Vale do Paraíba

(Uriel turned five! He had a party with his grandparents, uncle and tía — it feels so good to be surrounded by family!)

Now reporting live (meaning once in a while, really) from SJC, state of São Paulo, Brazil.

We have  officially moved more than one month ago already, and a lot has happened. It has been a whirlwind of packing (boxes & luggages), cleaning before and after, traveling, unpacking, school registration, vaccinations, transferring bank account, changing addresses, etc… I am only barely starting to catch my breath.  It was the second time in one year, and though all moves, big or small, are exhausting, this one was in a category of its own.

The house where we are now has been rented for three years. That is a relief in itself, because at least we know that we will stay here, in the same house, for the next three years. One very unsettling aspect of our lives so far had been NOT KNOWING for how long we would stay somewhere: a few months or a few years? We didn’t know. We couldn’t get too comfortable.

Another big relief has simply been to get things done that had been dragging for so long because we have been living in remote locations.

Examples:

The oven light bulb had fried when we were in Rondônia and I had not been able to find a replacement. I haven’t been able to look at my baking for MORE THAN ONE YEAR. In the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal, I know, but still I like to have things in working order around the house. Here, I walked down the street to a small electronics shop and found what I was looking for in mere minutes. I couldn’t believe how easy it had been! In SJA (Goiás), I had to go through all the small stores of the small town for every single stupid little thing that I needed, and sometimes I wouldn’t even find it. It was exhausting.

The same miracle (?) happened with our fridge. We had bought a brand new big fridge in Rondônia that had stopped working after only 2 years . We suppose that because of the many power cuts, uneven current, and the constant heat and humidity, some electrical circuit had fried. In SJA, we called a repair guy who charged us for the visit, told us that he needed to order the defecting piece, but never showed up again. In the mean time we just used that big piece of appliance for storage… (Again, no big deal, but hey, I don’t like to live like that). Here a repair guy didn’t charge us for the visit and came back a week later with the replacement piece. And voilà! The fridge is working!

Oh, oh. And there is more!

There is a cyclovía (a BIKE PATH!!!) in our neighborhood, a real bike path, just for bikes, right in the middle of the main avenue!!!! (There is another one too, but I don’t use it as much). Did I tell you I like to bike? I love my bicycle. Unfortunately, even if (mostly poor) people use that mean of transportation all around Brazil, a lot of small towns are not paved and touring the countryside is far from pleasant on dirt roads with random speeding vehicles trying to murder you. But here, I first took my bicycle for a spin when we had just moved in. I went from my house to my in-laws taking the bike path and I couldn’t — gah — I was so00 happy! I felt exhilarated, a bit on the crazy-happy way. I wanted to smile, laugh, sing! Oh, bliss!

There is more, yes, yes, much more to tell you, but it will be for another day.

Até mais! (See you later!)

Canção pra minha bicicleta

Very soon after we had moved here, it became obvious that I would need a bicycle. (Actually, now that I think about it, I was probably dreaming about it waaay before we knew where we would be living).People here drive like maniacs! There are motorcycles zigzagging everywhere, right! left! From all the dead corner, even the ones you didn’t know existed! Plus, all cars are manual and I’ve never driven with a stick in my life!

For many years, in Canada, I had been riding my bike to work daily, rain or shine, summer or winter. I would bike to work everyday even when it snowed, and for many reasons: First, because in the early years of our marriage D and I didn’t have neither a license, nor a car. Then, when we had both, we realized that we actually needed the daily exercise in our routine. Plus, it was just cheaper to use our leg muscles rather than spend our money on gas. Not to mention the laughable bus schedule in the city we were living in, and, oh yeah, saving the planet.

Then I became pregnant with the twins,
then we moved to Saskatchewan in the middle of Canadian Prairies,
then we moved back to Ontario and I became pregnant again with numero tres.

My not-so-daily exercises during the two last years in Canada have consisted of walks to the park with the double stroller (and numero tres in the baby carrier in front of me). Nowadays when we walk to the park I have only a single stroller with the twins holding to either side of it, but I wanted something faster to enjoy the little free time I have during the boys nap.

Ah the joy when I mounted my bicycle for the first time in three years! The freedom! The wind in my hair! The SPEED! I felt I could ride for ever, from the North to the very South of Brazil!

