One of us! One of us! One of us!

So Whovie is part of the Hipster Crew now, and there’s a lot to talk about this week.

Thanks to the fun afternoon I talked about in my last post, I was able to avoid The Cold and now I’m trying to analysew here it comes from. Something curious to add is that I realizedit’s not triggered by sadness as much as it is for loneliness. So one of my newest goals is to find a way to overcome loneliness as a problem and accept it as what it is, a part of my life. I’m not sure how to do it, but I think that writing it down might be the first step, and why not taking it further and put it on the blog? In order to achieve bravery I need to overcome my fears, and although I never talk about it, being alone is one of the worst fears I have. So it has to be the first one I get rid of.

In other news, not so long ago (I forgot to post it) my favourite writer made an AskMeAnything on Reddit. His name is Daniel Handler, also known as Lemony Snicket, narrator of the Baudelaire adventures on A Series of Unfortunate Events. Sadly, I found out about this too late to ask him anything, and I had so much I wanted to know. But it was a good thing, because I found out he’s currently expanding the ASOUE universe, and I read about his first book. Its name is The Basic Eight, and it’s the fictitious diary of a teenage girl convicted for murder, in which she talks about her life previous to the crime. It’s a bit snob, but actually pretty interesting, and I’ve been reading it for several days. The funny part is, when I was looking for a download link I felt… well, guilt. Not because I care about piracy; that’s not my style. I felt bad about reading an amazing author and not giving the contribution to make him keep writing. After all, I’m a writer too, so this kind of things is very important for me; how would I feel if people didn’t pay for my book?

At the end I downloaded it illegally anyway, but now I give more importance to my List of Things I will Buy When I’m Rich.

This week Curlz was not in town because she had to go get her Celpe-Bras certification in Mexico City, so the week was kind of calm. She’s basically the nucleus of the Hipster Crew, so even if we all get along and have fun without her, it’s difficult to get the whole gang together without her. But there are three things that move us like a tsunami: teacher gossips, (apparently) girls making out, and pizza. The first one I cannot comment in case someone ever finds this blog, because it involves one of my dearest professors, and the second one I already covered on my last post, so let’s get to the point. Usually a new member of the crew gets his or her permanence after they feed us, a tradition as old as this post because I just made it out (I’m going to propose it, though). Pseudogay somehow always has money coming out of his pockets, and he always offers to buy us pizza, but last Tuesday we were at the cafeteria and Whovie remembered she has discount coupons, so she said she’d bring them today and we were completely happy with this. Anyway, Friday came and we reunited at the café, Curlz just coming back from her trip. We got the pizza and we spent three hours just talking and messing with each other. We were reading some creepypastas and when they finally delivered our food Rainicorn took out a little bag with chopped weed. I’ve never tried drugs, but I must confess I’m really curious about it, so I smelt it… weed smells like oregano. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t that. I didn’t take it because I wasn’t so convinced; besides taking it on the Easter seemed kind of blasphemous. I’ll eventually do it but I don’t think it happens too soon. Anyway, he put weed on his pizza and we kept laughing for a while.

And after talking to Whovie and Curlz this days I realised I have another psychological condition I didn’t even notice until recently: I feel uncomfortable with physical contact. I honestly don’t know why; I read it was common on abuse victims, but I was never abused as far as I can remember. The closest thing I can think of was this one time when I was 9: I was late for church so I couldn’t sit with my parents. I went for another bench and I sat next to someone I didn’t know. At the middle of the sermon he started touching my leg and he kept doing it for several minutes; I didn’t know what to do, but I was new in town and since everything was so different to me I just assumed it was the norm around there. I didn’t even realise something was wrong until a few years ago when I had to go back to the town to deliver a wedding present for his cousin and I remembered what happened. But I don’t think this has to do with anything. I mean, how could I be an abuse victim if I didn’t know anything wrong happened? And why would it create any traumas? So no, that can’t be the reason why I dislike physical contact.

It’s not even that big of a problem; I don’t feel comfortable with handshakes or hugs, but I almost never have to give or receive any of those. The problem here is long term. When I finally get around the idea of dating again, what will I do? I can’t just withhold all forms of touching, that would be selfish and look stupid. For now I’m just getting used to Curlz’s contact when she’s subconsciously jealous (there must be a term for non-romantic jealousy, if you know it please let me know), so it’s nothing to be worried. But when I get around kissing a girl, or hugging, or… going a little further… well, I don’t know what I’ll do. In retrospective, I believe She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named saw this before I did and that’s why she did what she did. But I need to fix it soon, or else all my other efforts will be in vain.


So, what I learnt this week was:

1.- Bravery involves overcoming the things you don’t enjoy. Whether it’s something as simple as holding hands or as big as coping with destiny, it’s always needed, it can’t be avoided and it must be done with honour and self-respect.

2.- A friend, feelings apart, is always a good friend, and if you can get all of your friends together and being friends with each other then you’ll have an amazing time no matter what.

3.- Someday I’ll have to pay for the thousands of dollars in piracy I possess. But this is not that day!




