Monday, December 24, 2007

NYC at Christmas time

This week-end I spent one day at NYC. Since I`ve been there in August, I`ve dreamt of coming back...Of course, I love Washington DC, it`s a great place to be, but NY is sort of a mythical city, don`t you think!! Well, this time I got to see it at Christmas time and for a little more than a couples of hours! I went there with two friendson Friday night on a us leaving from Chinatown. Once we got there, my friends and I went straight to the hostel, in fron of West Central Park, and we got some sleep. On Saturday we woke up early and we started walking around in the city. First thing, we saw Central Park, of course. Then, we decided to go to Rockafeller Center to see the ice-skaters and the famous Christmas tree. From the Rockafeller Center, we walked the 5th avenue to go to Broadway and Times Square, where we tried to find some shelter from the cold in fantastic stores such as the m&m`s and Hershey. Soon after lunch, we decided to go up on the Empire State Building, and then we ended up our trip on Madison square.
It was thrilling to go around NYC, take the metro see so many places we usually get to see only in the movies!! I really loved the city...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The White House tour

Yes, that`s right! I`ve been inside the White House!! That is something, isn`t it? Sadly, we couldn`t take any picture, so there is no real evidence that I have been there...but I hope you`ll believe me. A little before going in there, I was thrilled at the idea that I was about to step on the same floor on which the President of the United States steps every day. I had been told by many who visited the House before that I should hold my horses since the tour was not that exciting. As a matter of fact, you just get to see the rooms where some events are held, the library, the room where the First Ladies usually receive their guests, the Christmas tree and the Gingerbread House (actually a mini representation of the White House made out of white chocolate). You don`t get to see the important rooms, like the Oval Office. However, it is still least to see that the White House is not a castle for the president. It`s a very ig house, no doubt, but it is not huge! As the Americans put it, it is to remind the president that yes, he is important, but he`s still a human and a simple American citizen too.


Hanukkah, the Festival of lights. Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday which corresponds somehow to the Christian Christmas (in terms of dates, at least). On this holiday, Jewish celebrate a miracle that happened thousands of years ago in the old Jerusalem, when Antiochus IV and his troops desecrated the sacred Temple leaving enough oil to burn for one day. In order to get another supply of oil for the Temple, the Jews would have to wait for 8 days...and, miraculously, the oil in the Temple burnt for as long as 8 days. At the same times, some Jews who were particularly upset with Antiochus IV disrespectful behavior, joined together to fight against his troops. The Jewish warriors, known as the Maccabees, were greatly outnumbered by Antiochus IV soldiers, but they managed to win the battle. This victory is also seen as a miracle and is also celebrated during Hanukkah. Since my host family is Jewish, I got to participate in the celebrations an see how it works. An essential part of Hanukkah is the menorah, where the 8 candles (one for each night) plus the shamash (the candle used to light the others) are set. At sundown (or a little later) of the first night of Hanukkah, the shamash and the first candle are lit. On the second night, a second candle will e lit, and so on until the 8th night. Along with the lighting of the candles, people like to say some prayers and to sing a few songs. After that, in the American version of Hanukkah, each person inthe family gets one present and opens it. Finally, the family plays dreidle, a typical Hanukkah game in which a sort of spinner decorated with Hebrew alphabet letters is used in order to win chocolate money (known by Jews as Geld). A particular attention should also be given to Hanukkah typical food. From what i`ve seen, during hanukkah, Jewish traditionally eat very fattening food that is deep-fried in oil (because of the oil miracle). I tried the potato pancakes, also known by the Yddish word Latkes, and the doughnuts filled with fruit jam, also known as sufganyiot. I loved celebrating Hanukkah with my host-family: I got them some presents, but not as many as I received!! I was very, very lucky :) and I got very good presents!!


