R$ 15.521,06 a partir de 1º de fevereiro de 2011, e em R$ 17.400,66 a partir de 2013 (nem chegou a entrar em votação).

Então, os queridinhos Deputados(as) Estaduais que foram A FAVOR DO AUMENTO:
— PMDB:
Alberto Oliveira, Alceu Moreira, Alexandre Postal, Edson Brum, Gilberto Capoani, Luiz Fernando Záchia, Márcio Biolchi, Marco Alba, Nelson Härter.

— PP: Adolfo Brito, Francisco Appio, Frederico Antunes, João Fischer, Pedro Westphalen, Silvana Covatti

— PSDB: Adilson Troca, Paulo Brum, Pedro Pereira, Zilá Breitenbach

— PDT: Adroaldo Loureiro, Ciro Simoni, Gerson Burmann, Gilmar Sossella, Kalil Sehbe

— PTB: Abílio dos Santos, Aloísio Classmann, João Scopel

— PPS: Berfran Rosado, Luciano Azevedo, Paulo Odone

— PRB: Carlos Gomes

— DEM: Francisco Pinho, Paulo Borges

— PSB: Heitor Schuch, Miki Breier

— PCdoB: Raul Carrion

Logo além, farei a lista dos Deputados Federais. Bora tirar esses abusados das nossas Câmaras, Senados e Ministérios!

Aos Porto-Alegrenses: Serviço de Utilidade Pública

August 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

A Câmara de Vereadores de Porto Alegre aprovou nessa segunda-feira (dia 29 de agosto) um aumento de 73,3% nos seus já altíssimos para R$ 14,8mil (já tinha sido aprovado um aumento em fevereiro). Coloco abaixo os nomes dos queridos e imploro para os que possuem o direito de voto, para tirarem esses Ilustríssimos Senhores(as) Vereadores(as) da nossa Câmara. “A decisão de aumentar o valor novamente foi tomada com base em legislação aprovada em 2008, que permite que o subsídio corresponda a até 75% do que recebem os deputados estaduais.” (segundo o Estadão)

Enviei um e-mail para os queridíssimos e recebi uma resposta, que diz “Nenhum vereador votou agora com relação ao salário, essa votação, de acordo com o que manda a CF88, deu-se na legislatura passada, ocasião em que, dentro dos padrões constitucionais, ficou estabelecido que os vereadores de PoA iriam receber 74% do que for atribuído ao deputado estadual. A indignação da população está correta, só que ela está sendo direcionada de forma injusta. Antes dos vereadores estão os deputados federais, os deputados estaduais, o judiciário, o tribunal de contas e outros, todos recebendo grandes quantias, estabelecendo aumentos em cascata tão surpreendente como este, mas que não tem origem nos vereadores
Resposta essa que recebi duas vezes (por que ler, se pode apenas copiar e colar né Sr. Mauro Pinheiro?) Não fiquei sabendo de nenhum vereador que disse não ao aumento. Colocar a culpa na legislatura passada é bem fácil também “Ah, se os deputados federais podem, a gente pode também”. “Se ele rouba, eu posso roubar também”?

Anotem, salvem no computador e todo ano de eleição vão lá pra olhar a listinha e garantir que eles não receberão seu voto.
Adeli Sell (PT) – estava em 2008
Airto Ferronato (PSB)
Alceu Brasinha (PTB)
Aldacir José Oliboni (PT) – estava em 2008
Bernardino Vendruscolo (PMDB) – estava em 2008
Beto Moesch (PP) – estava em 2008
Carlos Todeschini (PT) – estava em 2008
DJ Cassiá (PTB)
Dr. Raul (PMDB)
Dr. Thiago Duarte (PDT)
Elias Vidal (PPS) – estava em 2008
Elói Guimarães (PTB) – estava em 2008
Engenheiro Comassetto (PT) – estava em 2008
Haroldo de Souza (PMDB) – estava em 2008
Idenir Cecchim (PMDB)
João Antônio Dib (PP) – estava em 2008
João Carlos Nedel (PP) – estava em 2008
Luciano Marcantônio (PDT) –
Luiz Braz (PSDB) – estava em 2008 (engraçado que ele que me mandou o e-mail dizendo que foram os anteriores)
Maria Celeste (PT) – estava em 2008
Mario Fraga (PDT)
Mário Manfro (PSDB)
Mauro Pinheiro (PT)
Mauro Zacher (PDT) – estava em 2008
Nelcir Tessaro (PTB)
Nilo Santos (PTB)
Paulinho Rubem Berta (PPS)
Professor Garcia (PMDB) – estava em 2008
Reginaldo Pujol (DEM) – estava em 2008
Sebastião Melo (PMDB) – estava em 2008
Sofia Cavedon (PT) – estava em 2008
Tarciso Flecha Negra (PDT)
Toni Proença (PPS)
Waldir Canal (PRB)

Ouvi dizer que apenas os vereadores do PSOL, Pedro Ruas e Fernanda Melchionna, foram contra o reajuste. (me corrijam, se eu estiver errada)

Por um Brasil limpo, por um Brasil justo e por um Brasil onde políticos não podem aumentar o seu salário.
Por sinal, dia 7 de setembro terá uma passeata contra a Corrupção no Brasil. (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=257924184226462) É às 9h da manhã, saindo do Viaduto Loureiro da Silva. Outras capitais estarão realizando passeatas também.

