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Quarta-feira, 12.06.13

Dear Érica - The Goodbye

Dear Érica,


Today, sadly, will be the last day I’ll have this much fun writing to you since I’m leaving my last destination – Orlando, Florida - of this enlightening journey. And what’s synonym of fun? Disneyland!



 But let’s not fill our hearts with sadness. In a week time we will be seeing each other again and I’m absolutely certain it will be a BLAST!

Of course I want to hear everything about Boston (don’t know why you didn’t wrote about it on your last e-mail, but curiosity isn’t deadly, right?)


There was one thing in your letter that filled me with joy: you find yourself in every aspect that you had planned (and in others too but what happens in India, Virginia, a train station, New York, China, Lapland, Austria, Rome, Portugal and Boston stays in the privacy of our minds and e-mails).


I’ve made some discoveries myself and I’m now ready to enter this crazy world we call ‘Work’.


But let’s stop for a minute and enjoy the moment when we finished high school: we were so full of doubts and questions. No one seemed to understand our point of view and even those who were sure of their choices and ideas were shaking inside with fear of the unknown that it was to come.


Those were crazy times.


Now here comes the craziest: being an adult.


I must say that writing this to you it isn’t easy. Recognize that the times of fun, and laying back on the couch with a slight sense of guilt for not being studying, are over, takes a lot of this little heart that it has only now started to understand the world.


I ought to be thankful for the support that our school as provided, the nursing of some teachers and all our colleagues and, last but not least, this amazing journey that I shared with you, and a very kind person that as commented on our e-mails (someone called ‘Mark A’ I guess, ahah).


It’s with tears in my eyes actually, that I leave this so well-known sphere and step on different roads. Not tears of sadness, but of excitement and joy for I feel nostalgic just remembering the smallest jokes. You know I’m a poet, please don’t laugh too hard.


But now, jokes aside, I feel prepared to face whatever may come. I care. About me, my future and about the good I can bring to the world, so if you want to join me in yhis big jump, let’s dance it off like we did when applying to a certain contest (HSM – All for one, eheheh).



I’ll shake my head to the beat of whatever crosses my path and with my head pulled up high I’ll meet you on the other side. Farewell!





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Sexta-feira, 07.06.13

Dear Érica - Talking about Museums ...

Dear Érica,


Do you have any idea on how long have I waited for you to step in a museum by yourself? (If you reply to me saying that you were in a Darway I'll actually kill you!) Kidding, I'm actually very glad and, as always, you had that inspiring way of seing things that was the key to our friendship.


Thank you very much for the tacos, it is officialy the dinner in those nights when I have no patient to cook and Gabriel is dying in the couch because Yoga practise was too hard. (can't stop laughing when looking to the leggins he wears).


Concerning your script: I loved it! You were always good on your essays at school.


Following your inspiration I choosed a paint from an artist I've always told you about (for some reasons that you'll understand later, but I talked about it, that's waht matters) as one of my favourites which is Andy Warhol.




 People's opinions are torn over whether this is genious and a creative new idea for the postmodern age, or whether it is a load of rubbish. Others believe that pop art is worth way more that it is worth to look at. Pop art is post modern as it has created a new version of art combining both high art with low art.

As you said it, objectively, this collage has eight photographs of Andy Warhol with vivid colours and sentences in all of them,

Now, subjectivily, this sentences are the very essence of Pop Art.

«the world fascinates me» and «i think everybody should like everybody» are a clar statement from this post war period.

«art is what you can get away with» now, this sentence is Pop Art, being standardized and mass produced (Big Business), this art is for everyone and through it even pop stars had lost theire aura of untangibility becoming part of the living room at really low prices.


Well you can imagine the lecture I gave to Gabriel! {#emotions_dlg.sarcastic}


Bye for now, my dear friend, 



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Quinta-feira, 06.06.13

Time for new adventures!

Dear Sara,


Can you believe that an entire year has gone by since we jumped on a plain and started the adventure of our lives? All the places I visited, all the people I met, all that I experienced… I can’t even begin to describe it! I remember being kind of afraid at first, but I would do it all over again. It has been the best year of my life! I have so many good memories: visiting the colosseum in Rome; running on the Wall of China; the view from the top of the Empire State Building; the warm seas in Hawaii; the greek islands; the lights of the Eiffel Tower at night; the queen’s jewelry collection in the London castle; volunteering at a summer camp in Africa; Robert falling from a camel in Marrocco… I have like a billion pictures. I’m thinking of making a scrapbook and file it on a shelve marked “Érica rocking it all over the world 2012/2013”, so that I can look at it when I’m old and weary and think “I had a damn good life!”.

