Thursday, July 30, 2009


Picturesource: Unknown

These days the publicity on recycling has become aggressive.
With the amount of information that is out there, there’s no excuse to get it wrong.
Even children have been programmed to make you feel guilty if you throw out something recyclable with the normal trash.
However, I often question myself at the efficiency of the whole system seeing as I still see very few products with the label indicating that it was made from recycled material.Where are the recycled goods going and which companies are making use this?
I’ve heard rumours that not all the trash we put in the recycling bins is actually being recycled so I’m curious to how exactly is our effort being put to good use.

Being firm believers and recycling devotees at home, we own a relatively large trashcan that consists of three bins to facilitate the separating and see to it that our recycling duty is done – we do this in belief that we’re making a difference to help the environment.
It is this desire and belief that persuaded us to start recycling old appliances as well.
Worten has been advertising that everyone should hand in their old appliances at any of their stores to be properly disposed of and recycled.
After buying a new keyboard for our computer we decided that the right thing to do was hand in the old one at a Worten store and so we took it with us to Vasco da Gama.
There are no bins or advertising in the store to where this equipment should be handed in.
I asked one of the attendants to refer-me to where I should drop off the old equipment and was told that I should report to the complaints counter.
If perhaps the complaints counter was empty that day, I wouldn’t feel the need to write this post but as is normal in a big store such as Worten, the counter was full!
I took a peek at the next ticket and realised that if I was to take one I’d have to wait behind approximately 10 people in front of me.
I put on my best smile and apologetically interrupted one of the girls behind the counter.
“I´m sorry, I´m not here to complain and I only want to hand in my old keyboard so could I just leave this here with you”
It´s not like I had forms to fill out! And yet I was told very sympathetically that i´d have to take a ticket and wait in line.
Are you kidding me?!
Instead of throwing it out with the normal trash, I make the effort of bringing my old equipment to the store so that it can be recycled and I have to wait in a long complaints line?!
I was about to make my way to the nearest trashcan when my better half came with a better idea.
He took the keyboard from my hands put it on top of the complaints counter and retorted: “Here you go, I’m leaving this keyboard here – if you want to you can recycle it and if you don’t want to, go ahead and throw it out with the trash.”
We left satisfied that we’d done our public duty.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Driving Miss Sunshine

Image source: Unknown
I finally did it!
I summoned all my courage, said my prayers and drove myself all the way to Lisbon and back.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Lisbon is around 40km from where I live and as any capital city of the world – traffic is insane!
Although I took lessons and my driver’s licence in Lisbon, I hadn’t come on my own yet and believe it or not I was missing the nagging co-pilot to tell me where to go.
The trouble with any big city is that besides the intense traffic, there are many lanes and places where you can’t turn. So even when I know where I want to go, I end up going round the long way because the road I normally take when walking has only one way, or has access denied from the road I’m coming from.
What made this trip easier is without a doubt my GPS!
It took me to roads which I’ve never gone through before and those I’d rather not have gone through… My only complaint is that in a few places he asked me to turn in a direction that was forbidden.
That along with roadworks make things a little more complicated.
Luckily a GPS knows how to reroute in these situations and others where fast lane changing made it impossible to turn exactly where it wanted me to.
I’ll share a secret with you – if you switch off the 3D visual, it makes it a lot easier to see exactly which turn off the GPS wants you to take, in the centre of town there are so many in such a short distance that it’s easy to pick the wrong one.
All in all, I made my rounds – found great parking spots and got home safely without a single scratch on the car.
I’ll admit – I got hooted at once and with just reason.
As I took a turn I looked in my mirror and didn’t see anyone so I changed lanes to the right – that’s when I got hooted at by a big bad Mercedes!
My only conclusion is that either they guy was in my blind angle or he came in so fast that I couldn’t see him coming in the mirror.
I can´t say that from now on i´ll be more comfortable going to Lisbon on my own – most likely i´ll still sweat buckets whilst chatting to my angel about what a good job he does keeping me out of trouble…
One thing is for sure, I’m much less hesitant to go on my own wherever necessary – provided my GPS comes with me.
I’m pretty diggity dang dong proud of myself!