UPDATE: Recebi esse e-mail do Vereador Luiz Braz
“Os vereadores de Porto Alegre, ou outros vereadores, não podem deliberar sobre seus próprios salários. O que ocorre é que, de acordo com o que manda a Constituição, vereadores de uma legislatura votam salários para as futuras legislaturas. Agora os vereadores não votaram absolutamente nada, e nem podiam. Quando os vereadores votaram, não sabiam que os deputados federais e os estaduais colocariam percentuais tão elevados para os seus salários. A constituição impede que a câmara modifique essa legislação, por isso, essa câmara não tinha outro caminho a tomar. Certamente é justa a indignação de toda a sociedade com relação aos salários, mas ela deve ser dirigida à quem pode modificar esse quadro, ou seja, os deputados federais, que podem alterar essa legislação e até mesmo resolver criar salários mais justos para membros do tribunal de contas (26 mil reais), deputados federais e judiciário, assim como o ministério público (cerca de 24 mil reais) e, depois disso, na legislação atual, tudo vem pela chamada cascata, nos aumentos dos estaduais e vereadores. Como nossas legislaturas não começam no mesmo período, somos sempre colhidos em meio de mandato, quando eles começam suas legislaturas, estipulando seus salários que irão regrar os demais.”

Não sei se confere essa história de que não são permitidas mudanças na legislação e que isso depende dos Deputados Federais. Porém, marquei na lista aqueles vereadores que estavam em 2008 (durante essa escolha, mas acho justo dizer que NÃO sei quais votaram sim ou não). Vou fazer um post com o nome dos Deputados Federais desse ano também.
Acredito que o fato dos vereadores não saberem que o aumento seria tão elevado é de pouca significância, já que o salário já era alto.

A quickie.

July 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

After more than 6 months without sex, you just forget about it. At least I do. And trust me, I’ve spend almost 2 years without sex a while ago.

I like sex as much as the next guy (well, maybe not as much as a sex addict) and yes, I do think about it all the time, but I don’t feel like a horny animal.

I was discussing that with my teenager classmates (I’m studying in a preparatory course to get into university, so I have lots of classmates just fresh from high school). They already spend most of the time talking about boys and maybe it’s because I’m older, but I find it plain boring. Of course, I do partake in some conversations and topics, but it’s THE ONLY THING they talk about. Then, I look at the other older girl there (who is actually married and is 25) talks all the time about how we must all get boyfriends.

I don’t know what’s that all about. The group’s “whore”, the one that everyday she comes up to say how perfect this guy is, but everyday she means a different guy and how she sleeps with random people every week when her mother is not at home. Well, she’s always bitching about how they mostly suck in bed and etc.

They were discussing how they needed someone to call and ask for sex without the guy falling in love or being annoying. I said they wanted a booty-call and all they had to do was shout out to the world and several candidates would appear. Not just because it’s sex, but because they are young and good-looking, reasonably clever girls. They said that would not work, because it doesn’t guarantee the guy would ‘behave’. They wanted a – and I quote – ugly guy, because then they wouldn’t fall in love. I don’t know, sex appeal is kind of important, even if a person is ugly based on someone else’s standards, he could be beautiful to me and that would qualify as sex appeal.

As much as a feminist I might be most of the time and I do not have a problem with people sleeping around, I think if it’s just for the sex, then you could at least have a bit of standards. If I’m going to sleep around, I’m going to do it with good looking people, thank you very much. I might date someone ‘ugly’, but if I’m talking about satisfying a physical need, I do want something nice to look at. The only time I had a one night stand he was the hottest guy I ever hooked up with, had the amazing abs and all that. He was a douche, but still. It’s not like he has any other qualities that I know of for me to have a reason to sleep with him. If it’s just to have something in your vagina, go buy a vibrator.

Also, do girls really think about boys that much when they are teenagers? I don’t think that was all I talked about. Or was it? I don’t know, I barely talk about boys now. I barely hang out around boys (if I do, they are mostly gays). I haven’t had a ‘real’ boyfriend for 4 years, I think. Am I miserable? Not at all. Am I fully happy? Not at all. I don’t see why people with partners have to be seen by society as always happy or if you are single you have to make sure everyone knows you sleep around to prove how fucking happy you are being free and single.

