I’ll try to make the English version of the blog posts so that my friends here in Mumbai can read it, and also to practice my English writing skills (and yes, there will be lots of errors that hopefully I’ll see and correct in the future, sorry for that).
When I was doing the post about my three friends, I was searching my email to see what I had already written about them, and I found this very big email where I tell my other friends what I did in the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012, so cool to see what I was thinking and doing two years back:
I finished 2011 doing a detachment project here at home: I sold some things and gave lots of other things away, but I still didn’t reach my goal (to keep only three boxes of stuff – including clothes, books, memories, everything), my laziness got in the way.
After Christmas, I went to a retreat place and spent the new year celebration over there, sleeping. The routine of the retreat was more or less guided by the food schedule, that, although very restricted, was apparently quite caloric: We ate an oatmeal 8:30 with fruit, bread and tea, then we would have something with too many carbohydrates and no meat for lunch at 1pm and soup with bread and dessert at 4:30pm. After that, food, only in the next day.
There was also a schedule of activities involving meditation and spiritual counseling, but I only participated of the yoga classes, for one hour every day. I really liked it, especially because it gives awareness of the limitations of the body. In my case, my limitations of flexibility, endurance and the total absence of any muscle development. All exercises hurt badly, and those ones that should involve muscle support, I wasn’t able to do. But I could see progress even in the short period of time. For example: on the first day, I had no breath to say even half of the “Ommmm” (yes, we chanted ‘oooooooom’) that the teacher did before beginning the lessons, and by the sixth class, I was doing the “Ommmm” almost until the end.
Also, the retreat had the ‘silence hours’. We could not communicate with anyone from 4:30pm to 9:30am, but, anyways, we only talked to others who were there at lunchtime. This funny thing happened because of that restricted communication: a new girl arrived during the silence hours to stay in the room where I was staying. But, in that period of time, we couldn’t even look into the eyes of another person (by that time I only knew that she had brought a book of Isabel Allende). At 11pm, me and the other girl in the bedroom were already sleeping, and the new girl suddenly woke us up. Half an hour before, in the way to the bathroom, she had stepped on a bug and her foot was swelling and these little purple polka dots were appearing on it, and, of course, it was aching bad. She had suffered quietly for half hour, afraid of breaking “silence hours”, but by that time she did not know what she should do and she was starting to worry for her foot. So I called the assistant of the retreat, who, in turn, called the owner, who, in turn, led her to the hospital.
I stayed there in the retreat for half a day less than I was supposed to (it was enough). The bug girl gave me a ride to São Paulo, where I stayed in the apartment where João is living, that looks like a hotel (it is a three bedrooms furnished apartment, and the other rooms remain empty while his family is not there). I miss João since he moved to São Paulo to work. I often say that he is the only friend who I physically miss, and I want always to be near (I get used to the distance of other friends, but not to his distance). On the day that I arrived, I waited for him to get back home from work and we watched Drive (the movie) there at his place, I really enjoyed it. The next day, I tried to go to the municipal market. But, like it happens everytime that I go to SP, the market was closed, so I stayed at home watching the first season of Mad Men. When João came back, we went to the theater and watched the new Mission Impossible. I did not like that much, but it was fun. I would spend the rest of my life watching a movie a day with João.
On the third day, I went out with Livia, who was there settling the final details for her round the world trip (http://eusouatoa.com/) and we did really cool activities. We went for lunch at a Greek restaurant, Acropoles, which, despite of the canteen/unpretentious atmosphere, is one of the most traditional in SP (http://restauranteacropoles.com.br/). It’s kind of a la carte: you go into this small window in the kitchen and point to whatever you’ll want to eat (some dishes have side options, others come with a defined set). We ate a giant shrimp, with a million toppings, seafood risotto, roasted lamb, little potatoes, regular rice and some other side dish that I already forgot which. Everything was very very very tasty. Plus the Coca Cola, it was R$70.00 for each, and I didn’t find it expensive. When I go there again, I want to try the stuffed eggplant, which I already miss (missing what I still didn’t eeeeat – I’m humming in the rhythm of that Legião Urbana song).
After lunch, we went to the Pinacotheca, which was lovely; and, just because we were so used to do it, we went to the Museum of the Portuguese Language, which was horrendous. After that we passed by a grocery store that is located in one of the streets that cross the Augusta Street. There, we ate what is reputed to be the unofficial “best trifle of São Paulo”, but like all things in the category ‘small food’ which are “the best of São Paulo”, it doesn’t stand a chance to a good trifle here at Belo Horizonte. It wasn’t chilled enough, it didn’t have a good consistency and it was overly sweet. But, overall, it was a cool experience because it was served on a napkin in the grocery store that is cluttered with all kind of things, and has no place to sit (or to stand up, for that matter).
At night, I went back to Belo Horizonte (BH), making the best purchase of my life: sleeper bus tickets. I closed my eyes on SP and only opened them again in BH (when I went to the retreat, the guy seated next to me snored loudly, it was the executive bus, but I couldn’t sleep the whole trip). Just wait and see, one day I’ll be flying first class!
Vacation topics over, lets talk about bureaucracy (not so much): at the end of last year, I had saved some money and had made plans to start an investment in the stock market, but I decided to put that aside for a while and travel to Europe. For those who still do not know, next Sunday I will go to Portugal and I’ll be back by 28th. I’ll arrive in Lisbon, where I will see Alan, then I’ll go to Porto, after that I’ll go to Paris, and then I’ll return to Lisbon.
At work: during PMS last month I had a dissatisfaction crisis with the job, and I financially planned to resign on March 10th. But then, It happened a very good thing: we got a project approved that assured us (on paper so far) R$3 million for the next two years. That’s part of what I do in the company: participating in bids for project funding. So I was very happy and, again, gave up my resignation plans, until the next crisis. To counterbalance, by the closing time of this email (haha), I had lost a great video contract. Now I’m cursing whoever won the contract to not do such a great job so that the client comes back to me.
Further more, there it goes my concrete plans for the future: to hire a cleaning lady biweekly; to invest in the stock market and to make a lot of money from it; to get some muscle from exercising; to resume my previous diet; to make my backpacking through Latin America at the end of the year; to finish my postgrad project (yes, not yet ); and to complete this puzzle (if anyone was wondering what to get me for my birthday):
My non-concrete goals are: 1. learn how to be more dependable on and be more patient with people in relationships even if (especially if) they are only virtual so that someday they can become real (amen). 2. Get out of my comfort zone and find activities that I enjoy doing so that I can activate my social life because I cannot stand more clubbing. I have not figured out yet what I like to do in this new phase (two victories already this year, I found which are my two favorite drinks: margarita and mojito, and my favorite music style: indiefolk).