Despite all the good memories, now that this journey is near its end, I can’t help feeling kind of sad; but I still have this week before going back to Lisbon and, like Robert said: “If you found out that you were going to lose your leg tomorrow, would spend today in the couch crying or would you go out, run and do some awesome air kicks?”. I decided to follow his advice. I didn’t actually do any type of air kicks but I decided to end this adventure in Sydney, Australia. Since I’ll see you in a few days, I’ll tell you all about my last stop then. However, I have to stress the beauty of the Opera House: it’s beyond this world!



As you remember, I decided to go on this adventure because when the time came to fill in the applications for collage, I freaked out as if someone had just told me that all my favorite dresses were lost in a fire. I couldn’t think straight. I tried to image myself at the age of 30 and it was all a blur. My future wasn’t clear at all. I travelled the world from one end to the other this year trying to broaden my horizons and find something to connect with, but I ended up discovering myself. Life is too short to waste it! I’m not going to do the same thing my entire life. There are so many things I love doing, why not do it all? My mind is clear now. Next fall, I will fill in an application for the Law University but I won’t give up a career in fashion. I know it’s not easy to do both things at the same time but I don’t really care if it means work. When you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work at all. Now I truly believe I won’t regret my choices. One journey of my life may have ended, but a new one it's just begining. It's time for new adventures!


I hope that your journey has helped you the way mine helped me. Don’t worry, we may be back to our old lives, but we’ll never be boring!

See you soon!




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Terça-feira, 28.05.13

Look at what I found in the museum...


“In the car” is a 1963 pop art painting, by Roy Lichtenstein.

Objectively, it portrays a blonde woman and a dark-haired man driving a car. It was painted on a large canvas (172 cm × 203.5 cm) and the colors in it (such as red, yellow and blue) are vivid and draw the public’s attention. To convey the sense of movement, Lichtenstein used horizontal and parallel lines. Throughout the years this painting was interpreted as a tense, melodramatic graphic single-frame depiction of a romantic dialogue between the two characters. Another of the techniques used by the artist was the so-called Magna, which is a type of acrylic paint easily removed with turpentine that shows, in Lichtenstein’s perspective, color better than many water-based acrylic paints.

Since it is no more than the reproduction of a comic book series “Girl’s Romance” strip, this work conveys perfectly the message of the Pop Art movement: that art may derive from any everyday object and should be accessible for everyone, regardless of their social status. In the 60’s, Pop Art broke free from the previous conceptions that art was destined to an elite. This movement made it clear that anyone may enjoy art, because every object may be considered a product of art: the commonplace was turned into art.



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Quinta-feira, 23.05.13

Rebel Without a Cause, by a Writer without experience

Dear Sara,


Can you believe how long has it been since we last wrote to each other? It feels like ages!

Well, I have to admit I’m moved by your attempt to re-write the end of such an awesome movie! I mean, the 50’s were inspiring times! What about James Dean? “Hottie” alert over here!

The truth is that our letter’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I’ve actually been involved in a re-make of “Rebel without a Cause”! Last week, when I arrived to Boston, I met my old friend Rubén who is studying cinema at the Boston Arts University. We went to have some coffee one afternoon and he told me that his mid-term assignment was to produce a short film of one of the biggest blockbusters of the 50’s and he chose “Rebel Without a Cause”. The challenge was to come up with an all new ending to the movie. At this point Robert started going on about how I love to write to you, and Rubén asked me if I would like to write the new ending. And, you know me… My answer was (of course): Hell Yeah!

Here is my script:


(At the planetarium)


Jim: Plato, there’s no need to hide in here and there’s certainly no need to hold on to that gun. It only brings trouble. Why do you need it anyway?

Plato: To protect myself.

Jim: From what? Me and Judy are the only ones in here. We would never arm you.

Plato: You left me alone. That’s just as bad!

Jim: You feel asleep. We were coming back. We would never leave you. We’re best friends: the three mosquetiers!

Plato: Don’t lie to me. You were leaving, just like my parents did!

Jim: That’s not true.

Plato: Promise?

Jim: I do. Now come on, let’s go outside before those cops think we are robbing the planetarium.


(Jim holds his arm around Plato. Judy approaches them.)


Judy: What’s in here worth robbing anyway?



Plato: Jim’s necklace.


(Plato takes Jim’s necklace and puts it on. It was a medal of some hard material.)


Judy: I never understood why you always wear that thing around your neck. Does it have any sort of special meaning?

Jim: Not much. It was given to me by my father, back when we had the same address for some years, and we wasn’t a complete… (hesitates) Well, it’s yours now Plato. I’m giving it to you.

