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

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

sexta-feira, 16 de junho de 2017

Stenungsund - Sweden

Some weeks are more interesting than others. After a week of vacation I went back to work on Monday, had the national day of Sweden on Tuesday, in which no one worked, and then went on a two-day conference for work at Stenungsund. The place looked fantastic but unfortunately the weather didn't help much. Luckily, I had my vitamin D reserves on top from the wonderful sunshine I got in Portugal (posts to come soon). I had a great time anyway.

Há semanas mais interessantes do que outras. Depois de uma semana de férias, voltei ao trabalho na segunda-feira, era feriado nacional da Suécia na terça-feira, o qual ninguém trabalhou e depois fui a uma conferência de dois dias em Stenungsund. O lugar era fantástico, mas infelizmente o tempo não ajudou muito. Felizmente, tinha as minhas reservas de vitamina D no topo depois do sol maravilhoso que apanhei em Portugal (posts para breve). A conferência foi boa na mesma. 

The hotel

If only it wasn't all wet from the rain... / Se ao menos não estivesse tudo molhado da chuva...

The floating sauna / A sauna flutuante

terça-feira, 13 de junho de 2017

Guide to a happy unemployment - Newbie

I became unemployed in December 2015. It was not my first time, but I knew that this time it would be harder and probably longer. I had been unemployed in 2013 as well, but then I was open to work in basically any country and within a month I found myself a job. This time, I was restricted to a single country and a single city, which made things more difficult. 

I was unemployed for a year and four months. When I look back I feel I made the most of my unemployment. I rested and relaxed, used the time to learn something new and to do things I enjoyed and didn't freak out as much a I could have. In general I was happy and I will remember this time as a positive experience.

I know it's not always easy to be unemployed but a positive mind set will always be helpful, no matter what the situation is. Guide to a happy unemployment is the title of my latest article for the Newbie Guide to Sweden and you can read it here

If you enjoy it pass along to your unemployed relatives or friends. 

segunda-feira, 12 de junho de 2017

50 years

He left. After 50 years working there, he left. 

Nowadays we move a lot more and change jobs for various reasons, so I can't even imagine what it feels like leaving after 50 years. Perhaps a mixture of longing and relief. A mixture of I will miss this with I can finally relax. It must feel weird.

I hope he will be happy.

His last day was when I was on vacation and when I came back I found this in his closet. Very symbolic.  

sábado, 27 de maio de 2017

Life is full of irony #3

Or funny coincidences. Or whatever you want to call it.

There is a cabinet in my office at work that is locked and there's no key, because the person before lost it. Also, when asked what was inside the cabinet, the person couldn't remember anymore. Determined to solve the problem before I leave for 10 days off I asked someone if there are reserve keys. I was shown to a kind of safe with a bunch of small plastic bags with keys in it. Luckily, someone wrote numbers on the bags, and the search was not totally hopeless, although it still took a while. 

In the meantime, with me stressing because I had a lot else to do and the key thing was taking way too long, someone else approaches me and says that the cable to the projector in the meeting room is broken and we need to get a new one as soon as possible. Great, another pickle... We stopped the key search and initiate a cable search in the storage room. We found one that could work. I should try to find D., because he is tall and can change the cable. No success. D. was nowhere to be found and the cable was not right anyway. 

In the middle of the chaos that was my head, I restarted the key search. While cursing and trying to decide how to get a bloody cable as fast as possible, I found the right bag of keys! Hoping that they would indeed be the right ones, I went to my office and tried them. 

They worked! 

I opened the mysterious cabinet, that had been locked for months and looked inside. What was there? An infinite pile of internet cables and... one of the type we needed!! 

I grabbed it immediately and ran out the door. Who is passing by at that exact moment? D.!!! The long guy who could change the cable. 

And that's how chaos turned into, not one, but two problems solved.

