What I’ve been up to lately…

To be honest, I don’t really know what to write about, or the language to write in. I should probably turn this blog into a Portuguese blog soon, which will happen… but I’m not really sure of the nationality of the people that actually read this blog.

Whatever…if you’re Brazilian, my apologies! And please wait until I make the Portuguese version of this blog.

So…Since I don’t really know what to talk about, I decided to just post a song which describes my feelings. Sometimes I post my poems here which are much more amateur than my singing or songwriting and people have shown me support, so I decided to share a little bit of my work as a musician here.

The song I will be posting today is not mine, it’s a cover by Alanis Morissette but I am making my own album right now and I will soon share the material here.

By the way, just to finish this article… I know that the title of this blog is Thais In Foreign Lands but sometimes the foreign lands are just mental… But… If it makes anyone feel better, I’ve recorded this video in Switzerland so it is still in foreign lands even though I am not saying anything in particular about the country… Next article, maybe? Talking about Switzerland? Or Vaud? 🙂 Let me know…

And there it is, my singing!

See you soon, guys 🙂

Posted in 2015, amateur, art, Culture, music, singing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

General update about my personal life

Hi guys!

I’m writing here to let you guys know that I will keep on updating this blog. The only reason why I haven’t posted so much lately is because I’m trying to think of interesting things to blog about. And, shh…another secret: I might release a Portuguese version of this blog soon 🙂 Basically, I have a lot of plans for this blog but I’m still developing them all so I can’t say much, so please just be patient!

Lately, I have been very busy in my personal life, though. I’ve just finished my first year at Keele University and, for my surprise, my grades were much better than expected. Due to financial difficulties and to a currency that can’t just stop getting more expensive, I’m gonna have to take a year out before coming back to England. That doesn’t really bother me as I am trying to find an au pair job in Europe. I don’t know if you guys are aware of that but I’m currently trying to improve my French, so spending some time in a French country would actually help me become fluent. The au pair option is also very interesting since it’s relatively inexpensive, especially compared to the kind of expenses I have here as a student. Maybe I should write a post about becoming an au pair soon.

But…on the brighter side, it looks like I’m improving as a writer! I’ve just started volunteering for Amnesty International Secretariat UK on their blog about Human Rights Education. I am still writing my first article but I’m definitely excited about this big opportunity. Apart from that, I’m also the new collaborator at www.brasileiraspelomundo.com, a blog where Brazilians who are abroad talk about their experiences in their chosen countries. If you speak Portuguese, please check it out as it’s an amazing blog and, obviously, I’m very glad to be participating there.

I’m also working at Embassy Summer, at the University of East London. This is actually my first “real job” and I’m working as a night supervisor. Embassy Summer is a boarding school, so I get to interact with a lot of children from all parts of the world! I’m actually really enjoying my job, but unfortunately I’ll only be working here for one month in total, so after that I need to go to Switzerland and then to Brazil so I can sort out visa related things for my future plans in Europe…that doesn’t really bother me, though, I just wish I could be able to work here a little longer, but as the title suggests, Embassy Summer is just a summer school so it makes sense that I can’t stay here for too long, right? 🙂

Check out that cute rainbow on this cool picture in front of the River Thames!

Check out that cute rainbow on this cool picture in front of the River Thames!

See...I even found the time to visit the University of Oxford this summer! :)

See…I even found the time to visit the University of Oxford this summer! 🙂

Before I go, I’d just like to thank you for visiting my blog and I’d also like to ask some suggestions regarding topics you’d be interested in reading about. I’ll probably post some of my new poems soon but I recognize that your ideas are also very important for the success of this little blog of mine! So… Make sure to let me know your opinions, guys! 😀

Posted in 2015, Au Pair, Culture, Education Abroad, England, Europe, General Updates, Go Abroad, Personal Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Interview with International Relations student Nafisah, from Nigeria

On this video IR student talks about common assumptions about studying abroad and her views on the issue.

Posted in entrevista, International Relations, Interview, Study Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Interview with Daniel Rossellat, Paleo Festival owner and Nyon Mayor

Daniel Rossellat Interview Paleo Festival Owner and Nyon Mayor

I have interviewed Daniel Rossellat when I was in Switzerland in December and here is the transcript of this exclusive interview. Daniel is the owner of Paleo Festival, a music festival in Nyon, a French-speaking town in Switzerland. Rossellat is also the mayor of Nyon, a city praised for its great atmosphere and culture. I have asked him questions about entrepreneurship, the Swiss immigration reform and of course, Paleo. 

