Typos or just-another-escuse-for-me-to-be-silly.

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I showe up, I looked, I made it awkward.

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A few days ago I had to fill some forms for professional matters and came across a question about social skills.

After briefly thinking about it, I realise my social skills include:

- Telling inappropriate jokes in awkward situations;
- Laughing when I shouldn't laugh;
- Enthusiastically saying hello when introverts walk into the same elevator and terrifying them with lively small talk for at least 3 floors;
- Naively pointing the elephant in the room when everybody is avoiding it;
- Asking the waitress if the chocolate mousse is homemade only to turn it down when they proudly confirm it;
- Saying "you too" when the stewardess tells me to enjoy my flight.
- Asking the 14 year old kid who is trying to mug me if he is old enough to be drinking.


Yeah. I don't foresee a very bright future ahead of me.


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Very disappointing Mr. Cai Lun. Very disappointing.

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I just used two fingers to scroll on paper. It didn't work. Stupid paper.

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Song for today #4

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"(...) but it wasn't because I didn't know enough,
I just knew too much."

 


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The Tate conjucture

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I can't promise the moon, on every dark sky of your nights,
or that your song will always be playing in your favourite bar.
I can't promise to be there, every time you go to bed hurt,
because not all hours are mine,
but you know,
with no certainty I assure you,
that with you, every day is an opportunity to be happy.
For being there even when you're not,
but most of all for always being,
wishing me well,
like I wish you,
the sun, the madness, the will.
In this uncertain path that we walk, hand in hand
It matters no more where to,
we will go. 

to my sister, with love. ♥ 

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My friends say I'm worrying about the wrong thing

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A few days ago I've read on the news that some guy would kill people, by shooting them, asphyxiating them and then slitting their throats.

I'm like, dude, pick one thing.



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Hidden Figures

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Yes. We've seen this recipe before.
And yes, this movie might be an audience pleaser.
But Hidden Figures tells the extraordinary story of three remarkable women at NASA, who carved a pioneering path not only to their gender but to African-Americans in an era of racial segregation.
Beautiful, uplifting and heartwarming, this movie is an assertion of humanity.
A must-see.


















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Over attachment sindrome for a widespread nation

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Remember that feeling when you were a kid and you'd sit on your parent's foot and wrap your arms around their legs so they had to try to walk with you sitting on it? That's every 2 brain cell American right now with Obama.



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The musical equivalent of binge watching

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Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam - '1000 Times' from One Thousand Percent on Vimeo.

(the whole album is actually really good. Definitely worth your while.)

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Risk management lessons for unhealthy eating

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That moment when you're too busy doing things late at night and you realize you haven't eaten.
Then you think: "I'll just grab something from whatever is open".

That's what I call a wurst case scenario.

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Some have earphone stupidity, some have beautifully crafted trailers

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Sony announced yesterday The Last of Us Part II, the sequel to Naughty Dog’s 2013 shooter that got 10/10 on most gaming press reviews.
Joel and Ellie are back, and from the look of it, this time Ellie will be the starring role.
The creative idea behind the reveal trailer is incredibly powerful.
If you've played the first title, you'll quickly understand the blunt humanity behind this sequel: The Last of Us was a story of love. Part II is a story of hate.

(and if you don't know, Ellie is singing Through the Valley by Shawn James) 




(my hype levels just went through the roof)

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6 steps for a glorious Monday

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- 7a.m. You walk out naked  to your balcony to grab the underwear you left outside to dry because the sun finally came out this summer;

- You raise your head and notice to all your horror that your Japanese neighbor is seating in the balcony in front of you.

- Although he clearly saw you, you urge to hide back inside and in the process drop a couple of your undies out of your balcony and into everyones backyard.

- Half an hour later you walk down to the backyard to grab your bike and your undies and your 60-year-old landlord is standing there. He raises his hand holding your red lace underwear and asks you if those are yours.

- You turn the same color of the undies and because your immaturity is an AK-47 shooting in all directions you say no and leave immediately.



- You come back home after work to find your underwear collection hanging on the staircase wall.

- You wish yourself a happy Monday.




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The Unbearable Silliness of Being (on Facebook)

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Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing, just like the advent of the internet. But let's be honest, put the two together and Internet just became an infinite well of silliness. Every time I get an invitation to play Candy Crush, I have an Ally McBeal fantasy where the internet police visits these people, hits them a couple times with a telephone list and confiscates their router.   
Unfortunately, this is not possible (buhhhhh) so Mark Zuckerberg invented the Unfollow button, coming to the rescue of every soul tormented by the social stupidity of posting. And because freedom of speech goes both ways, if you are one of the following people, I hope your Hamster chews your internet cable. 


