Tuesday, December 23, 2008

look me in the eyes for a little while, or even...forever

Life is never about how the others see us, but about how we see ourselves reflected in the other people's eyes. And we can change that reflection every time we look another person in the eyes. The problem is that most of the times, we don't even look people in the eyes, we focus on an area on their face, body, surrounding, and most of the times we're reluctant to look people in the eyes. We're afraid of the reflection we might see there, we doubt that it could be a good one an in the end, we're afraid of looking at ourselves. It's not the other person that intimidates us or makes us uncomfortable, we intimidate ourselves by not having the courage to look ourselves in the eyes.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


me (waking up after having fallen asleep during the movie...nothing new there):
how was the ending of the movie?

r: strange
me: why?
r: because all the people were emotionally unstable
me: ok, I'm going to go be emotionally asleep, then.
(the movie was Margot at the Wedding)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Make a wish...see what's out there!

We live in a continuous fight, a constant struggle to get what we want, when we want it and especially how we want it. Most of the times, we fight so hard that we end up destroying our wish. The other times we don't appreciate it as much when we get it. If you think about it, none of our wishes come true exactly when and how we want them. So maybe we don't wish for things, but we get a glimpse of what's going to happen. We are shown a possible future and all we have to do is decide if we want to follow that path or not.

When we moved to New York last year, me and R decided that we'd go for our honeymoon in Brazil. The only reason we decided for Brazil was because we saw E's Facebook photos from Brazil and we loved them. At least that's how we thought at that time. Two month later I find out about the possibility of spending my summer semester in Brazil. So I start writing essays and I apply for it. I get in. We decide to go one week early and have our own small vacation in Brazil. I don't remember exactly when this wish started to take form in reality, in fact I'm not even sure it started out as a wish. It seemed more like the universe showed us a peek in a possible future and we decided to make it happen. So maybe it's not about the wishes, but it's about catching that moment when the universe gives you a hint about the future and then going on that road.

So now that we've already been in the honeymoon before the actual wedding, I wonder where our honeymoon will be. I don't have any clues yet, but as soon as I get any, I'm going to follow that road.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's not the position you stand in, but the direction in which you look

Or is it? The people in Rocinha have probably the best view of the ocean, so do the people from Babilonia. But at the same time they still live in brick houses, sometimes without plumming or running water, having to go down to the city every time they need to buy something and then carry it back up the narrow stairs that form the link between them and the rest of the world. They look at the ocean every day, just as the people from Ipanema or from Copacabana, they have better views than most of the luxurious hotels on the ocean front, yet their monthly salary (if they have one) equals to the price you would pay for one night in those luxurious hotels.
So for them, it's not the direction in which you look, but actually the position you stand in. They look down on the rest of the world because they're atop a hill, but they are looked down upon by everybody.

Today I visited Rocinha, the biggest favela in South America, a favela that is slightly bigger than my home town in Romania. I was impressed by everything I saw there. Beyond the drug trafficers and beyond the poverty, I saw a community of people that were living together and helping one another, I saw compassion and love in a place where guns and drugs set the rules. I saw kids playing and dogs chasing them, I saw people having lunch and enjoying themselves. It was not the war zone that's always portrayed in the media, it was a community. There were no 3-meter high fences (as you see in the rest of the city), no locks on the doors, these people had nothing, but what they had they shared.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sahara, Rio de Janeiro

Saraha, a place in Rio de Janeiro, a few blocks from the Center, where you can actually buy anything you can ever imagine. Just imagine a giant bazaar, that surrounds you at everystep and opens new paths every second. The most amazing thing is that when you can actually pull yourself away from watching all that's being offered to you, you realize that above the stores something amazing was happening: it's like a new city is unravelling on the second floor, a city that you never even knew existed, just because you we're too busy noticing the ground floor.
Everybody was buying or selling something, we were photographing and filming. It was totally amazing to watch people shop, sell, bargain, explore.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Big Night Out on the Town

Last night we went to Lapa. My first Friday night in Lapa since I've been to Brazil (2 weeks). I have no idea why I waited for such a long time and why I only went on the 3rd Friday, but it was totally worth it. Or maybe the 3rd time was the charm. Who knows? Starting with the roller coaster bus ride and ending with the cab ride back as Neesha was taking photos and repeating that the sun is up. Yap, we went the whole nine yards, we stayed in Lapa until sunrise (actually after sunrise). It was the most amazing time I've had in a long time. Street partying, gazing, laughing, everything was there exactly in the right amount, exactly as we wanted it and even better. Yesterday I was wondering if Rio is my second love, well today I'm sure. Just as I'm sure that Rio loves me back and welcomes me in every second and in every corner of it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

How do you know when you find your place?

One of my all time best friends told me that he's still looking for a place to fall in love with and remain there for the rest of his life. Do we actually feel the same about places, as we do about people? I moved to NY because I was sure that NY was my One, The One. And it was totally love at first sight. It was probably the city I was meant to be born in, but somehow God got distracted and sent me to Romania. But now, living in Rio, I think I found my lover. I feel as if New York is my One and Rio is a lover I go to when I get bored of old New York. Can it be that we have more than one great love in this world (at least when it comes to cities) and if it's possible to love two places equally at the same time for different reasons, why are we so unwilling to accept that when it comes to people?

Some people settle for what they have. They receive and welcome the city they were born in and never go searching for the one, just as they settle for some random person to spend the rest of their life with. Cato has been around the world at least a few times. There's almost no country on the map that he has not visited and still he is searching for the one. I guest you could call him restless, but I would just call him a man that doesn't give up. Ok, maybe he is a little picky, but on the other hand, what's wrong with being picky when you make a decision for life?

Somehow I was sure that New York would be my great love, I knew it even before I set foot on JFK, but Rio is definitely a great love too. Or could it be just a crush? No, I think Amsterdam was a crush, but Rio, Rio has to be love. After New York, it's the only city where I'd like to live, I love the people, I love the sights, the food, the language...I love it all. I think Rio might be my second great love!