this is the archive for the ‘rants’ category:


a list update: 22% done!

i’ve crossed quite a few random things off my 101 things in 1001 days‘ list in the past few months, so it’s time for a list update. let’s see…

- riding a paddle boat: check!
i spent my birthday this year in amarante with friends, munching on traditional sweets and paddling up and down the tâmega river. the trick to paddle boats is to go slowly! don’t put all your muscle into it, just relax and take it easy :)

- make cheese: check!
we made delicious cottage cheese! the hardest part was locating fresh, unskimmed, unpasteurized milk…
cottagecheese

- reduce our energy consumption in 10%: check!
in 2013, we spent an average of 7.44 kWh/day, but in 2014 this number dropped to 5.32 kWh/day, a 29% reduction! :D

- visit an island: check!
guernsey was all kinds of lovely and we must go back someday.
vrguernsey

- see Daniela get into a university: cheeeeeeeeeeck!
all of that studying back in june/july paid off! the kid managed to get into the nursing school closest to her home, which means she now has a proper chance to finally get out of the village, and do something for herself.
sometimes it’s still hard to believe i saw her come to the world 18 years ago, changed her first diaper in the hospital and all… and now, she’s become this amazing person, a fighter, someone who knows what they want, someone able to make a plan. i’m currently bursting with pride! :)

olympics

“and so the games started and the country went wild, as expected. for some reason though, i’m not feeling it. shanghai is hot, the media seems to only focus on what they see fit… maybe all this preparation time spoiled the fun of it for me, and after the apotheosis that was the opening ceremony, things somewhat diluted themselves under the intensity at which we are daily bombarded… olympics olympics olympics. so i don’t feel like watching tv or reading tweets about it. hope the portuguese do well, and totally subscribe the idea of nationalizing michael phelps. pretty please?”

i wrote that in shanghai, four years ago, in a draft that never made it into the blog. was that really 4 years ago? funny how time flies. we’ve changed countries and jobs meanwhile, yet this indifference towards the olympics remained. plus we don’t even own a tv this time!

if it was my home (country)

ifitwasmyhome.com is a little google maps mashup that lets you visualize the bp oil spill by superimposing it on your current location.


these things are always tricky to visualise, for lack of reference points, but this map shows a very concrete term of comparison: slovenia. the whole of slovenia is engulfed in that stain (plus big chunks of italy, austria and croatia).

for us living here, and exploring this country, it surely puts things in perspective.

looking for plan b

little flowers
little flowers

currently floating in a sea of drupal modules and dreaming of winning the jackpot and building a spacious loft, with minimalist decoration and lots of windows. also, of doing some sort of masters in online journalism/documentary. and a website about quirky european roadtrip stops (why should americans have all the fun?!).

i daydream way too often.

Où voulez-vous aller aujourd’hui?

yesterday, a french tourist asked us for some directions to a nearby hill. straightforward stuff, follow us, and on that road go straight ahead till you get to the top. and then, as i visualized the answer in my head… i couldn’t say a straight french sentence without sprinkling it with chinese. my french used to be pretty decent, but every time the man asked something, my first reply was in chinese, then i stopped, switched and tried to finish the sentence in french, much to his bewilderment (and my own!). i hope he found his way to that hill.

portuguese/english are the languages i use to think, but chinese is the closest thing to my “second language” these days: when i communicate with a non-english speaking foreigner, i instantly speak in chinese. it’s unconscious and… weird.

which is why i really need to find someone to practice this with, before i forget it all. any tips?