Saturday, February 27, 2010

Quoting Favorites IV (or: on Wharton, and Sameness, and Restlessness)

You see, Monsieur, it's worth everything, isn't it, to keep one's intellectual liberty, not to enslave one's powers of appreciation, one's critical independence? (...) Ah, good conversation - there's nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.
(The Age of Innocence, Book 2, chapter 20)

I avoided The Age of Innocence at college. It just sounded so tedious... (I chose to read The Great Gatsby for my American Literature class instead.)
However, on my weekly quest for new books, I stumbled across this simple edition of The Age of Innocence at a bookstore last year; I grabbed it, coldly and only slightly interested. But I'd already read all the books I had at home, and was basically on withdrawal - I just had to read anything. (Anything, obviously, did not include Marley and I, you gotta draw the line somewhere.)
I started reading it over lunch - and found it completely unputdownable. I took it with me wherever I went for two days, two much too short days. It was an enticing, exceedingly well-written story; but there was more than that. I felt Newland Archer.

Opening your eyes. You can always choose not to open them; but once you're able to see, you can never close them back again. The good old "red pill, blue pill" thing.
One of the worst parst of opening your eyes (getting a brain?) is realizing that you are probably alone in this. In a world of blindness, seeing creates this unfathomable abyss between you and those among whom you must live.But one cannot set himself apart fom society as a whole. So you stay exactly where you are, with the poor satisfaction of being free from those shackles that seem to bond everybody else. But every second of your stay comes at a high price: the stillness of ideas around you just makes you realize the stillness of life you've forced yourself into. 

He was out of spirits and slightly out of temper, and a haunting horror of doing the same thing every day at the same hour besieged his brain.
"Sameness - sameness!" he muttered, the word running through his head like a persecuting tune (...).
(The Age of Innocence, Book 1, chapter 10)

What do you do when you feel restless in a world where Sameness is sovereign?
You crave for fresh air. You try to open the windows in the room - what if those around you just simply don't see the point in that? 

"Newland! Do shut the window. You'll catch your death!"
He pulled the sash down and turned back. "Catch my death!" he echoed; and he felt like adding: "But I've caught it already. I
am dead - I've been dead for months and months." (...)
"Poor May!" he said
"Poor? Why poor?" she echoed with a strained laugh.
"Because I shall never be able to open a window without worrying you" he rejoined, laughing also.
For a moment she was silent; then she said very low, her head bowed over her work: "I shall never worry if you're hapy."
"Ah my dear; and I shall never be happy unless I can open the windows!"

"In this weather?" she remonstrated; and with a sigh he buried his head in his book.
(The Age of Innocence, Book 2, chapter 29)

Finally, you come to the sad realization that you'll have to adapt. Smooth around the rough edges. 

...the first six months were always the most difficult in marriage. "After that I suppose we shall have pretty nearly finished rubbing off each other's angles" he reflected; but the worst of it was that May's pressure was already bearing on the very angles whose sharpness he most wanted to keep.
(The Age of Innocence, Book 2, chapter 20)

And once these edges are smoothed right out of you, your hopeful desires are gone. That tingling in your belly. (Mass, if you ever get around to reading this, that last sentence was definitely for you! =P) 

Life's all about not being smoothed out of yourself.

Opening Up AND Goofying Around!

Well well well! This post goes for two great pple I've bumped into in this blogging world!
First, my "10 Honest Things About Me", in response to ambigous_angel's post! So, 10 honest facts about my wonderful persona... hmmm...
1. I'm allergic to almost everything in this world, so I spend 23 hours a day sneezing!... =(
2. I cry when I see puppies in pet shops...
3. I'm shit scared of horror movies
4. I'm a good soccer player
5. Unfortunately, I'm a spendthrift...
6. I waste hours trying to figure out what to wear...
7. Nevertheless, I'm still kind of a tomboy sometimes!
8. I can hold my liquor like few men can, so I'm actually a good drinking buddy!
9. I've never weighed more than 50kgs (more or less 110lb), I'm a skinny little girl!
10. I'm ridiculously proud of having particularly small feet!... (Maybe I aspire to be a Disney princess, I don't know...)

