Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wall decoration

When in Amsterdam: look left and right for unexpected trams and bikes, watch your back for pick pockets, look down into the canals...  


And above all, look up for unexpected surprises. 


(Somewhere in de Elandsgracht, Jordaan area, Amsterdam)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rio 2016

During the New Year's Eve at Copacabana Beach, the logo for the 2016 Olympics Games was announced.

Three interconnected human figures, embrancing the diversity of races and differences, where you can see the Sugarloaf silhouette:




To visit the official site (in English) with photos and job opportunities click here.
For an interesting article above the Olympics on the Economist go here. But I have to disagree that the international airport in Rio is "operating above capacity": most of the times I have been there the flux of passengers was pretty okay, compared to other overcrowded airports in the world. I disagree with some other points from the article as well.

(Source: well, how do I know all that ? I follow The Adventures of a Gringa in Rio... on the Facebook. Go there ! I have also supplied Rachel twice with links to documentaries... )

The video above is pretty, although I think the institutional video from 2009 is far more energetic and charming:



And recent 360o degrees photos of Rio and Brazil you can enjoy clicking on this link.
And ten facts about Brazil that will blow your mind here, on a short article.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Amsterdam for Children: VOC Ship

Bilingual post, English-Portuguese.
From nearby the Central Station in Amsterdam...
Passing by the most beautiful Chinese restaurant in the city...

There it its: the Amsterdam VOC ship.

The Amsterdam:  a 18th century cargo ship of the Dutch East India Company. The ship started its maiden voyage from the Dutch island of Texel to Batavia (Jakarta, in Indonesia - as it was called during the Dutch colonial era) on January 1749, but was wrecked in a storm on the English Channel, near Hastings. It is still there. A replica of the ship is on display in front of the science center NEMO.  (The replica was built between 1985 and 1990 in Amsterdam and given to the National Maritime Museum in 1991. Because the museum is now closed, the ship has been moved to near the center NEMO).
O AMSTERDAM: um navio de cargo do século 18 da Companhia das Índias Orientais. O navio iniciou sua viagem a partir da ilha de Texel com destino a Jakarta, na Indonésia em janeiro de 1749, mas naufragou durante uma tempestade próximo a Hastings, Inglaterra. O navio continua lá. Uma replica foi construída entre 1985 e 1990 e oferecida ao Museu Nacional Marítimo em 1991. Mas porque o museu está atualmente fechado, o navio foi temporariamente alocado próximo ao centro de ciências NEMO.


Above: yes, that is the restroom.
Foto acima: o "banheiro" do navio.

Photo below: a cruise ship, as seen from the Amsterdam VOC ship. Amazing views from the Amsterdam VOC ship !

I have said on the title of this post "for kids". However, I have only seen adults visiting the ship - the only kids there were mine. My parents visited it years ago and liked it very much. If you wish to visit it with your kids then do not forget to also visit the building next to the ship: Nemo. It is an awesome science center for kids I will blog about it another time in the future. Or just take the free lift at Nemo and go to its roof. It is an amazing place to chill out during spring/summer: there are chairs, water ponds, a bar (you can also take your own food and drinks) and incredible views of Amsterdam  !


Eu disse no título do post “para crianças”. No entanto, quando eu o visitei, as únicas crianças lá eram as minhas. Meus pais visitaram o navio há muitos anos atrás e gostaram muito. Se você tiver crianças e for visitar o navio, combine o programa com uma passadinha pelo centro de ciências NEMO. Ou apenas tome o elevador do NEMO e vá até o telhado. E’ um lugar excelente para relaxar durante a primavera e verão. Há muita água, um bar, cadeiras gratuitas... você também pode levar seus próprios drinques e comida. As vistas de Amsterdam a partir do telhado do NEMO e’ simplesmente incrível (e gratuita!).  

I will be surelly visiting the roof of Nemo again on spring/summer !

O telhado do Nemo e' um ótimo lugar para relaxar durante a primavera e verão !

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Diving into the New Year (Lavando o Ano Velho)

Bilingual Post, English - Portuguese
Unox girl 2009/2010: Luca-Prins. Photo: Martijn Mooi.

