Thursday, February 26, 2009

Extreme sports in Australia

There is this adventure accomplished by a young fellow man. He is very smart in his work field but has no ability when it comes to languages. Here in Brazil, it is quite relevant speaking English as the businesses are now globalized. Then, he decided to do something about it and ended up buying an English class pack including extreme sports in Australia for a month.

“I am going to enjoy it for sure, as I will have some adventure to guarantee the fun time!”

Well… let’s say it was a quite adventure for him!

It is very difficult going all by yourself to a foreign country knowing just few phrases and specific words here and there. This is exactly his case. We ought to give him the credit of having a very good temper and a good will, though, as he recorded all his adventure with his portable camera with the best effort to be positive in all odd occasions.

One day he attended to the bugle jump event and the instructor asked him to step ahead. The instructor spoke in English, of course. He didn’t understand what the instructor said and he talks to us (e.g., to the camera) in Portuguese: “oh, this guy doesn’t understand what I am here for. I must explain.” Then he turns to the instructor and says: “Bugle Jump”.

He thought that was clear enough but the instructor came with the very same request: “Please, sir, step ahead!” He looks to the camera and comments again in Portuguese: “oh-oh, this guy does not understand me. Maybe my accent is not good.” And he repeats again, slowly: “B-u-g-l-e J-u-m-p!”

This very same sequence occurs one more time and the instructor realizes he did not understand the request and simply PUSH him. And there he goes, finally, bugle jumping, images on the camera going up and down very harshly…

In another occasion he was hiking and he stops when he find himself astonished by the view of the most beautiful lake ever. It was far from the city, therefore no single person nearby. “Well… this is a good occasion to swimming, don’t you agree?” – he talks to the camera. “Sorry, guys, I am going to have a really good time now!” He took off the shirt, pants and shoes, and there he goes… As he kept the camera turned on, we are able to see him swimming right to the left, then backwards, for endless few minutes.

After that he comes back to the land, puts his clothes on and keeps hiking. Then he find a sign plate. He does not understand any of the words on the warning sign but he records it with his camera. Back here in Brazil, he shows the tape to his friend.

When it comes to this sign, his friend alerts him about what that sign was warning of: that beautiful lake was a private property where bacteriology tests were proceeded and it was not safe for bathing!

His face frozen immediately and he asks his friend how grave the alert was. “Oh, my God! What I have done!!! Am I infected? Would it be dangerous, I mean, I have no girlfriend yet but I still want to be able to have children in the future when I marry. Is that would be possible still?”

His friend reads again the sign and tells him it seems not to be fatal nor dangerous for his future children, because the sign explains that the tests performed there have the goal to develop bacteria cultures in order to clean polluted or dirty water.

He is going to have an appointment with his doctor next week, though. He also promised for himself never entering in any lake again, not knowing exactly where he is going into…

An engineering sense to quit smoking

My boss, at the former company I worked in, is an engineer who applied all the meticulous planning and tactics when he decided to quit smoking. It was a genius plan, really!

He observed wisely that everyone who ever attempted quitting smoking usually has an unpleasant side effect: getting weight. The anxiousness for smoking a cigarette was replaced by eating candies and this causes the increasing of the weight.

Well, here goes his brilliant plan.

First: he found a pleasant sport to perform frequently. After few proper researches he chose biking as he could do it with his 10 years old son at the week-ends. This would be perfect to attack the getting weight side effect.

Then, he started to eat salads and grilled chicken, reducing drastically the carbohydrates from his meals.

Third step: he starts biking on the weekends with his son and increasing the performance gradually according to his physical condition.

Well, by the time he was biking only during the weekends, everything was just fine. However, when he started biking longer distances, he felt weaker and he asked the company’s physical trainer what could be the reason of this weakness. The physical trainer told him the problem was the carbohydrate reduction as it is crucial for keeping the energy level during any training performance. Then, he decided to get more carbohydrate in his meals. It worked marvelously.

In the course of just six months he has quitted completely the smoking and was performing incredible 23,4 Km by his bike, three days a week, round trip (which means he was biking 46,8 km a day)!

When I left the job position at this company, he was able to go to the company almost every day by his bike!
Well done, Mr. Setti! It is quite an admirable accomplishment!!

I have just learned that he kept biking since then, participating in even more longer challenges (600 km)! Also, he was able to influence his children to do some sport in cycling area. They became so good they won several championships in different styles, State and Country. And the best thing: his children never smoked and are doing quite well in their study and work career! - Yes! This is one more example of how a small seed generates big (and successful) results! Congratulations to you all!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

And a sunshade pops up in a rainy day

Imagine a white hair elder man walking at six o’clock in a rainy morning carrying a HUGE sunshade. Well… let’s introduce him!

Every day, early in the morning, a 74 year’s old man gets out from his house and does what he has been doing for almost seven years now: walking.

He walks every single day, no matter what: raining, drizzling, cold or hot weather. He gets out and does his walking for about one hour. And he keeps the records: how long he walked that day, how many steps he walked and the weather’s condition (only if it's raining).

