Tales of four cities (and more)

Talking of football (see Bernardo’s previous post), there is bound to be much inter-city tension and taunting on the Iberian peninsula this weekend. In the Spanish football league, Barcelona host their great rivals Real Madrid later today. In Portugal, the only two teams that are still unbeaten after seven rounds of matches, Porto and Sporting Lisbon, meet in Porto on Sunday night. It would be a great time to be in one of those cities, seeing all the local fans gathered in the cafes and bars, glued to the television screens, “oohing” and gesticulating at all the on-field drama and cursing the stupid referees. Let’s hope there will be lots of “ggoooooooooaaaaaaaallls”.

barcelona

Barcelona (Photo credit: kygp)

Bernardo has only been to Barcelona once, as a child on a cruise on board an Italian cargo/passenger ship, The Africa, owned by Lloyd Triestino. He doesn’t remember much about the city apart from going up to the castle and gazing down below (probably he had only one full day in the city). That was in 1969, so prono doubt the views have changed a lot since then. But everyone that Bernardo knows who has been to Barcelona more recently has raved about the place and said they think he would really like it. Bernardo, you’ll have to find a spot for Barcelona in your diary soon, OK?

Puerta de Alcalá in Madrid, was designed and b...

Madrid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those who have also been to Madrid say, without meaning to sound derogatory about it or anything, that is cultured and elegant, but perhaps not as vibrant as Barcelona, from a tourist point of view. Bernardo was last in Spain in 2011, and would have dearly loved to have gone to see the capital, for its monuments, museums, palaces, plaza, and night life (by this Bernardo means the restaurants, he is at the age when frequenting the night clubs might make him look ridiculous, but only a teeny weeny bit ridiculous, nothing that a toupee wouldn’t fix, haha). But Bernardo didn’t really have the time or nerve in 2011 to venture into Madrid in a hired car, so instead stuck to the quieter spots near the Portuguese border, such as Caceres, Merida and Salamanca (all great places). You can read Bernardo’s newspaper account of his impressions of Caceres here.

The Castle of São Jorge occupies a commanding ...

Lisbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Across the border in Portugal, Lisbon is one of Bernardo’s favourite places. Once you have got your bearings (the most important thing is to find easy ways of getting up the hills from the squares in the lower parts of the city) you feel totally at ease and wander around as if you own the place. There are some great excursions nearby too – Belem, Estoril and Cascais along the Tagus estuary, and Sintra in the hills. And of course there are all those great cafes with good coffee and Portuguese custard tarts.

"Pérgola" at Foz do Douro, Porto, Po...

Foz do Douro, Porto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In contrast, Bernardo has found it difficult to warm to Porto, the big city in the north. Perhaps that’s because he has only ever been in it as a day visitor, and maybe it is one of those cities that you need to immerse yourself in and it grows on you. It would be great, for instance, to dine at night at one of the restaurants on the quay overlooking the river Douro, or do a cruise up the river, glass of Port in  hand. Last time he was there in 2011, though, Bernardo did like the western suburbs of the city, the coastal stretch from Foz do Douro up to Matosinhos. But Porto’s city centre itself has always struck him as rather grey and foreboding, in contrast to Lisbon, which is bright and colorful. Bernardo’s preferred base in the north of Portugal is Aveiro, you can read why here.

Back to the football: In Spain’s Primera Division, Barcelona are the only unbeaten team and lead with 25 points, one ahead of Athletico Madrid and three ahead of Real Madrid. In the Primeira Liga, Porto are leading on 19 points, Sporting have 17 and the other Lisbon giant, Benfica, are in third place on 14. If the host teams win, they will be further ahead and favourites for the title, even though it is early in the season. If the visitors win, the competitions will be wide open, Which of the those cities will be the brighter and more cheerful in football terms come Monday morning?

See the various articles below for other people’s perspectives on these places.

Advertisements

How’s your Brazilian slush fund looking?

FIFA World Cup South Africa

Remember the vuvuzelas at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa 2010? What will we see in Brazil in 2014? (Photo credit: Craig Strachan)

Bernardo still holds hope that he will soon win the lottery and will actually be able to afford to go to the World Cup in June 2014 in Brazil, where he will be able to practise his Portuguese with the locals, and his Spanish and Italian and possibly his French and Romanian with all those visiting fans. No doubt when Bernardo arrives in Brazil people will find him charming and pleasant to talk to and will want to buy him a beer or two. Possibly even a meal. As long as they don’t expect him to buy them anything in return, all should be fine.