Keeping up with my blog turned out to be much more difficult than I expected. Still, I should do a better job because this blog might help me in 2 ways: first, I will improve my English writing (which is not ad since the TOEFL is coming up); second, I will keep all my numerous friends (I`m pretty popular...just kidding...) informed of what is going on in my life (and this would certainly have a good impact on my inbox). Of course, I love sendimng e-mails too and this is pretty much what kept me from writing in my blog (however, there are also plenty of other reasons).
Ok, ok, I`ll try to keep it short. Let`s start from what you guys missed out in my life:
1) Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is certainly one of the yummiest holidays in the US. I spent mine in Pennsylvania, close to Philadelphia, at my host-mom`s relatives` house. Anyway, I actually took part in two Thanksgiving dinners: the first was the weekend before. I went to an International Dinner in a local church, and there I met new very nice people, I learnt a little it about Thanksgiving and I tasted international food (from Africa, Asia, South America, Europe) as well as traditional Thanksgiving food. My second Thanksgiving was a more traditional one, where the family gathered together to have a nice dinner.
Now, let`s talk about Thanksgiving history and tradition. This is an American holiday that is celebrated in order to remember what happened at around 1500 aD, when colonizers from England came to America and met the native people. In this meeting, indians brought a variety of typical food to the colonizers and they all ate together in peace. Till now, Thanksgiving traditional food is related somehow to that day: Americans usually prepare Cranberries and Sweet Potatoes (sometimes with marshmallows), but they also have the famous Turkey with stuffing (the best part!!) and a variety of food with pumpkin, e.g pumpkin pie (yummy).

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Trick or treat?

That`s right!! You know what day is today? Halloween!! And this is my first American Halloween. Since today is Wednesday, many people will not have Halloween parties tonight, but I know much has been going on since last week. I myself lost one party because I was working (too bad), but I got to go to DC101 Halloween rock concert in Chinatown in DC!! Besides the concert, there was also a costume contest. I did not participate to the contest, but I did dress up...can you guys guess what my costume was? You would never imagine...I dressed up as a French Maid! Can you believe it? My host family offered me the costume and kinda made some pressure so that I wore it :) ut that`s not the whole story...I also had to take the metro dressed up as a French maid...and once in DC, I had to walk along downtown streets all dressed up!! I still cant` believe I did something like that. ut it is true, and you can check my picasa web album to see this!! (please, don`t make fun of me!!).
Ok, what else did I do for Halloween? hum...well, at Starbucks I had a Pumpkin Spiced Latte, which is just delicious! I can`t wait to have some more :) Pumpkins are very popular at this time of the year...when you drive along the streets, you can see pumpkins patches everywhere! I went to a pumpkin patch in a farm, which is something families usually do. I went with my family and other au pairs, too. In the farm we could pick up apples and was so fun!! The apples I pick up taste so yummy :) And there were so many pumpkins!!
From what i`ve seen, after picking up a pumpkin at a pumpkin [patch, families put them near the front door until the last day. On Halloween, people usually open and carve their pumpkins in order to get Jack O`lanterns to decorate the house for the trick-or-treaters! I carved two pumpkins today and made my first big Jack O`lantern. When they were ready, we placed them next to our front door and lit a candle in each of them...I think they looked nice :)
Sadly, I couldn`t go trick-or-treating with the family because somebody needed to stay home and offer a treat to the kids that would come. So, I stayed at home...the door bell rang a few times and I gave chocolate candies to scary witches, sweet princesses, fearless spidermen, shy skeletons, horrible monsters, and eager teen-agers. It was the meanwhile, though, I had also to work and clean up the house (not so fun).
I`m happy with my Halloween anyway...even if I didn`t do much, I`m happy my Jack O`lantern is still displaying its scary grin to those that dare aproximate the door hahahahaha!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I`m in the US!