Monday, July 20, 2009

First Sushi meal

Photosource: Unknown

As a birthday gift to his mother, my better half decided to take us out to try out Japanese food at a restaurant in Lisbon called Osaka.
This was also a first for me and I’ll have do admit I was pretty excited to try something I’d been meaning to try for a long time.
At first when I walked in, it felt as if I’d walked into an ordinary Chinese restaurant – the porcelain and general decoration had the same oriental feel and the waitresses looked so alike that the only reason you knew you weren’t in a Chinese restaurant was the fact that there weren’t the red balloon like lamps hanging on the outside.
As I sat down I grinned as I saw the chopsticks – I’d learnt how to use them on my first visits to the Chinese restaurant but I hadn’t used them in a while.
Underneath the chopsticks was a little porcelain block which I figured was meant to hold the chopsticks however the tiny side dish on the side was new to me and the only thing I could figure the saucer was meant for was to keeps olive pips.
I was later embarrassed to find out that it had nothing do with pips; the saucer was in fact used to hold soya sauce for you to dip your food in.
On contrary to my belief, very little of what we ate was raw – in fact most of it was grilled and some things fried.
I loved the whole algae wrap concept and was impressed at the complex sushi rolls they made. There was stuff made with prawns, salmon, cuttlefish, tuna and even chicken.
I love the fact that you can put something in your mouth, close your eyes and try guess what’s all in it – There were no nasty surprises, all the stuff we tried was simply wonderful.
All except the sake – it’s the one notorious thing we tried that none of us liked. It tastes like white wine mixed with salt and water! Next time I’ll try the green tea!
Oh - And I still know how to work my chopsticks!

Obrigado Amor

Monday, July 13, 2009

More Reflections...

Photosource: Unknown

Every now and then, you stop and reflect about life – the decisions you’ve made and where they’ve gotten you.
You ponder about the course that you’re on and you ask yourself if this is where you want to be and where you want to go.
Adolescence is supposed to be the hardest time in your life due to the fact that it’s a phase of discovery and choice. You try different things and test your limits in attempt to understand who you are and who you want to be. The fact that you have a world of possibilities leaves you with many choices to be made.
As time passes, you eliminate the things you know for sure that you don’t want in your life. Many opportunities have past you by and your choices begin to narrow as the choices you’ve made eliminate other possibilities you could’ve chosen.
As a teenager you learn that you can do just about anything you set your mind to.
As an adult, you learn that you can’t do everything your heart desires.

I’ve personally never felt so stable, sure of my decisions and my desires… and yet I question them.
Is it because it is human nature to unsatisfied?
As soon as we achieve our goals we quickly set new ones.
To stop wanting, to stop dreaming – it’s a sure death sentence to the human soul.
The way I see it, you will always wonder about the opportunities that you let go of in order to grab onto the decision you made with both hands.
Adults don’t know it all – we’re not always sure of ourselves and the path we’ve taken, we’ve simply learnt that while one will always wonder about the path we didn’t chose – the challenge is to embrace de decisions we’ve made in order to make peace with those that we didn’t.
I’m happy with the way I am, the course my life has taken and the future that I’m striving for but I will keep re-evaluating all these things in the attempt to be a better person,
a better lover,
a better companion,
a better sister,
a better daughter,
a better friend,
a better colleague,
a better stranger…
I believe we are all born to live our lives towards being better people.
A couple of years ago I met a good friend online who says I caught his attention with the following job description:
“being myself”
Back then I believed that this was the hardest, constant job each human being had.
I still believe that being myself will be my constant struggle until the day I die.

A mixture of excitement and expectancy is the way I feel about where I’m headed. Often I feel cold feet and a chill of fear travelling up and down my spine when I think about the responsibility I’ll have to take, scared that I may not be strong enough for the challenge. But love and faith keep me strong and willing.

Recently I found a beautiful passage in a neighbouring blog that I accompany:
My Silent Nights

The author had borrowed the text from someone else and to me it’s unclear if this other person is the true author. Nevertheless, it was so beautifully written that I could not help but translate:

I now understand that to live is to be free...
That fighting keeps you alive...
That to be happy you simply have to want to be...
I’ve learnt that time heals...
That hurt goes away...
That deception doesn’t kill...
That it is possible to cry without shedding tears...
That real friendship is lasting...
That pain makes you stronger...
That winning builds you up...
That words possess strength...
That the eyes don’t lie...
And that everything depends on will.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Simply Feeling

Photosource: Unknown
I hate being misunderstood.
It’s one thing to argue your point of view and have the other side disagree with you –
it’s an exchange of thought.
It’s another thing to open up your heart and let someone know how you feel and they simply refuse to understand you.
It makes you want to knock out their teeth and slap them silly until they get the fact that what you’re telling them isn’t what you’ve chosen to feel but how you genuinely feel about the subject.
People change their minds all the time about the things they think about,
but feelings – you don’t choose and pick new ones.
They are what they are and they can only change with time and circumstances and therefore they are meant to be respected even if you don’t agree with them.
Only thoughts should be argued – and even a change of thought doesn’t guarantee a change of feelings on a particular subject.
Frustrating –
to the point where you stop trying to make that other person understand,
some people just don’t want to.
Hurtful –
to the point where you feel you’re feelings aren’t important enough for that person to try and understand where you’re coming from.

It feels so good to write, it feels great to dedicate my time to the things I love –
I’ve made a pledge to myself this summer to invest more in the things that make me happy.