Nascida e criada em Portugal. Já morei na Polónia, no Brasil, na República Checa e agora é a Suécia que me acolhe.
O meu blogue, tal como o meu cérebro, é uma mistura de línguas. Bem vindos!

Born and raised Portuguese. I have lived in Poland, Brazil, Czech Republic and now I'm in the beautiful Sweden.
My blog, just like my brain, is a blend of languages. Welcome!

terça-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2016

My career as politician*

Sweden is very well known for its societies and organisational mentality. There's even a joke that says if one locks up three swedes in a room for a few hours, when the door is open again they will come out as president, secretary and extra member of a society, to which they have also written rules for. 

In school we learn not only the language but also the culture. Recently, we had our first student meeting of the course. No one really knew what was going to happen, as it was actually organised by the teachers. As soon as it started we were shown the list of things we had to go through. The first point was to elect a representative.

First thought: not me, not me, not me, not me, not me! I already have so much to do!
Second thought: well, that was really arrogant of me to think I would be even considered, as I started the course only a few weeks ago!
Third thought: yes, I can relax, it's not going to happen.
Fourth thought: or is it?

It was... It happened...

To make it faster the teachers decided to suggest people for representative, secretary and two other ones. They suggested me straight away as a representative and all my colleagues agreed. Whether I was chosen because they wanted to be represented by me or because they didn't want to do it themselves, I will never know.

What that meant was that I would have to chair the meeting, leading about 30 people to discuss through a long list of points in 1h. That was not easy and I was exhausted afterwards! I gained a new respect for diplomats and politicians (although not that much).

It was also quite interesting to see the kind of people/group that can probably be found in every single meeting despite country, city or type of meeting. There are always those who talk the most, the quiet ones, the ones who have no clue and complain about things that somehow don't make sense, etc.

It was a really interesting experience and I learned a lot from it. The teachers also talked with me in the end of the meeting, pointing out what I did well and what I could have done better. They did similar with the student appointed secretary, because none of us knew how to write the minutes of a formal meeting. The whole thing was not just an exercise and it will continue. Now, I have to take the complains and suggestions of my colleagues and have a private meeting with the dean of the school, to discuss them. 

And just like that, unexpectedly, I started my career as a politician. Or maybe not...

*Obviously joking even more than in the post about my career as a tango dancer.

domingo, 4 de dezembro de 2016

Prague bucket list #16 - Café Imperial

I have moved enough times to know that no matter how early I start the packing, I will spend the last evening panicking over the boxes, bags and things that don't fit. In this way, me and Johan decided to book a nice dinner for the last evening we were in Prague, to make sure we would at least enjoy ourselves a few hours before we left. Prague is full restaurants but we wanted something special, and we booked a degustation menu in Café Imperial. This restaurant has been open for over 100 years and it was the place to be back in the 1920's. We had a 7-course dinner with paired wines, and although the wines were not great (but were good!) the whole experience was very pleasant. My favourite part was to sit in the amazing saloon with high ceilings and colourful mosaic-tiled walls and pillars. 

Já me mudei vezes o suficiente para saber que não importa o quão cedo começo a arrumar tudo, porque vou sempre passar o último serão em pânico sobre as caixas, malas e as coisas que não cabem. Assim eu e Johan decidimos ir jantar fora na última noite que passámos em Praga, para nos certificarmos que íamos aproveitar pelo menos algumas horas nesse dia. Praga é cheia  de restaurantes. Nós queríamos algo especial e reservamos um menu de degustação no Café Imperial. Este restaurante foi aberto há mais de 100 anos e era o local mais in em Praga nos anos 20. O jantar foi composto por 7 pratos com vinhos emparelhados, que não era fantásticos mas eram bons. Toda a experiência foi muito agradável e a minha parte favorita foi estar na sala lindíssima de tectos altos e mosaicos coloridos nas paredes e pilares.

I'm not usually attracted by fancy events or things, but I have to confess that it felt great to leave the sweat pants in the middle of the chaos that was our apartment then, dress up and relax over a 4h dinner. I wanted to remember this dinner forever, as our last evening in the beautiful city of Prague, so I took pictures with my phone, which didn't turn out great, but are enough to revive memories.