Passing this on to:
Bean-boy, my favorite victim!
Didz, my fellow "torturer"!
Rick, cause he made me laugh my butt off with his blog!

Now, the 2nd part of this post goes to the one and only beanizer, who was so sweet in making up that song for me and Didz! Bean-honey: don't you worry when I call you goofy, cus... well, here's a picture of my computer:

Do you guys see what I see, right next to my monitor?!? Yep, my favorite Disney character of all time.

Goofy's been here for a long time now, keeping me company!
(And PLEASE, mind not the huge mess around the computer... Also: notice the desktop wallpaper... let's see if anyone can recognize where it's actually from! =P)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Asking the Wizard For a Brain

Scarecrow: I haven't got a brain... only straw.
Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?
Scarecrow: I don't know... But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking... don't they?
Dorothy: Yes, I guess you're right.

Funny, now, that the most intelligent character in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is actually the one who wants a brain. The more you know, the more you realize you don't know that much. I don't remember exactly who said this, but they can sure say that again!

But his wanting a brain is even more touching than Tinman's wanting a heart.
Brains are so underrated, and yet so overrated. Thinking, you'd think, is extremely important. Right? No.
Who actually cares about brains? Why having them?

Brains do not bring you happiness:
"All the same," said the Scarecrow, "I shall ask for brains instead of a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had one."
"I shall take the heart," returned the Tin Woodman; "for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world."

It's quite the contrary, actually, Scarecrow: the more you think, the more miserable you become. Besides, the heart works on instinct, rather than on thought. Any fool knows what to do with a heart.

"It must be inconvenient to be made of flesh," said the Scarecrow thoughtfully, "for you must sleep, and eat and drink. However, you have brains, and it is worth a lot of bother to be able to think properly."
It isn't, really - the biggest bother of all is to be able to think properly.

Brains make you overthink. Overanalyse, overworry, overestimate them.
When I was a child, I loved the fact that the Scarecrow valued brains above it all; but now that I actually have got a heart, am quite brave and have a home, I wonder whether he was happy afterwards. What will happen to him, once he finds out the burden of thinking? The discomfort and complexities that come with the territory?

Tinman was brave to ask for a heart. Scarecrow is deluded. And I don't blame him.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Craving (It's Over Here Too!)

There was some serious ice-cream craving going on this week, thanks to Didz's contagious post! But everybody got around to satisfying that craving, including me, thank the gods! From thence, a very important matter came up: what to crave next? 

Well, I woke up this morning with a very important task in my hands: writing some chapters for my Master's thesis; I spent the day entangled with the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman Englands, memorizing and writing down names of kings, dates and battles, from the 5th to the 13th century, trying to differentiate all those Henrys, Edwards and Richards (don't they have any other names for royalty, for crying out loud???). 

When it got to the Hundred Year's War, there came Luises and more Henrys from across the channel! Too much for only one gal!... But all the time, something was trying to crawl out of the corner of my mind...

And suddenly, as night fell, it hit me like a brick: I knew exactly what I was craving! I knew exactly what I needed, in order to forget Celts, Saxons, Scots, Danes and Normans: a good old creamy chocolate pizza!

Mission accomplished: another craving is finally over. (Thank u Domino's for ur 30 minutes delivery service!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Asking the Wizard For a Heart

A friend of mine once refered to the heart as "that little muscle that could". Brilliant, I say. What is it that makes it so resilient, and yet so fragile?
From a pragmatic point of view, it's not even useful - aside, of course, from pumping blood. But that's not the heart I'm talking about.

Wizard of Oz (to the Tin Woodman): As for you, my galvanized friend, you want a heart. You don't know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.
Tin Woodsman: But I still want one. 

The heart announces itself most poignantly only when it's about to break. And being the generous little thing it is, it takes no one down with it: it falls in utter loneliness. And all of those other parts of your body just sit back and watch while the most breakable part of you... breaks away.