Plato: Really? Thank you so much!


(The two boys from earlier appear)


Boy 1: You idiot! You shot our friend! I’m going to kill you.

Jim (steps in front of Plato): You will die trying.

Plato: No, I won’t be a coward anymore. I won’t run away again. If you want me, come and get me!

Jim: What are you doing?


(Jim and Plato get distracted discussing)


Boy 2: Enough! Two of our friends died tonight. Now it’s time to get even!


(At this point Jim is in front of Plato. The boy shoots. Plato jumps to the front and takes the shot.)


Jim (holding Plato in his arms): What have you done?


(After hearing another shot, the police enter the planetarium and finds Plato lying on the ground and the other boy with the gun on his hands. There’s a moment of silence.)


Judy: No, this can’t be happening. No! No! No! Plato, please wake up!


(Suddenly, Plato opens his eyes.)


Jim: Thank god, Plato! Are you ok?

Plato: I’m fine. I don’t think I’m even hurt.

(Jim notices his necklace around Plato’s neck. The bullet had landed right in it, stopping the shot.)


Judy: It’s a miracle.

Jim: I told you we would always have your back.

(Plato smiles)


Policeman (to the two boys): You boys are under arrest.

Jim’s mom: Jim are you insane? I can not believe this! How could you do it?

Jim’s dad: Do you really think this is the time for a lecture? For once in your life, hold your tongue!


(Seeing his dad finally stood up to his mom, Jim is happier than ever.)


Jim: Let’s go get something to eat guys!

Plato: Yeah… This near death experience really opened my appetite!

(The three laugh)




Well, what do you think? Please write me back your honest opinion. The best part is that as a reward for my script he let me play Judy’s part.

Save these letters! When I’m famous, everything I wrote may be worth a fortune!


I miss you a lot.





P.s. The tacos are on their way, as well as the recipe!


Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

Sábado, 18.05.13

"Rebel without a cause: the outstanding alternative ending"

Dear Érica, 


Centuries had passed since our last letters and as I'm getting a bit anxious I decided to send you my last work, produced on my online Creative Writting lessons. (a poor excuse that allows me to be alone with my laptop for a couple hours ... sorry Gabriel a girl has to breathe!)


It is an amateur work, but having Gabriel as my only critic is driving me crazy! Oh and by th way, he is missing very badly Robert's tacos so if you please could send some of those by plaine my weeek in L.A. would be much calmer without a race to e-v-e-r-y s-i-n-g-l-e taco store! I'll thank you in advance.


So moving on to the release of an undiscovered artist, ladie and gentleman, I give you ... "Rebel Without a cause: the outstanding alternative ending"! (Still working on the tittle actually).

Rebel without a cause: the alternative ending - Jim, Judy and Plato last scene together

Jim - OK Plato, they have turned out the lights. Come on now. It's safe for you to come out.

(Plato exits the Observatory and gets strangely calm at the sight of the police cars. The policemens silently start to form two lines leaving their guns and other materials in the cars that are now turned off. Jim's parents and the lady who takes care of Plato are in the middle of the front line)

Plato - What is going on here?

Jim - I don't know. Judy?

Judy - Well, I think this is the part of the film when everybody sings along, the dead are actually alive and a moral lesson about guns is taught to Plato. You Jim, reveal that you are to old to go to school because you're a policemen who got stuck with highschool dramas due to your grades and your parents live in a fantasy world, because, as they are broke, they have to play along with you so that they can afford, with your "good" salary, the fact that your grandma is living with them.

Jim - What? Are you under the effect of something girl?

Policemen 1 - Actually, no she's not. (starts singing with other policemens "YMCA")

All - «Young man, there's no need to feel down.


I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.


I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town


there's no need to be unhappy.

Young man, there's a place you can go.


I said, young man, when you're short on your dough.


You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find


Many ways to have a good time.

It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.


It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

They have everything for you men to enjoy,


You can hang out with all the boys ...

It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.


It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

You can get yourself cleaned, you can have a good meal,


You can do whatever you feel ...

Young man, are you listening to me?


I said, young man, what do you want to be?


I said, young man, you can make real your dreams.


But you got to know this one thing!

No man does it all by himself.


I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf,


And just go there, to the y.m.c.a.


I'm sure they can help you today.

It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.


It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

They have everything for you men to enjoy,


You can hang out with all the boys ...

It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.


It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

You can get yourself cleaned, you can have a good meal,


You can do whatever you feel ...

Young man, I was once in your shoes.


I said, I was down and out with the blues.


I felt no man cared if I were alive.


I felt the whole world was so tight ...