Eu não sou geralmente pessoa atraída por eventos chiques ou coisas extravagantes, mas tenho que confessar que foi óptimo largar as calças de fato de treino em cima das caixas, no meio do caos que era o nosso apartamento, vestir-me em modo festa e relaxar durante um jantar de 4h. Queria que fosse um jantar memorável, na nossa última noite na bela cidade de Praga, e então tirei fotografias com o meu telefone. Não ficaram fantásticas mas servem para despertar memórias.

Endive salad with orange segments, walnuts and homemade dressing
Salada de endívias com segmentos de laranja, nozes e dressing caseiro

Wild salmon marinated with beetroot, with cucumber-radishes-fennel salad
Salmão selvagem marinado em beterraba, com salada de pepino, rabanetes e funcho

Truffle gnocchi with champagne sauce - the best dish of the whole meal!
Gnocchi de trufas com molho de champanhe - o melhor prato de toda a refeição!

Grilled tuna with Niçoise salad and olive vinaigrette
Atum grelhado com salada Niçoise e vinagrete de azeitonas

Chicken roulade stuffed with salsiccia on barley risotto
Rolo de frango recheado com salsicha italiana com risotto de cevada

Fallow deer back with Port wine sauce and glazed carrots 
Carne de gamo em molho de vinho do Porto com cenouras

Chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream and cherries
Fondante de chocolate com gelado de pistachio e cerejas

It was almost a year ago and my mind just took me back there. The gnocchi and the fallow deer were the best dishes. And dessert of course! Now I have to go and hunt the freezer for some ice cream...

Foi quase há um ano atrás e a minha mente levou-me lá de novo hoje. O gnocchi e o gamo foram os melhores pratos. E a sobremesa claro! Agora vou ali assaltar o congelador e ver se há gelado...

sexta-feira, 2 de dezembro de 2016

EuroSkills 2016

EuroSkills is Europe's biggest skills competition in which young professionals, up to 25 years old, compete in their on profession. The aim is to improve the quality, status and attraction of vocational training (more info here). In 2016, EuroSkills was organised for the first time in Scandinavia and it was here in Gothenburg. I visited the exhibition with my colleagues on a school assignment and it was really fun. The competitors came from many different countries and there was a bit of everything, as you can see in the photos below. 

EuroSkills é a maior competição de profissões da Europa, na qual competem jovens profissionais de até 25 anos de idade. O objectivo é melhorar a qualidade, o estatuto e a atracção da formação profissional (mais informação aqui). Em 2016 a EuroSkills foi organizada pela primeira vez na Escandinávia e foi aqui em Gotemburgo. Eu visitei a exposição com os meus colegas, numa espécie de excursão da escola e foi realmente divertido. Havia concorrentes de vários países e houve um pouco de tudo, como podem ver nas fotos abaixo.

Test your reaction time - 2 people, 5 lamps turned off - when one lamp turns on one must try to get it as fast as possible.

 Hairdressing competition / Competição de cabeleireiro

 Cooking competition - There was also waiter, bartender and hotel receptionist competitions.
Competição de cozinha - Também havia competições de garçon, bartender e recepcionista de hotel.

Fashion and decoration competitions / Competição de Moda e decoração

Web design 


Designer - this competitor was from Portugal and she was very very focused in her work.
Estilista - esta concorrente era de Portugal e estava mesmo muito concentrada no seu trabalho. 


 Lego is not only a toy for children... / Lego não é apenas para crianças

Similar to lego is tile design. We could try this one, as long as we followed the drawing.
Parecido a lego é design de mosaicos. Este podíamos experimentar desde que seguíssemos o desenho.

 Real tile design / Design de mosaicos a sério

 Floor design / Design de soalhos

 Metal design / Design de metais

Landscape gardening / Arquitectura paisagista

 Joinery / Marcenaria

Wall painting / Pintura de paredes 

 Mechatronics / Mecatrónica

Visitors could also try some play full activities, such as play music or guess the profession by reading a description.
Os visitantes também podiam experimentar algumas actividades, como misturar musica ou adivinhar profissões através de uma descrição. 