Dorothy: Goodbye, Tinman. Oh, don't cry! You'll rust so dreadfully. Here's your oil can.
Tin Woodsman: Now I know I've got a heart, 'cause it's breaking... 

But also, nothing else in your body is capable of bouncing back like the heart does. Indeed the muscle that could. It hardens with time, and before you even notice it, it's back right into shape. You realize then that the muscle you so wished away is your only foul-weather companion, that no one will ever push you forward like the heart does, even though it's just as down on the floor as you are.

I've always loved The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; and though Dorothy is somewhat annoying, the other main characters are simply adorable. My favorite's always been the Scarecrow, and I've always pitied the Lion. But the one I admire the most is by far the Tin Woodman (or simply Tinman, in the 1939 movie). The guy just wanted a simple flimsy heart. 

"All the same," said the Scarecrow, "I shall ask for brains instead of a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had one."
"I shall take the heart," returned the Tin Woodman; "for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world."

I pity and admire the Tin Woodman - and I pity and admire the heart. Such a heartbreaking little thing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


 "I want adventure in the great, wide Somewhere
I want it more than I can tell
And for once it might be grand
To have someone understand
I want so much more than they've got planned..."
(The Beauty and the Beast, Belle (reprise))

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Running (Away From Carnival)

Carnival. A Roman Catholic festive season, which happens right before Lent (which begins on Ash Wednesday, and only ends either on Holy Thursday or on Holy Friday). Traditionally, people celebrate Carnival with circus-like parades and masquerades. You know, I enjoy the idea of  masquerades - so medieval! And one of the things I'd love to see is the Carnival of Venice. Those masks and costumes are simply wonderful!

Instead, I'm stuck here with Brazilian Carnival. I know, I know, I sound awfully like a cranky old lady... I'm just not a big fan of the whole thing. I bet it's a hell of a spectacle for foreigners, but when you get to see that year after year... I do like watching the samba schools parade on tv, it's gorgeous. And, on top of that, the entire country stops dead right where they are. Forget work, college, deadlines... those words disappear from our vocabulary when Carnival is on! So thanks to that, I didn't teach yesterday nor today (yup, I teach on Saturdays as well...); next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be simply devoted to drinking on every corner in every goddamn town! Rio de Janeiro becomes this huge bacchanalia - a figure of speech, of course. 
But you know what? People always expect me to go out there, drink my ass off, hook up with strangers and be a part of block-parades - their excuse? I'm young, I should live it up! Wtf?... I like drinking, fine; but the idea of hooking up with pple I've never met before in block-parades (which means drunk mobs)... hmmm... not so much, no. Not to mention the horrible traffic jams, you can't go anywhere without stumbling  across a street parade. Hence, I ran off to the mountains, to the city I grew up in, and will be in hiding till it all comes back to normal.
Does that make me too much of an elderly?...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Believing (or: Doubting)

Serendipity. "It's such a nice sounding word for what it means: a fortunate accident." (Kate Beckinsale as Sara Thomas, Serendipity, 2001) Meant to be, written on the stars, destiny, fate, maktub, fatum, destin, the Moirae. And I wonder how much of this is true.
In Greek Mythology, it was believed that Destiny was actually three white-robed deities, the Moirae (later, called the Parcae by the Romans). Their origin is, like the origin of every other Greek god or deity, controversial, and has many entirely different versions. They're usually represented as three old bearded ladies; their number also varies: sometimes they were many more than three, at other times, only one. But above it all, they'd always be represented weaving. The idea that human life is like a shroud, in which there are no loose threads, is an ancient one - and the three Moirae were responsible for weaving it. According to the most famous version, the first moira, Clotho, would spin each individual's thread of life; the second, Lachesis, would measure them up; and the third, Atropos, would decide when to cut'em. And their power - rather, inevitability - was such, that even Zeus had to submit to their will. Whatever the Moirae did could not be undone by anybody.