So, this is my statement. I haven’t had sex since November 2010. I haven’t kissed anyone since the same date. I couldn’t really care about this. I have more in mind than having to worry about boys. I like boys, but I don’t have the patience to go after them. I love the chase and I love flirting, but I really don’t have the patience for it. I’m happy for you if you have sex frequently, YOU GO AND GET THEM! If you don’t have sex frequently, well, deal with the matter in your own hands. Or just do as I do: find something else to think about (I travelled around Europe for 70 days), watch a lot of tv shows, read books and then after 6 months you might forget about it.

The Lion

May 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

I once met a lion who didn’t have a heart.

The lion, however, believed in this so-called “love”.
He believed it because of a book. A story he read that told a tale of two lovers from opposite families, who in their passion also find death.
It puzzled him at first. The lion couldn’t understand why or how was that possible. He couldn’t imagine what would make one person go to such extremes for someone else. The lion was confused when he heard of this.

He would sit there, with his huge grey wings perfectly still, while he pondered. Nevertheless, as he read on, he realised that was the oldest story ever told. Of love and how it can drive you mad. He didn’t have to live it to know it was true.

The Farewell Letter.

April 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

So, this is the end.

I’m sitting here at an internet cafe in Charing Cross writing this blog post, surrounded by drunks in the West End that have been “celebrating” the Royal Wedding (or rather, the bank holiday + Friday) since 10am. Weirdly enough, I can’t really be bothered to actually go out drinking anymore today. It’s my last night in London from where I depart to go back home (in Brazil) tomorrow at 6am after living a little bit more than 2 years, now with a one way ticket.

The journey to London would be a tale by itself, my dream of living in the city since I was 12 years-old and then all the paths and decisions that led me here. However, living in London was probably the most important chapter of my life so far. Sure, it has been only a reasonably young life, but still. London was everything and nothing I expected. London changed me and London made me more sure of who I already was. You could argue that living abroad does that to you. Yes, it does, but London does it more.

I came here like an arrogant Brazilian who hated my country most of the time, who hated people most of the time, with a heartbroken, no plans for the future and at times unsure of what kind of person I was. I’m leaving London as an arrogant Brazilian who knows the faults of her country, but has decided to go back despite those because I believe I can help make it better. I’m leaving London as a person not with hatred of people, but with a passion for stories from whoever they are. I have fixed my heart and dealt with my shit (or at least I think I did). I have loads of plans for the future and I’m more than ever, absolutely sure of who I am.

I owe these changes as much to myself as to the city, to living alone, to having the same job for 2 years, to paying my own bills, to learning how to drink, to learning how to enjoy going out, to learn how to appreciate being by myself. More than that, I owe these changes to the amazing people I’ve met in here. Each and every single person that I came across and became friends with, dated briefly, hated for a little bit, loved for a little bit, worked with, lived with has made an impression on me and being surrounded by the magic that only London has made me absorb that in a way that – as said before – makes this time here the most important of my life so far.

I haven’t had a chance to say goodbye to everyone and I truly hope and believe I will meet them (you, in case you’re reading this – whoever you are) along the way. Either back in London or in Brazil or wherever the world ends up leading us to.

I must thank specially 4 people, more than anyone else: Lucia and Andrea, the 2 Brazilians that showed me London the way they saw it and that was the best gift I could ever hoped for. They thought me how to drink, how to accept that wearing make up was not the worst thing, that being a bit feminine and hugging your friends was not something for the weak. They showed me that friends can be soulmates (because those two were born for each other) and that London has a thousand things to say, to see, to feel, to smell, to taste and to enjoy.
Also, I must thank Elliot, the English boy who thaught me so much about the English culture, the slang, the way of thinking, the way of talking, the way of enjoying a cider in the rare sunshine, having a full English first thing after a night out and the tradition of drinking at least 2 cups of tea a day. Ah, and the “bless” (AWWW, BLESS HIM).
Finally, I must thank Brenda, the amazing American that made me truly confident that being a geek was something to be extremely proud of, that watched so much crap TV with me, introduced me to amazing people, amazing tv shows, amazing movies, amazing books and most of all who was a true friend that was never out of my mind.
Of course, there are more people I must thank, people that maybe don’t even know how amazing they were and how glad I am that I met them even if only a few times. They are American, English, Brazilian, South African, Australian, Irish, etc. They have 100 different names and I would spend too much time writing it all down and would probably forget some.

It saddens me to think of all the places I didn’t get to go (Hampstead Heath! Kew Gardens! Regent’s Park in the Summer!) and the people I didn’t get to meet. I walk around London now and think if I had gone to this party, to that pub, to this bookshop I might have made more friends and learned more about other cultures and heard more interesting stories. It saddens me to think I have no exact idea of when I’ll be back and how the city will look like then. I hope I have left my mark in here and that when I depart, I’ll be missed.

