0

6:30

Maria stared out the window while stirring sugar into a fresh cup of coffee. Her mind wondered about the amount of sugar she had put in her coffee. “I’m starting to believe I have a sugar problem”, she thought “it’s not a coffee addiction”, as her heart skipped a bit, and she smiled, “just like Bis coffee”.

Bis, aka Grandma Bilete, was her Father’s mother. The two of them shared a special bond, that wasn’t easy to describe. It was as though they understood each other’s minds and tastes in life, despite the fact that they belonged to two completely different generations. When Grandma had passed, she felt that part of her was gone too. She longed for her Grandma’s smile and kind words. She was sorry that her son didn’t have the chance to hug his Great-grandma. Maria had miss the whole funeral thing, because her boy was a few weeks old, and she was now living in a different land.

“It was better this way”, she thought. “Now I actually get to always remember her face with some fresh applied blush, and a nice sugary cup of coffee”. Bis was also the reason Maria liked coffee so much: the memories a cup of coffee could bring her were the best ones.

That morning was a dreary one. As she stared out the window, rain had taken over for the past two days, and it looked like not much was about to change. It was the beginning of April, the blurry rainy season in the north country. Through the window, she could see the flooded backyard. She looked pitifully, “Poor dogs. This is going to be another inside day”. Yet her mind cheered: “April showers, bring May flowers. Just hang in there, green grass and motorcycle weather are just around the corner”.

With a little pirouette, Maria turned around and headed to the refrigerator to grab fixings to prepare her son’s school lunch. Like most weekday mornings, “Todo dia ela faz tudo sempre igual”, she sang a verse of the song “Cotidiano”, from Brazilian singer/songwriter/writer (and any other intelectual kind of stamp there is) Chico Buarque.

Ohh… the things her mind could wonder about while simple stirring sugar into a cup of coffee. In less than five minutes, she worried about her sugar intake. This led her to happy memories of her Grandmother Bis, whom would have love to stare at the flooded backyard, searching for birds, while wondering about Maria’s motorcycle ride. Yet, riding was only possible because Maria’s (now) 6 years old son had an eight hour long school day… Speaking of school … Maria suddenly felt reminded of her routine of fixing the boy’s lunch, making the breakfast, and getting the house going. “…Todo dia ela diz que é pra eu me cuidar, e essas coisas que diz toda mulher / Diz que está me esperando pro jantar, e me beija com a boca de café… tralala”, she sang thoughfully.

 

0

To be an stranger

In Brazilian Portuguese the words “Foreigner” and “Alien” can be translated as “estrangeiro/estrangeira”, with the correct spelling. However, if you were to pay close attention to how the Brazilian people pronounce the word, you may notice that the “i” is silent, leading to something like this: “estrangero/estrangera”. Interestingly enough, if one takes the first and last vowels out of the portuguese word one will get the english “straScreen Shot 2017-03-18 at 3.47.40 PMnger”, which according to language dictionaries, and the thesaurus, means “foreigner” or “alien”. Full circle!

In order to go a little further with this word playing, I looked up the definition of “Stranger” in the dictionary, and it reads:

stranger |ˈstrānjər|

noum

a person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar: don’t talk to strangers | she remained a stranger to him.

• a person who does not know, or is not known in, a particular place or community: I’m a stranger in these parts | he must have been a stranger to the village.

(stranger to) a person entirely unaccustomed to (a feeling, experience, or situation): he is no stranger to controversy.

PHRASES
hello, stranger!

humorous used to greet someone whom one has not seen for some time.

ORIGIN: late Middle English: shortening of Old French estrangier, from Latin extraneus.

So, here I am: a Brazilian woman, whom in the past 8 years has been living the American life. I am an alien, a foreigner, a stranger, or simply an immigrant. To be honest, that really never bothered me, but now, like many others who were not born here, I am in the spotlight.

Although this whole new situation which is still not bothering me, it is interesting to notice how behavior has changed around “strangers”.  Up to a month ago, people were usually curious about my accent, and the reasons that brought me to the US; but now things are different, and, as a result, I get questions about: my paperwork, my immigration status, my citizenship, and every once in a while, a funny “aren’t you too white to be Brazilian”.

eSTRANGERa.com has been up for years. I created the blog to talk about my views, and my different experiences as a “Brazilian soul, living an American life”. Since I wanted to keep writing in Portuguese (my natural language), the posts were mainly directed to the Brazilian public. But, that is about to change.

It is time for people (all over), to understand what it means when we talk about a world that is bigger than border limits. By saying this, I don’t mean that I am against immigra
tion policies, but I believe there are cases and “then there are cases”. I believe in the social rules, and citizen commitments we all have (some may be fair and some may not). For instance: don’t be a criminal, respect the laws, pay taxes, don’t run naked in public, recycle, etc, etc, etc. Nevertheless, I believe in the human race; in that everyone is looking to improve themselves, and their surroundings.

