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!

domingo, 23 de abril de 2017

Libraries, the best kept Swedish secret - Newbie

I have confessed here before how much I like libraries and how I dreamed of living in a place with cosy, functional and good libraries. My dream came true. Swedish libraries are fantastic and the possibilities they offer go way beyond borrowing books. 

While I was writing the article for the Newbie, I saw in the news section of my library that they had recently got a cat that we all could go and pat. At first I became super happy, because I love cats but can't have any. Then I started questioning the idea, as the cat could get lost in that huge library full of hiding places. Later on, I saw that it was an April fool's joke... I will have to find some other cat to pat.

Apart from that, there's a lot to do in Swedish libraries, as you can read in the article I wrote to the Newbie Guide to Sweden.

Gothenburg's library

quarta-feira, 19 de abril de 2017

The new job

I have now worked for a week and a half, and there's no way I can answer yet the questions I wrote in this post. Although, I do already have a better idea how my life is going to be. In general, I can say so far so good.

1. Surrounded by brilliant minds again
Many have said that one of the challenges of being a research scientist is that one is constantly surrounded by brilliant minds, which can be challenging for the self-esteem. That never really affected me in a negative way and I have always enjoyed listening to interesting and cool stories. I felt quite the opposite, actually. When I was on the verge of abandoning science I feared that I would miss that part. Now I'm back among them, with the advantage that I don't work as a researcher, which removes all the pressure. I can just sit and enjoy their stories and discussions. 

Yesterday, for instance, my office mate was going to film an ice-skating Swedish champion. Later on, the images would be used to make 3D simulations and study the movements of the athlete, during jumps and pirouettes. 

2. Variation
My new job has a lot of movement, I work at 4 different floors and run up and down a lot. Which I like. It involves a lot of organising, planing and talking with people. Which I like. If I would had taken plan B, I would have ended up in a similar job, although outside of science.

3. Boss with a smile
I have had good and bad bosses. To be more exact, I have had great bosses and really bad bosses. No midterm. I have a feeling that I have a great one again. He has not been only been good and understanding, but he has also always a friendly smile. He, who told during my first interview that I'm likeable, probably without having any idea that he is even more likeable than me. 

4. Nice colleagues
Colleagues can make or break a job. Fortunately, the environment at work seems to be great. Of course it is too early to say too much, but it looks promising. 

All these are good points of course, but that doesn't mean that I have now lowered my shields. I know that bad days are coming and that there will probably be times or tasks that I won't enjoy as much. But that's ok. I hope I'm ready for them. 

For now I'll keep enjoying the highs. 

quinta-feira, 13 de abril de 2017

You got to love Sweden...

... but not always.

If you ask any Swede about bureaucracy they will tell you that it is terrible in Sweden. It's not. Everything works reasonably well and that's noticeable if you compare it with most other countries. However, bureaucracy is still bureaucracy. Mistakes can happen leading to funny/weird/stupid situations. Even in Sweden. Like this one.

Johan, who is Swedish, went to the dentist. A week later he got a letter from the social health care (or whatever försäkringskassan is called in English), in which was required that he presented proof from the migration office that he is allowed to live in Sweden. 

Our best guess is that they couldn't find him in the system, although he never had problems when he went to other doctors, assuming immediately that he was a foreigner due to one of his names being German.

He laughed and cried at the situation! What? I am Swedish! Where will you deport me to if I don't show this document? To Sweden?

Perfection doesn't exist after all...

segunda-feira, 10 de abril de 2017

Learning Swedish with TV shows

We grow up listening to our parents saying "you can only watch TV when you are done with your homework". Then we come to Sweden and hear the teachers encouraging the students to watch TV. The times have changed. Or not!

It does actually make sense that one should watch TV to practice a new language. It certainly helped me a lot to develop my Swedish, specially because the language has this very particular melody, that goes up and down.

