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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Yes, you read right. I’m learning a new language. The Portuguese language. More specifically Brazilian Portuguese.

This is acting as part of my current obsession with travel and jetting off to a land with sunnier climates and similar culture, although non-English speaking for that extra bit of challenge. So I thought I’d start keeping account of what I’m learning, how I’m learning and what I’m coming across within my methods of learning, as well as anything I’m learning about Brazil itself.

Of course, the most important aspect of learning or acquiring a new language is through immersion. So I have been having (painfully slow) conversations with native Portuguese speakers. There’s a certain rhythm that is muito (very) enjoyable to listen to. I hear bits of Spanish with a slight French accent, quite the mash-up. And even more comforting is the similarity between hundreds, possibly thousands, of words within Portuguese and English.

So I started using an online programme which structures the basics of learning certain phrases, words and grammar. This method of learning is dry, but because of my motivation in learning I have caught on to quite a few basic expressions and can say simple things like “I want to have a party” / “Eu quero fazer uma festa” or “I am twenty-eight years old” (Eu tenho vinte e oito anos) or “this here is my sister” (essa acqi e minha irma) or “I am happy” (estou feliz) or “today is so hot” (hoje e mutio quente) or “I want two beers and a coke please” (quero duas cervejas e uma coca por favor). I’m aware that I’ve missed off some accents on the letters but I have an English keyboard!

There are a few differences that I have to get used to, particularly the gender of each word and how the word “the” is different for feminine or masculine words. Also, referring to countries with a definite article, such as ‘o Brasil’ or ‘a Inglaterra’. And the combining of prepositions, which I haven’t got the hang of yet!

Accents – these are what make the Portuguese language so intricate. There are so many nasal sounds, which when I’m listening to native speakers is difficult for me to differentiate between. I also speak some Punjabi, which is an Indian language very very similar to Hindi, where nasal sounds are omnipresent, so I’ve had a little practise.

Anyway, after about 5 weeks of learning, I came across this guy.

So yeah, pretty simple stuff but altogether very encouraging. There’s a couple of other people who have moved to Brazil, known as ‘gringos’ (foreigners), and have put a lot of effort in to helping other people achieve their goals of moving to Brazil alongside finding work and mastering the Portuguese language.

There is Kevin Portor, who runs Live In Brazil (click) and who I’ve subscribed to his free video lessons (here). Then there’s Josh something who runs the website Brazilian Gringo (click).

Lots of useful information that is encouraging me and assimilating me to the language and the prospect of living and working abroad.

So although I’ve learnt quite a bit of the basics through Babbel, the language learning website, it’s these people who are convincing me that listening to as much Brazilian music and TV is the way forward, particularly for the language rhythm. The BBC recently put up this article (click) about the connection between learning a language and musical rhythm. Perfect.

So, a song that I found through Idahosa Ness, the first guy I posted up there, is Seu Jorge’s ‘Carolina’.

Apreciar o ritmo!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5UP4LzYz5k

My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mother has here her male friends,
they work in the green
to her laborious needs they tend.
One sister has made her orders,
another escape among chemical romance,
and money, hard to come by,
walks off in the distance.
While the other sis goes to share
artisan ideas and graphic up some paper
on her day of work,
I sit, my dog scratching behind me,
with music playing so loud it heals
the hidden hurts.
This, an ordinary Saturday, is
beautifully aligned in normality.
These are the times of our early
thirties.
The easiest years of my life,
today, we will play in the mundane,
although it doesn’t feel like it,
I am certainly at my most sane.

How strange that somebody can allude to know me better than I know myself.

It’s not as if I pride myself on being a mystery – that’s just a sum of my past. A world of unknowns, lovers tucked under the duvets, mirrors reflecting what the world wants to see, truth just a mere theory that one day could be contested.

The guy… he’s getting to know my personality in the depth that a lover would. Thing is, I don’t want him in such ways. He’s adamant that I find him attractive and he has such a way about him, the way his intuition for the way people are has been perfected, that I’m questioning my motives. He’s right about me bullshitting though. More mysteries I keep from being caressed.