It was a fun afternoon and a different way to have a class.
Foi uma tarde divertida e um mode diferente de ter uma aula.

quarta-feira, 30 de novembro de 2016

Sunday walk by the sea

Swedes love to go and walk and many do it on a daily basis. Who wouldn't want to go for a walk when there's so much nature around? A house or a building is never too far from a forest, lake or the sea in some cities. For instance, I have a nice little forest just less than one kilometre from home and a bigger one a short ride away. The sea is a little further way, but 10-15 minutes on a bus take me there. 

One of these sundays we went out and took a walk in a nice neighbourhood by the sea. The air was cold and the water was freezing, but there were several brave people doing some kind of kitesurf. The sky was blue and, fortunately, we took the camera to register the moment.

Os suecos gostam muito de caminhar e muitos fazem-no diariamente. É impossível não gostar de caminhar quando há tanta natureza ao nosso redor. Uma casa ou um edifício aqui nunca está muito longe de uma floresta, lago ou do mar em algumas cidades. Por exemplo, eu tenho uma pequena floresta a pouco menos de um quilómetro de casa e uma maior a dez minutos de bicicleta. O mar é um bocadinho mais longe, mas 10-15 minutos de autocarro põe-me lá.

Num desses domingos saímos para passear num bairro agradável junto ao mar. O ar estava frio e a água estava gelada, mas havia várias pessoas corajosas a fazer um tipo de kitesurf. O céu estava azul e felizmente lembramo-nos de levar a máquina fotográfica para registrar o momento.

sexta-feira, 25 de novembro de 2016

My favourite class

My favourite class in my current course is called Read and Discuss. The teacher determines the subject, hands a text about it that we all read together and then we discuss some related questions in small groups. Of course the class is great to practise speaking Swedish, but above all I find it interesting to discuss themes in which people have so many different points of view. 

The first time, we discussed festivities and traditional holidays. My group was composed of me, a Chinese, a Nepalese and a Syrian. One of the questions was which holiday do we feel it's most important? Christmas, I thought, no doubt. Well, I was the only one in the group that actually celebrated Christmas, some of them not really knowing what happens or how we celebrate it. It was also very interesting to learn about their holidays. For instance, the Syrian girl is a muslim and she told us how difficult it can be Ramadan in Sweden. In Ramadan, which is always on the ninth month of the Islamic year, Muslims fast during the day and eat only when it's dark. In 2016, Ramadan happened in the summer, when in Sweden it is only dark for a few hours or not at all. Many Muslims opted to follow the timetable of their own country, being able to eat during more hours even if it was not dark, but others decided to do it as usually and embark in what was most likely their hardest Ramadan ever.

We have also discussed Swedish peculiarities, and how to break the code and blend into society, and popular sayings, for instance fine words butter no parsnips. The first was interesting in the sense that it was a theme that connected us and tied us together, since we agreed on most things. The second was funny just to compare how popular sayings exist everywhere but with small differences. For instance, a strong person has hair in the tongue in Sweden, hair in the mouth in Lithuania and hair in the face in Portugal (pêlo na venta). The funniest one I heard was from China and it went something like a pig with an onion on the nose can look like an elephant. It means that even if we don't have a certain talent, we can still try and make do with what we know.

Today we discussed relationships and it was really interesting again! Many of us have Swedish partners but some are married, some are sambo (Swedish word for couples who live together but are not married) and one of us even told us about the difficulty of dealing with her husband's previous children as a foreigner who couldn't even speak the language.

All great themes, that I'm sure will continue. The timing of the class is also good because it's the perfect class to end the week!

terça-feira, 22 de novembro de 2016

10 years

Exactly 10 years ago I was living the first day of my life abroad. I had just finished my masters at the university in Portugal and left my country thinking that it would be temporary. Then, I moved to Szczecin, in Poland, a city in which being a foreigner was as difficult as to pronounce its name. 
Three years later, and tired of the closed minds that seem to surround me constantly, I moved to its antithesis: Brazil. It couldn't have been more different. I went from winter to summer, from half a million people to three and half, from a country with bad fruit and good meet to a country with bad meat and good fruit, from closed personalities to please don't share so much of your life with me. A year and half later my life changed forever and for so much better: me and Johan finally moved in together. Not only to the same country, but to the same apartment. We had fantastic experiences in South America. We explored places, very special places, otherwise so far from us. That was the best! That and our giant banquets of tropical fruits!

