Sunday, March 03, 2013

A letter to the thief of Sesimbra.

Dear Mr Thief,

You might not get to read this, but even if you don´t, I´m sure the universe will convey to you my message.
If you do by chance end up on this blog, it´s because you´ve been sifting through my life and it brought you here. You may think you know a lot about me, but i´m writing to tell you the things that you don´t.

So far, all that I know about you is that you hijacked our car, took our weekend bag, my handbag and a black paper bag with more of our belongings. You then took my debit and credit card, figured out my pin and preceded to make four withdrawels of €200 each - the limit allowed for each card. Then you went shopping with my cards and bought a computer and a tablet. You really won the lottery with this theft didn´t you? Because in addition to your purchases you found my brand new tablet and two cellphone´s in my bag. You also found my husband´s flash and a jewellery box filled with precious things that i´m sure you´ve already sold or gave away to some foolish whore who knows you for the scoundrel that you are.
You must be pretty proud of yourself aren´t you? You outsmarted me and got away with it... or at least that´s what you must think.

This much you know... let me fill in the blanks about what you don´t know...

To you it may be irrevelant to why we went to the castle of Sesimbra, but to Luis and I it was supposed to be one of the landmarks that would stay in our memory of our third year anniversary.
That´s why you found my jewellery box in our weekend bag... I took it so that I could use the stones Luis bought me on our honeymoon to Mexico. That silver lace ring that you found was my engagement ring, the one he presented me with when he truly surprised me by asking me to be his wife.
The silver bracelet was given to me by my grandmother when we left for South Africa and the circle earings and matching necklace was given to me when my daughter was born.

Aren´t you lucky to have found two cellphones, one with the plastic still on it. You see, i´d just received the Samsung Galaxy SII LTE the previous day after waiting for over two weeks for it to arrive. I even went to work on purpose just to be able to take it with me, I hadn´t even chosen a ringtone to put on it yet. But my biggest lost was in fact the old Nokia N70 you found; I´m sure the worn cover must´ve upset you as it will bring down the price you will ask for it. You must´ve formatted it by now, so let me remind you what was on it: four years worth of photos i´ll never get back, one with my aunt Marlene that is no longer with us. That bubbly sound you heard as it receives a message is the sound of my daughter laughing at five months. The electronic device that I will mostly miss is my tablet, did you find the photo of my husband and daughter behind it? I´m sure you did, you won´t dare sell it with the purple cover I had. My daughter loved my tablet as much I did, that´s where she saw all her music video´s - her favourite is "I´m a gummy bear". Did you take a look at the home videos I had on it? The one´s of Lara laughing and playing. There´s one where she wishes her grandmother a happy birthday, and another where she strokes Kalash. My favourite is the one that she calls me "mama" for the very first time.

I immediately went into shock when I realised all these things were gone. For the three hours that we waited at the GNR in Sesimbra to do something, I cried non-stop. I kept waiting to wake up from what to me seemed the worst nightmare possible. I would´ve rather lived in a real life "walking dead" movie than face the reality that you stole those things from me.  I took the pills to calm me down but I kept reliving the nightmare in my head. Taking my handbag was like stealing my identity, I kept seeing your grimey fingers going through my things, seeing pictures of my loved ones and feeling completely impotent and unable to do anything about it. What did you think about when you opened my purse and saw the photo and Luis and I when we got married? The photo of my brother or my niece´s first pre-school photo? That´s when the hatred began. I hated you so much. All I could focus on is you being caught, I wanted your identity more than anything and if destiny should put you in my path I would cut one of your fingers, or a whole hand... make no mistake that I would´ve made you suffer a very physical and and painfull consequence to what you did to me. Because what you did broke me... into more pieces that I can put back together and I will forever have that image imprinted on the new identity card and driver´s licence that I had to request the next day.

Before I reveal to you the reason of my writing to you, let me fill in just a few more blanks... that sexy nightwear that you found - I wore that on my wedding night, unfortunetely for you, the details of that evening are more than you deserve. Those boots that were in the paper bag, I wore them on one of the most amazing Christmas party´s I ever had. The perfume bottle you found, was given to me by one of my very best friends (Thanks Quich) and the trip you found is for my uncle´s wedding in June.

For the last couple of days i´ve hated you more than anyone i´ve ever hated in my life. I kept hoping the phone would ring to tell us they´ve caught you and that you will never be able to put anyone else through what you put us through. Each new thing I remember that is now in your possession makes me wish a thunderbolt would strike you down as you leave the house and that it leaves you in hours of pain before you do the world a favour and just die.
Don´t you feel loved?

