these are the posts tagged ‘usa’:


“all that red on the map, like a blood stain”

the morning after the US election, i heard someone utter that description of the results and it stuck. stunned and spinning and scrambling for explanations, the world puzzled at the websummit, the theme unavoidable on every panel.

in the weeks since, disbelief gave way to real fear. everything else has felt rather small and meaningless, in comparison to the big elephant in the room.

spinning

and then, slowly but surely, this cold helplessness in the pit of my stomach has transformed into a kind of determination. i’ve realised there is something i can do — which is, after all, exactly what we’ve been doing for the past 11 years through postcrossing: randomly connecting strangers.

if this project has taught me anything, it’s that people everywhere want the same things: to be happy and healthy, to keep their loved ones safe, to be heard and understood. when we randomly match two of these strangers across the world, we disregard their religion, skin colour, political stance or nationality… and yet, whoever they are, they share this brief moment together, teaching and learning and smiling for a few seconds. it’s beautiful.

it’s of little consolation, i’m sure, in the grand scheme of things, but it’s something. the more we know of these “strangers” out there, the more we understand them. and the more we understand, the less we fear.

and this — this i can do.

analogue wednesday #43

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missing long roadtrips, and time to think and explore.

the portuguese of ironbound, nj

Recently, at the Newark home of António and Magda Araujo, Mr. Alexandre and his wife, Maria, cooked up a lamb feast. But instead of cooking it whole, they had Mr. Lopes butcher it to show off two Easter favorites — borrego assado (roasted legs of spring lamb) and guisado de borrego (lamb stew). The scene, as Mrs. Araujo described it, was typically Portuguese: “loud and fast.”

“Everything is better with olive oil!” Mrs. Alexandre shouted as she rubbed some into the lamb legs. Mr. Alexandre countered with voluminous and rapid-fire requests for bowls, pans and cutting boards. Their frantic pas de deux continued, and they dipped and spun to avoid elbows and sharp knives as they whirred garlicky pastes in the food processor, peeled potatoes and dressed the meat. In under 45 minutes, four pans along with a flan were ready for the stove. Ervilhas com ovos, a staple of peas and bacon topped with poached eggs, would be made right before dinner.

(…)

A short time later, half a roast suckling pig from Valença and both lamb dishes were nestled in the center of the table. Potatoes, rice, bread and the egg-topped peas filled the gaps. Around the table sat 10 hungry guests.

Dinner was suddenly interrupted by the bleating of Mr. Alexandre’s cellphone. A Portuguese woman was stranded on the highway and called for a tow. He stood up, popped another chunk of lamb into his mouth, and shrugged on his jacket.

“Got to take care of our own,” he said, heading for the door. “It’s how we survive.”

from a nyt article on the portuguese community in new jersey and their easter traditions.
the excerpt above actually happens everyday at my home, with my dad running out of the table to help some distressed driver on the highway :)

yes you did!

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cartoon by steve benson.

on roadtrips

roadtrip

“Ernesto Guevara: What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two; melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land.”
from diarios de motocicleta.

if i hadn’t already felt the urge to travel to south america, i would surely get the itch after watching diarios de motocicleta: the story of young che guevara on his south-american continental roadtrip on a bike named la poderosa (“the mighty one”). the film photography is simple and stunning, eye-catching in its rawness.

besides, roadtrips fascinate me, as i am sure they do to many other travelers out there. my only stint at a roadtrip was a 3 or 4 days drive through colorado, utah and wyoming, over a year ago.
it was beautiful and liberating, and we plan to go back to the states and repeat it someday, with a twist: we shall visit an itinerary of odd-named places. it will certainly include highlights like potomac, normal, breakneck, chicken, gringo, frostproof, ding dong and most definitely choconut. no kidding!

above, our detour to visit a place called cisco. :)