The Germanic people had almost the exact same belief - the Norns, female deities that controled destiny, including the gods'. They're often represented sitting by Yggdrasill, the world tree - weaving, evidently. There were many of these female entities, but the most famous ones are Urðr, Verðandi and Skuld (respectively, "that which has happened", "that which is happening" and "shall be"). Suggestive, aye?
The ancient people believed that what was to come could be read in the movement of the stars, the flight of birds, the entrails of animals, numbers, dreams, runes, tea leaves and so on. Reportedly, Julius Caesar was a greatly superstitious man, who constantly consulted with fortune tellers. The Oracle, among the Greeks, was a very important institution, too. Man has always been concerned about what will be. Words like "will" and "shall" worry many. (And while thinking about the "what will be", those many often forget to think on the "what was" or "what is" - big mistake).
I don't know if I actually believe in Fate - the same way I'm not sure I believe in many other things. But personally, I find the "whatever will be, will be" motto way too passive. So that's it? No hard-work, then? On the other hand, of course, the idea that we're exactly where we're supposed to be is somewhat soothing. But are we really? Not being in control of your destiny can be quite scary - but being responsible for every little thing that beffals you is just as much.
But if there is, indeed, such a thing as Fate, I don't think everything's in her hands (I see Fate as a woman, u know - good enough for the ancient Greek, good 'nuff for me!); I think we gotta help'er, we gotta do our part. Like religion: your God may help you if you pray for Him (whatever name you call'im), but don't expect the supreme powers to do all the hard work. They'll just give you the means to go after the things you want yourself. Or that's how I see it, at least. Faith might move mountains - but don't forget to push'em a little while you're praying. And what some people call God, others might as well call Fate, so there you have it. But since I don't believe in neither one of'em, I might not be the best judge of that.
But if I did have to believe in something, I'd believe in Forrest Gump.
"I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time." (Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump, 1994)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Movie Listing (2006)

Hellish year, a year of going back and forth - totally my fault, but I guess this is how we learn. By continuously screwing up. Although 2006 does encompass one of the best trips of my life ever, and a brotherhood. Could've been worse. But excellent movies galore!

My favorite movies of 2006:
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - directed by Gore Verbinski, starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport and Bill Nighy. Originally a sequel, but that detracts nothing from its excellence. They managed to pick up the story from where it'd been left off, with a plot that actually takes us to events before The Curse of the Black Pearl - as though the first movie had been nothing but a lump on the way: "Ok, now that that's taken care of, let's go back to the real big one! You were saying, Davy boy? Eternal servitude in the afterlife? Uh... I don't think so." And so it begins. The only teeny tiny downside of this movie is the slow heating up of the love triangle between Sparrow, Elizabeth and Will Turner (I totally see where she's coming from, though). Other than that, the plot unravels smoothly before our eyes, this time bringing more of the classic pirate legends, such as The Flying Dutchman (one of my favorite stories as a kid) and the Kraken. Sparrow's still the same charismatic scoundrel, with the same swagger and slurred speech. And the only one capable of rivaling Depp this time is Nighy. His surprisingly touching rockstar had me duly impressed in Love Actually - but now, we're talking business here, excuse me! And none of those disgusting tentacles on his face overshadow his acting, not even for a split second! What a great, great villain! The producer Jerry Bruckheimer (for whom I have the utmost respect, the guy's responsible for everything that is awesome) and director Verbinski make sure that the action scenes (with some amazing sword fights), costumes and make-up (Davy Jones' crustracean-like crew??? Wow!) are faultless. And to end it with a bang... the great Geoffrey Rush, Capitain Barbossa back from the dead himself! A must-see of the year.