Bernardo had an anxious time earlier in the week wondering which team he would support if Portugal and Romania (two of his favourite countries) were drawn together in the play-offs that will decide the last four European teams to qualify for the World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil next year. What would you prefer, two of your sentimental picks being paired together, thus guaranteeing that at least one will be there, or would you want them kept apart in the hope that both could make it – but also having to face the danger that none of them will make it? Have faith in your two favourites, that’s what Bernardo says.

Before the last round of group matches, Portugal had been certain of a place in at least the play-offs, but Romania had to beat Estonia and rely on the Netherlands not losing to Turkey to progress. On a nail-biting night, Romania won and Turkey lost.

Bernardo also had to face the possibility that France, a country he likes and one that is very relevant to this blog, would be drawn against Portugal. Bernardo was a great fan of France in the Michel Platini era (in the, ahem, mid-1980s), but has kind off gone off them now, for some reason. Bernardo doesn’t like it when the same teams win trophies over and over again – and he always wanted France to win a World Cup. Once they achieved that (in 1998), it no longer seemed so urgent.

As it happens, those three teams were kept apart. Portugal were drawn against Sweden (who will be formidable opposition), France have a tricky tie against Ukraine, Romania play Greece and the final pairing is little Iceland against Croatia. The matches take place in mid-November. The four winners will join Belgium, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, England and title holders Spain as the European contingent in Brazil next June-July. It was great to see Spain finally win it last time round in South Africa – Bernardo had been tipping Spain to win it for at least a decade, before that – they had such great players (Raul, Luis Enrique, Morientes et al). Great, too, that the tournament was held in Africa.

The South American qualifiers for Brazil 2014 are Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador, while the fifth-placed team, Uruguay, will have to play off against the fifth-placed team from Asia, Jordan. Uruguay will be firm favourites to win that one. Bernardo will be supporting little Jordan in that one, partly because it is always welcome to see new faces at the tournament (Uruguay are regulars and have won the World Cup twice), and partly because he is very fond of that country, which he visited as a journalist last year. You can read his impressions of Jordan in The Australian Financial Review’s Sophisticated Traveller magazine here. You didn’t know that Bernardo was sophisticated, did you? 🙂

The Asian zone teams that qualified are Iran, Japan, South Korea, Australia.

Turning to North and Central America, The United States, Chile and Honduras will definitely be in Brazil, and the fourth-placed team in their qualifying zone, Mexico, have to play off against Oceania winners New Zealand. Mexico are lucky to still be in with a chance. Really, Panama should be playing New Zealand instead. In their last game, Panama were leading the US 2-1 in extra time but amazingly conceded two goals in the 93rd and 94th minutes of the match to blow the opportunity. They must be kicking themselves.

Which leaves Africa. The first legs of the final deciders have already been played and the return legs will be in mid-November. Ghana thumped Egypt 6-1 so should be there, but the other matches finished thus: Burkina Faso 3 Algeria 2; Côte D’Ivoire 3 Senegal 1; Ethiopia 1 Nigeria 2, and Tunisia 0 Cameroon 0.

Incidentally, Brazil are the only team to have played in all the 19 World Cup tournaments held so far. The first was in 1930 and it is held ever four years, but the 1942 and 1946 ones were not held because of the second world war. Brazil last hosted the tournament in 1950, so today’s sports fans all over the world will finally get a good look into Brazilian language and culture.

Igazu falls - Brazil

On Bernardo’s bucket list: Iguacu falls in Brazil (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

So if your national  team is going to be there or is still in the running, we might see you around in Brazil some time soon (you’re going to win your national lottery too, right?). But if your nation has missed the boat to Brazil, well, good luck for Russia, which will be hosting the tournament for the first time in 2018. Start putting your coins in your piggy bank for that one now….

Russia is hosting the 2014 winter Olympics, and as well as the 2014 World Cup Brazil is hosting the 2016 Olympics, so as far as languages go you would have to say that really Portuguese and Russian are the flavours of the moment. (This paragraph has been inserted here to try to bring some intellectual content to what is basically a discussion about football. I hope you fell for that trick.) See you next time. 🙂

What a difference an ‘ea’ makes

Bernardo is one and a half weeks through a very enjoyable but intense four-week CELTA course on teaching English to speakers of other languages. So instead of getting to grips with bits of French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and/or Romanian, Bernardo has been trying to look at his native tongue through other people’s eyes. Pity poor people who have to learn English! Did you know that, for instance, if you put the letters e and a together, the ea pairing can generate five different sounds?

Try it, say these aloud, then drop the consonants to see what sound you are left with:

  • bread, dead
  • beat, cheat
  • bear, wear
  • dear, near
  • break, steak

Where is the logic? It’s enough to make Bernardo want to run back to Romania, where the little oddities of the language – such as putting indefinite articles before the noun but definite articles after them – now seem perfectly rational in comparison.