Should I get a doctor?

Hi! I just wanted to say… well, I’m still alive. You’ll see why that matters in a second. But first, the facts.

Last Thursday I was really hurt by my own cowardice. I’ve read my previous post a few times and not even I recognise myself in those words. I haven’t been able to sleep well ever since, but I didn’t think those two were correlated. But we’ll come back to that.

On Saturday I went out with Toph, Sokka’s ex and a good friend of mine. See, although I might be too coward to tell my feelings, I still like to date people, and I’ve figured out that doing it with my friends makes me feel comfortable and relaxed. So I met with this girl at the movie theatre and we watched Mr. Peabody and Sherman, a remake of an old cartoon we didn’t know about. Putting apart the obvious Doctor Who references (Come on, did nobody else notice the Gallifreyan writing in the time machine room?) it was quite an original and cute film. After a while Toph and I went to the park for an ice cream, talked about music, fooled around a little bit and sang the Toy Story theme while people looked at us funny. Then, after she took her bus and I was walking home, I was wondering why I can not pull those situations with a girl I like. I mean, I’m fun to date; I might not be Barney Stinson or anything like that, but I can make a girl laugh. If I am able to have fun with a friend in whom I’m not romantically interested, why can’t I do the same when I am? I can’t do something as simple as texting a “hey, wanna hang?” because I get paralysed just by thinking it and end up self-compassioning on the couch. I hate that side of me, I really do.

After a regular weekend and no sleep at all, I went back to school and everything flowed well, except for the fact that Curlz decided to quit Japanese. I was shocked when she told me, and she won’t let me tell the teacher. I tried to reason with her but she’s having self-esteem issues; she’s pretty good but she used to be the best without studying, like in all of her other subjects, so as soon as she got a little delay she decided it’s not worth the effort. I’ve done everything but it seems like she won’t change her mind. It’s very disappointing because she was not only my example, but the first person I’ve admired in years, and it hurt me see her quit just like that, without even saying it.

Things with Whovie have been normal, and I could even say we’re closer than before, but that doesn’t mean what it should. I’m still crippled by panic, and even if I had a chance I’d never found out. I talked to Zuko about this and happened to comment that I haven’t rested in days, and he thinks I might be having symptoms of clinical depression. I’ve denied it to myself and to the world, I’ve tried to fix my problems by myself, I’ve prayed, I’ve read good books and I’ve done research, and everything takes me to the same conclusion: I am depressed. It’s a horrible thing, you know? How could I tell my friends? My family, for God’s sake? How can I be it after my great school, after my cool friends, after having everything, I don’t have the right to be depressed! I have everything I need excepting for a good sack of guts! I couldn’t look at people in the eye. It would be too embarrassing. But on the other hand, this is a severe mental health condition; I should get at least a professional’s opinion. When I wrote my last post I was nearly suicidal, I cannot let myself get to such edges.

At the end, my week  has  been normal, but I’ve learnt a  few  things about live:

1.- Anyone can date. Even the less qualified can turn a boring day into an afternoon of fun.

2.- Being in love means nothing if you don’t say it. It just means you’re pretty sad.

3.- I have a high probability to have a clinical depression, and I must talk NOW with someone who can do about.

Knowing this might not make me the strongest man, but at least I now know what I’m doing wrong and what I should do about it. Please wish me luck.



Paranoia and Literature

It’s been a while! I’m at the city to get my schedules for this semester and I got a few things to tell.

This few days I have only been thinking about writing, and I discovered several things I didn’t know about myself. First of all, I found out why I get stuck so often when I write: it’s the language. You see, I am (or was) used to write in Spanish, a language full of synonyms, verbal tenses, speech levels, complex vocabulary and ethimological madness. Usually, when I write in Spanish I have to worry about using vocabulary or grammatical structures that are too complex for the average reader, or over-simplify it. And the rules about repetition of terms and narrative speech force you to stop every two sentences to make sure you didn’t repeat a word too often. In English, though, even when most of those rules still exist, they are less strict and the simplicity of the language make it easier to spend less time thinking about styles and more thinking about the enrichment of the story. So I started translating my book and I found that there were many holes that needed to be repaired, and it’s now easier for me to do.

More good news: the writing club officially exists. Today I spoke with my two founder members and they told me they had two other members, so now I’m with… Pseudohipster, Pseudogay, Aristocat and Rookie. Well, variety is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind, but I’ll make it grow. I already prepared the advertisement I’ll put in the library and it looks nice. I hope there are more writers for the club to grow. I’m planning on great projects to work on.

On the other hand, I think I’m losing my mind. These last few days my head is full of weird thoughts and paranoia, especially in love issues. By now, if you have been following the blog, you might notice that I have no hope at all of a relationship with Curlz. I live with this truth without giving it much thought, because after all, there are things in life that cannot be changed. But now I am starting to doubt about it thanks to the events of last night. It might be related to my recent lack of sleep, but it might be real, and that’s what confuses me the most. I need some external light on this issue.