Hello guys!! By now everybody must have forgotten about my included, I would say, as it`s been a huuuuge time since my last post. Many many many things changed in the meanwhile. The first thing is that I`m not living in Brazil any more: i`m spending one year abroad, in the US. I`m here as an au pair, this meaning that I`m here to take care of a family`s children. The family that is hosting me has two adorable girls!! They are the cutest things, very nice and easy to deal with. Of course, they`re kids, so they give me some work and can drive me a little bit crazy sometimes. Still, I have to say I`m very lucky to be with them :) If you want to see some pics of the girls, you can go to my picasa photo album and see the two little kids (they are 4 and 2 years old).
Yes, I know, the US are a huge country, almost as big as Brazil (wanna see the ranking?), so it`s kind of too vague to say : "I`m in the US". But can`t you guess from, the pic? Yeah, I live very close to washington DC :) Actually, I live in a small and quiet (maybe even too quiet) neighborhood in North Bethesda. Let`s say that by metro it takes me around 20 minutes to get to downtown Washington.
DC is a great city, there are so many things to see and do! I`ve been there a few times sighteseeing...but I haven`t seen a millionth of the things that are worth seeing!!
Ok, as usual, my post is getting too I`ll promise to tell you more about the city and my life here in North Bethesda. I also hope that this way i`ll keep everybody posted on my news..
C ya soon :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


It's been ages since my last usual!! Will I ever be a good blogger?! This time it's not only my fault, though! I started another blog, an italian one, and it kept me a little goes the link, if you feel like visiting it!
Well, actually, I'm not in my best mood today for two reasons: first, Alexandre, my boyfriend, has left. He's in Dallas - Texas - now and it seems he's enjoying it very much!! I really hope he'll make the most out of this experience, but truth is I miss him very much!
He took some pictures already and he already started the hard work...I think it'll be a great experience for him :)
I decided to find out a little bit more about
"Dallas, the City that Works:
Diverse, Vibrant and Progressive."(this is the slogan of city as it appears in the city hall homepage). Well, it is the third biggest city in Texas and the 9th in the United States!! It seems to benefit from a great reputation...
It seems also to be considered beautiful from the natural point-of-view: in the area there are 17 lakes. Alexandre's living nearby one, and here we can see a photo of another one:

The second reason why I am not feeling good is that I got a terrible flu these days. I'm still feeling a little weak... I hate being sick!!
Well...gotta go!! I have loads of work to do!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

But there's still hope ...

Hello guys!! Finally, after a couple of sad posts that really didn't do any good to anybody, I'm here, recovered of all strengths and positiveness! Why? Well...first of all, I'm starting to work again..I'm not planning to get crazy again as last year, but I will start working quite hard. Working is also a great therapy for every moment you're feeling down. Maybe it restricts you as a don't get to think too much and you might loose a little perspective and reflection upon life and the way you're livin' it. However, I still believe it's worth working a bit hard and forget a lot of problems! Besides, when you work, you earn money, and when you earn money you can buy stuff and try to feel better. I hate sounding this consumist, but I have to admit shopping is a therapy, too.
However, work is not the only cause for all my positiveness. As you must have realized from my posts (the most recent ones, but also some older ones), I am a huge fan of The Smashing Pumpkins! I really enjoy them quite a lot and they are my best companions for the most difficult times. Well, in 2000 they just split up and it was quite sad...
But now, they're back again!! They'll release their new album, Zeitgeist, on July 7th! That means, in a few months! This is just great news, isn't it?
Well...maybe you are not as great fans of the Smashing Pumpkins as I am...or maybe you just don't know them very well. I just suggest to have a look at this blog, by an user who is also a huge fan of the band! There you'll find some youtube videos on Smashing Pumpkins and some other useful links...
Here are the videoclips of my favorite songs, if you just wanna check them out! You're gonna love 'em!! :)

Tonight, tonight
Bullet with butterfly wings
Stand inside your love

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Because there's no limit to the worst...

It is impressive how things can go wrong...but it is even more impressive to open your eyes and look around yourself...there's so much pain in other people's life you don't even deserve to be sad you?