In my latest article for the Newbie Guide to Sweden I talk about my favourite Swedish TV shows and how they taught me useful things about the language, the culture and the country itself. Read more here.

domingo, 9 de abril de 2017

First day

There's a Portuguese song from Sérgio Godinho who goes "today is the first day, of the rest of my life". I have found myself saying those words on a few different occasions. There are so many first days in life! All of them bring similar feelings, whether it is the first day of school, the first day in a new country, the first day living as a couple, or the first day without someone we loved. They all bring changes, changes that even if are good, are always a little bit scary first. They all bring uncertainty, because we know something is about to change, but we simply can't know what or how. 

Here I am again. On the verge of another first day. This time, the first day at a new job. 

Who will I meet? How will they influence my life? Will I get new friends? How will my daily routine be? Will I enjoy it? Which mistakes will I make? Will my life be better or worse? Will I miss my pre-changes-life in a year? 

And the biggest question of all... Will I be happy?

All these questions will only be answered in the future, as the time passes. It wouldn't be fun otherwise! What would be the point of living if we had all the answers? 
Still, a little part of me would really like to have these answers now. But the other, the biggest part of me, is just enjoying the excitement of a new beginning. 

Photo from the internet

PS. I would like to come back to this post in a year and see how the answers turned out...

sábado, 8 de abril de 2017


To be unemployed is hard and it brings a lot of questions, indecisions, and insecurity, harming our self-esteem as well. I'm no longer unemployed (yay!), but I have been for over a year and it was a new experience. I'm actually preparing a "more serious article" about that for the Newbie blog, but that's not what this post is about. This one is about the good side of being unemployed. 

I have always been a positive person and I tried to use my unemployed time the most fruitful way possible. Now, looking back at these last 16 months, I think I did a pretty good job at being unemployed. All those moments I was not moaning about how I would never find a job again, that is!

Learned a new language
This was probably the most useful thing I did. Quite exactly 11 months ago I started the first Swedish course. Quite exactly 11 months ago I could say about 20 words in Swedish and that was it. Nowadays, I can have conversations, read books and use the language on a daily basis. I actually got the job because I can speak Swedish!

I love reading and I have never read so many books as these past months. I read 32 books in 2016 (plus some easy ones in Swedish) and just this year I already read 10. This I will miss...

Although I didn't catch up in writing about all my trips in this blog as planned, I wrote more than ever. I wrote here, I started blogging for the Newbie Guide to Sweden and I created a blog in Swedish for my school. I certainly enjoyed this part too!

I could have written exercised, but truth is that it was mostly running. I'm not sure I ran more than normal, because I did it already a lot even when I had a job, but somehow it was more pleasant. I could run in the morning without having to do it at 7am. Or I could wait for the rain to pass. I could avoid running in the dark even during the winter (a luxury!). Basically, I had more options and freedom.

Organised and cleaned
If the boy was paying most of the bills it was only fair that I was the one organising things and cleaning the house. Just like a couple in the 50's! Truth is since I could do a little everyday it became much easier to just hold everything under control. 

Watched TV
Even though I'm not a big TV watcher, there were times that I just stopped what I was doing, sat down and watch an episode of something. These were the moments in which I really had the feeling "I'm unemployed therefore I can".

This was basically how I filled my time. Most days were actually pretty busy but I know that it couldn't have been any other way, because I just can't sit around the whole time without freaking out. I will certainly miss the time to do (more of) some of these things, but I also miss other things that come with having a job. It's all about having the right balance and if I could find it while unemployed, I can certainly find it again while working. Or so I hope.

quarta-feira, 5 de abril de 2017

Stories of my world #11

Não me lembro do dia em que te conheci, mas lembro-me de muitos outros depois. Fecho os olhos e vejo-te naquela cozinha escura em frente à lareira, que crepita alegremente e emana aquele calor bom e único, que nos aquece por dentro e por fora. Nessa mesma minúscula e escura cozinha estou também eu e a minha irmã. Estamos nós três sentados, tu na tua cadeira e nós as duas nos banquinhos de madeira de três pernas. No centro está aquele banco mais alto, cujo tampo serve de mesa enquanto jogamos às cartas, com aquele baralho espanhol de figuras estranhas. Jogamos ao peixinho e ao burro de contar, os únicos jogos que a minha irmã sabe jogar na sua tenra idade. Nunca fazemos batotice. Nunca a deixamos ganhar porque ela é pequena. Umas vezes perde-se, outras ganha-se. Como na vida.
Abro os olhos e regresso à realidade. A lareira está apagada e os joelhos doem-me quando me sento nos banquinhos. As cartas estão gastas e o baralho incompleto. A minha irmã já sabe muitas outras coisas, inclusive que tu não te levantavas cedo na manhã de Natal para ver as botas ao Pai Natal, enquanto este escapava apressadamente pela chaminé acima. 