It all started when I posted on Facebook that I can’t take Portuguese this semester. We talked about it a bit and Curlz asked me to help her on Japanese. I told her yes, and I took the opportunity to ask her to teach me about cars, because recently the prices of all public transportation rose to ridiculous numbers and I’m starting to think it might be cheaper to get a car. Anyway, I asked her because I remember hearing her once talking about car models and motors and all that stuff… or so I thought. Because after she told me it was not her, I realised I was actually confusing her with Whovie. I jokingly told her and immediately regretted. But the interesting part here was that right after I posted that, in less than twenty seconds she had logged out to not come back. I waited for half an hour for her to say something but she did not. And the following three hours, my only time to sleep before I had to start getting ready for the inscriptions (the subjects are chosen by the student and those who arrive earlier have more freedom to choose their schedule), I could only spin in my bed about how things were with Curlz. Why did she react like that? Or, better, why did she not react? Did I do something, was what I said an offence? Was she jealous? Was she being overprotective? Was everything just a coincidence and my pre-inscription paranoia did everything in my head?

I couldn’t sleep because I was trying to figure that out. The good side: I was the first one on the line. The bad side: My head is killing me. I asked Pseudohipster for her opinion, but she couldn’t answer because something got in the way. I have been thinking that maybe showing her the blog would help me dissipate my doubts; after all, she has a colder head than me and she doesn’t win or lose anything from me being or not being with Curlz. Besides, I only trust her.

I think my head will explode if I keep awake, so the three things I learnt were:

1.- People in my state have a great history of writers, poets and novelists, even with one or two essayists.

2.- When it’s about love, an external opinion can be a good help.

3.- I shall not type with my eyes closed.



My last date with Curlz

These two days have been full of great things. Let me start saying that I have been helping a friend with French. Remember when I was interviewed by my classmates about what I have planned for my future? Well, one of them, the girl, asked me to prepare her for the French tests next Monday. And yesterday I met with her in the library and I explained to her all the topics that gave her troubles. I also showed them the Language Learning section of the library; they have good books translated and adapted into French and Italian. In fact, that’s how I studied for my Italian tests: just reading.

Anyway, she was glad that I helped her and I also worked with her confidence. She’s actually good at French and learns fast, but she has a low concept of herself and that makes difficult for her to learn. I did all I could to make her feel secure and confident, and gave her a few tips for the test. She told me I should be a psychologist, to which I responded that I almost picked the major because I realised at the last minute how childish and unprofessional I would be. I still study it, though, just for fun.

My tests were Ok, but the Japanese teacher wanted to talk to us afterwards. We’re four in the group and she had already told us that the girl who didn’t come was going to repeat the semester. But she was offering us a choice. M-Sensei said that it would be a good idea if we repeated too, not because we didn’t reach the score but for school politics. It’s necessary to have a group of five to open the class, and this semester we had to chip in and pay to subscribe Curlz, even though she wasn’t going to take the class, just to open the group. If we kept moving on eventually we would be unable to open a group and lose all our progress. Besides, the group behind us is really big and it’s difficult for them to come in their schedule (we have midday, they have 6pm). So after discussing it a lot, Magikarp, Onigiri and I decided that we should repeat and let the teacher take our schedule for the next group. That means that, excepting for Whovie and another girl, the Japanese crew will be together again, and we’ll have Okinawa with us. Isn’t it great?

During my free time I have been thinking, and I got an idea: I’m going to sell a franchise of my business. Munchies Corp. has a lot of success and gives me good money, but it is limited by the fact that I can only be in one place at a time. If I could have more coolers in the unexplored areas of the university, I could eventually make a little fortune. And this could help me a lot to get my next toy: a Steam box. They will come out next year, and I decided that it’s time to grow up and start paying for my videogames. Also, I want to play Portal in co-op. So, while I still don’t know if the franchise selling could work, I already have an idea to make money these Christmas break without working for The Man: I’m going to sell stuff on eBay. Not my stuff, of course, there’s almost nothing interesting. But there’s a pawn shop near my house that has really great prices and cool things. I read on another blog about someone who did that for living, and I think if I execute my plan well this could become permanent. It’s way more risky than the chocolate business, but you only live once, right?

And I used a phrase that I promised myself to never use, so I think it’s time to change the subject. So let’s go with what brought you here: my date with Curlz. Originally we scheduled it for yesterday, but she had a date with the doctor and had to cancel. She seemed to be pretty sad because we were going for sushi and she hasn’t gone out in a while (she’s having financial issues thanks to capoeidouche) but she still wanted to do it so I changed it for today.

The mall is a few minutes away from the uni, so I went there to spend my time after the tests while she arrived. She was early, for my surprise; she says she can’t afford to fix her car and had to walk there. So while we waited for our sushi we started to talk about her life; how she’s just adapting to the poor girl lifestyle for the first time and how difficult it is. I talked to her about good money management, something she doesn’t really understand because she never had the need to do it, and we chatted about how she could make her money last more. She also told me about Whovie; apparently she failed an important subject and asked Curlz if the teacher could be bribed (he’s known as the worst teacher at the uni and he’s the reason I picked Italian and not French). But while we talked Curlz’s mobile rang. It was João. She was about to pick it up but I flipped it, and then she asked me why. So I knew this was the moment I had to say it. And I did.