The castle of Nyon, famous touristic spot.

The castle of Nyon, famous touristic spot.

Paleo from above.

Paleo from above.

Nyon.

Nyon.

Nyon.

Nyon.

Daniel with his son, Jules.

Daniel with his son, Jules.

Daniel in Leysin.

Daniel in Leysin.

Was Paleo a long-term project of yours or was it created suddenly?

For me it was a dream, I was 16 years old and I loved music, culture, and I was all day all night with music. I wanted to work in music, but I simply had no talent for music I could not play guitar, no drums, but I loved music, learned to listen to it, go to concerts, so it was evident for me I wanted to be involved in the music business. The first experience we organised, my first concert, was19 years ago with a lot of young people and everyone had something to do for the concert and it was a very great experience and after that we wanted to have a second chance.

Would you say you are still involved with Paleo as you were in the beginning or has that changed?

The festival is in the 40th edition, so it’s forty years my job is very different from before, you have just volunteers, a lot of journalists and you have to work to pay to organise concerts so now it’s very different. 55 people work all year to organise the festival, we’ve more than 4400 volunteers that work during the festival, it’s a big machine, like a big city with a lot of inhabitants in five days. There is the same passion, the same spirit, the same values, we try to have the best festival possible. 

Do you have a favorite artist or music genre?

It’s too difficult to just choose one or two because there are a lot of artists. When we started it was very hard to have artists so it’s nice to be able to concretize that. I would say John Mayer, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, a lot of different artists… It was very exceptional to have the opportunity to invite that kind of artists to Paleo and to see them on stage. 

Was there a particular concert you liked more than others at Paleo?

 Santana, Paul Simon, a lot of different artists, Elton John. Too many artists on stage and it was every time an incredible experience for us.

Would say Paleo is good for new artists?

We have more than 120 concerts a year, so in different stages there are a lot of different kind of artists. We can be modest, humble with that, because it’s just a step, you have to work to be well known, you have to play in a lot of clubs, festivals, different places before you’re well known in that kinda job.

What would you say to young artists?

 I cannot give advice because I have strictly no talent for that, I can just say if I like it or not.

When you were beginning, did someone help you create Paleo or give you any advice? 

It’s not possible to say you don’t need help but when you have an idea you have to work on that direction, and after that maybe you can be wrong but if you know exactly what you want you have a chance to accomplish that goal.

What can we expect from Paleo 2015?

This year will have the 40th festival and we expect to have a very nice edition with a big impact with a lot of success and of course we are looking forward for the 50th edition and that the festival will have a very long life.

How did Paleo change over the years? Would you say the sprit of Paleo has remained the same?

The spirit is the same but the times are changing so it’s not exactly the same because of the public, the festival was very like a small village and now it’s like a town, it’s quite different. Paleo has the same spirit, atmosphere, but it’s very big and before it was just a small festival. It improves the organisation because every year we try to question all the organisations and we try to improve, we think now we’re better than before.

Does Paleo have any values?

The most important value is respect, we have to respect the audience, because it’s the most important if we don’t have respect for the audience, only for the artist or journalists, you can be sure after a few years you will have no success so it’s really important to have respect for the audience, public.

Do you have any advice to investors, people that want to open a business such as a festival?

It’s very difficult to explain what you have to do because you need passion, patience, you have to work a lot and you can have passion but it’s not enough, you have to work, if not you have no chance

There was a vote recently about Swiss immigration and people were saying they would like to restrict immigration, what are your views on that?

It’s difficult to say, but that kind of political aspect for me is a stupid decision. If you have to know that in Switzerland 50% percent voted yes and 50% voted no and it was just a small difference, and it was no. I think this is a very bad decision but democracy is like that so I’m sure if the same subject was in France, Germany, England you would have maybe the same results, maybe even stronger against foreigners. You have to know that in Nyon for example there are nearly 40% foreign people and we have no problem. People of Nyon voted yes, to be open, and some places there are only 10% of foreign people and the population votes no. It’s very difficult to understand, I think in some countries when you have too many foreigners, people are so shocked that you would have a problem. 

