Sunday, 7 June 2015

A new adventure: English teaching - preparing to travel and work

I'm starting a new phase as I enter into an adventure that will take me away from my home, and my roots, to explore living as an expat. I will be a foreigner in someone else’s country. To a city larger than London.

I've just finished my CELTA and gaining experience teaching English as a foreign language. I am learning Brazilian Portuguese while hunting for a job in Sao Paulo. I need a work permit to gain a work visa. A work permit issued by the employer...if I can find one to sponsor me!

I'm not going for a jolly, or for a short travelling experience. I want to experience Sao Paulo for all it has. It took me 14 years to tire of London.... So ideally some lovely English School in Sao Paulo will take me under her wing and to get myself established.

I've heard many things about Brazil over the years I shared London city with Brazilians. They're kind, sweet, warm people with a lot of energy, they party as the best and work their teeth off. They talk with love of their country, but rarely talk positively about returning to live.

I hear wonderful holiday stories of golden beaches, tropical rainforests and carnival activities. I have experienced some of it. I also hear horror stories of gun crime, street safety, hecticness and of the non-stop metropolis Sao Paulo.

This city seems to have both sides of a coin, and I look forward to being part of it.

I head to Sao Paulo in two weeks to suss out the adventure I have ahead of me. My aims for the visit.
- that's my list. 

If you have any advice, I am looking for as much as I can :-)

Follow this journey. More to come from recent trips too.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Acceptable travel behaviour - what do you do?

Travel sleeping - is it really acceptable?

There are so many things we do in private that we wouldn't dare to do in public...or would not want to be seen or shared to be done in public - yet when we travel it seems some of us have a different perception:

For is it that we're surrounded by strangers, incredibly relaxed that we let down our guards, it's all so hectic we fail to keep ourselves composed, or that we just don't care? 

Let's look at some of them

1 - sleep
Train, coach, plane and car - it doesn't take long before we nod off to dreamland and begin snorting like a diseased pig. By routine we keep sleeping to overnight in the comfort and privacy of our own beds. As soon as we make a journey anywhere we're willing to catch flies and dribble on some strangers shoulder...right?!

2 - nakedness
The sun comes out, sand wedges between out toes and suddenly we're willing to parade around like Donald Duck. Yet in everyday life the notion of just beach shorts or bikini is as bazaar as Donald's behaviour when he's just jumped out of the shower wrapped in only a towel...

3 - drunken behaviour
We're on a plane, settling ourselves beside the pool, walking along the promenade and it's only 10am. Our first thought - "I'm getting a beer" - yet Monday to Friday 9-5 we can't operate without a coffee to start. Holiday changes out habits like the British wind changes direction.

4 - money sense
We're in a different place, the currency is different and all seems new and exciting. The concept of budget, value and taste is thrown out the window as we purchase the most ghastly souvenirs and holiday trinkets that we seem to be obsessed to keep hold of for the rest of our life's yet just don't fit I understand why granny's home is full of crap

5 - rules
Remember what Monica and chandler said on their trip to London for Ross wedding?! Different countries and cities and new borders brings out a different character in us. We let our hair down and willing to consider different options than at home! 
there is no logic to any of this but the human psyche is one we could spend forever exploring without enjoying.

So remember when you next see someone do something unacceptable consider if they are on holiday first.

And consider- why not do what you do on holiday...every day! 

Make life fun!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Selfish criticism - I live in London, of course I am selfish

Selfish criticism - I live in London of course I am selfish. What do you expect from an urbanite who lives in the most diverse city in the world?!

I'm one of 7 million inner city inhabitants and one of 20 million in the entire of Greater London. It's only growing as immigrants repopulate and move here daily - I'm becoming more insignificant to the rest of the city - so I deserve to be significant to myself and if that means being selfish, then so be it.

No one cares what language I speak, as long as I have a way to pay for it.

No one cars what I wear or how I wear it, for as long as my modesty is covered.

No one cares who my friends are or who I love for as long as I don't hurt or kill, but even that's becoming more common - at least it's a way to be noticed and to become somewhat significant, somehow.

The behaviour of selfish Londoners is demonstrated throughout the day;
- seats on trains: We all want one, we all deserve one, there's no priority in the pecking order- unless you wear a baby on board badge - we rush to be first on to grab that butt comforter, even if we do spend out days sat down!

- packed streets: clambering over one another much like ants making their journey home, personal space does not exist, straight lines are extinct among people who are casually repeating under their breath 'sorry, excuse me' whilst thinking 'you're in my way'
- limited parking: squeezing cars into the smallest spots, or driving in circles for hours to find somewhere to park.
- sexual and age equality: it's been drummed into Londoners - we're all equal - we certainly are - only the strongest will survive and I will prove it! 
- gentrification - each class of person is forced into areas of living and modes of transport. Only the rich take the tube in zone 1-2, and buses are known as peasant wagons. Londoners learn their place 

- train driver salaries: drivers are paid  twice more the average London salary owning the right to strike for being paid to sit on their asses driving a vehicle that's stuck on tracks. You lose the cursity and care for train service personnel 

- cost of travel: when one spends hundred of pounds to travel each month, we deserve a seat and for it to all run on time delivers with polite customer service. 

- duration of travel/delays: we deal with delays day in and day out. To maintain some perspective of reality and sanity we become selfish to understand how we are subjected to daily torture.

- time poor: what time? We spend 2 hours a day traveling, hours queuing and have to trample over people to get where we want. It's our time and we will do what we please with it

- free papers/giveaways/discounts - businesses clambering After my custom: why should we pay? It's free in London. You want my business? Give it to me for free

- expensive properties and rent: we spend a fortune over half our salaries to put a roof over our head, and even then we can't swing a car in it. We're being taken for mugs. So excuse us for passing that feeling on - it is knot our right to make us feel better

- small properties = my space, u deserve my space. It's mine!! All mine! 

Do you see now why Londoners are selfish?