1. The "Copy paste this on your wall..." people. Do you seriously think facebook is gonna close? Do you actually believe that if you post a legal notice not allowing facebook to do whatever you say they are up to this time, that is legally binding? Then guess what. You are legally stupid.

2. The "Couples with a joint profile" people. Awww... That's sweet. I love that you renounce to any individuality you might had in the name of love. Thumbs up for that. Now I only have to click "unfollow" once. 

3. The "Passive-Aggressive incognito messages" people. I love these ones. They publicly post cryptic messages, generally directed at one specific person, in a vague, mysterious way, for the whole world to read. "I'm over it" or "These boots are made for walking". One note for you: I hope you put those boots on and walk away from your internet browser. 

4. The "Stupid Questions" people. People who post shit like "What is the weather tomorrow?" or "What time does X place close?"  The time it took you to post this is the same it takes to google it. Seriously. You have fingers.

5. People who answer the "Stupid Questions" people.  Man. You're dumb. 

6. People who invite you to play Candy Crush.  This specific type of people is characterized by absolute amnesia. I denied that request. Every time. For the past 6 years. I hope you meet Candy Crush's biggest geek, and that he tries to align your eyes with your nose. 


You are all on my blacklist. I hope you are hit with an infinite storm of  'enlarge your penis' Spam. 
Thank you, that was all.





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According to the internet...

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...there are more than 300 ways of saying "drunk".
And only one way to get rid of it.
Hello, hangover.





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The Biased Manual to Forget a Guy

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A few weeks ago, my friend A. was struggling with a broken heart. My friend N. couldn't understand why some guy stopped writing her. It's true. We've all been there. Forgetting someone is hard. It's fucked up. Let's say it clearly. It sucks balls trying to forget someone who danced Vprisyadku on top of your honest heart. And it seems that everyone has an opinion concerning people who screwed up our lives: from the most conservative, proper ones, to the dubious bipolar shit it's wrong even to think of.
So, because I'm always willing to provide valuable public service, here's a compilation of some advice I've heard about, with a pinch of Vio. 
Of course to make this exercise easier, we'll pretend that it's always the other part's fault. 
Let's go.


1. "Eat chocolates until you explode". Alright, ladies. I can totally see why the cocoa solution seems desirable. Crying with a box of chocolates is definitely better than crying with a stick of celery but remember - you're single now. You might not wanna put 20 kilos on. So go ahead and grab those Kinder bars but restrain yourself to like... 5. We're not trying to get diabetes here.

2. "Hit it off with his best buddy." Really? Why? I say, hit it off with his worst buddy. Someone he genuinely hates. That's much better if you're into this kind of thing. Or his brother. Or his dad. Now that would be priceless.

3. "Drink…I said drink." Yeah, it seems immature, but getting wasted generally does the job. Why do you think Shakespeare and Dostoyevski were such big drunks? Because they were chronically on the Superbowl of heartbreak. I'm not saying you should write a Pulitzer. I'm saying, keep your levels of alcohol intoxication high. Make sure you don't kill yourself, though. You're trying to forget a person, not trying to forget you have a liver.

4. "Make a list of everything he sucked at." Now, in this department, everything goes. Everything. Had terrible feet smell? Small penis? Snored to loud? Couldn't change a light bulb?His mother still washed his clothes? His favorite drink is a Cosmopolitan? Talked too much about his ex? Write it down and go back to it every time needed.

5. "Delete, delete, delete." I introduce you to the block button. It'll be your best friend from now on. Literally obliterate any sign of his passage on your life. Pictures, phone number, messages. Depending on how bad it ended escalate to different social profiles. Start with Facebook and then go to Whatsapp, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Linkedin. If you want to go wild block him on Google +. Nobody cares about Google +. That should get the point across. 

6. "Revenge." Alright. this is really not my style. But if you really must, be creative. Call his bank and cancel all his credit cards. Put a pin on his doorbell after 2 o'clock in the morning. Call his work (be smart, pick the biggest gossip person there) and leave a message that his boyfriend called. Hire a skank to go to his favorite bar and make a scandal about having to provide for your 6 children.


