Tag Archives: dance

Paranaue, paranaue, parana

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I am a bit late in posting today – partly because the week has become less ‘blue’ (my barcode labels arrived – yey! I might have a 4th mutant – yey! my mug is back – yey yey!), and partly because I’m tired.

Although, thinking about it, I can’t be that tired… otherwise I would be sleeping already, right?

So I’m not all tired. I’m partly tired. Locally tired. More precisely, inner leg tired.

See yesterday I followed a German colleague of mine to Capoeira classes. To those who are not very familiar with this form of dance/martial arts: capoeira originates in Brasil, where the slaves developed a way of dancing which allowed them to simultaneously train their fighting skills without their owners recognizing it as such.

For those who haven’t been around too long – I love dancing. Currently lindy hop, mostly, but I have been caught belly dancing, hip hopping, ballroom dancing and even jazz and ballet’ing. On top of that, I’m a massive Portugal-freak. I adore the country, I love the language, and I have nothing but the warmest feelings for its inhabitants. Granted, Brazil is not Portugal – but they speak Portuguese (sort of … lol), so I’ll take it ;).

Still, I wasn’t sure if I would like capoeira. To be frank, I still don’t know. All in all, it is a very confusing sport: you play ‘against’ each other in the roda, where you move together, almost duet-like, while simultaneously attacking and ducking – but no points are measured. The more advanced capoeiristas did seem to touch one another, almost playfully, here and there, like saying : I could’ve got you there, but I won’t – but in general you are not supposed to literally hit each other. And if you do, you apologize. (Polite martial arts, who knew?)
Although our leader (I don’t think he’s an official mestre) said we did all very well in the roda, really, I have no clue what I was doing :D. We learned one kick during class, and 2 ducks (ducking is important), apart from that I was wiggling about a little bit on the music, trying to look a bit… well… as if I knew what I was doing ;). I’ve never been good at faking though… lol.

But I’ll be back! 90 minutes of free sport and a chance to learn something new and get to know some other people in the process, that can’t go wrong, now, can it? ;) The only annoying thing is I still haven’t regained full use of my left hand (I fell with Ts bike: my right knee looks like rainbow and I couldn’t lift a cup of coffee with my left hand for a week. I’m up to around 2 kgs at the moment, though, so things are definitely improving ;) ) – and since capoeira involves some nice acrobatics, I’m forced to skip these… for now. I look at the bright side, though: on way less to make a fool of myself!

(and… ahum… I now officially have a ‘sports’ category!)

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Sweden in a nutshell

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I thought, if I can successfully write a recap of two weeks of blogging, I can surely successfully list the things I love/hate most about Sweden, two weeks into this little project of mine?

  • I love … free coffee. Free coffee, I’m telling you! Well, at the lab at least, but anyway… Nothing helps to recover from (or prepare for) a failed experiment as does a cup of coffee. At our lab, there is a HUGE, and – more importantly – cosy coffee room with two coffee machines and all the sugar, milk, cups, spoons, … you could ever need. Heaven surely must come close to this…
    However, I hate … the lack of Freddy. Freddy was the guy in my previous lab who filled pipet tip boxes, did the dishes (you cannot believe how much dirty glassware one scientist can produce in a day), did the ordering, made media, autoclaved everything – in short, did all those lousy, dreadful things a scientist has to waste his/her time on. There is no Freddy in Sweden :(.
  • This is maybe not the best example... but at least I could afford it.

    I love … the shops! I am not talking clothes shops (obviously) – if you thought IKEA had neat ideas, think again. I am absolutely loving to stroll around interior decoration shops and discover all the genius little things on display. Buying them would ruin my budget, but one can dream, at least…
    I hate … their opening hours. Granted, the supermarket is open till 10pm every day, but on Saturday you will not find any shop open after 4 or even 3pm. I mean, how can you enjoy a relaxing day of shopping when you only have 5 hours? Honestly?
  • I love … cycling. And everybody cycles here! There are loads of parking places for bikes, separate tracks along the road, … There is only little traffic but it is well organized – you know how as a pedestrian you have these buttons to speed the green light when crossing the street and it seems that it takes longer when pressing the button than if you’d have just waited? Not here! You press and … presto … cross along! b.r.i.l.l.i.a.n.t
    But I hate my bike. Or maybe that’s too strongly put. I don’t actually HATE it. But it squeeks. And it has a back pedal break. And my bell is broken. I can do something about the squeeking and the bell, but that damn break… .
  • I love … the gym. At €165 per year (for university employees, it’s around 200) including full access to the gym and all spinning/aerobic/workout/… classes, you have no excuse not to go (which probably is the point). I’ve been there for the first time today and it was a blast (though I’m stone dead now – after only 2 classes… how disappointing). The teachers are good, the building and equipment are recent and modern, and while the majority of people are students, you see a good deal “older” people (grey hears included!) so I’m not really feeling out of place.

    I hate … that they don’t have dancing classes. Don’t get me wrong, I love a serious session of Aerobics, but I am completely hooked on “true” dance classes, where you take a song and work out a choreography over a couple of weeks, so that you really have time to make the dance your own. Most group session are “gympa”-based (defined as “All around workout in a group with focus on strength, cardio, and flexibility”) so the dance element is often missing, but even the Funk or Afro sessions are drop-in (understandably) so … not gonna happen. I keep on searching, though!

I love the purple trains … I miss UHT milk … I like the rabbits in the university grounds … I hate it that I don’t speak (or at least understand) Swedish … I love the many trees/green spaces in the city …

So all in all, the things I like about Sweden are at a slight advantage. Let’s see if they can keep this up ;).