Friday, May 30, 2008


Hoje volto a ver a minha amada Lisboa. Ou como diria o Cartman, "Screw you guys, I'm going home!"

O casamento da minha melhor amiga vai-me fazer perder a Amsterdam Tattoo Convention... mas vai ser muito bom voltar a Portugal, mesmo que seja por pouco tempo. Ou se calhar por causa disso mesmo.

Ok, I got an early start

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Eu não acredito em milagres. Se acreditasse tinha pedido para Deus te colocar no meu caminho mais cedo.

Friday, May 16, 2008

a month later

Its hard to believe just how fast a month as gone by.

I arrived in Amsterdam on the 7th of april, so actually it's been a month and a week but I somehow only remember a couple of days so it's a month give or take.

It's been quite the adventure as you will know oh faithful reader. I met some rather interesting people and I was in some weird scenarios sometimes, I was given very much by some, and only the cab drivers have taken more than I was willing to give.

I started working with Blackboard on the 15th and have been helping improve customer supportTM ever since. The feedback we (myself included) have received from our customers recently is amazing. I am proud of being part of such a wonderful group! Go EMEA team!

you can find more of these here

People who know me well, know that I like to laugh about myself and all things surrounding me, this has helped me to deal with some of my adaptation issues. Also, knowing me well means that you're expecting me to bitch about everything that bugs me about my new job. I can't. NDAs and shit like that would probably get me fired.

As a personal experience, working abroad has been just super. It's all about the people you meet and the way you approach situations. I mean, I know so many souls who might be given everything but only notice they should have been making the most out of it when it's taken away from them... That is just stupid! But these guys and gals always have to learn by themselves, so please, be my guest and bang your head as much as you can if the shoe fits.

So, yes, I would definitely recommend moving abroad to just about anyone.

Also, and getting more personal here, I was given the greatest presents ever on my birthday. The one on a little bridge over the Herengracht is the one I will treasure for ever. It's my personal little schatz so I'll keep it just for me for as long as I can... Or sunday. That and the story about my friends playmate girlfriend. We're such lucky bastards aren't we?

As a final note, I'd like to promise all those who used to come here to read my techie ramblings (ok, the one guy) that I'm readying a post on SQL Server Performance, and it should be done soon... so if that's something you're into feel free to come by late next week.

I also have drafts on Netbeans 6, building a Ruby API for tarpipe (which, incidentally I've pitched to some guys here) and JVM tuning. So I haven't totally forgotten that this is a geek blog. I just need some time to get over the city where you can't help but fall in love several times a day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Must be made. And you only know if you were right when it's done. Yet sometimes life makes it easier on you.

For instance, I was planning on going go to Osdorp's Library event on Portugal and portuguese culture tomorrow. Maybe meet up with some countrymen (and women) and basically see what's up.

But then I got an invitation for dinner at Fifteen. If you don't know Fifteen, than the naked chef hasn't caught up with you yet. It will. It's inevitable.

Well, since it's on the company dow, I really have no choice. If I had it would still be the same, I guess.

Does it make you cry?

Monday, May 12, 2008

A day at D's

Lazy sunday again.

Since spending such a bright, sunny day at home seemed like a waste of time, I gladly took the opportunity to go over to D's house and hang around for a while. Time passes much faster when your having fun with some friends.

After helping M fixing the wireless on D's laptop (You just knew it, right?) the day started getting much more interesting. Having conversations with other expats is always amazing because you find yourself less alone when others share their experiences and it's not awkward at all to say that you miss what you left behind and that sometimes you are afraid to fail.

So, and because I'm late for a date with some ice-cream in the park, what do you get when you mix a Portuguese guy with :
- A Bosnian-German hotty hostess;
- A Turkish-Bulgarian couple (yes, the undead terrorist and his wife);
- A Bosnian sweet;
- A Swedish-Syrian techie-babe;
- A German neo-teenager;
- A very sunny day;

Don't know? Care to guess?
- Great food and an amazing day;
- Wine and Laughs;
- Sex and the City would be dialogs;
- Work done;
- All of the above, but in reverse order;

Need clues?

Cigarettes, coffee, chilled white wine. Arabic veggie food. Jazz.

Talk, talk, talk. Smiles, laughs and toasts. Stories and hopes. (edit) And no more boobs

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thank you

Obrigado a todos. Deram-me a melhor prenda de aniversario (das que eu posso falar, pelo menos) de sempre!

Então e agora quando é que vêm cá fazer-me uma visita?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Rather lovely thing

Lately I've found great pleasure in telling little stories about how fun and adventurous my life has been since I've moved to Amsterdam. I usually also put in some pictures illustrating my days and try to serve them up as alternative postcards from my life in this city. Today is no different, just special.

Friday was a quiet day, the city was still recovering from Queen's day and, to break away with the boredom the Postal Service decided to deliver my two really big and important packages to my next door neighbor. This is a thing they do here. If you're not home, your mail packages will get delivered to the next door. You have to explicitly opt out of this behavior if you want to avoid meeting people in this sort of circumstances.

