February Stars


It’s February again and February it’s me. I don’t believe I own the month or that I am owned by it, so then why not just say: I love this month and maybe I am loved by it too? And this one started with a few remarkable facts.


I normally avoid reading horoscopes, but why not when it’s my month and they promise a new life? One came with the Sunday newspaper magazine I leaf through because of a column and the picks of the week, and ostensively promised “a look into your life, money and the week ahead”.


As a curiosity I register here what the stars had to say to me about this particular period: “Excellent! The communication planet has straightened up after weeks of confusion, and you’re raring to go. This is the real start of your year, with several planets in your sign and luck on your side. Make demands. You’ll be heard.”


I knew something was wrong, but I would never have guessed I could have hopped a whole month of time. Now I am not sure if I know how to demand or to whom to demand, but I’ll keep you updated if my luck really changes and the goodies start to happen or I dig that treasure buried for too long.


Difficult Subject


Age is a difficult subject. Recently I watched a movie dealing with age and making us feel how the “right age” seems to correspond to such a short period of out lives. I always liked joviality, be it in young, middle aged or old people. The only exception was a couple of ladies I knew in real life and a lot I watched on the screen. They were evidently old and effortfully trying to pass for twenty.


Recently I found myself analyzing why I didn’t like their looks and attitudes. I concluded the following: it’s not age what I really hate in them but the way they look. So the root of my displeasure is taste related and not age related.


My second thought was: if one has to have good taste to keep looking good that means only wealthy people can afford youthfulness. It’s an upsetting thought, but in general kind of true.


I would hate to be someone hardly trying to look younger as much as I like the idea of being someone naturally looking younger. As someone easily passing for a different age, I have to be aware of this factor. Am I looking for age related compliments? Fortunately the answer is no. For a start most people got my age wrong when I am not dressed up. It’s evident that people close to me don’t count because they can easily be regarded as plain flatterers.


Observing two people really close to me I discovered two curious attitudes. Paul is definitively a second mirror, the one I trust to control any kind of excesses. Andy is the nicest of my divers, not only towards me but women in general. He “always” notices a good-looking woman and he has a nice way to say it. “Ugly!” is his favorite compliment.

They Eat Cats, Don’t They?


Weeks ago Andy entered our TV room to find Paul and I deeply surprised with a news clip about people fighting over a square of sand somewhere in Mozambique. Maybe you are already thinking: “That’s the fate of humankind. People always fought for any square of land. Look what’s happening in Gaza.” Wrong. Your observation is not appropriated for this particular sort of fight.


The reason of our puzzlement was to hear about people fighting because they want to eat that sand, be it because of hunger, particular proprieties of it or both.


As soon as Andy was informed of the reason of our astonishment, he replied: “Why be surprised? After all they eat cats, don’t they?” And he told us about a day he was sitting with friends in a café and one of them pointed to a man carrying a skinned body. “A cat,” he said.


They started to bet. The majority couldn’t believe the cat possibility. They called the man and put the question. The man not only confirmed but also showed to the incredulous group a plastic bag where he was carrying another skinned and sliced cat ready for the pan.


Eating sand or any other living being is just one of the sad consequences of the extreme poverty people live in. It’s not pretty to see people eating sand, cats, cockroaches, rats, ants, grasshoppers or whatever. But then poverty is not pretty at all too.

If You Care About Baths with Ducks


I think most people like bubble baths. Even here, where shower is the norm, a bubble bath from time to time is very welcomed.


Bubble baths have this intrinsic relaxing quality. They go well with a few things like candle lights, music, a glass of good wine and ducks.


Ducks are a good company if you really are into bubble baths. My bubble lover ducks are called Lilly and Tae. Two identical sweethearts. I just don’t understand why Lilly swallows all the water she can put into her tummy and is always heavy with it, while Tae keeps the same weight since the three of us started to share bubble baths.


As these two ducks are particularly hard to squeeze, I’m having trouble with the liquid inside Lilly’s belly. Anyway, shouldn’t ducks be a little more water trained?



When something not entirely true is regarded as an immutable principle a myth is created. Myths are sometimes dangerous, especially when people decide based on them. Generalization of partial truths is a mistake human beings seem keen to make.


I think the idea that coming to Africa represents instant richness and abundance is common. From time to time, when things are particularly hard somewhere else in the world, we witness another immigration wave. I think we are now assisting to a new tide of people coming to this country.


In reality, people never stop coming and going, but if I look back, without any scientific pretension, I can distinguish three main recent immigration waves: 1) The turn of the century boom, bringing the worst group of myth believers. They clearly believed they could get rich fast. Most of them are now gone. 2) A second more realistic wave characterized by the immigration from nearby countries, people with less fantastic dreams but still believing they could make it here. Most are still around, modestly thriving. 3) We observed a third wave now, hopefully made of hard working people. We recently talked about a few cases and we hoped a lot more would came to change the face of this land.