Do you have any political plans for Nyon?

 It’s just a little town with 20 thousand inhabitants, so it’s a small town but it’s just a small village, but yes, I try to have a new spirit, we try to have a new way to speak with the people and we try to make of Nyon a city of festivals and city of culture, sports because it’s important to not just have infrastructure, we need schools, jobs, roads, everything like that, but I think that people in Nyon also need culture and a lot of different activities to have pleasure living in Nyon.

To finish, let’s end it with a typical question. What are your impressions on Brazil?

Brazil is a country of music, football, a lot of different things, I love Brazil because people love life, the music and are very open with someone. First for me, a very great experience, was in Rio, Manaus, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Amazon, a lot of different places in Brazil and every time I’ve had a great experience. I didn’t speak Portuguese but it was very good to meet a lot of people and have very good memories with football, dances. I went to Carnival, not during, but just before, but in January and it was a very good experience.

Posted in 2015, daniel, daniel rossellat, entrepreneurship, entrevista, entrevue, europa, Europe, french, Interview, music, nyon, paleo, paleo festival, politics, rossellat, scene, suiça, Suisse, swiss, Switzerland, vaud | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mental Ilness Awareness

This may vary a little from the traditional and overall point of the blog, but since I discuss about my personal experiences it might be useful to talk about mental illness. Also, different countries have different approaches regarding the subject.

Right now I am in the United Kingdom and although the climate is certainly much more depressing and greyer than Brazil I feel happier. That is probably because of my circumstances and the fact that I feel more accepted and also feel like some of my pressures are no longer a concern.

I come from a family that deals with mental illness issues themselves and feel like nobody really cared much. Obviously I was having problems of my own and started to show some signs of illness myself but overall my personal circumstances were making me despair. To respond to that, I thought isolating myself would be better than bothering people with my issues. To my surprise, I learned that mental illness itself is a sort of insult and a lot of people do not talk to me anymore, in fact I harmed my reputation regarding my intelligence or reliability as a friend.

That might have been simply because people don’t talk about mental illness enough or that it is strange to see it manifest it in someone as young as thirteen. Also because people think it can’t happen to those around them, especially in more relaxed countries such as Brazil. There is a similar stigma regarding anorexia especially towards male sufferers. If no one talks about it, it is no surprised that some people may think of it as something that they can make fun about.

Although there has been some improvement on raising awareness about mental problems, I still think people tend to prefer trendier topics such as feminism just because, I don’t know, Emma Watson is talking about it. I am in no way disrespecting feminism or saying that it is wrong, but in my opinion it is something that is male sexism in reverse. I support equality but don’t agree with the man hate at all. Mental illness, on the other hand, is something that doesn’t discriminate and it’s not about who’s better than who. Also, to stay on topic, something that also amuses me is that when celebrities discuss mental illness people assume they are trying to make themselves seem like victims or that they are trying to get publicity which is something that Demi Lovato experienced. Honestly, if people can talk about feminism as much as they do, then why should people not talk about mental illness when it’s actually something deadly? That just seems very strange to me.

I just would like to get some personal insight about people, how the situation is in your country and whether you think a person with mental illness is restricted when it comes at realising their full potential and what they can or cannot do. Although I was never diagnosed and blame my depression on external factors other than genetics (although it must certainly have helped, but it was probably more environmental in my case), I still think I coped better by simply changing my circumstances. Something as simple as changing schools did me so much good and yet actually doing it was a very real struggle because I felt like I was being kicked out of somewhere I belonged. Obviously I shouldn’t have cared about some stuff and when I look back I wonder who I was and what I was thinking but depression changes the way your mind works. Now I feel so much better and actually accomplished as an international student abroad. Although it might seem scary I feel like I fit in more and it is much easier to make yourself seem interesting when you’re foreign. Surprisingly people don’t like to hear me talk about my experiences abroad when I’m at home but I just feel like countries have different atmospheres and Brazil overall is more relaxed than the UK, which is more reserved and more prone to intellectual thinking.

If this post reaches enough people, as few as three for example, I would like to know what you think about what causes depression, if someone you know is struggling with it, if you have struggled with it yourself and whether I should include it as a regular topic on the blog/ in what ways should I bring it up. I apologise if this post is not straight-forward enough but I just felt the need to overall bring up the topic. Since I am in no ways an expert on the issue I can’t provide any real new information but can instead talk about my own issues perhaps with more detail with one day.