However, it was time to go. I have written a blog post about that somewhere. I have decided things need to not be stale in my life and sadly, they were in London. Due to both my laziness, people leaving, the Home Office, the new laws and a tiny bit of depression. This time in England was amazing and I’m so glad for all the places I got to go and experience, but life is always moving and with it, so will I. There’s so much I could write about this 2 years, but my time is almost up (at the internet cafe) and I have a plane to catch pretty soon.

This is not the last time London will see of me, though. It won’t be the same. I’ll be older, maybe even wiser and my views might change, but one thing will stay the same: my love for London. Therefore, I’ll be back.

PS.: I did promise to write about all the backpacking, which I didn’t. I will do eventually, but as no deaths have been reported on the lack of posts regarding my travels, I will do it on my own pace.

To eat McDonald’s in France

March 26, 2011 § 1 Comment

My bus arrived in Narbonne (a town in the south-west of France) at 3.30pm. I didn’t have a map and the counter at the bus station was closed.

I was the only person getting off there. Actually, calling it a bus station is exaggerating. It was a small parking lot with a little ticket office.

Narbonne happened to be on my backpacking plans because a train from Barcelona to Carcassone (which is nearby) would have to stop there, so I decided to give it a go.

As I don’t speak any French and I felt a bit adventurous, I decided to walk to where there seem to be some life. I got to a river. There was a sign point to where was the McDonald’s and it was a quaint little river, with a romantic bridge and some trees. The tourist office was right there. Score.

The lady gave me a map. I asked what was there to see in the town. She frowned. She circled a couple of things (literally two) on the map and pointed me towards my hostel. The city got cuter the further I walked towards the main square. It was almost medieval and quiet and lovely.

My hostel was next to the massive cathedral who was never finished (that’s all I can tell you about it, because I didn’t go inside). It looked all very promising. I walked around the square where the hostel was supposed to be for about 20min. Which means I covered the whole ground of the square 4 times.

There was this big square building, that looked like a gymnasium or an YMCA of sorts. I decided to try my luck there. Turns out the hostel was inside there. No one was younger than 50 and I had my doubts whether any of them would speak English in such a remote town.

I tried a shy: “do you speak English?” to the lady that opened the door. She smiled and blinked, as if startled and said “Yes. English…” and she looked surprised at her own knowledge. “I haven’t spoken English in years!”, she added, laughing.

When I told her I was Brazilian, things got even more exciting for her (while I thought WTF did I get myself into).
“Brazilian?”, she said “Ah, very interesting. And far! So far…and you are here!” and laughed. I didn’t want to destroy her happiness by saying I technically lived in London. She then called the other lady and said in French something that I suspect it was “She is Brazilian!”, because the other lady looked at me in awe and smiled broadly.

I left to go for a walk around it. The city seemed to have been taken over by teenagers. They were everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I walked until a bit after the aforementioned McDonald’s and realised with despair that the city basically ended there. I walked a bit more. I took a couple of pictures and by 7pm I was done with it and hungry.

The problem is that the only places with food being served were a small open patisserie and…McDonald’s. It was fucking cold, so I opted for the second. By the time I left to go back it was 7.30pm and everything was closed and there was no teenagers arounds. It felt like Hot Fuzz, the movie. The creepy cathedral and the elders staring.

I ran back to the hostel to be terrified by the place at night. Creepy hallways and next to said cathedral. I fully expected to see 2 bloodied children on my closet.

I couldn’t deal with that for another day, so I decided to go for a day trip to close by Carcassonne. Which is a medieval town and a little more lively than Narbonne but only because there’s a massive castle on top of it. It’s the windiest place on the planet (citation needed).

It must be great on the Summer, but it’s awfully depressing in February. Basically, no one really expects tourists to come at this time of the year and so everything closes.

I went back to Narbonne only to grab my bag and get the hell out of there, before some cult decided to kill me. The night train to Paris was at 11.30pm, but it was 30min late. I’m glad for that because I got to see an amazing parade of bizarre people at the station. Homeless. Musicians. Hobos. Rich women with fur coats. And everyone seemed to have a dog. I don’t know why, but they did. I sincerely hoped not all these people were on my train. The police showed up at some point, with their own dog. Turns out Narbonne gets quite exciting at night.

My train arrived and gladly only one couple with a dog embarked on it. My bed was on top and it was weird and no one checked my ticket (frustrating). I wish I didn’t have any morals once in a while…

I did wake up in Paris at 7am, so that was exciting.
I’m leaving Paris for another blog post, since this was big enough and Paris deserves a post for itself.