(I'll be back after vacation)

quarta-feira, 24 de maio de 2017

Stories of my world #13

It all started in the winter olympics in 2014. It was the women relay 4x10 Km skiing. Sweden was participating and had a good chance to take the gold, but so did Norway, the usual archenemies. Me and Johan were watching it on TV in our living room, in Prague. The third athlete for Sweden was younger and less experienced. She lost a bit too much to the other teams. Fighting the fourth and final part was Charlotte Kalla. She is really good, said Johan, but can she really catch up so much? She started like a warrior and fought like if her life depended on it. She was as focused as anyone can be and slowly took over more and more terrain, catching up to the ones in the front just at the goal line. She crossed the goal first. The whole team got the gold, but she made an impressive performance. She impressed me so much, that from then on I thought about her determination every time I got tired in a race. 

How dare I, compare myself to Charlotte Kalla. She wins gold. I win bananas. And I would get them even if I was the last one crossing the finish line. The truth is we all need someone who inspires us in life and Charlotte Kalla inspires me. Her determination, her kindness, her beautiful smile, and the warrior inside that comes up during the competitions. I started following her career more and to cheer her up like a football team, the only thing I had cheered up before. And it's fun! Of course I also support other swedish athletes but Kalla is my absolute favourite. 

One of her sponsors is also the sponsor for the Gothenburg half marathon and when I went to pick up my bib number on Friday she was there in the expo. There was not so much people and it was easy to meet her. I was so excited that my legs and hands were shaking. My tongue must have been as well, because my Swedish became a rumble of indecipherable words. I tried to tell her how impressed I was by her performance in that relay and how I use that when I run, but I'm not sure she understood. She must have thought I was crazy. However, she did say that it is very good when one turns off the mind and just goes for it. I also took a picture with her, that turned out to be blurred because the lens was dirty. 

Even though I wish I could go back, as a normal human being, not shaking and have a proper conversation with her, I'm still super happy I got to meet my biggest running inspiration and that she wished me good luck for the race. 

No matter what, that day will always be the day I met Charlotte Kalla. 

domingo, 21 de maio de 2017

Göteborgsvarvet 2017

It was time again for the biggest half marathon in the world, with 60.000 people registered, here in Gothenburg. It is not the easiest race, because it goes up and down, and the final kilometres are hard. The most feared part is Avenyn, the main street in the city center, because it looks almost flat but it really isn't, it's long giving a never ending feeling and it comes after 15 km. 

Chegou de novo a hora da maior meia maratona do mundo, com mais de 60.000 inscritos, aqui em Gotemburgo. Não é a corrida mais fácil de sempre, porque vai há muitas subidas e descidas, e os quilómetros finais não são fáceis. A parte mais temida é sempre a Avenyn, a rua principal no centro da cidade, porque parece quase plana, mas não é, e além disso é longa parecendo não ter fim e vem depois de 15 km.

I didn't have great expectations this year. Training did not go so well, I got sick twice and I knew judging by the way I ran Växjö's half marathon 3 weeks ago that I was not prepared for the challenges of this race. On top of that, I had a dinner/party two days before the race, in which I drank a few glasses of wine, danced for a few hours and didn't sleep enough. My calves were still aching before the race. 

Não tinha grandes expectativas este ano. Os treinos não foram os melhores, fiquei doente duas vezes e sabia, depois de ter corrido a meia maratona de Växjö há 3 semanas, que não estava preparada para os desafios desta corrida. Além disso, tive um jantar/festa dois dias antes da corrida, no qual bebi alguns copos de vinho, dancei durante horas e não dormi o suficiente. Ainda tinha dores musculares nos gémeos antes da corrida.

The goal / A meta

But there are different ways of facing a race: go for it doing your best or go for the fun. One kilometre into the race I decided to do the second. That way would be more fun and enjoyable, and I would have more chances of fulfilling my promise: run the whole Avenyn without walking. I ran at a slower pace, smiled a lot at the amazing public that is spread almost throughout the entire course and enjoying the atmosphere. When I entered Avenyn I felt good and put on a smile never dropping it. People who saw me cheered me even more. It was so good, that when I noticed I was on top of it. I had a low phase a bit after, but then I looked at my watch and saw that had run 18.5 Km. No one is allowed to walk that close to the goal! And so it went... For the first time ever in this race, I ran the whole way, I had more fun than ever and I feel I accomplished what I could, giving the conditions.