“Look, honey, it’s not a secret to anyone that I like you…”

She opened her eyes widely. That’s not the reaction I was waiting for.

“Well, it was for me!” she half-said, half-shouted. “Weren’t you the one who told me how crazy you were for Whovie and stuff?”

“Well… that was half a truth. The truth is I like you both. But when you have to choose between Pluto and Neptune, which one is closer?”

“I think I get your point” she answered, thinking about what she had told me about dating whovie.

“Well, what I wanted to say is, I already know nothing is going to happen with you, I always knew. That’s why I told you I didn’t like you anymore. I don’t mind, though, I’m perfectly fine with you going around dating other people and such. I won’t ask you for anything but a little thing: when we’re doing stuff together, like this, I would like some consideration. You know I don’t exactly like him, and I like having fun with you, but it’s annoying to have to compete with a phone for your attention, so could you please, when we go out, just ignore him?”

“But… him?”

“Just for a few minutes. It would be really nice.”

And she understood. She put her phone in her bag and didn’t take it out the rest of the afternoon. We moved on to other topics; books, TV shows and how there are ponies of everything (If you don’t believe me, put in Google Images the name of anything you want followed by the letters MLP). And it was a nice day. I felt relieved of all that I had kept a secret (a terrible one, since everyone but her noticed) and I could spent a few hours with a friend I care about a lot.

At the end, I went to leave her at the uni because I didn’t want her to walk alone in the dark. We were talking about how she thought I find her an annoying rich daddy’s girl. I said I don’t, but it makes me sad to see her when she has money, because her personality changes. She’s more reserved and looks less happy, while now that she has barely nothing she’s starting to have her first adventures at the city (taking the bus, going out without money, getting paid for everything by others instead of the other way around, etc). At the end I told her something I hope she doesn’t forget:

“If you could act when you’re rich the same way you act when you’re poor, you would be perfect”.

She was happy when we said goodbye. I was thinking about stealing a kiss from her, but I decided that would just make things more complicated. So I left. And when I was out, trying to get a taxi, something unexpected happened. Someone touched my arm.

It was Whovie.

She never goes to school at those hours and neither do I. I was dropping Curlz and she was trying to bribe the teacher. I told her I knew how good she is at French and that it was the teacher’s fault and then I heard her version: she was going to get a 7/10, but since she had the second best academic record at the uni she thought she couldn’t keep that. So she applied for the optional test and failed, leaving her with a 5 for the semester. I was about to offer my help when she got a cab and left.

But from my point of view, her appearance was a sign. A sign that it’s time to move on with Curlz and go for the big one. So I made a choice: no more fooling around. Now my goal is to get Whovie. And no one will distract me from it.

So the three things that I learnt today were:

  1. Being sincere is the best way to solve a love issue.
  2. I can find a great way to make money; I just need to take a risk.
  3. If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. You have to move on. But if it is, the universe will conspire on your side.



Next Post: Am I a wallflower?

Movies, foreigners and the girls in my life

Well, almost a week! I guess I should write more often. So… oops. But the important thing is that I am back and updating.

Last Thursday was my last day of classes. I had my last voluntary French class and then I went to hang out with the hipster crew. Guess what? Pseudohipster, Pseudogay, Okinawa and a few more went to another congress. And this time it was at the same time that the national book fair; they all got autographed books. I’m happy for them; they really wanted to get those.

What I just realised is that samba head is coming to visit Curlz in two weeks exactly. Which is fine; it’s not like she’s my girlfriend, and besides… Ah, I cheat nobody. I am dying of jealousy. And impotence. I feel it’s unfair; he’s not there, they have not seen each other in years and I think he is using her to get cheap stuff just because the exportation taxes in Brazil are too high. But again, there’s no way I can prove this, and she already thinks I am paranoid about him. And I know I promised to focus on Whovie, but seeing Curlz acting so naïve and helpless for that guy makes me furious. I am here, I care about her, and I share things with her. I know I’m not the perfect guy, I’m not even close. But I am very similar to what she says he is. I think that I should at least talk with her in an honest way about this, because even when both of us feel the tension when the other one talks about a crush, neither of us has acted on it. And being I the most affected, I should bring up the subject. So I decided, right while I was writing this sentence, that I will ask her out to discuss it. This is my last week in the city, and I want to do it face to face. I’m just going to be direct. “Look, I like you, and I know things between us are not part of your plans or even a plausible thing, but I just had to tell you. We are friends, and I want it to continue that way. I accept your relationship, even though I don’t trust him, and I hope things are ok between us. I just did not want to take this home and think about it for two months. But please, just please, I will ask you a favour: stop making him the central topic of all your conversations.” Yeah, I think that could do it. It’s a reasonable request; I’m not asking her to leave him or to stop talking to me about him. I just ask for some regular talks with her, like in the old times. It could work. And I’m not seeing her until February anyway, so she will have time for herself. I will get it out of my chest and finish with all the Curlz drama. And then I can move on to Whovie.