You don't see it, but inside these heaven stood. To be more precise, a Nespresso machine and my beloved Tango

The highlights of saturday include me finding that there will be a Portuguese day at Osdorp's own library. It's funny how little things can catch you off guard like this. Other little things that can catch you like this are love, poppers and bitterness. But I don't want to talk about neither.

Had it been Turkey, and I would not have been surprised. I mean, this is Osdorp! (read in a spartan way)

On sunday I went to Van Gogh's museum, and I must admit I had some mixed feelings about it. I fell in love with Millais. And I was totally amazed by the quality of the Photo exhibit Me, Ophelia. I had no idea of whom Millais was, but seeing his masterpiece, Ophelia, took me places. I saw Nick Cave planting a rose in Kylie's mouth, I understood PJ Harvey's "To bring you my love" artwork and I found Van Gogh to be a total bore in comparison.

Taken from flicker's John Everett Millais group. Photo by Frank Van Eykelen

Sunday was both mother's day and my birthday so I had plenty of reasons to feel down but I didn't. I had the most perfect day I could ask for, and I wouldn't take the time to have sangria in the park if Lou asked me himself.

All day I kept remembering that I was once told by an old lady that all I can cherish in life are the moments I have with my friends and the people I love because nothing I could ever buy will stay with me when I close my eyes. She never saw an iPhone, that's for sure, but I couldn't stop thinking just how right she was.

"if I show you the roses will you follow?"

So finally, here are some Sam Taylor-Wood's, to wrap your mind around something nice before you go to sleep.

Self Portrait Suspended I

Bram Stoker's chair

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Ophelia, the soap pt. I

While sitting at the smallest pub in town at any given night, you can expect to witness all sorts of crazy things happen. I mean, Louis is a guy who has a letter from the British Government apologizing for the behavior of some blokes hanging proud in his wall.

Today I met a rather interesting character, I'll call her Ophelia. As I went in, she sat quietly at the end of the bar sipping her drink and relaxing from a likely hard weekend.

I had promised to make caipirinhas for the staff there, so I was rushed behind the counter pretty much has I laid my bag down. I made my best to batter, mix and pour the drinks and she started looking, first sideways then just glaring lustfully at the sugar and lime half filled glasses.

I had just finished making my second glass when she went ahead and invited herself to be customer number three. She looked straight at me and said
"If the loveliest bartender in town would be so kind ...". Thick londoner accent, ginger lips and graceful gesture included for free.
Annie slid the caipira she was holding and stared at Ophelia who took the glass and caressed the straws for a second. Not being the most graceful of dutch girls, Annie transpires raw sexuality and always seems like she knows what she's doing. Andrew on the other hand, an atypical english charmer with an eye for fun and a hand for game, leaned back and enjoyed his own toughs for a while.

I made quick toast to airport security guards who seem afraid to loose their jobs when someone else is doing a better job at body checking (which, incidentally no one got so I was the only one laughing) and the four of us moved a bit closer so we could chat. Ophelia didn't seem bothered by the attention she was getting from what I could tell, although I was busy choosing what songs would play nice with my mood for the night. Morrissey, Oasis, Depeche and just a little Nina Simone would do the trick.

the origami is like my signature

An uncomfortable silence filled our little corner table when Annie asked what Ophelia did for a living. Calmly, she inhaled, put her glass down and said without even a touch of irony in her voice: "I'm a high-class prostitute." then added "On holiday!"
I laughed my head of, Annie was shocked and Andrew's eyes went wide as his hands reached for the girl's long, fit legs. He uttered "Are you for real?"
"Andy, put your wallet down, she's just telling us to buzzer off, and she's got a great sense of humor by the way" I said.
"No. If I was telling you off, I'd say something like : Yes your wife doesn't understand you, your mistress looks like your mother but you'll still have to pay if you want to keep looking at me" Said her.

I drank some more, tried hard to remember why I was in a pub to begin with and left this unlikely trio to them selfs for a bit. I went for some cigarets and fresh air. I really did, so I can't tell you what the conversation went like. When I got back there where hands, legs, cleavages and a whole lot of old dirty bastards staring at the corner table. Nothing too shameful, although the elephant in the room had little space to breath, but hey, this is amsterdam. Sex is not a tabu.

I tried to reach for my bag so I could leave, but Ophelia grabbed me, and not by the arm, and shouted "This is all your fault you know? So don't even think about leaving before me". I sat. Lit another cigie and listened to some connoisseur comments about size, width and leverage. Then about breasts, tongues and asses. The charming english man did his best to entertain the notion that he could go home with both the girls, Annie couldn't get her hands off the delightful stranger, who on the other hand seemed ever more comfortable as she steered the conversation to familiar territories.

What happened next stays where and with whom it happened. I went home alone.

"with love (signature)" alcoholics are never boring

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Today was the warmest, most beautiful day in Amsterdam this year. Incidentally it was my birthday too.

Friends, expressos, strawberry pancakes, martinis, pizzas and the Van Gogh museum. Mix it, and you got the perfect recipe for an amazing day.

More details to follow, just as soon as I get my rest.