Mas existem maneiras diferentes de enfrentar uma corrida: ir com tudo e dar o seu melhor ou ir para aproveitar a diversão. Um quilómetro depois de ter começado, percebi que o melhor seria escolher a segunda. Dessa forma seria mais divertido e agradável, e teria mais chances de cumprir a minha promessa: correr a Avenyn toda sem andar. Corri num ritmo mais lento, sorri muito para o público que é fantástico e está espalhado durante quase todo o percurso e aproveitei o ambiente de alegria e festa que a cidade ganha. Quando entrei na Avenyn, estava-me a sentir bem e pus um sorriso na rosto que nunca mais larguei. As pessoas que me viram gritaram e aplaudiram ainda mais. Foi tão bom, que quando dei por mim estava no topo da avenida! Tive uma fase mais difícil um pouco depois, mas olhei para o meu relógio e vi que já tinha corrido 18,5 km. Não se pode andar tão perto da meta! E assim foi... Pela primeira vez nesta corrida, corri durante o percurso inteiro, diverti-me mais do que nunca e sinto que fiz o que pude, dadas as condições.

Me at the goal with a flag of Portugal / Eu a chegar à meta com a bandeira portuguesa

I finished it in 1h56m21s. That is 1 second more than last year. I should be giving a prize for consistency! Last year, I was super in shape and had trained much more and much better, which gave me too much confidence. I ended up running too fast during the first 14km and then breaking down and walking a lot. 
The result was the same in time, but I had less than half of the fun. I'm happy I learned the lesson and applied it this year. Running and learning. 

Terminei em 1h56m21s, o que foi 1 segundo a mais do que no ano passado. Deveria ganhar um prêmio por consistência! No ano passado, estava super em forma e tinha treinado muito mais e muito melhor, o que me deu demasiada confiança. Acabei por correr muito rápido durante os primeiros 14km e quebrando depois, sendo obrigada a andar muito.
Em tempo o resultado foi o mesmo, mas não me diverti nem metade o ano passado. Estou feliz por ter aprendido a lição e a ter aplicado este ano. Correndo e aprendendo.

Göteborgsvarvet 2017, 1h56m21s

I should of course thank the usual gang. The other team members for sharing nerves and experiences before and after the race (they also did really well this year!) and the supporting team for the pictures, support and all the good food. I'm already looking forward to next time!

Tenho também que agradecer o grupinho habitual. Os outros membros da equipa, com quem partilhei nervos e experiências, antes e depois da corrida (eles também fizeram uma boa corrida este ano!) e a equipa de apoio pelas fotos, todo o apoio e comida deliciosa antes e depois. Já estou ansiosa pela próxima vez!

quarta-feira, 17 de maio de 2017

The equilibrium of life

On Saturday, I started the day with a fun group training in a forest nearby. In the afternoon Benfica, my football club in Portugal (who I don't follow that much but still) was a champion. In the evening, Portugal won the Eurovision song contest with a breath taking performance (this contest was our Achilles tendon). So much to celebrate. 

I recently read an article about how everything in life is balanced and how every good has a bad. The Yin and Yang according to asian wisdom. The article mentioned as well how we, those living in the so called western world, are not prepared for the yang of life and often forget that balance is more important and we should accept the bad things that come. If you are living in a high it doesn't mean that something bad is going to happen, as maybe you have already lived through the bad part of the good you are living now. I don't know. I agree we should be prepared to the bad, but I also think we should not allow that expectation for the bad to prevent us from living the good to its full potential. It's confusing but at the same time not a bad theory. 

I thought of that on Saturday. So much to celebrate. Except that during the day I got to know that my grandmother had passed away. The last of all my grandparents. The feeling of loss was not as abrupt as last time, because I don't think we lost her on Saturday. We started loosing her about 10 years ago. With time she forgot more and more who we were and who she was in the world. I also forgot the last time I saw her. Not that it was long ago, but to forget how she was then, joyless and lost. That's not the image I want to save from her. I want to remember all the other things we did together. Even all the bad meals she made me eat (she was a terrible cook...). 

