mandag den 14. december 2009

Manu Chao in Rio - 10.12/2009

Manu Chao Live In Rio from gunvor jøsendal on Vimeo.

Touristing in the Rio-rain

We saw this

Not, as we expected, this

And the view, was not as spectacular as the postcards everywhere around us had promised.

But ah well - we figure - been there, done that, bought the refrigerator magnet. Check.

+ We recon that we got an authentic experience of how
Jesus the redeemer must have felt in the movie 2012.

Going in to our last week in Sao Paulo

And we're back where we started: With the lovely Ferraros!

An odd but good feeling, being in the same place as we were while looking forward to everything Sao Paulo had to offer --- now looking back, figuring out what to bring with us, and what to give back.

This last week stands in the sign of; Evaluating, feedback-ing, closing doors, writing the report, handing over material, harvesting and documenting learning, and - last but not least - attending the Hub Christmas Party on Friday.

Brazilian greetings.

After a couple of months in brazil I have taken the freedom to create an advisory guide when it comes to greetings.

In brazil greeting people, known or new introductions, always contains one kiss on the right cheek. It might be combined with a hand shake, kiss, and than what i would call the half hug- embracing the other person with your left arm while shaking you right hands and kissing right cheeks. complicated? not yet, this is an easy procedure, when getting used to it. The complications occur, when you move from the hand shake+ half hug to the whole hug- It is unknown exactly when a relationship develops into the whole hug greeting, but my statistics shows that it is around the 3rd greeting of the same person. But be aware! a combination of the whole hug and the half hug+ hand shake can easily end in what i would refer to as the crotch shake, leaving both parties of the greeting fairly embarrassed.

Questions of interest- Almost all greetings consists of a to do bem, or how are you during. The correct social way to reply to this is to mirror the question or simply do a right back at you: how are you during? Since it is a question, one might start to answer it, by telling about how ones day has been; if you are fine or perhaps if you have a hint of a stomach ache- don't! This is not the time to utter your feelings. The greeting is a sign of interest, but should be interpreted as: "I hope you are during well, but I have no time to hear your answer" If you, as I have, begin to to talk about your situation, you will find your self in the situation of talking out into the air, as the one who asked you the question passed by minutes ago.

Good luck with the greetings!

Random robbery

Our first night in Rio, down by Copa Cabana beach.

I am standing outside a fast food joint, waiting for Anne who went in to borrow their toilet.

A young man comes up to me and starts speaking in Portuguese. With my limited vocabulary I keep saying that I don't understand, and don't speak Portuguese, and he goes over to speaking English.

"Gimme money, gimme money" he keeps repeating, but as I don't have any handy change, I just keep saying "No", in an "as a matter of fact" kind of way.

After he has kept on repeating his request quite a few times, I happen to look down and see he is holding a knife - a table, or "butter knife" as we call them back home - pointing towards me... More than anything I am surprised by the turn of events (as I had not yet experienced the situation as scary or especially threatening), and could not help but laugh a little at the absurdity --- This was definitively not the horrifying experience of a robbery that so many people had warned us about (involving gangs of people, dark alleys, Rambo-style knifes, big guns etc).

Without knowing exactly what to do, but quite sure that I was not willing to give him my bag, (containing little or no cash, but my camera and private notes) I just kept saying no, until he started laughing as well. As he stowed his table knife back in to his pocket, and walked away, he turned around and smiled, waved at me and blew me a kiss...


30 seconds later Anne came out from the restaurant, and all was well again.

No harm, no foul - and we never experienced any similar situation during our stay in Rio - but on the other hand probably became even more aware of being careful when out alone. For the future, one of our best methods was to find a macho and Brazilian looking guy (which naturally Rio is full of), going in our direction, and just walking behind him, close enough so that it would look as if we were together.

onsdag den 9. december 2009

Workshop with the Hub Team

Weekend - 5th & 6th of December

Workshop with the Hub Team from gunvor jøsendal on Vimeo.

Participants: Pablo, Henrique, Maria, Barbara, Marina & Franco.

mandag den 7. december 2009

Wherever I hang my hat...

...that's my home.

Right now I left it on the bedpost in one of the rooms of a big feminine apartment in a new part of town (Morumbi, in the south of SP). Here we live with two sisters; Karina and Emily. - But who knows for how long?
As I was driving home from the workshop today I had a conversation with one of the team members Barbara, about creating a home and leaving it.

She is originally from Argentina, but after a a stop over in Montreal, Berlin, and the country side of Brazil, she ended in Sao Paulo (at least for now).

"I have an immigration plan of 3 years," she told me, "I don't want to get used to living in Sao Paulo".
We talked about how this can become an urge within you, not to become to tied to your rhythms and routines, having a desire to explore more and different ways of living. All at the same time, having the ambivalent need to create a home wherever you are.

I never get to hang pictures on my walls with nails - maybe because I don't want to become to set and settled?
It makes me think of the street hustlers. They have all their things scattered in front of them on the street, almost similar to the permanent stores. But all their things lay on a sheet, in which corners they can grab a hold, thereby gathering all their things in a bulk ready to run from the police as fast as they can.

I have no police to run from, but it did not take me l
ong to gather my things and run to SP. So I have the exploration covered but the feeling of home is a bit more tricky. Maybe it lays in the routines we create wherever we are, the feeling of familiarity. Gunvor and I had one corner café that we kept retuning to in the last neighbor hood we lived in. It was surely not because of its swab interior or high sense of hygiene. More likely because we got to know the waiters there, as they did us and our regular orders. And we never discussed where to sit, because the regular table was a given, and provided as soon as we approached.
If exploration is about not knowing, but to search, then home might be about knowing - not necessarily where to hang your pictures on the wall, but how you like your steak, or how your friend respond to your jokes, who you hope to have received a mail from when you open your laptop, or where you lay your hat when you walk in the door...

Add on from Gunvor:

And knowing that if there is no natural place to hang your hat - your traveling buddy will wear it, and sing happy songs, until everything looks bright again...