7. "Avoid Happy couples." Let's be honest, who wants to be around two lovebirds who just cannot get enough of each other's faces when your heart just got run over by the disappointment truck? To be avoided at all costs - couples that are so happy that makes you wanna secretly murder them. 

8. "Spend half of your salary on clothes." Ok, note. This will empty your pockets but fill your ego. So I think this is ok. Were you married? If so, go ahead and do even better. Litigate and then spend half of HIS salary on clothes.

9. "Listen to sad songs." Now that is a shit advice. If you're sad, why would you wanna be miserable? Get your shit right. Here's a list of musical no-go's: - Creep by Radiohead, Time After Time by Cindy Lauper, Yesterday by The Beatles, Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus, Wicked Games by Chris Izaak, How can you Mend a Broken Heart by Al Green, Unbreak my Heart by Toni Braxton or anything by Adele. 

10. "Let time pass." Now, this is the kind of advice that will make you wanna shoot yourself in the head. "Time. How much time? I want this gone NOW." But in the end, time does its job, and this is probably the wisest advice of all. Try to see the bigger picture. Somewhere in that picture might be a Jackie Coke and a hot italian guy.


(dear readers: this is obviously a joke. You should never sleep with your ex's dad. Unless it's Sean Connery. Then definitely do.)


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You know you need to get some sleep...

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... when leaving your parent's house you point your car keys to the door and expect it to open.


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Dude, really.

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Dear God,

I'm dazzled with all your prodigal Marketeer sons who managed to convince the world that everything tastes better with random dehydrated fruits.

But now, in all seriousness, could you please help me have a bag of Muesli without having to pick out the raisins?

Amen.







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Song for today #1

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If your dark side was a song.


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Adele's '25' or Heartbreak-to-go

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In 10 days I'll be at Adele's concert in Lisbon. Since years, I wanted to see her live and now I was lucky enough to get golden circle tickets. I know her previous albums quite well but hadn't yet heard '25'. So today, I happily decided to listen to it to learn the songs.

The experience was more or less the equivalent of a sad clown killing cute puppies on a rainy day.

And now if you'll excuse me, I'll just go lay under my bed clothes with a Kleenex and a handful of Prozac.




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I guess a simple 'No' would have been enough

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A friend of a friend asked me to do the logo for his family business. After I've sent him an estimate with a (very) friendly price, he calls me back and says:

Him: My wife thinks you're too expensive, and that we could find someone cheaper. But I would really like to work with you. Can we renegotiate the price?

Me: How much does your wife cost you a year? I'm sure I could find you a cheaper one. 


(awkward silence)


My sarcastic mind is so unnecessary it pains me I'll have to live with it forever. 

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Wait, what, Superman?

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Last week I got a pinkeye.
So instead of the usual contacts, I had to wear glasses to work.
I get in the elevator. A peer I know quite well walks in, looks at me and proceeds to adopt typical elevator awkwardness behavior (pretending to be focused somewhere else in that one square meter of metal).

Me: Good morning to you too!
Undisclosed clueless peer: Oh! Hi! Sorry, I didn't recognize you!

.....Waaaaa?














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Useless metaphors

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People who say "some days it looks like the shoes you're wearing are not even yours" bug me a little. I've never felt like the shoes I'm wearing are not mine. Have you? No. And if you do, then I would say there is a high chance that you are drunk and you've just put on your room mate's shoes. And then maybe you shouldn't be walking around. Just saying.

Me, myself, I need to hang on to metaphors I can understand.

Like "those days when I feel there's no Caramel on my Machiatto".

Now that's something I can relate to.




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Dubious prescriptions (OR sucking 2 times a day keeps the doctor away)

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A few days ago I got a sore throat. Hence, I went to the pharmacy where I usually go, next to my place, and I asked for some throat drops.
The guy there, who has known me for a while, greets me good morning and sets off to get them. He comes back, lays them on the counter and says categorically: "You're gonna suck 2 times a day, ok?" Of course, the minute he said this my eyebrow must have lifted with a surprised expression and I got stuck with that face people get when you're having trouble not bursting out laughing but you must keep a straight face.
On the other hand, a light bulb went off on his head right after the words came out of his mouth and he looked amusingly distressed.
Me, proud owner of a rather distasteful humor, returned: "Starting now?"

And that's how you manage to never be able to set foot on a place again.

