Nuit Blanche

In all my “wild” years as a music student, practicing a couple of hours everyday, going to concerts at night, dancing tango a dozen hours per week, I never managed to pull an all nighter. I would sleep in late in the morning, have a nap in the afternoon, and be fresh(er) the day after.

Well, that was, er, more than ten years ago.

This week, for the first time in my life, and for an unknown reason, I didn’t sleep at all from the night of Wednesday to Thursday. Not a wink. Each time I would lie down to try to sleep, I would start coughing (we all had some kind of a cold last week), but then I would stand, drink a bit of water, sit at the computer and be fine. And did this twice then just gave up to try to sleep. I put some music in my ears, and started sewing the night away. I caught up on the small repairs and a few projects that were pilling up. I started the night frustrated with that insomnia, but ended up quite happy with all the music I listened to and the sewing I finished. Uninterrupted.

In the small hours of the morning I opened the front door and enjoyed the quiet of the sleeping town and the sunrise. With a soundtrack in my ears. It was wonderful.

The strangest in all of this is that the following day I was fine. I didn’t even need a nap in the afternoon! Weird, uh?

At 9:30pm, though, I was fast asleep.

With my clothes on.

Categorias: inglês, sobre mim | 3 Comentários


The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus, also known as jack tree, jakfruit, or sometimes simply jack or jak) is a species of tree in the Artocarpus genus of the mulberry family (Moraceae). It is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia, and is believed to have originated in the southwestern rain forests of India, in present-day Kerala, in Tamil Nadu (in Panruti), coastal Karnataka and Maharashtra. The jackfruit tree is well suited to tropical lowlands, and its fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, reaching as much as 80 pounds (36 kg) in weight, 36 inches (90 cm) in length, and 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter. The jackfruit tree is a widely cultivated and popular food item in tropical regions of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Jackfruit is also found across Africa (e.g., in Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Mauritius), as well as throughout Brazil and in Caribbean nations such as Jamaica. Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh.

(Thanks, wiki*)

Jaca // Jack fruit trees.

Once in a while, hubby comes back from a visit to a farm with a bag of beans or a few BOXES full of bananas, both of which never go to waste as both are part of our almost-daily diet (plus, I’ve also learned to make bananada — banana spread). One day, he finally came home with a jaca (jackfruit). A fruit that I had long heard about, “a prehistorical looking fruit” would describe my husband, but as it is usually too big to eat at once (unless you have a dozen kids to feed at home, ha ha) I didn’t dare buy one at the feira (farmer’s market); Even if they do cut a piece for you, I didn’t know how much to ask for or how to choose the fruit. As it happens, I finally got to try one for FREE and it was a SMALL specimen !  

The small-ish fruit.

I wish I could say “it taste just like chicken”, but, er, not really. It’s really very sweet and, as you can see in the video below, has a lot of fiber. The seeds are quite big so it’s easy to take off, but somewhat difficult to eat in a civilized manner ! I’ve read that there are some sweet or savory dishes with jack fruit in South East Asia. My in-laws told me too that I could prepare it as I do apple sauce without the adding any sugar. I had no idea and should look into it next time we get another one of these monsters! As it happens we ate a bit of it, but I didn’t know what to do with the rest of the fruit that went into containers in the fridge, then ended up as compost in the backyard…

Categorias: frutas, inglês | 4 Comentários


It has been a while. I should write something.

A couple of weeks ago, we’ve had a couple of “cold” days. It was so cold that the kids had to wear LONG SLEEVES and SHOES. Can you even IMAGINE how unusual that is over here? The boys woke up saying, “Maman, fait froid” (Mom, (it) is cold). I agreed, opened the special “winter” drawer, and clothed them with these clothes that were too big when we arrived from Canada and that they have very seldom worn here. A miracle they still fit. I walked down to the market with them with a smile on my face. I was wearing the same clothes as usual, wide fitting pants and a sleeveless shirt, but I wasn’t sweating. It felt good. Then I looked at the temperature, to see exactly how cold it really was : 25°C (77F). I guess one does get used to the constant 30°C heat.


One day, as I came back from a stroll downtown, I asked D if there was a national day approaching. Streets, shops and homes were extensively being decorated with the colors of Brazil. During our walks, the boys pointed out to me the flags on all the trucks, cars, motorcycles and bicycles. They’ve learned to say “Regarde, le drapeau du Brésil, a bandeira do Brasil !!” (the Brazilian flag — in both languages). As I commented on this to the bookshop clerk, she replied “and it’s not even that much yet”.

There was no national day approaching. Only the Copa (the soccer world cup) which started yesterday.


Speaking of yesterday.

I woke up to the repeating sound of horns (not the vuvuzelas, which were banned – thank God!) in the school next door. That’s right, the private school next door apparently allowed the students to come in that day with their own horns and the national team’s shirt instead of their uniform (or was that ON TOP of their uniform? — that’d be freaking hot, not that it’d make much difference when you are used to it, I guess). Of course the school’s rec space, from what I see, is also decorated accordingly with balloons, flags, etc. , and, of course, all in green, yellow, and blue. Do they take the opportunity to teach the kids about international geography and the flags of all the countries ? I would hope so, but unfortunately living here I have come to doubt a lot of my preconceptions. The ongoing noise has only been going crescendo until the game, late in the afternoon, with firecrackers and shouts of joy after each goal from the national team.

Ouch, my head.

In comparison this morning was eerily quiet. I thought, at first, that it was a holiday. “If they have a holiday after each game, Brazilians won’t be working much this month”, I thought. However, at the grocercy store and on my way there, everyone seemed to be working… though I didn’t ask if they all had a sore throat and a head ache !

Categorias: inglês, meu pais brasileiro | 8 Comentários

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