And speaking of her… well, nothing, really. I haven’t seen her again after my last post and I don’t think I will this semester. I have thought about stalking her to get one of two subjects with her the next time, but that’s a little childish. I guess if it’s fate then we will have them, and if it’s not, then I will have to find a way to hang out with her. Without asking her out, of course, I have to start subtle and work from there.

Or have I? Because our last encounters have been really smooth. Since we started talking about Doctor Who we have a lot more in common and we haven’t had a single fight, which considering the normal frequency of them is a great achievement. Because I understand her better now. She is a lot like River Song (and she tries to be) and she started comparing me with the Eleventh Doctor. Well, she did it once, but it counts, and our interactions are feeling similar to the ones of those two. Maybe that’s the key. We’re not a normal couple of friends. Or colleagues. Or a normal anything, really. But if there’s a model that can be similar to our relationship maybe that’s how things should flow. Taking out all the timey-wimey stuff, of course, it could work. I can use my social awkwardness and her eccentricity and make us work. Because who’s more socially awkward than a two-hearted alien? And who’s more eccentric than his friends’… oh, wait. Not everyone is a whovian here, I assume. Spoilers. 😉

(Note: I will make a post talking about Doctor Who. If you want to understand all of my references and/or you love science-fiction and have some free time, I strongly recommend you to watch the show.)

The rest of the weekend things have been pretty much normal. I watched both of the Hunger Games movies; I had read the books before and I knew they were great. So I downloaded the first one and went to the movies to see the other one (I’m a pirate, but I like huge screens). I must say I really liked them, but there’s a thing that has been bothering me. If you don’t like the Hunger Games or just hate spoilers, you should skip the next paragraph.

Well, I was thinking about the casting. I was really expecting a more diverse thing; I mean, we’re talking about a post-apocalyptic story taking place on the remains of the USA. So, as a Mexican, the first thing I noticed was that all the non-white people in Panem happens to live in District 11, the second poorest, and the one dedicated to harvesting, former work of slaves. At first I thought “well, not a big deal, Hollywood has always been a little racist”. But when they presented the secondary characters I saw something else, a little less obvious if you didn’t pay attention to the message of the books and only read them because they were mainstream. And what I noticed is that all the black characters are martyrs. Starting with Rue, the little girl from District 11. She is Katniss’ ally in the games, and she dies in her arms. And her death is the main cause for the riots in District 11. Then we have Tresh, the boy from the same district who let Katniss escape and got killed for that. It gave her a chance to survive and win the games, thus bringing hope to the districts. As a detail, in the books the district also sands her bread as a sign of support. The third martyr is the old man who puts up the three fingers and makes the district take conscience of what they must do, being killed for that and causing his son to start the riots (something straight original from the film). And at the end we have Cinna, the designer, the creator of the girl on fire and the mockingjay. The one who made the revolution start in all the districts with Katniss as a symbol and got brutally murdered in front of her eyes right before she had to go kill old dudes. And watching all this happen I could just think “wow, it’s really useful to kill black people in Panem”. Maybe the casting director wasn’t thinking about the message of the books, or maybe they just wanted to create empathy to black people, but for what I’ve read online, it just backfired. But all this symbolic MLKs just proved something: the USA people are too racist. I feel sad that all those comments happened, because if the biggest world power has that concept of non-white people (who happen to be 80% of humanity) then something is going to be very wrong very soon.

Well, at the end, everything is about perspective. Maybe someday people realise that we are all a single race and not three hundred, and that we must be united. And if it takes aliens or a zombie apocalypse (please let it be Daleks) then I guess it will have to happen. For now, we should all stop thinking about colour. It’s just unhealthy.

There’s not much to add to this post. Yesterday it was my mum’s birthday, and we ate lamb barbacoa (delicious Mexican dish, it has nothing to do with USA barbeque) ad I bought the cake. It was in general a nice day. And today I started my exam; the first Japanese test was really simple. It was what I failed the last time, so I already knew what I had done wrong and fixed it. I didn’t really remember much about the first French test, I hope I did it well. And Portuguese, well, it was a letter, but I honestly don’t care about it much. It was to write a letter, and I think it was ok, but I don’t really feel worried about it. I had some fun, though, because I remembered something Curlz had said about her guy. You see, he comes from a zone with a curious accent, and every time they need to say a mute consonant they add an “ee” sound after it which turns any rude, manly talk into something you’d hear on a Mickey Mouse show. And if for example he started listing music genres, all his speech about rock, pop, rap and hip-hop would be a hysterical talk about “hokee, poppee, rapee and (my favourite) heepee-hoppee”. I know I sound hypocrite saying this right after I extended myself talking about racism, but I just hate the guy. And as I said before, I’m just racist with people I already hated. If he had a brother or so I would treat him as an equal. But he has not, and I will laugh imagining him getting all “crackee” and being surprised planning an unauthorised “gangee-bangee” (something Curlz joked about and that didn’t make me laugh until I imagined his accent). I can’t imagine him saying Xbox, it’s just too much.