That's when someone came up to me,


And said, young man, take a walk up the street.


There's a place there called the y.m.c.a.


They can start you back on your way.

It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.


It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

They have everything for you men to enjoy,


You can hang out with all the boys ...

Y-m-c-a ... you'll find it at the y-m-c-a.

Young man, young man, there's no need to feel down.


Young man, young man, get yourself off the ground.

Y-m-c-a ... you'll find it at the y-m-c-a.

Young man, young man, there's no need to feel down.


Young man, young man, get yourself off the ground.

Y-m-c-a ... just go to the y-m-c-a.

Young man, young man, are you listening to me?


Young man, young man, what do you wanna be?»

(At the end of the song Plato is already singing and embraced the going to YMCA (Young Men Criminal Assocation))

Jim - So Plato I hope you are not mad with me for not telling you.

Plato - That's alright Jim, I think YMCA will really help me. Just take care of Judy I think she will miss me more than what she thinks.

Jim - Will do Plato, farewell.

(Plato leaves to a police car and rides towards better days. Judy actually gets along well wuth her father and goes home with a song in her heart. Jim, who is a pooor lonesome cowboy and that is a long way from home decides to return to Kansas and resine from his work.)

Jim - To much drama for me old fellows, go and do that cruise that you have been talking for years. I'll go home now.

(The police has already went away with Plato and the last person standing is the old men that works in the Observatory, that after sawing Jim take the bus secretly retrieves all signs of human presence and leaves is human vessel. First the antennae then the big wings and then the green coloured skin.)

Old men - Finnaly a bit of peace in this world, lets go then! O.M. go home!

(Jumps to the sky and returns to his galaxy.)

So I hope you liked my dear friend, hope to ear from you soon!

Missing you a lot,


Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

Terça-feira, 02.04.13

The next global icon is coming...

"Attitude has no age. Changing the world since I was 12."



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Domingo, 31.03.13

Dear Érica - Global Icon

«genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.»

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Segunda-feira, 18.03.13

Homeless in Timbuktu

Dear Erica, 


I am actually blown away by Rome, as you said it yourself 'Rome is the perfect place to visit, to live and to fall in love!', I can't believe I haven't set foot there yet!! But it's a fault that will soon be corrected!


But this week, while you were falling in love (by the ruins of course), I had some complete routine changer days!


As me and Gabriel arrive to a new country a place to stay is the first concern we have. If every week were like Dubai's we wouldn't have a problem in finding it, but this time there was no contest to provide us with luxuries and a nice (very nice) view. So I don't think you'll believe me when I tell you where did I slept through my 'beauty hours' for the entire week.


In the West African nation of Mali situated 20 km north of the River Niger on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert (the gateway to it actually) within the confines of the fertile zone of the Sudan and in an exceptionally propitious site near to the river - Timbuktu!


We arrived in a Monday morning so I was already accepting the possibility of reaching Timbuktu by foot and of sleeping in the desert, but to my surprise the most adorable ‘grandpa’ I’ve ever seen was expecting us both and with the most adorable donkey to transport us. (Can’t help to think of Shrek right?). His name is Pierre and he speaks French, but an even bigger surprise was that Gabriel speaks French too! So they went along very well and I only understood two or three words during each conversation. French is Mali's official language, but today the large majority of Timbuktu's inhabitants speak Koyra Chiini, a Songhay language that also functions as the lingua franca. But if my French is weak imagine my ‘Koyra Chiini’…


So in order to stop you from holding your breath I slept on the sand. Pierre’s house is mainly sand and since there is sand everywhere, why shouldn’t it be on my mattress to?


Well that's right, once again I ended up in a place where there was no rain, yes in December, who knew!, but Timbuktu has a dry season during winter and as it deals with both droughts and floods, I can’t help wonder if there’s an insufficient drainage system, that fails to transport direct rainwater from the city centre, or just all the rain that I’ve avoided ends up here.


The town is surrounded by sand dunes and the streets are covered in sand (sand everywhere I’m telling you!!), so flip-flops were the most wanted and used mean of transportation. As it’s a plain city we spend the all time on foot and unfortunately we didn’t get in time to witness the most well-known cultural event of Timbuktu - the Festival au Désert. As it was explained to me, mostly by Gabriel that translated Pierre’s constant talking: When the Tuareg rebellion ended in 1996 under the Konaré administration, 3,000 weapons were burned in a ceremony dubbed the Flame of Peace on 29 March 2007. The Festival to celebrate the peace treaty is held near the city in January, so I’ll have to come back next year!

The monument built to commemorate the ceremony.