V for Vendetta - directed by James McTeigue, starring Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Stephen Fry, John Hurt and Stepehn Rea. After the Matrix trilogy, anything with the Wachowski brothers' signature is mandatory, even if just for the visual effects. But you know what? There's much, much more to V than visual effects (unlike The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions). Even though we owe the screenplay to the Wachowskis, there's still a big thanks to be given to their protegé McTeigue, who does not allow the action to overthrow the story from its reigning place. Weaving, with his more than imposing voice, gives V the right tone, and making us forget all about his still very recent Agent Smith and Elrond. Natalie Portman is amazing here, proving herself once again as a great asset to Hollywood. The story is extremely well-conducted, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire picture. And by the time the slow-motion shows up, you can't associate it to The Matrix anymore - that link's been dropped quite a while ago: it's a story about the human condition; ideas are more important than the slow-moving bullets. Alan Moore was crazy to disinherit this movie... another must-see, time and time again.
P.S.: it was released in the end of 2005 in the U.S.A., but in the beginning of 2006 in every other place around the globe (I mean, except for Turkey, where it was released last year!...)

Casino Royale - directed by Martin Campbell, starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judy Dench, Jeffrey Wright and Giancarlo Giannini. When I heard Pierce Brosnan wouldn't play Bond anymore, I was extremely disappointed, he'd been the first 007 I'd ever known. Then, I was told Daniel Craig had gotten the part. "Daniel Who?" "One of the guys from Munich. You know, the one with the knives." "Oh... isn't he blond?!". From thence, I was entirely resolved not to like him, because... how could 007 ever be blond??? And the guy wasn't even charming! That was the mood in which I set out to watch the new movie. It started, and - what the hell was the new James Bond doing, chasing someone in such a crude manner?! That was NOT him! But a classy 007 was slowly coming to surface. It had to be a slow buildup, it was the beginning (such a movie was only possible due to this recent "the beginning" fad: the 2nd Star Wars trilogy, Batman Begins, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, etc.). That coarse, brutal agent James becomes the refined, coldly efficient Bond. James Bond. And right before our eyes. The initial James is unsympathetic but innately human, and he finishes off as the complete opposite: so likeable, and yet less human - the one who does not fall in love. Even the way he fights changes! And in the end, with his "the bitch is dead" and "Bond. James Bond.", we finally have him. (And I realized I missed the first one!). And Daniel Craig surely lived up to the challenge! Before I knew it, I was all "what an incredibly charming guy! And he's soooo British!". And his dry humor, the quintessential Bond humor, was there - the guy had completely nailed it. After Vesper Lynd (to my great pleasure, brilliantly played by Eva Green, that woman's just downright gorgeous and a great actress) makes her entrance, I was irrevocably in love with Craig. The plot's really strong, Le Chiffre is a great Bondesque villain (and this time, your villain comes not with one, but TWO physical dysfunctions!), and Vesper's gotta be the best Bond girl in a reaaaally long time. Also: no other Bond would've convincingly withstood that serious testicle torture, are you kidding me? No way Brosnan, Connery, Moore or any other could've pulled acting that off! (Outrageously awesome scene, btw). No, Craig owned it, like no one else would. I dare not say such a thing anywhere near diehard Bond fans, but after Casino Royale, I'm like "Sean who?".

Once - directed by John Carney, starting Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. First of all, I gotta say I did not see this movie in 2006, but in 2009. I wondered if it fitted the category of "my favorite movies from 2006"; but it was released in 2006, and it IS one of my favorite movies - not from 2006, but ever! So here it is. This totally under the radar Irish movie snatched away the Oscar for Best Original Song from the hands of my dear Alan Menken and his Enchanted soundtrack, leaving me pissed. Both leading actors have already stated they do not intend to pursue the acting career, and would rather focus on music. This movie was shot in 17 days. By the time I decided to watch this movie, I didn't see how anything good could possibly come out of it. Instead, what did come out of it was something breathtakingly touching. Simple, honest, beautiful, bittersweet and mandatory for anyone who loves movies, good dialogs and brilliant music. This is simplicity and artistry at their best. Gorgeous, as very few things have managed to be so far. And the soundtrack is sooooo worth listening to over and over again, even if you haven't seen the movie.