The reason i´m writing to you, is to tell you that i´m no longer angry.
You see, to continue to be angry with you would mean that you would still hold importance to me and you certainly don´t deserve as much.
You may have destroyed our savings but all you have taken is money. I still have my husband, I still have my daughter and I still have today, tomorrow and a whole future to make more wonderful memories.
I´m going to work to recover all that I lost and each morning when I get up i´ll look in the mirror with pride, because I know I earned every cent that I have.
Can you do that? Does it make feel superior that you survive on other people´s misery?
You´re nothing but scum.
You can´t steal my memories, you can´t steal my future and you can´t steal my hope.
My locks have been changed, and slowly i´ll piece my life together... this is where our story ends.

Take a good look at my family... those smiling faces that look back at you, are mine.
They´ll never be yours... that happiness and joy you find in my things - you will never have.
I know this, because the universe only gives to us what we give to it - you will never be happy regardless of how much money and things you steal from other people, you will continue to be a miserable wreck all of your life with no one to love you and everyone hating you for the scoundrel that you are.
Make no mistake, I will do whatever is in my power in aiding the authorities so that you are caught but from this night on I won´t give you a second thought... you are worthless and I will no longer let you polute my mind.
Thank-you for reminding me of how loved I am and how lucky I am to be employed, to have a home and a life filled with people that love and care about me.
I may have become a little wiser and more careful in the future but I will not give up the hope and love in my heart because of what you did.
I wish nothing more for you, than for you to receive everything you deserve.

Love Always,
Your ex-victim

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Something to say...

It´s been a while... a long while... it´s almost strange to return to a place i´ve been away from for so long. At the same time... it´s like coming home!

Lara is sleeping.
I have the baby monitor at my side and sneaking a peak I can honestly say she´s the most amazing and perfect little being...
That´s what I´ve been doing all this time...
Being a mother, a wife, a professional, a friend... all these thing take  up so much time that there´s none left to write about them.
Until today... I guess you could call it my day off.
It´s not that I don´t have things to do...
It´s just that i´m giving myself a little time to think... to reflect... to write...
I miss writing, I wouldn´t trade in any of my moments for it but I do miss it.
Not for anyone else... just for me.

There´s so much to write about... so much that I can hardly pick a theme...
Perhaps the most worthy is what left me speechless this week.


Currently, my position entails solving the complaints that have been through various departments and hasn´t been solved...
I came across a simple case of a cancelation of services that hadn´t been processed due to lack of documentation. Although there had been many attempts by the client to rectify his request, there was always something missing.
It had been a long morning and I needed a simple case, I called the cliente intending on asking her to send me the documentation that was missing so I could conclude her request.
What I didn´t expect was the waterworks...
In the current crisis that our country faces, many are the commerce that closes their doors. Everyday I hear a new story of another foreclosure, insolvence, unemployment...
Before I called my client I´d already  noticed that they were three months in arrears but before I could even mention it, my client let me know that she was aware of my debt and between sobs told me that her priority was paying her employee´s salaries.
No one can listen and be indifferent to that kind of desperation.

After receiving the documentation that was missing, I concluded the cancelation request.
Had the request been satisfied on it´s first arrival, a month´s debit would not have been processed.
Had the request been made upon the contract´s terminus - two month´s debits would not have been processed.
But to proceed with any kind of credit, I needed my manager´s authorization.
"I need you to respond with humanity on this case"
The raising of his brow told me that he wasn´t too impressed that my request implied that he was less than human on other cases but it had the effect I needed - he was intrigued.
After explaining my client´s situation, my manager responded as I´d hoped.
We managed to credit two month´s debits leaving only one of the three bills to pay.
I believe my manager would´ve authorized that last bill only the total credit would imply higher authorization that would not head to our justifications...
After all, it was the client´s own fault that her request hadn´t yet been processed.
My manager´s condition: before creditting the two bills, the client would have to pay one of them.

I knew she didn´t have the funds to pay that bill at that moment... so I smiled sweetly to my manager, creditted the two bills and asked the client to pay the third bill as soon as she could warning her that it could be handed to a lawyer if she took too long.
She thanked me over and over and wished good fortune on me and my family, I knew I´d bent the rules - but I felt good about it.

Two weeks later - that third bill had not been paid.
I was grateful that my manager didn´t check up on it but slightly disappointed that my client hadn´t honored our arrangement.