After living for three years in Brazil I moved again (and so did Johan) to Prague, in the Czech Republic. A city with incomparable charms and probably the most beautiful place I have ever lived in. The name was easier to pronounce, but my life was not that much better than in Poland. Again, I had to face closed minded people, including my boss, coming to regret my choice many times. I don't if I still do. I also don't know if it was really harder or if it felt harder because I was older and had other expectations for life. I did learn a bunch of lessons though, among which that it was time to choose a place to live, because it would make me happy and not just because there was a temporary job there. Slowly, we both understood that the right place to be would be Gothenburg, Johan's hometown. Our wish came true when Johan got a permanent job here and I quitted becoming jobless. That was 11 months ago.

When I talk with friends or ex-colleagues back in Portugal, I hear often how time goes so fast and has it really be ten years since you left? I do not feel that way. Actually, I feel quite the opposite. Has it really been only 10 years since I left? Have I really lived this much in just 120 months? Was it really just 3653 days since that terrified naif girl left her family and friends in tears to go and see the world? It was. 10 years of experiences, growth and lessons. So many lessons. 

I'm so different from that innocent girl with big dreams who dared to face world. I'm so proud of her! Life wasn't really as she dreamed but it was all worth it. The path might have been rough but I'm grateful for all the stones put in my way, because they made who I am today. I think I have never been this happy before. Deep inside, I'm still a small girl with big dreams. Different dreams, but a lot of them. The biggest difference between then and now is that, now I know that even if some of my dreams come true, it won't happen the way I think. I know there are a lot of hurdles waiting for me and a lot of stones on my way, but that's ok, because now I know. That's also why when asked if I wouldn't like to go back and live everything again I usually reply no, thank you. It would be really tough to go back and be my 10-years-ago-self again.

I prefer to celebrate! Celebrate these 10 years lived so intensively. Celebrate the now and everything I have achieved. Celebrate the future, uncertain and doubtful as it may be, but as it is supposed to be.

Let's celebrate!

quinta-feira, 17 de novembro de 2016

The Newbie - Exercising outdoors in the winter

I remember moving here in January and thinking how these people were crazy to go out and run even if it was freezing. I also promised myself that one day it would become one of them. It turned out that it was not that difficult and with the right advice and clothes anyone can do it. Sure that if it's pouring rain I opte to exercise at home, but the cold doesn't scare me anymore.

I wrote a text about it for the Newbie Guide to Sweden. I included some tips I learned with my experience, although I feel I still have a lot more to learn. Always. 
If you are curious you can read the text here.

Lembro-me de me mudar para aqui em janeiro e pensar como essas pessoas são doidas porque saem para correr mesmo se estiver tudo congelando lá fora. Nessa altura também prometi a mim mesma que um dia me tornaria uma deles. Pouco tempo mais tarde descobri que afinal não é assim tão difícil e que ouvindo os ensinamentos dos que sabem e com as roupas adequadas qualquer pessoa o pode fazer. Claro que se estiver a chover a potes eu escolho fazer exercício em casa, mas o frio por si só já não me assusta.

Recentemente escrevi um texto sobre isso para o Newbie Guide to Sweden. Incluí algumas dicas que aprendi com a minha experiência, embora sinta que ainda há muito mais a aprender. Sempre.
Se quiserem ler o texto podem faze-lo aqui

terça-feira, 15 de novembro de 2016

My Tango career*

When we went to Buenos Aires we couldn't miss the opportunity to go to a tango show. Among the options we chose a package with a dance class, dinner and the show itself. It was fantastic! The teachers of the class were also performing later in the show and they we were so good that it is hard to describe. 