So, after I finished mocking a foreigner who doesn’t even know me, here are the three things I learnt today:

1.- Not all relationships are the same, and not all of them should be managed the same way. Love is a tricky thing.

2.- Racism is not a good thing, especially not in movies with a deep meaning. I am misbehaving. But it’s only with one guy, I’ll stop someday.

3.- If I ever find myself on Brazilian ghetto I’m going to laugh to painful death.



Next post: You and I – Ingrid Michaelson

Swiss people, researchers and brazilians

I want to start by talking about Switzerland. Last Thursday on French class, Monsieur C. Told us about the Swiss. He says that they don’t have any free time, but they don’t need it because they do what they love. I’m not sure of how much of this is true, but he says that the Swiss love their work, that they are passionate about it. He says that if we’re not totally convinced of what we study we should quit and go after something else, because it’s not worth it. If you do what you love instead, you will never truly have to work, because work won’t feel like it for you. It will be fun and lovable. And even thought Swiss people doesn’t have as much free time as we do, they don’t need it, they enjoy being active and making high quality products.

The big news is that I finally got rid of Logic. I got a not-awesome-but-not-to-be-ashamed note, and the teacher said I didn’t have to go anymore. I think I will miss him, because even though his subject was insufferable, he was a cool guy. But that closes a chapter in my life, and I just have to finish my research to finally have peace.

The hipster crew is back! It turns out they didn’t really go to the congress; they just stayed the first day and then left to know the city. When they told me I got upset, because I really wanted to go to learn and I couldn’t, while they, having the opportunity, didn’t take it. But anyway, it’s their life, and eventually they’ll realise that they wasted their time. Of course, this also means that Curlz is back in my life, and that’s starting to get tense. The problem is that Zumbi is coming to see her in a month, and the closest they are, the more jealous I get. I know I shouldn’t, because I’m not dating her. In fact, Samba-pants is, or at least that’s what she says. I found very suspicious that he asked her to buy him a PS4 and then paid for it, like some sort of illegal console dealing (the PS4 triples its price in Brazil). And she keeps talking about him, like if we didn’t know already that he’s coming. It’s really annoying, but again, what choice do I have? She’s older, smarter, beautiful and pretty rich. And he’s all that too. Next to them, I look like a Magikarp between a Snorlax and a Kyroge. I simply don’t have anything to offer her.

But what makes me angry is how she treats me. She acts as if we were flirting. She gives me hints, she gets jealous if I give my attention to other girls, she plays with my hands and sometimes tries to provoke me. One day, for example, we were hanging out with the crew and Curlz was lying under a tree. I was sitting next to her and we were talking about ridiculous songs that inexplicably got famous.  She wanted me to hear one on her iPod, and while I was listening, she took my hand and put it on her foot, and during the time the song lasted she slowly moved my it until I was almost touching her… well, you know. Normally I would take this as a sign that she wants something with me, but that is difficult if she spends all day, every day, talking about how much she loves João and how she wants him to come. What am I supposed to do? Just stay there, seeing how tension between us becomes so strong that you can cut it with laser? Tell her to forget her perfect boy and stays with me, the loser who can’t afford even one date with her? Or become the other guy, the one she cheats on him with? Now, that would make me hate myself even more. Once I was cheated on by the girl I most loved, and what she hurt me so much that I decided to never be that guy. It doesn’t matter what I want to do with Curlz, I will NOT become the other guy.

In the mean time, there are six days left before The Day of The Doctor, and I haven’t told Whovie about my idea. Damn, I haven’t even seen her. I’m starting to believe that it was a bad idea after all, but again, it’s Doctor Who. And for all I know she’s going to be there, alone in her couch, having no one to share it with. She loves Doctor Who, and I know how it feels having something you love and not being able to share it with anyone. I just have this week left, and I don’t know what to do. I need to make up my mind as soon as possible. For now, I’ll just buy the fish fingers and custard and think about it. But as I see it, my best chance to tell her is sending a message through Magikarp. They share a class, and I don’t know anything about Whovie’s schedule; besides, she doesn’t use Facebook and never answers the phone. So that means I have only today to decide.

The book fair was great. I bought sixteen books for me and four for my sister, whose birthday is today. The only bad thing is that they’re translated, and Spanish translators don’t always put their effort on it. I was reading George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards, and it’s so full with American slang that you can taste the eagle feathers on it. But everything is roughly translated, like if the guy in charge had just given a dictionary to a middle school student and told him to do it. I’m thinking that I might download the English version to read the original. Of course, I’m not paying twice because some moron did a bad job, so expect me on your eBooks websites.

