mazda 323
because for me, she’s above all things.

mazda 323from all the things i could hope for on this adventure in the united states, i did not expect to be given a car. but i was, and there is nothing boring about this particular car. no sir, nothing. riding it is always an act of exploration. of the car, i mean.

nearly every time we drive it – me or my friend joão -, we find a new noise in it. either an original one or a funny combination of old ones, random irritating little noises that make our journeys a true symphony, humming, buzzing and hissing all the way.

it has an inside rear mirror that shakes proportionally to the need of using it at that specific moment, a speedometer that oscillates between an interesting range of speeds – no matter how constant we move, and a gear stick with a inner calling that demands, periodically, someone to hold it still. oh, and an exhaustion pipe with an extra-loud feature which asserts us that our presence is always noticed – at least one block away.

the windshield has a few cracks on it, but luckily, it’s still waterproof, we think. on the dashboard, most of the gadgets don’t work at all; the cassette player doesn’t play, and the radio – just to be supportive -, doesn’t give a single sound either. basically, all the car bells and whistles are dead. hum, well, that’s not completely true: it does whistle frequently when driving fast though.

the driver side mirror is reduced to 1/6 of it’s size, plus, it’s now broken in two – a very good way to get different (but tiny) perspectives of the road i must admit. but, not everything is bad: our car has something that no other car has: a special semi-automatic window opening mechanism that is applied to both back doors. it’s ‘automatic‘, because one of them slowly opens when in motion; ‘semi‘, because the other window doesn’t open at all, not even if we want it to.

but, hey, other than this tiny minor details, it’s a great car and it actually moves! and, as it’s known around here, mazda is the asian porsche. for us it sure is. and for all others, it sure sounds like one.

start with a 10h flight and a 24h delayed baggage. then mix jetlag with altitude sickness and constant thirstiness. put new currency, new traffic rules and a new timezone together, and add, slowly, the automatic gears, the suv’s and a breathtaking view to the rocky mountains. cook on a very large pot and keep adding water all the time.

strangeness has been settling in since i arrived and i’m having trouble focusing lately. i’m having an hard time learning how to enjoy all this the best way, i think. emptiness has been a recurrent feeling and above all, i’m not being myself here. and that is killing me. must work on that asap.


Boulder (40°1′N 105°16′W, Mountain Time Zone) is a city located in Boulder County, Colorado, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 94,673. It is home to the University of Colorado at Boulder, the largest university in Colorado. Boulder’s elevation is 5,430 feet (1,655 meters) and is 35 miles (50 km) northwest of Denver.


Politically, Boulder is comparatively more liberal than most of Colorado. Boulder County, which includes Boulder’s more conservative suburbs, is 37% Democrat, 27% Republican, and 36% independent. [5] Although in Denver, Democrats hold a virtual monopoly over city politics, Boulder gains more attention for being Colorado’s liberal enclave with nicknames like ‘The Berkeley of the Rockies’ and ‘The People’s Republic of Boulder’.


Boulder has hosted a 10-km road run, the “Bolder Boulder,” on Memorial Day, every year since 1979. The race involves up to 50,000 runners, joggers, walkers, and wheelchair racers, making it one of the largest road races in the world. It has the largest non-marathon prize purse in road racing [media guide (PDF)].

Every year to mark the beginning of Spring, local radio station KBCO sponsors Kinetics, a race across land and water by human-powered vehicles timed on speed and judged for style. The idea for Kinetics was imported from Ferndale, California in 1979 and the first race was held on May 3, 1980. Since then, Kinetics has grown in size and creativity with about 20,000 spectators and dozens of teams.[40]

Every year since 1999, Boulder has hosted the Nude Pumpkin Run. Touted as “Boulder’s largest and longest running community arts project,” the Run takes place on Halloween and involves pumpkin-carving pre-run parties, after which the participants tramp to an agreed upon location, remove their clothing, place their pumpkin upon their head and run en masse through the streets. As a bacchic celebration of free expression and comradery, the Pumpkin Run strives for maximum freedom and fun with minimum impact upon the community and the urban environment. Past Pumpkin Runners have spread the tradition and scheduled runs in 2006 in Denver, Austin, and Chicago. [41]

Every Thursday in Boulder, a group of cruiser bike riders meet in an outpouring of creativity and love for bicycles. Many are dressed in delightful and outrageous costumes. Even the bikes are decorated and adorned with lights. Some bicycles even have stereos on them. “The Cruisers” believe themselves to be a non-political group whose only common aim is to spread joy. The group rides year round, though numbers vary greatly from week to week.[42] [43]


The open spaces in Boulder are spectacular and extensive. There are ample opportunities for hiking, biking and rock climbing. Most of the trails are a short drive from the city. The trails vary in difficulty: some are quite easy while there are some that are technically challenging. A trail map is available online or from a variety of local retailers. The City of Boulder Open Space website is a great resource for information about outdoor activities and volunteer opportunities.“, from

In general, though, Boulder is a high desert with only about twelve inches of moisture annually. Since we average about three hundred and twenty days of sunshine a year, that is not surprising. Our snow, even when deep, is dry and light. We live in what is called the Banana Belt of Colorado; snow doesn’t last long on the ground, and warm sunny days are common in winter. That they alternate with scathingly cold winter wind and snow is an acceptance which must be made. Nevertheless we are not to be mistaken for, say, Buffalo. In summer, a typical day starts pleasantly before biodegrading into brief afternoon thunderstorms which can be exciting. Autumn features our clearest weather, with warm days, cool nights, and spectacular views of mountains and foliage. Winter can go either way, but on average is bearable and often beautiful. Spring can provide snow into June along with some days of strong wind, and is considered bracing.“, from boulder international hostel.