After so many years living this almost lifeless life, she chose to go on Saturday. May the 13th. May the 13th was her favourite day of the year. According to legend, in this day in 1917 the Virgin Mary showed herself to three little Portuguese shepherds in Fatima. After that, a sanctuary was built on that location and celebrations happen every year. My grandmother was extremely faithful and devoted, having also a lot of related responsibilities in the village where she lived in. She used to sing a song about this legend to my sister when she was a baby. This year, the 13th of May was even more special, because Pope Francis was visiting Fatima. It was beautiful coincidence. Almost as if she did choose the day she wanted to leave.

The natural course of life is sad and painful, regardless of its conditions, but I'm unsure whether I am more sad today than last week or last year. I don't know. I'm certainly more sad than 30 years ago, when she was singing for us. Let's hope she is in a better place now. Better than in her last joyless and quiet years. 

domingo, 14 de maio de 2017

Meet the Newbie blogger Sara

The Newbie Guide to Sweden is a page full of helpful information for those who move to Sweden. Besides that, the Newbie has another side - the blog - full of stories, curiosities and cultural tips. The page is run by two sisters and the blog is written by them and a bunch of volunteers, among which I'm included. The volunteers are all foreigners who have moved to Sweden at some point. Some have moved recently, some have lived here for more than a decade. The two sisters running the page have always been very supportive of the volunteers, and now they decided to present each of us in a special post, both on the blog and on the Facebook page. 
I was the first... What an honour!

You can read my quick interview here.

sexta-feira, 12 de maio de 2017

Finding all but Nemo

The job I got is partly to replace a man who has been working there for 50 years and is about to retire. So far, I have been following him around and learning all I can from him. He is a very positive and happy person, and it's been easy and quite fun to spend time with him. One of the first things he told me was that he was "forced" to clean his office, so that now I could also seat there. When he told me that I looked around and wondered how it had been before. I heard the difference is dramatic and I'm guessing he spent a lot of energy on it. I don't know if he finished it or not, because there are some shelves full of stuff that I think he didn't go through. Sometimes, when he is not there (he only works part time) I go through them and I have found very curious things...

O meu trabalho passa em parte por substituir um homem que trabalhou ali durante 50 anos e que está prestes a reformar-se. Até agora tenho estado a segui-lo de perto e a aprender o máximo com ele. Ele é uma pessoa muito positiva e feliz, e tem sido fácil e bastante divertido passar tempo com ele. Uma das primeiras coisas que ele me disse foi que foi "forçado" a limpar o seu gabinete, para eu me poder sentar lá também. Quando me disse isso, olhei em volta e perguntei-me como estaria antes. Ouvi dizer que a diferença é gritante e suponho que ele gastou muita energia nisso. Não sei se ele deu a limpeza por terminada ou não, porque há algumas prateleiras cheias de tralhas onde me parece que ele não passou. Às vezes, quando ele lá não está (só trabalha em part time) dou uma vista de olhos e tento arrumar um pouco, e tenho encontrado coisas muito curiosas...

Christmas lights / Luzes de natal

The flag of an ice hockey club / A bandeira de um clube de hoquéi no gelo

Tea expired in 2014 (I've only seen him drinking coffee), wipes for stationary phones (that no one uses anymore) expired in 2012, and an unopened cartridge bought in 2013. 
Chá com o prazo de validade em 2014 (ainda só o vi a beber café), panos molhados para limpar telefones (que já ninguém usa do departamento) com validade em 2012, e um cartucho fechado comprado em 2013. 

A table tennis racket / Uma raquete de ténis de mesa

A pair of glasses and a plunger

As I said before, the only thing I haven't found there yet was Nemo! 
It's been quite fun and I will miss these times, when he leaves at the end of the month. He is some kind of a legend and everybody likes him a lot. I have big shoes to fill! But I will try to keep weird objects away from the shelves. We will see how it goes when I'm his age. I'll probably be even worse...

Como disse, a única coisa que ainda não encontrei lá foi o Nemo! 
Tem sido muito divertido e vou sentir falta destes tempos, quando ele for embora no final do mês. Ele é uma espécie de lenda e todo a gente gosta imenso dele. Vou tentar ser tão positiva quanto ele, mas vou tentar manter objectos estranhos longe das prateleiras. Vamos ver como vai ser quando tiver a idade dele. Vou provavelmente ser ainda pior...