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Poems – Part II

Just a reminder again: these are all amateur, done to just vent or for my personal enjoyment. I don’t call myself a poet nor expect them to be great.

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Soft, careful, touchable, light, straight, tall, brown.
White, gold, volume, smiley, friendly, sung.
Beauty comes in all shapes but this one was designed with me in mind.
Special, pure, indecent, silent, respectful.
Beauty comes in all shapes but this one was made to my own taste.
Bright, heavy, mouth-watering, sweaty.
Beauty comes in all shapes but this one particularly fits me.
Clichéd, original, childish, serious.
This is what love looks like when you can’t work out a definition.
A soup of words each contradicting and complementing each other.
The definition is written on my pupils, on the soles of my dearly kissed feet.
On my hands that have visited mysterious places on the softness of both our tongues.
Love comes in all shapes, words, worlds, and it could never be more fun.

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(19/02/15)

Destroyed, vanished, evaporated.
No bones left or skin.
That’s how I feel about this.
As forgotten as an used ticket, a disliked gift.
A book that has been read.
There is nothing interesting about me.
Nothing I’ve ever said that is worth mentioning.
I accumulate dust and start to look like decoration.
As blank as a poster-less wall.
There is no one to talk to, no interventions.
No one to care about my wellbeing.
Where will I be now that I have got no memories or accomplishments?
Is it like there has always been a void or am I as visible as the wind?
There will be no luxuries, no comfort, no chocolate to binge on.
No sad song to relate to.
I won’t be there in the first place.
I will be destroyed, vanished, evaporated.

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(19/02/15)

This land belongs to no one.
I leave my footprints as I travel the planet.
Not minding getting lost and not demanding a map.
I am eager to know everybody, to meet new men.
If I don’t speak their tongue I’ve got music and smiles.
There is no place a smiling face can’t take me.
My charisma doesn’t fit in my suitcase.
I’ve got to spread it.
I give it to Paul and I give it to John.
Both find it incredibly generous.
Hitchhiking with strangers, reminding ourselves that kindness is free.

(14/01/15)

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Books

So I am still supposed to post an interview here but I am too lazy to actually make the transcription but one day it will be done. Instead, I will talk a little about books as it is an interesting subject. Since I don’t have many followers yet I guess no one will tell me what their favorite books are/their reading challenges, etc., but I guess this is something that time will eventually solve.

I am quite good at social media, I think. I like all areas – writing, photograph, video, music and consider myself to be artistically inclined even though I am producing less. It seems that there is a relation between sadness and music for me, the worse I feel the more inspired I get. Since my life has been ok so far I don’t really have much to write about. Anyway, the point I’m making is that since I am so media inclined, I should actually pursue a degree in Media apart from IR, instead of International Business as I have originally planned. Why did this all happen? Because of a dream I had, which involved movie scenes. It just made me feel like I should somehow be involved with production and then the idea came. I like to do my own art and the ability to produce it myself would certainly be welcome although I should probably know how to market the ideas as well.

So yes, to come back to the point, I am supposed to read a hundred books this year which sounds like a lot but really isn’t. Lately I haven’t really read anything that was really impressed me – although I’ve read good authors such as Vladimir Nabokov. One of my favorite books was Life As We Knew It, which is about an apocalypse-like situation where the moon gets too close to the Earth and people lose energy and many deaths occur. I think those books are ideal for me, dystopian novels. I’m also reading Cloud Atlas which is a movie as well that I have enjoyed, but although the book is great some parts really bother me because they use some made-language that just bothers me. Ah, I also really like memoirs and books about mental illness.

It’s important to read, I think. I happen to be able to read in a lot of languages which is important for me because language is a skill we can so easily lose. I am not really practicing my Spanish anymore so I am not as good at it as I used to be. English, however, is constantly improving because of my course which forces me to read a lot and all the blogs that I follow, etc. Reading is an important skill nowadays – well, it has always been, really – as it enables us to think more critically and well…it is just entertaining in a way that it doesn’t really disturb anyone. I mean, I have never seen somebody shout “DON’T READ!” to somebody.

Posted in Books, Media, Review | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment