Friday, March 7, 2014

São Paulo's Mercadão; a photo essay.

I was born in São Paulo, Brazil. Between my many moves I've added up about 9 years here, and I barely know my own city.

I've decided that its better late than ever to venture out into the wild and get to know the places I've always heard about, but for a number of reasons never really got to know.

First stop; the Municipal Market
Rua Cantareira, 306 - Sé (near the São Bento Subway Station, or the Parque D Pedro II bus stop).

It is a gigantic farmer's market, located in downtown São Paulo that has somehow eluded me for years, and now I finally realised what I've been missing.

The architecture resembles an industrial warehouse, bursting with food items, from solid to liquid, cold to hot, fresh to dried, prepared or raw. There are dozens of fresh tropical fruits, vegetables, wine, cheese, chocolate, seafood, chicken and spices.There is something there for every taste, and I recommend you show up hungry and try  the famous Mortadella (Bologna) Sandwich or an enormous Pastel de Bacalhau (Cod fish pasty). 

If I had to describe it in one word it would be abundance.
Abundance of colors, smells, flavors, textures, sounds. It is a great collection that stimulates all the senses and were I a creative person of any sort, I would have felt compelled to write a song, a movie or paint abstract pictures.

Although I didn't create anything, I did feel a newfound appreciation for the city in which I live. There is so much in here that I am missing out by wishing I was somewhere else. 

There were things hanging from spice racks that I would have thought were a world away, but turned out to be within my reach, just a few stops down the subway line. Enough to inspire even the most culinary challenged (yours trully) to want to give a go to the most outrageous recipes.

All the vendors were very friendly and eager to get you to try their merchandise, so if you are comfortable with it you can make a meal of samples of all sorts of different flavors.

I finally understood why, for my entire life, people insisted that I go there, and the reason for the astonished and disapproving looks that followed the statement "Well, I just never got around to it". If you are a fan of food, if you're an artist, or just your run of the mill wanderer I absolutely recommend it.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Where the fuck, Morringhan?

I started this blog without much of an idea of what I wanted it to be.

You can probably tell how much attention I pay to it by the cookie-cutter layout and the amount of time that goes by between each post.

What I'd love for this to become is a travel blog. This is where this blog is headed, everybody strap in.

I'm not traveling much at the moment but I have a ton of planed trips, and I'm going to start sharing some of them, beginning by the preparation process, which is just as much fun as the trip itself.

So come with me... and you'll be... reading all about how I train for the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, how I penny pinch to get myself to Thailand, or scavenge booking sites like an underground creature looking for food, on the hunt for cheap flights and cheaper accomodation.

I hope you enjoy the trip.


Monday, January 6, 2014


A couple of days ago one of my best friends posted this little gem on her Facebook.

I did repost it and was indeed surprised by the things people remember about me. A few of them I don't remember myself, but all the same was a fun read.

She on the other hand wasn't too happy with the memory I choose.

So here it is Marshmela:

I am Cool
A memoir of our friendship.

I remember when you first met me, which is a feat in it of itself for not only were you sorely unaware of all the awesome that had just walked into your life in the shape of yours truly, but was actively against all the greatness I insisted on thrusting upon you. You hated me for having a similar sounding name, and being excited about it. You hated me for being excited that I attended the school you were begrudgingly transferring to, and majored in your subject of choice. (It might also have had something to do with the fact that I crashed your birthday party, but I'm going with the excitement.)

You hated me because of my excitement! Yet, I somehow still managed to drag you onto roofs and woods and boring parties. This is a test of my power, fear me.

You hated my school more than me, so you found solace in a person oh so similar to yourself, but were previously uncertain of, and that's when you succumbed to me. Admit it, the day you saw me sitting in the sun waiting for classes and you asked me what I was listening to and I told you it was Brazilian Music; you thought I was cool. Which I was.

It was cool of me to listen to your radio show even though I wasn't a fan of the music you played, it was cool of me to coax you into just giving me tickets for a concert that nobody ended up calling for anyways.

I was cool when I'd find dogs more interesting than our hosts at certain parties, I was cool with my funny accent and hairy legs. I was even cool in a car accident in the snow, and demonstrated my cucumber-like qualities when your sister was throwing tantrums.

I was cool about you abandoning me on my way to DC, Buenos Aires and God knows where else. I was the epitome of cool when I flew all the way to Colorado to buy you beer when you weren't old enough (and do other things there as well.)

I was particularly cool when I laughed like Voldemort for about 6 months in 2011.

I was cool when I actually listened to you and started calling myself a feminist, when I gave dubstep a chance, when I joined Tumblr, when I learned by doing and stopped being so judgmental.

I was cool enough to lend you my feety pajamas, my Uggs, my apartment, my food, my friends...

But the cherry on top of my cool sundae is how I joked about writing you an essay with "something much better" and went ahead not only to write said essay, but also make it all about me. All the while trusting you to understand the power of my personality enough to catch my meaning, even if others won't.

And there you have it, Mela, the thing I remember the most about you is that you have one cool friend.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Down the Rabbit Hole.

On December 16 2013 it will be two years since I graduated college, and I’m still astounded by how much I changed in such a short period of time.

I graduated a semester early so at the end of winter break when all my friends were going back I felt incredibly lost. The experience always reminded me that scene in “Alice in Wonderland” when she falls through the rabbit hole, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, with no concept of what is up or down. She can’t see the bottom, she can’t see the top, and has nothing to hold on to. That’s what graduating felt like for me. I couldn’t go back, I couldn’t stop myself from falling and I sure as hell couldn’t see what was waiting for me.

After the initial anxiety passed and I made some tough but much needed decisions I reminded myself of what happens next in the movie, she gets to Wonderland. And it’s crazy and nonsensical but it also, for lack of a better term, wonderful. Filled with fantastic things that are new and curious. For somebody who was so keen on living adventures and seeing the world the prospect of Wonderland is like waiting for Christmas morning.

I can’t say I’ve figured out this new land and I’m confortable with it and the new rules, but I’m having a great time finding out, meeting people (some mad, some madder) and finding out about myself.

So maybe I found it accidentally, maybe it was where I was headed all along, but finding Wonderland is so worth throwing yourself down the rabbit hole.


Friday, October 11, 2013


   It is no secret that I love to read. I'm a chain-reader. I read to live. And I've recently stated  I will run out of air before I run out of books. I love it too much to put it in words, and maybe I'll write another post about it, but for now I'll just leave it nicely resumed by one of the best Twitter accounts I follow.

   What I love just as much, but don't partake in with nearly as much frequency as I should/like is writing. I've been keeping journals since I was in 5th grade. I don't write anything important of even coherent in them. I also don't read them back. I write short-stories, and have begun several novels, none of which I've been able to bring to a conclusion, I don't mean to share or publish them, for now. 

    I just write for the sake of writing.

    I write because I have control of the story. I write fiction because I can take something that happened to me that day, and transform into the situation I wish had happened. I can write about situations that didn't happen anywhere else other than my head. I write non-fiction because I believe I'm truly special, a singular snow-flake type deal, and that what happens to me need to be remembered, and told.

   I write characters that I can identify with and are natural to me, and I write characters I puzze over for months. I write people I wish were my best friends and people I've wanted to kill in the page just for the satisfaction of making them not exist anymore. 

   I write so I don't become a consumer only. Somebody who just takes and take without ever giving back. I write so when I criticize a book or a story I'm not just finding flaws in the world, but so I can learn the process and know what and how to criticize. I'm doing it because if you think you can do it better, you should. Even if it's not really.

   I write so there are always things to read.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tough decisions

   I've been dealing recently with some tough questions regarding my job and possible career.

   What do you do when the job you currently work on conflicts with your morals, but you really need the money?

   Nobody is making me do anything I don't want, but there are some practices of my firm that although perfectly legal don't sit well with me.

   Sadly I really need the money, and unfortunately grad school is getting more expensive by the minute. So I'll stay, and not say anything against it because I don't want to lose my job. The compromise I've made is that I'm not going to build a career here, nor will I rely on my current bosses to provide me with recommendations along the way. This way my conscience can be a little at peace, although it nags me from time to time.

    It got me wondering about people who really need the money, for their basic needs like feeding their families and paying their mortgage, and the things they have to put up with. Or as my dad says "swallowing the frog". As much as I want to go to grad school, I won't die or be homeless if I don't go, so the day I can't handle this anymore I can just get up and say "fuck it", hop on my high horse and gallop away.

   What do you guys do when faced with choices like that?


Friday, October 4, 2013

My (emphasis on the MY) Halloween Costume Rules

   I love Halloween, it is not only a fantastic, magical "holiday" but also the usher to Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are also favorites of mine.

   Having grown up in a different country my idea of Halloween, specially my very first one, where somewhat distant from the real thing as I only had movies and tv shows to base my so called knowledge on. As time went by I've managed to approach my perceptions with reality, without losing too much of what made it special for me. The main thing being my choice for costumes and the rules I choose to follow in picking one out.

   Disclaimer: this is not a rant or me wanting to impose any of the "rules" on anybody, these are just the guidelines I like to go with when picking a halloween costume. When it comes to yours, do whatever you want, I'm not your mother.

So without further adue, here are my rules.

1. Nothing sexy.
Is nothing sacred anymore?!
    I am not particularly comfortable with the idea of being sexy, specially because it often involves little clothing and October is a cold month. Also sometimes these sexy costumes just ruin some dear characters to me and are often things I can't unsee. So if you like to wear lingerie out on a cold October night, be my guest, but I'll skip on that, thanks.

2. Something I will wear again.
    Halloween costumes are expensive, I've followed this through high school but it didn't become a rule until college where I had to fend for myself and make the decision between paying $60+ for something I'd wear once. I may not be the Belle at the ball, but I dressed up as Alex DeLarge, three years ago and those are still one of my favorite pants.

3. Something original.
    I'm not the most creative person out there, and you'll be hard pressed to find me in any "best costumes ever" list, but I like for my friends to be able to find me for my costume when I tend to Irish Goodbye them. "Have you seen the sexy school girl?" just doesn't narrow it down.

So that's it, three simple guidelines that make my October worth living and the anticipation of Halloween that much more exciting.

Would love to hear if you have any rules for yourself, and if you already know what you'll be this year.


p.s. In case you were wondering, I'm dead set on being Baljeet from Phineas & Ferb.