I believe that there’s not much left to tell. I haven’t done a thing with my research, if you were asking. I can’t find the data I need to back up my nonsense. I don’t want to become a researcher; it’s too difficult, at least in my country. And you don’t even get paid! Here, there are two kinds of teachers in the universities: permanent teachers and contract teachers. Permanent teachers are unmovable, but not because they had earned it. They are unmovable because fifty years ago, when the Secretary of Public Education tried to open public schools all around the country, they found out that there were no teachers. So they offered permanent jobs to everyone who studied to become a teacher. Not only that, but they are legally allowed to turn their children into permanent workers as well, and it doesn’t matter how, the State must provide them with something for their children because it’s their constitutional right. And it’s the same with public health, oil industry and almost any organisation controlled by the government. You can imagine how much it has damaged the country. Lazy people just study to get the minimum required note, demand their right to become teachers and then do what they want, because both the law and the syndicate (that’s right, THE syndicate, the one that monopolises all jobs) protect them from being fired. They have the best salaries, healthcare, they’re the only people with job stability in this terrible economy and they are not required to do anything. Right now they are fighting all around the country because the government wants to force them to take proficiency tests, and they say that either a) the tests must not exist or b) even failing them shouldn’t bring them any consequences. And there are a lot of other things on the table of this semi-revolution, but I think I better make another post later to explain it.

Anyway, the contract teachers don’t have any of these rights, and in order to keep getting contracts they are obliged to do research to justify their staying. And they don’t generate working years –they work six months and then start from zero even on the same school- so they can’t retire. As a result, their research is rarely good and it’s getting worst over the generations. So there you have it, that’s why becoming a researcher is out of my mind. As soon as I finish my major I won’t do it again. And I hope that’s soon.

Well, to sum up, the three things I learnt this weekend:

1.- Switzerland is great, I might go work there someday.

2.- NEVER be a teacher in Mexico.

3.- When it’s about love, you have to think fast. Really fast. Let’s say, before a Brazilian douche comes to your country and takes the girl away. Well, that’s not really a lesson, but it’s the best I have.

Wish me luck! I think I’ll need it.



Next Post: Think about those who love you

Retrospective: Whovie’s quiet farewell and Curlz’s confusing moves

When I started the second semester, everything was cool. It was early February, we had a new classroom in the best building of the campus and I got all the best language teachers. Monsieur C, the French teacher, is known for having the highest certificate in French language, the DALF C2. Professoressa T, the Italian teacher, was always good to us and we learnt a lot. And Ms. M, the English teacher, studied English teaching in the UK, so we knew we’d get the best learning. But my favourite part was that Whovie was in all my classes and in my Japanese group as well. So I was finally going to see her in action. It turns out she had spent some time in Canada, so her English was great (and she could make a lot of accents) and she already knew a bit of French. She helped me with my pronunciation a few times and I was really thankful for that. We still argued, though, and not always in a mature way, because she’s a bit childish and I hate to admit to be wrong. Thus we were spending a lot of time together and I was forgetting about my decision of getting over her.

But going back six months, there was someone else new in my life. Her name was Curlz, at least in my mind. She was a pretty girl, smart and funny, two years older than me and she was in my Japanese group. I initially thought about asking her out, but when I found out she had money (she had even gone to Japan, with no reason but having fun) I blocked any dating intentions out of my mind. As a rule, I don’t go after girls whose family’s income is more than the double of my family’s. It avoids me self-esteem issues and looking like a gold-digger (I was actually called that by a girl’s mother). So Curlz was definitely off the game. She introduced me to my hipster crew and we had fun together, but in my mind there was always a little voice saying “don’t try with the rich girl”. She wasn’t a big deal then, but she was a crucial part of the story later.

Back to February, the three of us always shared notes on Japanese and helped each other. Curlz was the most advanced, and I wanted to overpass her, but she was more focused than me. Anyway, one day we got a special homework: we had to write about our ideal mate. When I was working on it, I realised mine was like a mixture between Whovie and Curlz, and that’s when I started to get confused. At the end both of them had written the opposite of me, and I was feeling blue, until Curlz told Whovie something that made me think.

“You know, I don’t see you with someone like that. You’re too intense, and if you find a person as intense as you so much fire would explode. I think you would be better with a calm guy, who can calm you when you’re going crazy. Someone with a yin for your tons of yang.”

This showed me two things: one, that I no way had a chance with Curlz, and the second one, that maybe she was right. Because, intentionally or not, she was describing my relationship with Whovie. I have always considered Curlz a wise person (she’s even a Buddhist), and hearing her saying this gave me a light of hope. Maybe I do have a chance with Whovie, I thought. And I started to try smoothing things up with her. I was more open-minded when we talked and I sometimes offered to carry her backpack (her opinion about that was neutral and her backpack heavy as hell). I thought I was going the right way.

But then again, I was wrong. One day after Japanese class the three of us were leaving, and Curlz and I were discussing about how she thinks I have a superiority complex (which I don’t). She was getting pissed and asked Whovie her opinion. And that’s when it all fell down.

“He’s really annoying sometimes, I’m not sure of why do I hang out with him.”