Sometimes I am afraid that I can lead people reading me into the African myth. If you are meant to be wealthy, that can happen wherever you are. It only depends on you, not on a particular continent or country.


When we arrived here I had such a perfect life! Paul was professionally successful in Europe, I didn’t have to work and we lived in the Cascais area. He entered in Mozambique as press attaché for the last colonial government. If we had decided to return to Europe we would go on living like that. For us, the decision of staying in Mozambique represented I had to work because one salary wasn’t enough for our needs. It’s evident that we also had a few advantages we would never have in Europe: 1) Space. 2) Tranquility. 3) Good weather. 4) Fantastic beaches. 5) Food not coming from a supermarket shelf. 6) Affordable help to raise the children. Wouldn’t you stay and work for that?


I truly think that we would do so well in Europe as in Africa. Maybe we would have more status and cash if in Europe, but then we would have lost so many other things making life worth living. Sometimes we live the myth, sometimes we don’t and sometimes we just live.

Have You Ever Been Loved… Like This?


This is an embarrassing theme, one I wasn’t sure of being able to post. Don’t read it if you are sensitive to intimate subjects.


(Pause for you to decide if you want to go further…)


I don’t have a single inclination towards my own species. Yes, I am talking about the lipstick species. If I ever kissed a girl, it wouldn’t be for love or curiosity. If I ever kissed a girl, it would be like kissing myself.


I know I was am loved by a girl. She used to come frequently to my house as a friend. There was only a moment when she had the courage to show her affection in a soft friendly gesture. How behaved some women in love are! One day she left this country and I forgot about her. I would never have guessed her feelings if not for: 1) Realizing that everybody in this house, even the children, knew about her inclination. 2) Hearing that she was living in Italy with another woman.


With her I also learned how faithful some women are. Even after so many years she keeps calling now and then, usually when she is having a good time. It’s like if she still feels guilty to be somehow happy. Aren’t some women truly amazing?

Selecting & Selecting


Women are selective. It is part of their nature to be like so. They have to. Guys don’t appreciate that selectiveness, especially when it means hearing the word no.


I guess some women are more selective than others. Some can be selective. Others can’t. But this is not only about how selective we are, but about how sometimes I get tired of having to choose all the time. Culinary, for me, has a lot more to do with deciding than cooking. I try to avoid constantly being asked to pick between a and b. I organized a system to escape the kitchen void, but it’s just the same. For instance, Monday we eat chicken. It should be simple. Nevertheless, the choice is still there: “Shall we eat chicken à la a or chicken à la b?” No matter what I have to come up with answers. Questions in urgent need of answers never stop pouring.


I spend a great deal of my day deciding for others and for me. Sometimes I got tired of it. One of these particular days I had to choose in so many occasions and between so many options that I went blank. The moment I had to pick something to dress, I just couldn’t. I was incapable of selecting a single thing. I couldn’t decide between skirt or trousers, colors… Nothing. It happens. And when it happens I may remember a specific item a normal me would never wear. In that day I rediscovered a skirt only once worn.  I cannot explain why I keep some stuff and some I don’t. It’s the selective me working, a very intuitive one. You can imagine how that skirt is by its name: Americana Skirt. Weeks ago it would be mad wearing it. Now I feel that Americana is going to be popular for a while. It’s a feeling you can certainly understand. My selective nature remembered that skirt. I think I will wear it before the Americana trend hits the street.


Sometimes I do get tired of selecting, but otherwise I am a true supporter of women’s selectiveness. When a woman is exercising her right to be selective, she is acting for the betterment of the world. Choosing a partner for life is one of the most important selections she has to make. Unfortunately, women can select wrong. Sometimes they know it, but they don’t have options. Lack of options is really a drag! For instance, I believe that the creativeness of one partner and any average scientific attitude of another can produce a genial child. I truly believe in blood chemistry. Sometimes is the mind chemistry that is right or wrong. But mind can change. Blood can’t. As it is evident, there are exceptions here. Besides, the factors determining the way a child grows into an adult are so diverse! I also know exceptional stories of people who defied all negative premises to become great individuals. Anyway, exceptions don’t prove the rule is wrong.


What is important here is acknowledging this particular characteristic in women. Men are selective too, but not in the way we are. Most of the occasions I try to pass the selecting stigma to Paul he always answers: “Anything would be fine!”


Just remember how girls behave when they shop. Shopping is a great training for selecting. So the next time you lose your patience when your partner spends an entire hour selecting between red and blue, just remember she is at school.