Très vite après notre arrivée ici, j’ai réalisé que j’aurais besoin d’un vélo. (En fait, maintenant que j’y pense, j’y rêvais sûrement bien avant de savoir où nous allions vivre. ha ha).Les gens ici conduisent comme des tarés! Des motos zigzaguent partout, par la droite, la gauche, par tous les points morts imaginables et que vous ne connaissiez pas! En plus, les voitures ont la transmition manuelle, pour moi qui ai toujours conduit une automatique, ça va être galère.

Pendant des années, au Canada, j’allais au travail à vélo tous les jours. Qu’il pleuve, qu’il fasse soleil, en été comme en hiver, j’allais au travail à vélo même quand il neigeait. Pour plusieurs raisons: D’abord parce que dans les premières années de notre mariage D et moi n’avions ni le permis ni la voiture. Puis, quand nous avions les deux, nous nous sommes rendus compte que nous avions besoin de cet exercice journalier. Aussi c’était plus économique sur notre maigre budget d’utiliser nos jambes plutôt que de dépenser pour l’essence plusieurs fois par mois. Sans oublier que dans la ville où nous habitions l’horaire du transport en commun était ridicule et… ah oui, j’oubliais, on veut tous sauver la planète, n’est-ce-pas!? 😀

Et puis je suis devenue enceinte d’Elias et Natanael,
Puis nous avons déménagé en Saskatchewan en plein milieu des prairies canadiennes,
Puis nous avons redéménagé en Ontario et je suis devenue enceinte d’Uriel.

Mes exercises (plus vraiment) journaliers pendant les deux dernières années au Canada étaient nos promenades jusqu’au parc avec la poussette double (et Uriel dans le porte-bébé devant moi). Maintenant quand on marche jusqu’au parc ce n’est plus qu’avec la poussette simple et les jumeaux qui se tiennent de chaque côté, mais bon je sentais le besoin de quelque chose de plus RAPIDE pour profiter de mes quelques instants de liberté pendant la sieste des garçons.

Ah quelle joie la première fois que je suis remonté sur mon vélo depuis trois ans! La liberté! Le vent dans les cheveux! La vitesse! Je me sentais tellement bien, j’aurais pû pédaler du nord jusque tout au sud du Brésil (si j’avais eu l’temps 😉 )!

Bicicleta – Palavra Cantada

Quando pedalo pedalo
E entro no embalo
Começo a sonhar
Fico tão leve e veloz
Como se fosse voar

(When I pedal, I pedal, and I get momentum, I start dreaming, I’m so light and fast as if flying)
(Quand je pédale, je pédale, et dans l’élan je commence à rêver, je suis si léger(e) et rapide comme en vol)

Quando pedalo pedalo
Eu quase não falo
Pra me concentrar
Fico como um colibri
Me equilibrando no ar

(When I pedal, I pedal, I barely speak to better concentrate, I am like a hummingbird balancing in the air)
(Quand je pédale, je pédale, je parle à peine pour me concentrer, comme un colibri je m’équilibre en l’air)

Quem anda de bicicleta
Se sente um atleta
Sem ter que pular
Nem bem se manda daqui
Num minutinho está lá

(Who rides a bike feels like an athlete without having to jump, as soon out of here, over there in a little minute)
(Qui va à bicyclette se sent comme un athlète sans avoir à sauter, à peine sortit d’ici, là bas en une petite minute)

Mesmo sem ter bicicleta
Ninguém é pateta
É só caminhar
Mas tendo uma bicicleta
Posso também flutuar

(Even without a bicycle nobody is silly just walking but having a bike I can also fluctuate –do both)
(Même sans bicyclette personne n’est maladroit, il suffit de marcher, mais avec une bicyclette je peux varier)

Não vai cair não
Quem pedalar
E a vida assim vai
Continuar

(One won’t fall, no, who pedals, and so life keeps on, going on)
(Il n’y aura pas de chute, non, en pédalant, et ainsi va la vie, continue)

***

This was my first attempt, ever, in a Portuguese to English translation. I thought these lyrics so simply beautiful that I hope I got the meaning of the text across. It describes so well how I feel!
C’était mon premier essai de traduction portugais/anglais/français. J’ai trouvé ces paroles tellement simples et belles. J’espère que le sens est passé parce que c’est une description véritable de ma sensation à vélo!