Others worthy of notice in 2006:
Little Miss Sunshine, The Pursuit of Happyness, Babel, The Illusionist, The Prestige, The Devil Wears Prada, Marie Antoinette, Dreamgirls, Blood Diamond, The Black Dhalia, Astérix et les Vikings, World Trade Center, The Departed, Superman Returns, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Charlotte's Web, The Pink Panther, Happy Feet, Hell, X-Men 3. 

Snakes on a Plane - AWESOME!!!! There's no way a movie can possibly get any worse, this is a masterpiece!!! I laughed throughout the entire film! Everyone should watch it! I just think it's a shame that Samuel Jackson needed money so bad... was there not a friend to lend it to him?

High School Musical - ...... I have two younger cousins, and as I was spending my vacations with them, they bugged the shit out of me to watch it. So I did. I found it sooooo annoying... such a bad mimicking of musicals... so I loved it!  I can sing all the songs now, and I actually have a slight crush on Zac Efron. It's my guilty pleasure... but the movie really does suck - however, it's a good entertainment for kids.

The Butterly Effect 2 - so uncalled for. The first one was already badly done - even though the idea of it is good, albeit cliché. (The Time Machine, hello!). But to make a second one??? At least, it's got the advantage of not having Ashton Kutcher in it, that's gotta be worth something!

Step Up - nothing that hadn't already been done in Dirty Dancing, seriously. And much better at that, despite the cheesy cheesy lines. Even Save the Last Dance, with Julia Cutest-Ever Styles, managed to be better. But again, another guilty pleasure.

She's the Man - Do you remember 10 Things I Hate About You, with, again, Julia Cutest-Ever Styles and gone-way-way-too-soon Heath Ledger? Well, as you might or might not know, it was actually based on the shakespearean play The Taming of the Shrew. And it turned out to be really good - yes, in a teenager-ish way, but really good. Well, She's the Man follows the same idea: it's based on the shakespearean play Twelfth Night, in a teenager-ish way as well. AND IT SUCKS! I cannot believe someone had the nerve of inflicting such horrors upon one of the best things ever written in English Literature - nay, in universal literature. How dare they?! And on top of that, they gave AMANDA BYNES the role of Viola, one of the greatest feminine roles in universal theatre? Wtf?!?! This has to be the movie I hate the most, among all the movies I've ever seen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Answering III - 25 Random Facts!

Well well well! I so didn't see it coming! I read the 25 random facts of a lotta pple the last couple of days, but now it's my turn! Fine by me, I actually enjoy talking about myself (how self-centered is that?!)

25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about ME. At the end, choose up to 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.
1. I LOVE books and Literature, they're the core of everything I do.
2. My favorite writers are Milan Kundera, Hermann Hesse, Alexandre Dumas, J.D. Salinger (RIP), Ken Kesey, Machado de Assis, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Chaucer.
3. My two favorite children's books are The Little Engine That Could and The Ugly Duckling.
4. I'm a total dog person.
5. I love music, but specially rock and classical.
6. I'm always hungry, always eating something - and yet, I'm always thin, yay!
7. I've got real small feet
8. I'm kind of a nerd: I like comics, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and specially animes and mangas.
9. I love the Middle Ages, and my Master's thesis is about Medieval English Literature.
10. I can cook well.
11. I was karate champion here in Rio in 2004.
12. I used to cry during Physics tests at school, I just hate numbers and anything that involves Math...
13. I have mood swings - but I'm easy to calm down.
14. I love playing soccer.
15. I'm the only one in my family that cannot sing in tune...
16. My favorite color's light blue - but I rarely wear it, I'm too pale for that.
17. I loooove wearing hats!
18. I've been shit scared of the movie "Child's Play" since I was 6 - and have never actually watched, nor do I intend to!...
19. After I watched "The Ring", I couldn't sleep for 3 days.
20. My favorite book of all time is "The Three Musketeers", and I re-read it once a year ever since 1999.
21. I have a "Lord of the Rings" (extended version) marathon once a year as well!
22. My favorite number is 22!!
23. I'm as lazy as they come.
24. I sleep like a Disney princess: no toss and turning, talking, laughing, sleepwalking or drooling; in fact, I barely move.
25. I'm absolutely crazy about Disney movies! Know how to sing all the songs (in Portuguese and English), and can actually recite all the lines of some movies...