Two days ago my client gave me a call and it was what she had to say that left me speechless.
She let me know that she had arranged a payment plan to pay off that last bill and that she´d already paid her first installment. Then she proceeded to tell me that on the week that I´d solved her problem she´d acquired a big client that permitted her to keep her doors open for a while longer - a company that she´d seen grow for over twenty years. I was truly happy for her, to hear of her success was to feel it as if it were my own. But what brought me to tears was what she said after she once again thanked me for having done more than was expected of me. She told me that many other service providers had slammed the door in her face that week that I called her. Each time she´d asked for comprehension or an extension she´d been met with irritation or arrogance. She told me that the way I´d dealt with her made her believe in the "goodness of humanity" and had inspired her to keep fighting and keep her doors open a little longer. Had she given up then, her client wouldn´t have appeared.

As I listened, tears ran down my face.
Everyday I get yelled at by frustrated clients, few of them know what I do for them in the background - few of them thank me.
But to know, that I caused such an impact one someone - that my efforts helped someone keep their job and a company from closing... that´s more than I aspired.
I hope I have many more oportunities to lend a hand to a stranger...
Because a friend is easy to help, it´s the strangers we avoid,
and God knows that i´ve been "saved" more than once in my life by a stranger

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wake me when it´s over


What I really want for Christmas?
Let me crawl into bed and somebody wake me when it´s over...
The cooking...
The cleaning...
The noise...
The same conversations...
I don´t have the energy for it all...
I just want it to be over with.
I´d love to just climb into bed and wake up in 2012
I´ll feel differently next year... but this year, it feels like it will never end!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Old Friends...

Photosource: Unknown

Friends are the people that can sing back the song in your heart when you´ve forgotten the words...

I miss my school friends... they knew a “me” that recent friends didn´t get to know... they know who I was before who I am... and sometimes, you need to be reminded...


On a cloudy morning, I arrived at school with baggy eyes. There had been another argument at home and I hadn´t gotten much sleep. In those days I dealt with drama the only way a thirteen year old knew how – I wrote a letter to my best friend and gave it to her while we waited for the school bell to announce the beginning of classes.
As my best friend read my letter, “She” came around... teased me about something and then grabbed the letter from my best friend. At that point, I was annoyed and dealt with it in my usual way – I pleaded that she´d give it back. My best friend however was more feisty that I was and after trying to grab it back, “She” pushed her.
Maybe it was the lack of sleep... I definitely didn´t take on too well on someone pushing my friend... most probably i´d just had enough...
So I grabbed her by the collar and threw her threw the open door.
Clearly taken by surprise, it took her a few seconds to recompose and then try and push me.
Again, I grabbed her by the collar and threw her against the nearest tables.
I hadn´t realised I pushed her so hard until I saw the chairs fall over...
And then there was the cheering... I don´t think I ever heard my classmates ever cheer me on for anything and it felt good... too good...
So I picked her up and threw her again... and again... and again...
Funny thing is, all through the fight, I was worried that i´d hurt her, so I kept throwing her towards the blunt tables, where I knew she wouldn’t get too hurt.
At one point, she got up... and ran out the class faster than a jumbo jet takes off...

Since I was the one that “threw” the first punch, I got detention and my dad was called to the school. Great! More drama!
I got out of the principal’s office, went to fetch my bag and made my way downstairs to my next class... as I went down the stairs, I saw her..
“She” was waiting for me... and I readied myself for Round 2...
But instead, she grabbed my hand and told me that she was sorry and asked me if we could forget about the incident.
Phew! – Here I was worried that I might not be so lucky in round 2 – “She” was butch and not afraid of me... and clearly the more mature of the two... or so I thought...

I don´t know how “She” found me on facebook... but I was happy to see her name. “She” was the first black student to ever set foot in our school and I´d always admired her courage and self-confidence...
On one particular night, we recalled that cloudy morning...
As it so happens, she no longer remembers the reason why the fight started, she distinctly remembers running out of the classroom and the reason she apologised is because she was afraid that my dad would be called in – because according to her, back then everybody´s dad is big and scary!

Isn´t it funny how two people can have distinct perspectives on the same memory?... just goes to show that you don´t really know what´s going on in someone else´s head.
According to her, the little girl that seemed self-confident to me was really close to peeing in her pants the day she got introduced to her new class.

Knowing this hasn´t changed my perspective of her – she´s still one of those women that I will always reference to – one of the most courageous women I know.

Sometimes, we´re so busy amplifying our own fears and insecurities that we don´t realise that the people around us are too busy looking at theirs to even notice ours.

Keep your old friends – they remind you of who you were and how far you´ve come.
Thanks guys =)

Monday, August 01, 2011

Stuck in an elevator...