With those memories in our heads we didn't hesitate in signing up for a beginners course of tango, here in Gothenburg. We started by finding out that there are different kinds of tango. We would be learning the most common type, the one for milongas (dance gatherings), which is less expressive and less wow!, if compared to the one seen in the shows. That put me off a little bit, because I though if I was going to put my money, effort and time in learning a dance, let it be so I can shine like a star. That was still not a problem because every time the teachers danced with each other it look really cool. The problem was that it is waaayy more difficult than it looks. In the classes we were not just learning automatic steps, but the teachers insisted in correcting the whole body, and that is the most difficult. When I got the feet right I was told to watch out my frame, or my back, or my eyes, or whatever. Every time I tried to correct one of those I lost the feet. Or the frame. Or the back. Or the eyes. 

We almost looked like this... (photo from the internet)

It didn't help that my time to train was zero, because of everything else going on in school.

It didn't help that sometimes it felt like a business, with suggestions of more classes, workshops and training sessions during the weekends, for exorbitant prices (well, all prices are exorbitant in Sweden!).

It didn't help that we were forced to change partners now and then. Between the guy who thought he was better than he was, the guy who refused to speak to me (at first I thought he couldn't understand english, so I switched to swedish and it didn't work either. Later on I heard him talking a lot to another person in english, so I have to suppose the problem was me) and the guy that was so tall that made my arms hurt, the change became extremely stressful for me. Similar to Johan.

It didn't help that the class actually had others who were not beginners and I felt hopeless when dancing with them.

It didn't help that the other beginners missed classes now and then. Maybe as frustrated as we were?

It didn't help that winter came and leaving our warm and cosy flat, when it's dark and 0 ºC, became extremely difficult.

So last week... 20 minutes before we were supposed to leave for class, I said something like "I would rather go outside and run in shorts than go to class" (it was 2 ºC then). He stared at me, laughed and said "Should we really keep doing a hobby that we don't enjoy anymore?". The answer is obvious: no. A hobby shouldn't feel this hard! It shouldn't feel like an obligation. So we decided to stop. We were a bit sorry for the teachers because they are cool and made the class more fun, but it was really not working for us and we lost all our motivation. 

Maybe this was the end (and the beginning) of our tango career, or maybe one day we will try again. 
When we have more time. So probably when we retire or so!

*obviously a joke!

sexta-feira, 11 de novembro de 2016

My blog's best friend

My blog made a friend - the Newbie Guide to Sweden. It all started when I became a guest blogger in the Newbie. I was afraid my blog would become jealous for having to share my attention with another page, but no, it behaved like a grown up. Of course, I had a serious conversation with both and explained how Às Voltas no Mundo will always be the light in my eyes, my world and my corner.

Still, both pages accommodated the other and they are now good friends. 
All this to say that my dearest Às Voltas no Mundo is recommended by the Newbie, and there is a new stamp on the side bar. 

Let's all give a warm welcome to the Newbie Owl! Welcome!

PS. First ghosts now friendship between blogs... I know... This new course is burning my brain!

terça-feira, 8 de novembro de 2016

Ghost Zé is back

Since university that I have Zé, the ghost, as my companion. It all started with a door that opened and closed alone in my rented room. I didn't believe in ghosts (I still don't), but just in case I decided to be friendly, naming and talking with Zé sometimes. Since then, every time something strange happens I simply say out loud "Zé, stop it!". In Brazil and in Poland he was quite active, turning off lights and opening wardrobe doors, while in Prague he was more quiet. The fact that Zé's activities increase with the age of the flats I have lived in is irrelevant for this post. I hadn't seen Zé for a while and I had actually forgotten about him until last week.  

1. Two girls in my class started talking about ghosts. One was a believer and had crazy stories of sights and strange sounds. That reminded me of Zé. I also got to learn related vocabulary in Swedish. Always useful.

2. The day after, me and Johan were at home using our laptop, when out of nothing it started to emit a really loud sound like a fire alarm. Yes, the laptop. I had no idea computers could make that sound!! Specially that loud, when the sound in that computer is actually crap and we can never hear anything in it even when it's set to maximum. We had to put it under a pillow, so the neighbours wouldn't panic, while trying to turn it off. Yes, I'm talking about a computer.

3. The day after that, I could swear I had boiled water. However, I found myself in the kitchen trying to make tea by pouring cold water from the kettle. 

I'm quite sure Zé is back. It's ok, we have missed him. 
Welcome to Sweden Zé!