A new Dutch tradition: diving into cold waters during the 1st of January in order to welcome the new year. 28 thousand people have done that on the 01/01/2011, diving into beaches, canals and lakes in more than 100 spots around the country.

The most important event happens in Scheveningen (near to The Hague) and is sponsored by Unox company, a soups and sausages producer. The company distributes hoods, provides hot soup to participants and hires photographers to click potential "Unox girls" each year. In 2009 the elected was teenager Luca-Prins (17y.) who quickly got some popularity - but gave up her career of a model and advertising sausages. Unox girl 2010 is Marlou Bakker, 17 years and - differently from Luca-Prins - no vegetarian.  

Such tradition of diving in icy cold waters is not old. Reading the papers I discovered it was started in 1920 in Vancouver, Canada. In Holland it started in 1960 - and it has been sponsored by Unox in Scheveningen since 1987. In Canada 2thousand people still celebratee yearly the event (in Holland it is estimated about 28 thousand divers - and the numbers are growing).

The popularity of such big event has intrigued anthropologists and those interested in popular culture. One may guess that diving among unknown people would give the experience of feeling like just one body - one nation. I guess the colective diving gives you the strength to face the adversity (the cold waters) with open arms, washing out the old vibrations and embracing the new vibes. It would work like a ritual, maybe ?  And I observe the Dutch like to think about themselves as "tenacious", "assertive", "sportive". During a cold and dark winter day amusement is created with lights, candles, music and hot food/drinks. This diving (and the pre and post celebrations during the day) serves as a symbol and image of the Dutch people, I guess.  

Several embassies around the world organize such divings as well. The general impression of foreigners interviewed by the Dutch press (and acquaintaces I have asked about) declared to consider such New Year's Diving something "very peculiar", "a histeric mass celebration" and "out of reality". The participants on the video below consider such diving "lekker", "heerlijk" and a "fris begin" (delicious, very delicious and "a fresh beginning"). Of course.



****************************
Maluquice de holandês: um mergulho em águas geladas no dia 1 de janeiro para lavar as más vibrações do ano velho. E não vão tiritando de frio não! Mergulham com muita alegria num mar gelado. Esse ano todos os recordes foram batidos: mais de 28 mil pessoas mergulharam em praias, canais e lagos em mais de uma centena de pontos no país.


O maior evento acontece em Scheveningen (próximo a Haia) e é patrocinado pela empresa Unox, que fabrica sopas e salsichas. A empresa distribui gorros e sopa gratuitamente e contrata fotógrafos para descobrir “a garota Unox” de cada ano. Em 2009 foi a adolescente (17) Luca-Prins, que se tornou famosa da noite para o dia – mas dispensou a carreira de modelo de sopas e salsichas. Esse ano a favorita do fotografo foi  Marlou Bakker, também de 17 anos. Mas, diferentemente de Luca, Marlou não e' vegetariana e adora sopa de ervilhas com salsicha defumada.


A tradição de mergulhar em águas geladas não é antiga, começou em 1920 em Vancouver, no Canadá. Na Holanda, surgiu em 1960, e é patrocinada pela Unox desde 1987. No Canadá cerca de duas mil pessoas ainda participam do evento até hoje, e na Holanda estima-se quase trinta mil.


A popularidade do evento vem intrigando a cada ano antropólogos e estudiosos de cultura popular. A conclusão dos académicos é que os holandeses ao mergulharem com milhares de desconhecidos sentem-se como um só corpo, uma só nação. Assim, o mergulho coletivo oferece uma ideia de enfrentamento das adversidades de peito aberto, e lavagem do antigo – num ritual de renovação. No meio de um dia frio e escuro de inverno, diversão é criada com luzes, musica e comida. O mergulho serve como um símbolo e imagem do povo holandês.


Diversas embaixadas holandesas ao redor do mundo organizam também esse mergulho. Alguns estrangeiros entrevistados pela imprensa holandesa declararam achar o mergulho de ano novo “peculiar”, “histérico” e “fora da realidade”. Os participantes no video acima consideram tal mergulho "delicioso" e um "começo fresco do ano novo".
Unox girl 2010/2011: Marlou Bakker. Photo: Harold Versteeg