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For the record

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Since I'm now back from my volunteering experience, there is no higher noble cause anymore to save this blog's reputation from what it used to be. So expect just the usual sarcastic stupidity my portuguese readers are already familiar with.
On this matter, I would like to express an honest special thank you to the 28 portuguese speaking followers that I don't know, but who have choosen to waste their precious procrastination time to read this humble blogger. I hope you speak English and stick around.
I would also like to offer my insincere apologies to everyone I might have offended in Portuguese with my cynical bluntness before, and to everyone I will still offend in English from now on. I won't let you down. Any complaints you can direct them to my dear parents since they are ultimately responsible for me being in the world.
Vio's planet is on orbit again. You can thank me later.

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The show must go on

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And so it goes.
At 8:40 in the morning I was touching down in Frankfurt, 18 hours after leaving Cambodia.
I walked out of the plane to a grey, rainy Frankfurt. All of a sudden there were 30 degrees less than what I was used to the past 2 months. Orderly traffic. Clean streets. No loud music. No motorbikes riding in all directions. The ATM is spitting out euros instead of dollars. Nobody is waving or smiling at me. I felt the world spinning for a second before I got a hold of myself.

Three days later, I'm still freezing everywhere, even at home.  I'm drowned in my warmest hoodie. The flowers on my balcony were decimated by a winter I didn't see.

The hardest thing now is first encounters. Everyone is asking me: "How was it?? Tell me everything". And all I can do is smile and mumble something like: "...great". I feel numb and I truly don't know how to explain what I saw, what I experienced. The cold that hit me in the face when I returned is nothing compared to the shock of not being able to communicate. Maybe next week, next month, next year, I will be able to talk about it.

So many times, while I was away, I've found myself thinking what was I doing there, if my help was any worth, if I would change anything or if it would only change me. I think now I can, at least, answer the latter. The privilege of distance is clairvoyance.

Cambodia is a magical country, that grows roots under your feet the day you step on it. Eleven thousand miles away, I still have Cambodia under my skin.

And if there's one thing it taught me, is to be grateful. To smile more often, to laugh a lot, to keep hoping. Life will put on your way a million rocks. Collect them, build a castle. Forgive. Forgive yourself too, if you must. Learn to talk about yourself. Learn to talk to others. Remember words are the most powerful legacy - use them wisely. Be kind. Be mature enough to hear a no. Be strong enough to say no yourself.  Let go. Invite a friend for wine. Jump in a pool at night.

Keep no sorrows.

Life is too short to be small.


(ps- the show will go on from Frankfurt; the 
pictures are  from my last week in Cambodia. Stay tuned.)





















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This Cambodian life: #14 Life after real life

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Someone once said that a journey is best measured in friends rather than miles. I couldn't have said it better. I would like to say thank you to Cynthia, Louis, Margaret, Olivia, Isabelle and Megan for sharing the good and the bad along this 9 weeks.
But most of all, for sharing also the life after work. Truth is, you're still an expat in a 3rd world country, and after you finish you work you come home, take a shower and it washes away all the misery, at least until the next morning. And I know it sounds a bit cynical but it's reality and reality is a bitch.

So, for all of this, thank you for the laughs, the tears, the silliness, the drinks and for putting up with my weird fixation for jumping in the pool after hours.

I will see you in Boston, Luxembourg, London, Lausanne and Brisbane.




































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This Cambodian life: #13 The Khmer wedding experience

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Krom apa pipea!

Weddings in Cambodia are one of the most important celebrations of Khmer culture. They can last up to 3 days, depending on how wealthy the family is and the new weds will have at least 8 different outfits throwout the event.
For Cambodians having 'Barang'* in their weddings is an honour because it's generally a sign of social status: it's like hanging out with the cool kids back at home. So volunteers at New Hope get invited all the time to join weddings of people we don't really know. I must confess I was a bit hesitant at first, but it actually turned out to be incredibly fun. A Khmer wedding is all about 2 things: food and music. You'll be eating the whole time, dancing even more and because you're white you are an attraction on your own. Everybody will want to come cheer, dance with you, teach you the traditional way of dancing and chat.
If you're joining one, get ready for a lot of alcohol, food, intense heat, dance moves, very loud khmer traditional music, family members singing drunk (yes, just like at home) and lot's of fun.
Many thanks to Kanha and Thearith for the invitation! ♥


*'Barang' was used historically to refer to the french colonialists; nowadays its refers to white people, westerners. 





















































































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