His pleasure lays on keeping the habit and registering it. He just loves seeing the pile of notebooks completely filled with those records: gives him an immense satisfaction and happiness seeing his accomplishments properly performed!

Well, this elder man is actually my beloved father and the day I have heard about the sunshade (and saw it) I could not help myself bursting in laugh! The very image of my father walking alone with such a big object in a rainy day seemed so odd yet so tenderly childish… Oh, God, how I love this short strong head old man!

P.S.: I ought to add in his defense: he just thought a bright colored sunshade was too showy so he decided to paint it black.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Putting people more closely

There is this lady who is an acquaintance of the gentleman my landlord. He told me a very interesting idea this lady had in the last Christmas family’s meeting.

Many Christmas parties here in Brazil have this game called “Secret Friend”. It works like this: each joiner takes a paper with the name of another friend, and must not tell anyone who it is. Each participant must prepare or buy a gift to the person indicated on his/her paper. A date is chosen by everybody to exchange the gifts. On this date, on the game, one joiner (let’s call him “A”) starts it giving tips due to the others try to guess of whom he was the secret friend. When they get right his friend, “A” gives his gift to him/her. This person is the next that gives tips, and the fun goes on until all the people have received their gifts.

All the parties this lady arranges are well organized and she puts her heart on every single little detail. For instance, she takes her time to write little notes with inspiring phrases or statements in beautiful cards and put them around the house for her guests to read them.

The brilliant idea’s of her at this particular Christmas party was: the secret friend should not only give a present to his/her friend, but, also, must perform as the guardian angel of his/her friend in the course of the entire next year! The so-nominee-guardian-angel must take care of his/her friend by phone-calling, letters-writing and doing whatever needed in order to be close to his/her friend for a whole year!

Isn’t it a lovely idea?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A 44 years´s marriage

Ms. Miriam, the old lady selling eggs in the free market has told me she married her husband just 7 months after making acquaintance with him. He used to work in a grocery and always kept his eyes on her every time she walked in the street. Once he told his friend Ivete: “You see that girl? One day I will marry her!” “Are you kidding? She is my sister and she is engaged!” “No way! She is not your sister! You are white and blond and she is brunet and dark-skinned. It could not possible…

Well, they were actually sisters. Their mother was a dark-skinned beautiful woman and their father was a white blond man.

This young man was so determined and so deeply in love with her that he managed to invite her to a theater as soon as he found out that she had broken the engagement with former fiancée. Back at that time the young lady must have the approval of her parents and the company of a sister or brother in order to date; she would never date alone with a boyfriend. And so they did. In that evening the young man has have the company of his lovely girl and a couple of sisters too.

The lady has confessed that she was NOT in love with him at all. He was not particularly handsome neither rich. But his passion took her right in the heart and they had married seven months later.

Her husband loves her and demonstrates his love to her every single day yet! All the same, as it hasn’t passed 44 years since then…

The courage only the youth have

Almost 45 years ago a young lady around 26 years old had decided to cross all by herself half the Globe to marry a man she had just seen in black and white pictures. Although all the excitement and wanderings, it should be frightening though.

She was not particularly in love with her future husband. She just wanted get away from the sight of her mother and she simply thought that that was a good way.

I have ended up putting myself into a trap”, she once told me. “Because whenever I argue with my husband I have no place to go but home here.”

Despite all the struggles for living in a foreign land (and all the arguments every couples pass through marriage) she told me she was happy back then as she is today.

Sometimes I think if she had chosen another kind of life (and another husband) I would not be here. Because, you see, she is my beloved mother and I am deeply proud of her “fragile” courage to take a 40 days trip in a ship to get here to Brazil and raise our family with my father. They both are my greatest heroes!

Isn’t someone’s quote that says: “Only the young have this kind of courage. And this kind of courage comes only in the youth.” ?


If you have to do it anyway, do it with pleasure

A friend of mine once told me a particular phrase her mother used to say ever since she was a little girl. Whenever they have a task to accomplish, her mother has always instructed her and her sister to do it with all pleasure they could.

Well, you have to do it anyway, don’t you? Then it is better to do it in the most pleasant feeling possible. Don’t you think it is nicer?

Just another day, my friend had found her mother in cleaning-clothes, half dancing and half cleaning, listening to a funny rock music out loud playing in the radio.



This very mother of my friend has another interesting story I would like to share with you.

By the time of her 70th birthday she decided to pick up one activity she had never performed before in her life, due to accomplish it in the course of the next year.

The first one chosen was participating of “San Silvestre” marathon, an annual event that takes place in the streets of Sao Paulo City on December 31st. It is quite hard to make the entire course because it is one of Latin America’s biggest road races: 15 kilometers and the final part of the course (at Brigadeiro Luis Antonio Avenue) is a tiring climb.

Well, that was a real challenge! According to my friend she started to practice running and exercise on the end of September. On the day she was running the marathon it rained. Nevertheless, she keeps running and FINISHES the entire course!

The picture above was taken by my friend. Her mother was at Brigadeiro Luis Antonio Avenue, and despite of the rain we can almost feel her joy and happiness running there!

Ms. Komatsu, my sincere congratulations for your accomplishment (and cheerful perseverance)!