Photosource: Unknown

I often catch myself saying “that only happens in the movies…” but I never stop to consider that if “that” was put in a movie maybe there´s something to it… as it so happens, in real life we are but fortune´s fools… so why can´t certain things that we look for in movies happen in real life? As it so happens… I experienced one of those moments…

Imagine being stuck in an elevator… an old one… those tiny ones that closer with a running latch that squeak as they go up and down…

Four women looking drop dead gorgeous panic as the elevator stops but doesn´t open the door.

The alarm button doesn´t work…

The emergency phone number is one of those old one´s that went out of service years ago… and inside the elevator the air is getting thick and stuffy…

They bang on the door and shout for help… somebody replies but no one knows where they elevator key is… nobody will tell them on what floor they are on.

Luckily, in this scene, one of them still has network and battery… so she calls her husband – the IT guy, who knows nothing about elevators but knows that if he calls the general emergency number – they´ll put him through to the fire brigade.

And that´s how it happened…

40 minutes later 5 young, eager and fully uniformed firemen opened the elevator door to find 4 gorgeous damsels in distress…

As the door opened and I glanced upon the faces of my saviours, I took a few seconds to take a deep breath… and burst out laughing!

As it so happens, the belle´s in the elevator were drop dead gorgeous thanks to the make-up workshop they´d just left and the real hero is my IT husband that remembered to call the emergency number...

To me it felt like one of those cheesy scenes from a movie… as it so happens, I wasn´t the only one laughing as they opened the door – according to my husband, it looked more like a scene from a porn movie… Go figure!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Useless rambling...

Photosource: Unknown
It once again occurs to me that we are no more that fate´s puppets, that none of us truly have hold of our destiny and that no matter what choices we make there are obstacles in our path that we simply can´t avoid.
Easy isn´t it… to consider that we have no control of what happens, yet knowing that every consequence originates from a decision you make.
Because everything you do and say makes a difference.
Ironic isn´t it? That you have the power of choice in your hands and that even so the outcome isn´t in your control.
All my life I´ve fought for control because I refused to be fate´s fool and because I knew that whatever I wanted from life – I´d have to fight for it.
But it´s not all up to me.
I don´t get to decide it all… and there are times when it´s simply not my place or my choice.
The older I grow, the more I ponder.
It has nothing to do with age or fear or even because I have more to lose than before.
It´s about consciousness, seeing and knowing how much of what I decide affects those around me.
It used to bother me that nobody took my words and thoughts seriously.
Now it bothers me how much influence my opinion has on the decisions people make.

I´m Angry,
and Hurt

I wish I could rearrange the pieces of a puzzle and build a different picture.
And if only I could turn off the problems of the world, I could enjoy the happiness I own.
But my heart has always bled for those I care about and it´s hard to smile when one of them weeps.

More control, sometimes I wish I had the power to make a bigger difference
But who am I to say what is wrong or right in the world?
Am I to trust that the universe knows what it´s doing?
Or should I fear that fortune should look upon on me as its next fool to toy with.
There´s a fine line between selflessness and selfishness
Only our hearts know the differences and the similarities between them.

Sometimes I feel like writing
Other times I want to scream
Too often I´ve felt like crying
Mostly it all stays silent in my heart.

It´s amazing what can change in one year.

(Obrigado Amor pela força que me dás em dias tristes. Pelo Amor, a Amizade e a Paciência com que me aturas… e por lembrares-me de todas as coisas boas que me fazem sorrir… mesmo em momentos amargos, fazes-me saborear o doce. Ao teu lado eu sou Feliz.)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Photosource: Unknown
The older I get, the more I realise that the most precious thing you´ll ever own is time… Your whole life is based on how you manage time and what you do with it.
Love, Friendship, Career… even your hobbies, take time.
It´s not quite a question of whether you have it or not – we all get the same amount a day and yet as we look around us it seems that everyone else gets more or less time than we do.
No one has the right amount of time on their hands.
Either they´re suffocated by the excess of time that slowly refuses to pass… or they have so little of it that it seems there´s never enough of it to get everything done.
I´m in the latter phase.
It seems like regardless of the effort I invest in getting things done, I just can´t do it all.
I prioritize, make sure I get the important things done first but even so as I close my eyes just before I go to sleep, I feel like i´ve cheated myself with time.
The older I get, the more intolerant I become to people who waste my time.
I hate queues.
I hate waiting.
I resent the time I invest in those that don´t appreciate it.
Perhaps it´s time I stop giving minutes and hours to that and those that wouldn´t do the same for me…
Because once you´ve given it, you can´t take it back.