Sankore Mosque - Built in the 14th century.


Did you know that Timbuktu besides being the name of the country it also means 'any distant or outlandish place' and translates to 'from here to Timbuktu'? Now we have a phrase to characterize all of our trips!

Missing you a lot,


P.S.: Timbuktu is one of the cities of Africa whose name is the most heavily charged with history. So, for you to remember it from time to time, you adopted Pierre’s new-born donkey! Of course that you’re more than welcome! See it as a present from me to you, I don't wanna be the only one with gifts! I’ll send you the first picture but then I want you to send me photos of my new nephew!



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Sábado, 16.03.13

When in Rome...

Dear Sara,


It sounds like you had a great time in Cambodia; however I don't care if they taste like chicken legs, I sure as hell will never ever ever taste it! Well, after that quick break in Lisbon, it was time to get back out there. My starting point: Rome! I would dare to say it is my favorite city in the world! Me and Robert have been here for a week now, and I feel like I never want to leave!

This city is filled with historical landmarks from the Roman civilization and everywhere you turn you see some monument or a ruin (I am not exaggerating! The other day we played this game where anytime we saw some history related thing we had to yell “I love Rome”. We stopped after ten minutes because people were starting to think we were crazy). I just love it here! The history, the people, the language… And don’t even get me started on the fashion!

We have learned so much these few days. Do you know about the foundation of Rome? According to the legend the city was created by the twins, Romulus and Remus, who were suckled by a she-wolf. After an argument, Romulus killed his brother (Oh well, boys will be boys!).

We have visited almost the entire city already, mostly by foot. The streets are so beautiful that my feet don’t even notice pain!


The monument to Vittorio Emanuele II or “Altare della Patria” is simply gorgeous. It’s like this huge thing in the middle of the city, so white it looks like it is polished every day! It is a monument in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. It is right between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill.

The Castel Sant’Angelo, a museum that was once the tallest building in Rome, and the Piazza della Republica, are also landmarks that we couldn’t have skipped.

If I ever get married this would definitely be where I would spend my honeymoon! Taking a picture of a romantic kiss in front of the Trevi fountain is a lifelong dream!


Despite all these wonderful sites, I cannot help saying that the one that truly blew my mind when I first saw it was the Colosseum. Seeing that huge building just make us feel like ants next to it. I was so amazed! Words fall short when it comes to describe such a thing. Inside, well it is mostly ruins, but the view of the exterior just gets you thinking “How can people so small have built something like this?”. You have to see it someday! Promise me!

Another aspect I love about the city is that every corner there is a restaurant with a nice esplanade, all decorated with flowers. Rome is the perfect place to visit, to live and to fall in love!


I bought you a gift! I’m sure you will love it!





Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

Sábado, 16.03.13


Dear Érica,


I'm missing Portugal so badly. Little did I knew I would cry reading your letter, if I did, I wouldn't had read it in front of Gabriel!

Nonetheless I'm glad you had such a great time in our home. But I must tell you, you caught me by surprise when mentioning that new Lisbon of yours. 'by surprise' not only because I was having lunch (drum roll please) ... at McDonald's, but also because I didn't saw Cambodia in the same way since then.


Officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. Bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand  to the southwest, the country's minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams (an ethnic group in Southeast Asia) and 30 hill tribes (highland tribes), talking about globalization right?

What I'm trying to say is: strong textiles, agriculture, construction, garments, and tourism sectors led to foreign investments and international trade. So, the two sides of this 'coin', wich is the globalization you mentioned, are actually very interesting.

First, as I don't like it either, two girls with the same t-shirt is the most common situation to happen here. Any idea why? Checking the labels of my clothes I realized that a big part of them were 'made in Cambodia', so it's like I've arrived to a country of twins. Oddly enough the cambodians are world-twins as everyone in the world as access to the same pieces of clothe or shoes. As manufacturing costs are much smaller here this is not only a country of twins but also of factories. It's like walking through Baixa or the Fifth Avenue!

Even this young men tried to sell 'Prada' sandals to Gabriel! It was hilarious!!

But giving some positive outcomes to my letter I couldn´t be happier when I realized I could mantain a conversation with most individuals that I talked with. The man of the sandals had the most remarkable accent and if it wasn't for the cigarette always pending from his lips it would sound almost like our English teacher from the 12th grade. (I think you remember her for her good relationship with time {}).


Now this was a serious matter. See the first picture? Let me give you an idea of my face when I saw Gabriel eating: {#emotions_dlg.barf}.

Now see my face when I tasted that tidbit on the second picture: {#emotions_dlg.drool}.

