After a while being here in Brazil, life has finally found its pace. I wake up at a certain time. I eat, have lunch, a snack… I walk the dog, see my friends and watch tv. I sleep. And all those things repeat themselves over and over, in a nice rhythm that rocks me and makes me feel home.
Besides my everyday life having found its pace, I have also found many lost things around here. In my room, I found countless notebooks from 10 years ago. They were all there, standing next to 7 year-old receipts. Both in my drawer, waiting for nothing. I found love letters of possible girlfriends from my childhood. All of them now married. I found documents from internships, from school, from nothing. I guess I have looked so much that I even found my allergies, long forgotten.
But even between one sneeze and another, I like to be able to see those old things. Some of them reveal to be useless now and go straight to the garbage can. Others will stay for five more years before finding their final destination. And some others stay. They just stay.
Indeed I have found many stuff. And not only old bank accounts from my 2007 French language course. I have found many old friends these last days. And the good thing is that friends do no stand still, waiting for you, collecting dust. Each one of those friends I met kept with their lives, with new victories and challenges, new hairs and beards. I was happy to find them here, dustless.
- Hey, Gu! So good to see you again!
- Thereza! I love seeing you again too! How are you?
- Everything is great, new home, marriage…
- Micheli! I loved the new hair!
- Thanks, Gu! Here, I brought you a little something!
- Oh, you didn’t have to. Thank you!
- Oh, Paulinha, here we are in this bookstore again.
- I know, Gu! Actually the sales people even know my name here… I come with Rodrigo every weekend.
- Gustavo Carneiro! How come you still didn’t call me? Did you forget me?
- I’m sorry Leo! I would never forget you! Tell me, how is life? I missed you!
- Maria. My beloved Maria. How much have I missed you!
- Oh, Guts! Come here and hug me! – no, Mrs. Mimi, do not go away from home!
And then we talk. Talk about everything. New home, new marriage, how was the wedding, the cake, the party. Her father walking her down the aisle. Her uncle walking her down the aisle. Family. New job. Trip to Recife. Trip to Japan. Pregnancy. Life in Berlin. Berlin. Brasilia. Real state bubble in Brasília. Cheap prices of Berlin. Germans. How serious German are. Beer. Brazil. World Cup. Dinner invitation. Risotto. Acarajés. Brownies.
Conversations. As predictable and unpredictable as they always are. But some things I didn’t have time to tell Thereza, Leo, Maria… It is just that there are those small things that happen in our days, which change them. Those things that make us feel like we belong. And if you do not pay attention you won’t even notice them, cause they come and go like this. So, I share with you what I didn’t tell.
I spent last Christmas in a small village near Bonn. It had a population of 600 people. While I walked there, I could see some people looking at me with curiosity. In that Christmas week, the only store from that village was closed. So I couldn’t buy any food to contribute to my hostess home, which made me feel ashamed. I was warmly received in one authentic German Family Christmas dinner. As a gift to her nephews, I gave a Mickey and a Minnie. But they didn’t give it much attention, because they wanted to read their new books.
Last January I came back from Barcelona to a very cold and dark Berlin. One day, when I was taking my regular bus to go to school, I experienced my first traffic jam there. And the bus was overcrowded in a way that wouldn’t make any Brazilian bus look bad. While I waited there for 10, 20, 30 minutes, I started to feel suffocated. I felt like this not because of the number of people in that bus. What made me lose my breathe was the thick silence inside that bus. I felt like screaming because it was unnatural for me that 60 people remained silent for half an hour.
During summer, I worked for Allversity, an internet startup from Berlin. Our launch party was held very near my home, so I could walk there. It is also important to tell that this party happened during one of the hottest weeks of the year. We were suffering with the hot weather for about 4 or 5 days. After 5 hours of party, it started to rain. A very strong rain, with thick raindrops. The natural instinct of everyone was to go inside the house to protect themselves from getting wet. However, in a few minutes the guests could see that among those heavy raindrops there as a group of people, lightly dancing and singing as if they were children again. I was among those people.
Around April, sun was out and everyone started to enjoy it. One day I decided to go to a park near my home to study. I arrived at my chosen spot and opened my blanket. I took my texts and started reading. I could hear in the background a child laughing, playing with her father. Near me there was a teenager playing Frisbee with his dog. It was very good to be outside again. And the best part was that, since I was laying down, I could see the grass with countless small flowers, you know those small ones that you can easily miss? They had small white petals. Well, near almost every single one of those flowers there were some bee, silently working. Each one of them paying attention to their pollen. I saw that and I realized that there was an entire world filled with life around me. It was happening despite of me. I smiled and got back to my texts.