That was quite the list! I don't think all the pple I tag will go on w/ it, but that's okay...

Pple I've tagged: 
Beanizer (in response to his tag)
Didz (in response to her tag)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hiking (and Sight-Seeing) II

 We continued sight-seeing in our own town - and I totally think people mistook me for a Japanese tourist! A tourist because I had my camera always ready, shooting pics of every little thing, and it's a huge cam! Whilst everybody's is small and as thin as a pinky, mine resembles the cams of yore! And Japanese because... well, first cause the stereotype dictates Japanese tourists to be seen holding huge cameras at all times, and second cause many people actually think I'm of Japanese descent. These people are evidently blind. 
Moving on: to my great surprise, I found out there's a H. Stern store there. A jewelry store. At Sugar Loaf. Well, I see their point, jewels are, indeed, first priority products. Oh, wait.
The new food court is simply adorable!  And you can eat while appreciating the amazing view - and coming soon, a bar/restaurant/cachaçaria. For those of you who do not know what cachaça is, suffice to say it's better and stronger than rye! A cachaçaria, hence, is a place devoted to this wonderful-but-better-not-abuse-it drink. I do not see how this can end well... Hope the clients don't go hiking or climbing afterwards!
But basically, we walked around, D., me and my camera; we're a couple of amazingly pale people, specially according to Brazilian standards - even more so considering we live within walking distance from the beach! But next to the foreigners, we were feeling quite suntanned! I should go there more often... Now, this is the food court, and besides the tables and chairs, there are also many big benches and chaise longs! I just didn't wanna leave that place, it was so comfy!
From there, I had an even more amazing view of almost the entire Guanabara Bay and a good part of the city - which included the whole of my neighborhood! And if I could not see my building, it was  due to the many huge trees in front of it. Not complaining though! Trees are always welcome! 

So this, right here, is Urca, lovely, small and kinda hidden from everything else. Urca-dwellers are considered snobs by everyone else in Rio - but how could they (errr... we, I guess) not be so? I mean, look at where we live! Better than anywhere else in town, I'll tell you that... Besides, these people are just jealous! =P And if you take a good look at the picture, you'll see a great yellow fortress on the superior right corner. It's beautiful, and it's got a great, extremely clean, exclusive beach! Really, the military has it good...
I could also see one of the campuses of my college, UFRJ. It's a once-beautiful-now-completely-falling-apart-and-hell-is-it-hot-in-there building with a neocolonial design. And it's a freakin' maze! I got lost in there all the time!...
 By the time we decided to leave it was already 7:30 pm, when it starts getting dark here in the summer. I won't lie to ya: hiking our way down in the dark had a total The Blair Witch Project feel to it! I was just happy we didn't have a video camera... And not only was the way almost completely dark, but also wet and slippery, due to recent rains... D. was, of course, hoping afraid I'd fall on my butt, as the good friend he is. Thing is: I grew up in the countryside of Rio, right next to what I now understand to be the remains of a tropical forest. I got used to hiking before I was 9 - quite different from my city-boy fella... So for his huge disappointment and my great amusement, I was perfectly holding my own up there, while he was having quite the hard time... In fact, I was moving with such ease that I stopped to take a couple of pics! And this last one creeps the hell out of me...
Well, that was a fun day alright! The only trouble is, were days like that more common, they'd lose all of that which makes them unique. We've got the sad ability of getting used to pretty much everything, haven't we? Anyway: we, who live here in Rio, complain a lot about this city. An awful lot. And not without reason, there are shitloads of downsides to it. But you know what? It's just a damn beautiful place. And sometimes, that alone makes up for all the rest.