“Why do you devote so much time to me?” he asks.

Well, sorry to break it to you, but maybe I’m too weak to allow this one bit of honesty to surface, like a bit of plastic waste within the deep blue. Perhaps it’s because my work has dried up temporarily and you fill the hours of lonely night times. Or the fact that somebody is interested in me, just generally. You want to find out information, you want to get to know me, and it feels nice. I tell you I’m not interested in that way, the way people get naked and exchange fluids, because I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. You stroke me, and I swell, I double, my ego becomes erect. Your absolute determined view that I must be attracted to you makes me want not to explain why I’m not.

He did say something to me the other day or week and it made quite the profound impact. It was nice to hear. These strangers in the night can sometimes say the nicest of things.

“Every time you smile you look completely different.”

Grey hairs are an indication that life is on the go. I have this rumble in my stomach to see the world. I want to travel. I want to shock to my system, I want to grow and feel and see the world in all of its glory. This isn’t even an unachievable dream, I just need for it to be out of my system. Everything here is… good. It’s… standard. I am utterly grateful. But now is the time, when things are good, to leap out and try to discover more about the world and in turn more about me. I want to feel something different, this is comfort, this is the usual. I already put restrictions on myself, there’s this invisible barrier that takes a good lot of battering before you get a glimpse in to who I am. Around this self-imposed barrier is another of comfort, of the everyday. I want to break out of them. I need a challenge. I need to be scared, I need new experiences to enable my spirit to grow.

This guy… he’s bringing forth realisations that I don’t really know myself to the extent of which I could and therefore am not able to fully align my spirit. Truth, all overpowering overbearing truth, is something that is stated to be one the main facets to achieve peace, or a state of spiritual habitat. This is my desire, this is what I seek to achieve.

While on a night out this weekend gone, a friend of mine, who talks with me about the wonders of how little we know, talked of our perception of reality. He always repeats to me that everything we see might or might not be real, that everything is but atoms either tightly packed or spaced out. At one point, a guy on the stairs stopped his girlfriend and became rowdy in her face. My friend, the boyfriend of this lady, wasn’t anywhere to be seen so I and other friends intervened and the guy promptly moved on. After telling my friend this happened he said:

“I don’t bother with that stuff. See, we’re all one. I don’t argue with people like that. He’ll have moved on without much bother.” And here’s the funny bit. “We’re all the same. We’re made of the same atoms. I’m going out with myself. Why would I argue with myself?”

Killer.

Until next time.

Words have alluded me of recent. Not so long ago, maybe a week or two, my mind was in a more positive place. The thing with me is, my emotions swell and dwell and retract and pulsate at different levels in short spaces of time. I can attribute the happenings in my life to a certain mood, for example, I am high when I’m on the move and busy, but low when I have time to think and mull over mind-created problems. I have one those minds, you see. It’s a frustrating mind to have. Although I know I have power over what I think – thoughts become reality. And that’s pretty much how my year has worked out for me thus far. I’ve achieved new things this year, but it’s so so so easy to forget and become lost in a warped sense of reality. Because really, nothing actually matters. We as individuals are a tiny speck on the dust of the universe. So it’s about enjoying yourself, embracing whatever life has to throw at you and that includes the lows. The lows enable me to really appreciate the highs. I am grateful, probably not enough, but I am grateful for the things that surround me today.

I can walk.

I can talk.

I can breathe.

I’m alive.

I can use my fingers.

I have a young age, an age of which I am coming to understand is the age at which I should be grasping absolutely everything. Because it doesn’t last. That is somewhat of a fear but if I can use that fear to create positive results then it’s all good.

I should write more often, it’s cathartic. I know I’m my own worst enemy, at the same time, I’m also my biggest fan. That made me laugh.

Tonight, after a long time, I’ll be surrounded by people and friends that I’ve known for a long time but of whom I’ve been keeping my distance because of my own insecurities. I’m going to try and embrace the love they give, I’m going to try and remember to give out as much love as poss. I’m going to try and create good memories, those of which I haven’t experienced with these guys for quite a while. I’m going to try and let go.

“When we were nothing, we had it all.”