To sum up, I believe that when a (good) person decides to make such a big move for their life, the decision has to come with knowing the consequences. For example, there are going to be different customs, and maybe a different language. Agreeing with this, will make the transition easier and worth it. In this way, people are showing respect for the place they’ve chosen to be their new home.

MORE?… in the future posts of this new eSTRANGERa.!

By the way:  I am here due to a very universal reason: love. A love that is so big it taught me, that we are all destined for good. But, we have to pay attention to the simple little things around us. I left my big city life, for the woods. I left my well establish career, to become a house wife. I left the comfort of knowing my language, to struggle with an accent. I left my family: my loving parents, the bond with my siblings, the nieces and nephew that I’m not watching to grow, and the friends I will never replace, to start all over.

So far, this journey has been incredible and I’m happy to share, that when I opened my heart, and mind to the new, I started to discover myself all over again.

‘till next time 😉

Gabi

 

 

0

17 Signs You’re What’s Known As A ‘Highly Sensitive Person’ — Thought Catalog

Sanja MarušićIn 1997 a surprise best-seller consumed the book market. It was a reference guide for a specific kind of person, The Highly Sensitive Person. A “highly sensitive person” or HSP is characterized by being more emotionally intelligent than most — feeling things more deeply and being more sensitive to the energy of others. About…

via 17 Signs You’re What’s Known As A ‘Highly Sensitive Person’ — Thought Catalog

0

The beauty of Bella’s

This beauty right here (the photo)

Image 4-29-16 at 9.29 PM

Lobster bisque, croutons, pasta salada (one of the side options), apple juice, and tuna salad on white bread (they have other options of bread). Photo by: Gabi Hoover

is the reason why I’m back to my blog’s english corner (by the way, HELLO.. and thank you for taking the time to read it).

This is Bella’s Lobster Bisquê, a delicious cream, perfectly seasoned for a full flavor lunch experience. Ohh.. yeah.. I just used a lot of adjetives to describe a soup, but it has become one of my summer favorites.

Bella’s, a little bistro/bakery located in Clayton -NY, overlooking part of the St. Lawerence river in the  #1000Islands, has unique dishes, all created in it’s kitchen and using mostly local products. Last year, among other entrées, we were great fans of the Crabcake BLT (hoping it will be back in the menu). Their spinach salad is also tasty, and the pastries … yummmmm!!! 

Now, please understand: I am not a food critic. I am a food fan. And as a Brazilian, I love flavorful food that is not overpowered by spices. During summer, the #ThousandIslands region is booming with the local restaurants, bistros, coffee shops, and ice cream parlors. For the past three years, my husband and I go out on little motorcycle trips, exploring the area and trying it’s flavors. Bella’s has never disappointed us. Not only is the food delicious, but the service, the ambience, and attention of it’s staff is great. Ohh well… and to top it all off: THE BEAUTIFUL VIEW provided by the #StLawrenceRiver.

This week we visited Bella’s for the first time for 2016. It was a quick visit and we got to take our boy with us for the first time. The place is open and going with options for breakfast, a super cute children’s menu, and honest prices.

In case you need a good excuse to go for a drive… here is my little tip.

See you 😉

0

Dear Phone,

before I start, I need you to understand that I love you. Yes, I do. At first, I thought it was just a quick fling, I really thought I had developed for you a kind of attachment that was easy to manage, but as the time has gone by, I’ve been noticing I’m getting more and more dependent on you. Our relationship has grown so much in the past years, that I’m afraid it’s getting to a point of no return, and I don’t want that to happen.

IMG_0079

#madewithpaper #paper53 #paper

I want to respect you for what you are: a phone. Yes, you became pretty handy with all this smartness you added to your calling ability, but you are still a phone. That’s the reality that we can’t change.

You and I knew, since the beginning, that I was (and still am) committed. And it just so happened my guy helped me add another one to our relationship. They both are my priorities. And I’m not even going to mention all the house duties, my work plans, and other little things that come along the way.

… I really don’t know how to say this without being rude, my dear phone, so I’ll just go ahead and spit it out: we have to break up.

Sorry. This isn’t working for me anymore. I’m getting very addicted to you, and it’s not good. A lot of the stuff you want us to do together, can be done later, when there is nothing else going on. You and I will have to learn to wait for the right time.

What?.. _ What about the people texting me?, you ask.

Well… Dear Phone somethings will have to wait. Or, even better, be done the old fashion way: through a call. Let’s face it: if something is so urgent that can’t wait for a reply, it better be done in a conversation by voice (faster and more efficient).

Yeah, Yeap… go ahead and laugh at me as much as you want Dear Phone. You know it will be very hard for me. News flash: I know that too. I know how difficult it is to break a habit, I was a smoker once (and I cheat on my non-smoking self every once in a while). But I have will-power and an infinite love for my guys, so if we want to get this thing between us under control, we will have to learn to balance our relationship with the outside world. Because in reality the world you are just my window to, can wait.

Sincerely,

😉

Now, what about you? Tell me about your relationship with your phone in the comments bellow. Do you have a story to share?