And it's not a joke. The rumor of frog legs tasting like chicken is more than true! (In case you're wondering what reactions did Gabriel had just switch the faces).

But now amase yourself with the beauty of Cambodia.

Buddhist temple.

Theravada buddhism is the main religion practiced by approximately 95% of the Cambodian population and once again Gabriel got in touch with his ancestors' work. It was amazing, breath-taking and I'm running out of adjectives!

Well my dear friend, my next letter may be a little different from what you're used toread but for now I hope you enjoyed the glimpse of Cambodia that I provided to you, farewell!



Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

Sábado, 16.03.13

Home sweet home

Dear Sara,


This week I decided to take a break from all the craziness of the unknown world and headed back home, to familiar sites. No, I’m not giving up! But since Robert had to come to Portugal to a conference in Faro, I seized the opportunity to visit my folks in Lisbon. Since I hadn’t been home for quite some time, my parents decided we would spend the day walking around downtown and Chiado. The strangest thing happened though… I have walked around the city tons of times, but yesterday… I don’t know… If felt different, it looked different… Everywhere I looked, every person, every shop, every road sign, they all reminded me, in some way, of some country I had been during my journey. My eyes were opened wieldier than ever…


I understand now that we truly live in a globalised world. If we didn’t neither one of us would have been able to go around the world, jumping from one country to another so easily. Now that I think about this, I understand that this doesn’t happen only here in Lisbon, but in almost every place I have been so far… And the perks are so many: the reduction of barriers between countries allows an easier exchange of goods and services, this way no matter if we are in Portugal, in Canada or in China we can find the same things anywhere. I have eaten McDonald’s in at least 10 different countries! Plus travelling is so much easier now, especially inside the European Union. Information is another relevant aspect: since communication is quicker we can know in an instant what is happening in any other country in world, through TV or the Internet, as easy as snapping your fingers! However, globalization is like a two-edged sword. With it come also negative consequences. Losing your cultural heritage because of the influence of another country’s way of life is one of them. Besides, since we find the same things everywhere, people tend to look alike. I hate it when I see another girl with the same piece of clothing as me!


Well, cultural reflections and fashion dramas aside, it was a wonderful afternoon! First we went to Belém, and saw the Tower of Belém and the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. One word to describe them? Beautiful.

Then we had lunch in the Expo park and ride our bikes by the river. Another word? Peacefull.

Later, we headed across the river to visit the Cristo Rei, it’s like a replica of the one in Brasil. A word? Stunning.

We finished the day having dinner near Terreiro do Paço after shopping in the Augusta street. For desert I made them take me to Santinis! I never get tired of those ice creams. A word to describe these? Delicious!

I'm looking forward to read your next letter, tell me your latest adventures!

Miss you,



Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

Domingo, 27.01.13

Directly from Austria, Waris and Chanel!

My dearest Sara,


BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!! I had so much fun! The four of us together have no match! Everything was absolutely delightful! My handmade decorations, the Christmas tree you and Gabriel brought, Robert’s delicious cooking (thank God he knew how to cook so well or we would have starved to death! I mean: not trying to diminish our cooking skills… Remember that week we spent, just the two of us, in Porto? Well we found out that our hamburgers and pasta are delicious, but not for seven days in a row!).

Anyway, can you guess where I am? Back in the Old Continent, all cured from our New Year’s Eve party, once again with my bag pack, my sunglasses and a map of…. (drum roll please) Austria! You know how much I love these countries, filled with history on their streets, where you smell culture everywhere; so you must imagine how much fun I’m having!

We’ve been here for a week now and have spent most of our time in Vienna and Salzburg. The landscape is so beautiful, green meadows in the bottom and at the top mountains filled with snow! Can you imagine waking up everyday and see this trough the window? That’s the dream!


The museums are incredible but the thing I had most fun visiting were the salt mines in Salzburg and the lakes that, despite freezing cold, are amazing!

On our fourth night here, Robert encountered one of his friends from high school who went to Madrid to study fashion and design. He was in Austria to work as one of the hosts of a Chanel fashion show and after a couple of beers in one of the city’s beer gardens, he offered us two invitations. The show took place in one of the most ancient castles of the city. The decoration was just perfect: classy with just the right amount of boldness. There were candles and an orchestra playing as the models went on the runway.

Awesome right? But I haven’t even told you about the best part of the night! Later, at the after show party, you won’t believe who I met! Remember that book I read last summer about the life of a woman from Somalia who became a model? “Desert Flower”? I met her! I met Waris Dirie! I was so excited, I couldn’t hide it! She was there as a special guest, since she used to model for Chanel and she has Austrian citizenship since 2005.