The city adopted a no-growth policy in the 1960s, buying up a green belt around the community to block encroaching sprawl.

Popular spot for outdoor sports such as mountain biking, ballooning, rock climbing and skiing.“, from

yah, i know, it’s a lot of information to process. i’m working on it.

she was what he always dreamed for. he, he was what she always dreamed as well, so life was good; but not everything was perfect, there was a problem: they didn’t spoke a common language. they felt incomplete because they couldn’t say all they wanted to their loved one.
but, love can move mountains they say, and they were the perfect example of it. caring so much for each other, magic came into play and has built an enchanted device that translated their languages.
on a normal story, they would had lived happily ever after, but this is no normal story, so they got divorced some years later. nevertheless, what is relevant here, is how it all started.

leonard and sandra managed different computer networks at standford university, that, not only were apart, but also used different and incompatible technologies. they were unable to communicate with each other and that didn’t pleased them, so they started working on a device that would connect both networks. the result, was a blue box – that nowadays is known as router – and the cisco systems company, which 7 years later was worth $170 million, back in 1990 when they moved away from it.
that’s how it all started, more or less, and i kinda like the idea that i’m gonna work for a company that started from a love story. although unknown to many, cisco is one of biggest giants and is today leading company on internet networking devices. if one thinks that pretty much every single bit of information that travels on the internet (e.g. take this text for instance) crosses several cisco devices, before it arrives at our computers, then it becomes more obvious how present and relevant cisco is in our daily life and why they grew so fast: the internet boom was the cisco boom, in a way.
according to fortune magazine, it’s the 25th best company to work for. well. might be just a number, but that’s pretty much what i’m about to become, a number. with 37k employees, it will be quite a jump from my previous job where we were only 7, me and boss included.

adding to that, the fact that i’m about to cross the atlantic ocean and move to a different continent, then one can imagine how big is the leap, at least for me. for the last 9 months of this year, i’ll be living in boulder, in the american state of colorado. more about it, on my next post – now keep practicing your uncertainty avoidance level.

and now?Funny thing. I’ve just realized that all persons i’ve lived with, or been close to, after my return from the netherlands two years ago, are now living in the netherlands. Me, while wishing to return there, am still in portugal, waiting to leave to a different continent.

I’m happy for them. But having to say goodbye to two of them in just a couple of days was not the birthday present i wished for.

When one goes abroad, after a while he comes to learn differences with his home country. Some are obvious, some don’t. But he hardly gets a grip on a few if he doesn’t question himself about it.
Some of this less obvious facts have come to my attention during the international management workshop I recently did. Factors like individualism vs collectivism or the power distance are important, but the one who caught me was the uncertainty avoidance level. Not only this one measures a quite important characteristic, but also portuguese are quite bad at it, in the sense that we do very poorly when dealing with uncertainty. I must confess that at first i didn’t agree with this statement myself, but after some thinking i could only agree. Moreover, this past weeks i had my own evidence of it – i’m quite portuguese on this matter.

Although my possible destination for the next 9 months has already been told to me some weeks ago, only now i’m posting about it. Why? Because I was uncertain about it. Still am. And although i had some logic reasons to be so (i had to pass some extra tests and interviews in the meanwhile), fact is that i don’t deal very well with it – both emotional and rationally. And this reflects here.

To sum up, and this is a personal fact and not really a portuguese thing, i tend not to blog much when too much is uncertain on my life. It took me a bit to realise this fact but i plan to fight it. As in what comes to you – the reader – i wish you only the best, thus, you must pratice your uncertainty avoidance level because i’m only giving more details on my destination on my next post. :)

My keenness to move abroad is not something new, but it’s not something bond to happen in all of a sudden. Usually it’s something that takes time, consideration, preparation and lot’s of search from the available options. Usually.

But this last few days, my life changed a-lot. So, let’s see.

During this week I had to choose between quitting my nice job (with a 48 hours notice – not a very nice thing) against turning my life into a big bold question mark. I’ve chosen the question mark :)

This next two weeks I’ll be attending to an international management workshop in Porto and only by the end of it, I’ll be told what country/city/company I’ll work for 9 months later this year. In between, I’ll be working for about 6 weeks somewhere in Portugal. Location also unknown at present date.

To sum up: this year I’ll live in at least in 3 different (unknown) cities and work at two different (also unknown) companies.

Oh, and in the middle of all this, I was invited to go to a TV show to speak about my postcrossing project. How I will fit that in the middle of all this changes is to be discovered. More details soon :)

Faz uma pessoa 200Kms para ir buscar o rodas que ficou a arranjar, porque está a fazer falta, para ter um furo no caminho. Elas não vêm sós… é mesmo aos magotes.

Bem, pelo menos aprendi a trocar um pneu sozinho.

A piada do fim de semana:

e a desgraça:

  • o meu rodas deixou-me a pé e foi para o hospital;


  • uma desgraça nunca vem só.