I was in shock. Annoying? ANNOYING? You, little crazy whovian with your random ranting about The Mortal Instruments and Harry Potter, how dare you say that about THE ONLY PERSON WHO DOESN’T FIND YOU ANNOYING? I was speechless. Her backpack was on the floor and picking it up when she dropped the bomb. I didn’t know what to do with it, so I carried it anyway. She laughed and said “oh, yeah, that’s why”. She was joking with that last line, but it wasn’t exactly a nice joke, and it made me angry. So after taking her to the door I decided I was done with Whovie.

After a few days, everything was different. I wasn’t mad for her, I was mad at her. Our arguments became less friendly and I stopped helping her to do stuff. And when the spring break came I didn’t even say goodbye before leaving.

During my free days, I was thinking about that. It occurred to me that maybe I was being too childish. Maybe she was joking. She’s hardly better than me when it comes to social skills, so maybe she didn’t realise that would hurt me. I decided to keep it friendly with her, but with one change. I was no longer interested in dating her. I had better offers; I shouldn’t be around her like a bee after honey.

In late April, when we came back, I was acting normally. I was trying to flirt with girls, and my social skills were improving. I was paying less attention to Whovie and more to Curlz, and somehow she felt it and started changing her behaviour around us. She became quieter and she didn’t argue with me with Curlz in the room, even if I was saying or doing something that she hated. By the other hand, Curlz was being cooler every day, until had her “allergy”.

For respect to her I won’t say exactly what happened, but one day Curlz appeared depressed and without makeup. She said she had an allergic reaction and she had to drastically change some of the things she loved the most, including her makeup. She was devastated. I stayed by her side, trying to be the best friend I could. I told her that even without makeup she was beautiful, and although she didn’t believe me, she kept me close to her. We started going to have lunch together, to watch films, we studied together and we helped each other. I was happy, I was having fun and I almost got her back to normal.

June came and it brought the final Japanese exams. By coincidence, Whovie’s birthday was the second day of exam, and we had everything planned. The eight of us (large group, uh?) were paying a friend to make us a sushi buffet, and we secretly agreed to buy Whovie a cake. But disaster came. It turned out that the test was really harder than what we expected. Everyone was anxious and depressed after the first day. We were all sure nobody had a single answer right. And the second day, Whovie collapsed. She had a panic attack and she left the room, leaving her test blank. She couldn’t even read the questions. We were all worried, but nobody did anything drastic. We had agreed after the previous test that if something like that happened nobody would do something stupid, like leaving after the quitter. So when I finished, half of the class was out.

The day was ruined. The sushi friend called to cancel because she had a job interview (no one cared about that). Whovie had stayed crying for several minutes and when Magikarp came out (I’ll explain the name later) she told her the situation and left. I didn’t even get to see her. We cancelled the cake and everyone left to feel sad about ourselves at home.

I wanted to go see Whovie, but I didn’t know where she lived and she had told us she was going out anyway. I couldn’t call her because I suck at having telephonic conversations (last time I tried I almost got a friend to think I didn’t care about his dad’s death). So I spent half an hour writing a long text trying to make her feel better. She didn’t even text “thanks” back, but I didn’t care. I just wanted her to be fine. I wouldn’t see her until weeks later, or so I thought.

With Curlz, things were great. I was even reconsidering my rule about money girls. After we all finished the tests we found out only Whovie and another girl had failed. I went with Curlz to get celebration sushi and we were talking about our vacation plans, when Curlz told me about her “boyfriend”.

His name was João. He was from Brazil, and they had met two years ago in Canada. He was a rich boy like her, smart, physically attractive and with Japanese DNA (something she really cares about). He was, by all meanings, everything I’m not. And it was a long distance relationship. Yes, I was competing with a phone without knowing it. I was furious on the inside, but I didn’t do anything. How could I? It was like an ant being mad because the peacock he likes is dating another peacock. When things kept going I was trying to find a way to discredit him and calling him names like Cariocahead or Zumbi (I get a little racist when I hate someone). But at the end I gave up. She said he’ll visit her next December. And if I can’t compete with him having five thousand miles of advantage, what will happen when he’s here, closer to her than what I’ve ever been?

Back to Whovie, we both decided to take a vacation class to take it the easiest way instead of a whole semester. Although we were on the same work team again, we hardly ever talked. After a while she decided she didn’t need us and she finished the work by herself. And later, around my birthday, I found out I wouldn’t have any class with her this semester. I talked to Curlz about how I felt for Whovie (knowing that nothing will ever happen there) and she didn’t believe it. The girl I described as my ideal mate was nothing like her, according to Curlz, and we ended having a talk about how sometimes what you want and what you need aren’t always the same thing. I told her I had a little crush on her way long ago (not totally a lie) and she just made a sarcastic laugh and said “look at that. And even when I’m not Whovie”. She told me she didn’t think Whovie felt anything for me anyway, and that was enough. I left that battlefield.

And I would be proud of myself if I hadn’t spent most nights of the last two months thinking about Whovie.

Next post: Please don’t make that pun