She is so kind! I asked her a billion questions and she answered every single one with a smile. She has a really touching life story. She was born in Somalia in 1965 into a nomadic family but at the age of thirteen she fled to Mogadishu to escape an arranged marriage to a much older man. A few years later, she moved to London where she worked for an uncle who had been appointed Somali ambassador and then at a local McDonald’s. That was when she began evening classes to learn English. “I was so lucky. By chance, I was discovered by Terence Donovan, a photographer who helped me get my first job as a model” - she told me – “From that point on, my career took off. I started being hired by top designers like Levi’s, Chanel, Revlon and L’Óreal and went to London, Milan, Paris, New York! I was on Elle, Glamour, Vogue!” Did you know she also appeared in some movies like James Bond? In 1997, at the height of her modeling career, she was interviewed for Marie Claire’s magazine and spoke, for the first time, about the female genital mutilation that she had undergone as a child. “What I said spread so quickly all over the world Érica, I was amazed. That was when I realized my voice could be heard in every corner of the world, and by every little girl in Somalia or anywhere else: they could hear me saying they don’t have to suffer no more because I’ll do my best to change things for them!” I admit tears came to my eyes as she said this. That same year she became a UN ambassador for the abolition of FGM. In 2009, along with François Henri Pinault and his wife, Waris founded the PPR Foundation for Women’s Dignity and Rights’. A year later, she was appointed Peace Ambassador for the Year of Peace and Security by the African Union. The Desert Dawn Foundation was also founded by her: it raises money for schools and clinics in Somalia.


Her achievements as a human rights activist earned her several prizes: the Woman of the Year Award in 2000 by Glamour Magazine, Women's World Award (2004) from former President of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (2007) from the former President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, among others.

Her work is truly an inspiration! I wish you had been here to meet her too. I told her all about you though, and of this journey of ours. She wished us both the best for the future. Well, I’ll write you next time something great happens! Don’t worry, you know me… That won’t take long.


Miss you a lot already,



P.S.: Dear Sara,

Please start writing shorter (and more boring) letters to Érica. She gets so excited when she finds she has mail that she spends half the day reading and re-reading your letters (and writing and re-writing her answer). Meanwhile, I’m walking with a ghost all over Europe that only pretends to hear what I say. The days she gets your letters I’m like “Want some coffee?” and she answers “That shirt doesn’t look good with those shoes”! Just kidding (but keep this suggestion in mind!).



Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

Domingo, 27.01.13

I dreamed a dream ... and it camed true!

Dear Erica,


One more Christmas and one more New Year's Eve has passed and with such joy I must say! Everything went so well, despite the freezing cold, that I think we must also celebrate the Chinese New Year!


The title of my post might remember you of a very well known song but it's actually what happened to me yesterday and you won't believe how idiotic my face looked when I noticed that it was replaying while I was awake. Funny how travel can happen only within our mind (although I never expected it would happen out of it!).


Everything started in L.A. (California hurray! Gabriel came visit his grandparents), the temperature was bearable and I decided to go for a run in the City of Angels while the californian boy was having lunch with the grandsons of the immigrants from Asia that have formed a number of significant Buddhist congregations (making the city home to the greatest variety of Buddhists in the world), his grandma and grandpa.

 The sleepy one is Gabriel's great great grandfather {}.


As I was running, or, to be accurate, jogging around the 9 million houses at Hancock Park I bumped against THE Angelina Jolie. Yes, the holder of the titles of: Most Beautiful Woman In The World, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador, Special Envoy of High Comissioner António Guterres, Invited Speaker at the World Economic Forum, Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and recipient of the Inaugural Humanitarian Award, the Global Humanitarian Award, the Freedom Award, the Citizen of the World Award. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres presented Jolie with a gold pin reserved for the most long-serving staff, in recognition of her decade as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and even King Norodom Sihamoni awarded Jolie Cambodian citizenship for her conservation work in the country! 

On her way to meet with some members of the Congress, this Super Woman is involved in a collision with a girl with headphones in her ears and a UNICEF's t-shirt. This is the moment when my idiotic face comes in. I got so confused that when she asked me if everything was alright, one could actually hear my brain matching the name with the face of the person that was talking to me. My idiotic face stayed on for one whole minute and it was one of the longest of my life. When I finnaly got to answer she had already looked at my t-shirt and smiled.

As Special Envoy, she represents the UNHCR and High Commissioner António Guterres at the diplomatic level and works to facilitate long-term solutions for people displaced by large-scale crises, so imagine what I was stepping ... you are correct, the papers to aks for founds to help Afghanistan and Somalia. Typical me, right?


