When I sat in front of the computer I was thinking about what to write. As this is a blog about adventures and things like that, I though “well, I haven´t had any major adventure lately, just meeting people”. Yes, people from different countries, cultures, backgrounds and professions. So, isn´t that adventurous? Maybe not from the literal meaning of the word “adventure”. Maybe for Jon Krakauer meeting people isn´t as adventurous as climbing the Everest. But for me (and others), getting to know new people and making new friends can be a turning point on a trip in our lives.
In less than a week I have met six people from five different countries: two Germans, one American, one French and two Portuguese. Have they added something in my life? Perhaps. Have they become my friends? I don´t know that yet. Do we have something in common? I rather say several things in common. So, how did we met?
1. Lars and Sean. Young and party guys. One is a wanderer, and the other a teacher/psychologist. We met through Couch Surfing (www.couchsurfing.org) about two weeks ago when I received a message from Sean asking for advice of the nicest places to party in the city, and if wanted to join them. So, I wrote back “yeah, why not?” We met at a small nice little bar in Largo da Ordem and met him and his German friend Lars. We started to talk about the travels we´ve made and the kind of people who we´ve met. Sean is an English teacher, just like me while Lars speaks as much Portuguese as I speak German. I don´t think I become friends with them, but I got to know two interesting people, in their very unique ways, and for two days I got to go to places I didn´t knew in my city.
2. Emanuelle. A short redhead, with a porcelain face and a child like smile. She looks more like my mother´s child than my brother and I (she´s readhead too while we are brunette). Emanuelle is an exchange student from Carentan (north for France, and a place that had an important part in the D-Day and the World War II) who will stay with my family for one year. She is fluent in English and Spanish and is learning Portuguese. We´ve done somethings together like playing ultimate frisbee and having some drinks with friends. It is so good to have a foreigner living with us – again – and enjoying our company and learning from each other – again.
3. Márcio and João. Portuguese and
hilariously (if that adverb doesn´t exist, then it has just born) great. I was at a Couch Surfing meeting gathering with old friends and meeting new ones. I was quietly talking and catching up when I (out of the sudden) started to chat with Márcio whose desperation, about me watching the BBC documentary films, is fantastic and really funny. Well, when we were chatting he had to go to pick up a friend (João) who – coincidentally – said some flirtatious or flattering comments to my mother on Christmas last year while we (my mother and I) were greeting a Portuguese neighbour, who happens to be João´s best friend. Oh! The world is definitely the size of a peanut. For the record, I got to watch a BBC documentary film, and I recommend.
4. Dirk. At first I thought he was Norwegian, then I thought he was Danish. But, no. He´s a German Social Scientist who lives in Denmark and speak Danish, which is very similar to Norwegian, a language that I fluently speak. He wrote a message in Couch Surfing
, again, about going out for a coffee to have a nice conversation about social science and politics (topics I don´t really enjoy – I was being sarcastic, so I DO LIKE POLITICS AND SOCIAL SCIENCE TALK =D). So, again me being a nice “Curitibana” I wrote back “I would like to meet you and practice my Norwegian with you”. Lucky for me, he accepted and we went for a nice veg lunch. We spoke both in Danish/Norwegian and English. I´ve learned more about social behavior with him in just two days, than with any other school or university teacher in years.
It is fulfilling getting to know new people, laughing with them and even having the craziest coincidences. This kind of adventures (just like travel) can change your perspective on things, maybe for the good way or… not at all. Perhaps you are super intelligent (or so you thought), and these kind of meetings are just the challenge you needed in your life, or the opportunity to achieve your most wanted goal. Or just the laughs you needed after a very stressing day at work.