Oper your Eyes - Snow Patrol
All this feels strange and untrue
And I won't waste a minute without you
My bones ache, my skin feels cold
And I'm getting so tired and so old

The anger swells in my guts
And I won't feel these slices and cuts
I want so much to open your eyes
'Cause I need you to look into mine

Tell me that you'll open your eyes [x4]

Get up, get out, get away from these liars
'Cause they don't get your soul or your fire
Take my hand, knot your fingers through mine
And we'll walk from this dark room for the last time

Every minute from this minute now
We can do what we like anywhere
I want so much to open your eyes
'Cause I need you to look into mine

Tell me that you'll open your eyes [x8]

All this feels strange and untrue
And I won't waste a minute without you

[ ]

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Where do we go?

Do you ever have the feeling that things are quite messed up? It's not that life is horrible...but the feeling that you are going forward and backward at the same time? That's a dizzy feeling!

And I've known
We're just like old friends
We just can't pretend
That lovers make amends
We are reasons so unreal
We can't help but feel
That something has been lost
But please
You know you're just like me
Next time I promise we'll be perfect
Strangers down the line
Lovers out of time
Memories unwind
So far, I still know who you are
But now I wonder who I was
Angel, you know it's not the end
We'll always be good friends
The letters have been sent on
So please
You always were so free
You'll see, I promise we'll be perfect
Strangers when we meet
Strangers on the street
Lovers walk asleep
You know this has to be
We always were so free
We promised that we'd be

Friday, February 16, 2007

One more step

Hi guys!!
I told ya I would write back soon...see?
This time I'll tell you about my trip to the USA. No, no...I haven't travelled there...yet! I'm just planning to spend a year there as an au-pair. Will it be worthwhile? Will it be easy? Will it be expensive? Will it be useful? Believe me...I keep asking the same questions to myself over and over again. Truth is I really don't know any answers! =/
This scares me a bit...but, in spite of all this insecurity, I'm still managing to take some steps towards my trip...First, I'm starting to get some experience with kids in the Kindergarten I'm working at (remember my last post?). This is one of the requirements for working as an au pair in the US.
Today I took another big step: I got my new least, I required my new passport. It will actually be ready only on the 26th...what takes them so long to get it done? I really have no ideas...I only know that the line to get it is just terribly awful!! I arrived there at 8:45 am and I managed to get out of the "PolĂ­cia Federal" at around 11:00 am!
Well..that's it!! I just wanted to share this step with you...Ah! About my wisdom teeth I really don't know anything yet...I just know I will have to take them off!! Sigh!! Will this mean my wisdom will be taken off from me too? Shoo...!

See these passports? It seems the light blue one will be the new Brazilian passport...and it will be much more expensive than the current one! This is so unfair...just because you're travelling, this doesn't mean you have all this money to give the government!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I know it's been ages, but things got a little complicated in my relationship with technology. Ok, now I think I managed to go through the crisis and I'm back here...
Well, first of all I have great news: I finally graduated!! Can you believe that? This means "university no more"? No...actually I will be back there in a couple of weeks! What is wrong with this place? You never manage to get over it, do you? However, studying will be good...I'll keep me young! LOL!
What else can I write? Well, my holidays are coming to an end, but I still get to enjoy a few more days. Now I'm working as a volunteer in a kindergarten close to my house. The experience is great: these little kids are so cute, funny and loving!! It's very gratifying.
I had a little trip in my holidays...I went to Espirito Santo and visited my dad who's living here now.
Here you can find some pics of my trip.
Something else? Well...I don't think so...I can share some dreadful problems...just kidding!! No dreadul problems...just a dentistic one (isn't it pretty much the same?). My wisdom teeth are starting to show up and I'll have to remove them...will it be as painful as I'm thinking? I'm starting to shake of fear...
Well, I hope I'll get to write back soon!