Well, I knew that Angelina had established several charitable organizations and that she uses her public profile to promote humanitarian causes through the mass media, things like this can easily be found on Wikipedia, what I didn't knew was that the wife of Brad Pitt had the most amazing sense of humor, especially towards t-shirts! Either because of the awareness of worldwide humanitarian causes that she gained in Cambodia while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider or due to field visits to refugee camps around the world, that most certainly shocked her, she found that a t-shirt like mine would be a very good way to start a conversation with a fast girl that ruined, momently, Somalia's funds. So we entered her house, yeeees I'm serious, and after a shower and some new and expensive clothes that unfortunately I'll have to return we sat down to talk.


Through more than 30 countries like Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Pakistan, and paying for all her expenses, she met with countless internally displaced persons and refugees.


When I asked her what she had accomplished or hoped to accomplish with so much travelling anf fighting for third world countries she answered "Awareness of the plight of these people. I think they should be commended for what they have survived, not looked down upon. Angelina, and now mee, aims to visit what she terms "forgotten emergencies" - crises that media attention has shifted away from- for she added that "it appears to me that the second media stop allerting the world for the strugling of a few, all of us forget their basic rights and needs"


She is noted for not shying away from traveling to areas that are at war. I don't think that I could visit Darfur region of Sudan during the Darfur conflict or Chad during its civil war and Iraq during the Second Gulf War. And Afghanistan during the ongoing war and Libya during the Libyan revolution were absolutely out of question!


But now comes the funny part, on my dream she told me that her early field visits were chronicled in her book Notes from My Travels and that this travel through all that she has done so far should also be included! That is way my e-mail today sounds like a History class and you are so bored

by now dear Erica I'm the one who will right that part, but don't worry for my sanity, I'm going to a  party tonight with Gabriel on one arm and Angelina Jolie 2 metres close to the other!


I must get ready before Gabriel arrives or he will start with the monologue 'Why do women take so much time to dress a one piece dress?', one of these days I'll send you an excerpt, I'm sure you will find it quite amusing.


And I think I'll choose that green dress we bought in New York {#emotions_dlg.inlove}.


Missing you already,




P.S.: Angelina has also regularly released public service announcements promoting World Refugee Day, that she regularly attends to in Washington, D.C. due to her deeper envolvement in promoting humanitarian causes on a political level, so guess where I will be tomorrow?

At an ice ring, she didn't invited me for this, but honestly that part of the dream was to good to be true!


California by night.

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

Domingo, 16.12.12


Dear Érica,


In what concerns Christmas everything is arranged! Lapland will be our destination with all the snow and reindeer that crossed your mind and all the hot chocolate with marshmallows that we can drink. Our parents (plus Gabriel's and Robert's, I suppose) will meet us there two days before the Christmas Eve and will leave after the New Year party (with which my mother is strangely excited, but maybe is just because she misses me).

I'm completely restored from the cold and I've got to admit that Gabriel was an impeccable gentleman during these days that passed, the sum-up of our week couldn't be more especific and fun. (except for that part of the chicken soup! ... but ultimately it was an unforgettable week.)


Well, on this week before Christmas you know how travelling becomes exhausting with all the human traffic blocking the airports due to the Christmas vacations. So, I decided to choose a, very far from Dubai, place to know and where I could regain my strenght. With this said I gladly present you: The Hawaiin Island.



That's right, I also heard that Bruno Mars was going to give a concert here and since his ancestry is Hawaiian he, every once in a while, returns home and throws a smaller concert, with one of the most amazing sunsets I've ever seen as background on a beautiful black sand beach.


And these days where filled with the most amazing activities! Can you believe that I went swimming with a manta ray? Not to speak of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, in which I bearly set foot (wasn't for Gabriel's persistence), but at the end I loved it.

The next activities are for you to laugh a little: I played the Golf Capital of Hawaii (and I actually did very good, according to a gentleman who appeared to be one or two years above is 100th birthday) and I dived into the waterfalls on the Hamakua Coast, gotta tell you that it's the most unpleasent thing in the world. The water falls with such strength that its very hard to stand under it. Gabriel however didn´t had a hard time doing it, so there where 20 minutes of relax for me, napping under the sun, and of pure fun to him, you should have saw him, more happy then a baby laughing!!



Beside this we also saw the tallest sea mountain in the world at more than 33,000 feet called Maunakea and skied on the snow-capped mountaintops, (see, I don't always go to only warm places).


Well this was my latest adventur, I'm looking forward to Christmas and the New Year's Eve {#emotions_dlg.pimp}.


Farewell and see you soon,


lots of love,



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Junho 2013