A realidade pesa e magoa e volto a fechar os olhos. Volto novamente à tua cozinha. Desta vez estás a assar castanhas, naquele assador velho e preto, que nos pinta as mãos e a roupa. Expectantes ouvimos o som das castanhas a estalar e sentimos-lhe o cheiro, enquanto nos vai crescendo água na boca, na antecipação pelo sabor que sabemos que vamos sentir daí a momentos. A espera não é longa mas parece infinita. Para nos acalmares um pouco o desejo, tiras do assador duas castanhas ainda mal assadas, que em vez de nos sossegarem só nos aguçam ainda mais o apetite. 
Volto a abrir os olhos. É Abril e não há castanhas. Nem mesmo aquelas que guardavas meses num sitio especial para que sobrevivessem até eu chegar do estrangeiro. Mesmo que fosse Outono também não ia haver castanhas. Não na tua cozinha. Não assadas pelas tuas mãos. Pelo teu assador.

Também não voltaremos a presenciar todas as outras coisas, como por exemplo os teus talentos de encantador de galinhas, que trazias atrás de ti sempre tão amestradas. Ou de encantador de crianças, com as tuas lições da escola na ponta da língua. Ou de encantador de pessoas, com as tuas histórias de uma vida de outrora, mais dura e difícil, mas mais jovem e feliz.
Eras mágico. Sempre o foste para nós, mesmo depois de crescemos. Continuas a sê-lo mesmo um ano depois de nos teres deixado. Continuarás sempre a sê-lo enquanto viveres nas nossas memórias. Por toda a eternidade portanto, o que parece uma imensidão de tempo para viver sem ti.
Tudo continua. Nada é igual.

*Texto dedicado ao meu avô.

(click for English)

terça-feira, 4 de abril de 2017

The most guiltless slice of pie

After a Swedish exam with four parts (done in 5h) and 14 km more on my running shoes, I feel this is the most guiltless slice of apple pie I have ever eaten.

Now it's time to relax.

segunda-feira, 3 de abril de 2017

The WTF moment

Apparently irony runs in my family.

Last year, me and my parents were walking around in the city center of my home town when we saw a group of people surrounding someone laying on the road. We understood that something had happened. As we got closer we realised that there were two people laying down, and they were my cousin and her 4 year old son. They had been hit by a car when crossing the road. She was happy when she saw us, and I can only imagine how nice it must feel to see someone you know in a situation like that. She even said I looked like a vision, since she didn't know I had already arrived.

My cousin broke her leg but her child had no big injuries. My cousin's knee has not been easy to heal though and she had to take a lot of time off from work. Now, almost a year later, she can walk and she was advised to go to a gym and train the injured leg to reinforce the muscles and recover its strength. She did. But on her first session there she could not believe what her eyes saw. Who works in that gym as personal trainer? The guy who was driving the car who hit her.

... or as she called it: the WTF moment of the day.

domingo, 2 de abril de 2017

Libraries, making me happy since 198someting

It was Saturday and the plan was to study the whole day for my Swedish exam next week. Not a very exciting plan, but it all got better when I decided to go to the library. I found out a while ago that one can also borrow magazines, and I have been loaning the Swedish version of Runner's World, both to practise Swedish and because I like running.

When I got there I saw they were having a book sale, probably as a way to get rid of those issues that didn't get loaned so much. Many of the books looked quite old but I decided to have a look anyway. And there they were... in the middle of the pile of books there were two huge cookbooks waiting for me. One was by Gordon Ramsay, my favourite chef, and the other one by Nigella Lawson. I bought both for 10 kr, which is like 1 euro. I couldn't believe how lucky I was! And that's how one improves by a lot a fairly regular Saturday. 

Yeah, my dream came true. I do live in a city where libraries make me happy.