Articles in various European languages.

Articles in various European languages. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(My plug-in that suggests pictures to go with what I am writing about came up with the above map. I have little idea what it is about. I am guessing that it is a summary of the patterns of articles – grammatical ones, not newspaper ones – and that the pink countries do the same thing, the light blue ones do their own thing, the purple ones in Scandinavia do what Romanian does, and that the dark blue is the “norm”. It would be interesting to read the text that goes with it, but keep reading Bernardo’s interesting prose for now OK; you can hunt around for the article article afterwards.)

Although Bernardo did teach English as a foreign language for a full year a long time ago, he has never had any formal training in teaching, so the concepts of what makes good teaching practice have been an eye-opener. Bernardo has been lucky to have been able to do summer language courses in both Portugal and Romania in the past two years, and he had great teachers in both countries, so he has been able to look back and think what techniques did those teachers have that made their courses so stimulating. If you are going to be a teacher, model yourself on the teachers that you really admire, the ones that inspired you.

Up till now Bernardo had always thought (without really thinking it through) that teaching almost by default must mean constantly passing on knowledge – give students the grammar, give them the rules, etc. It’s like a one-way flow of information. But in reality one of the most effective ways of teaching is to let the pupils do it by trial and error and work it out for themselves, often in pairs or groups, and make them practise. (As a pupil Bernardo never really wanted to “do” or practise anything, just sit back in the hope that the information would enter his brain and thus immediately make him very very gifted. Let the teacher do the hard work!) This is why Bernardo has never really mastered a language; he wants to be fed the rules but never practises or reinforces his knowledge. Buckle up, Bernardo!

So everybody, in his blog today His Master’s Voice should be guiding you on the imperfect subjunctive in Portuguese or somesuch. Well, look it up yourself, you lazy bastards! Study its form, then write up a few sentences using the imperfect subjunctive. Write a whole novel in that tense if you want. Then with your partners check and correct each other’s work, OK? You’ll soon get the hang of it. Don’t forget to like the imperfect subjunctive on Facebook. Bernardo was up until 2am writing his teaching plan for the lesson that he taught today (the lesson plan was a novel in itself, more fiction than fact, as it turned out), so while you do all that, he’s treating himself to an early night. The snoring will start in a few minutes and hopefully it will continue for at least eight hours.

Paper-azzi persue Bernardo at the Italian film festival

lipsBernardo managed to sneak in to the opening night of the Italian Film Festival in Sydney last night. A couple of people even came up to him and asked him for his autograph. Later he realised that they were merely waiters handing out paper napkins (Bernardo had scoffed a few mini pizzas and must have had a string of molten mozzarella clinging to his chin at the time). Never mind. Bernardo is sure that they will treasure his scribblings on their napkins for the rest of their lives. The opening film was La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty), directed by Paolo Sorrentino and starring Toni Servillo. It was in some ways a homage to the city of Rome, although this was a Rome with hardly any people in it. We got to see the great tourist sights without any of the pesky tourists getting in the way. The city was practically deserted! Except when someone threw a party, and then it was the full-on rent a crowd. Why do the outrageous parties in films and video clips never look anything in real life? Nobody stands around looking bored, they all hit the dance floor with gusto, even the grannies, and even though the music is very loud they can all hear what each other is saying. At 142 minutes the film was rather long, but it was visually striking, if not bizarre at times. There are some items about it in the “Related articles” links at the bottom of this post.

The festival is in its 14th year and as well as Sydney takes place in Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and even Byron Bay up on the north coast of NSW. As usual, judging by the trailers and the program brochure, it looks like a great mix of comedy, drama, thriller, romance and documentary. (The adverts by the festival sponsors weren’t bad either). Bernardo felt thrilled to be transported back into Italy, at least mentally. As one of the guest speakers said, the great thing about film is that it is “a transfer of culture, a transfer of emotions”.

After the film, there was a party in the Paddington Town Hall, which as you can see below, was decked out in rather garish colours. Unlike the parties in the film, there didn’t seem to be any lines of cocaine or strippers jumping out of cakes, but the food was plentiful, and one of the sponsors, Lavazza, supplied coffees mixed with Frangelico liqueur and hazelnut cream. Bernardo quaffed a few of these, so it is no wonder he had trouble sleeping till the early hours of the morning.

I managed to take a photo of the bar before the stampede for the drinks after the film. Actually I was leading the stampede! Photo: Bernardo

Bernardo managed to take a photo of the bar before the stampede for the drinks after the film. Actually Bernardo was leading the stampede!

All the guests got a bag full of fancy products from the sponsors to take home. These included some ground coffee, some pasta, some scent for men, a colourful wrist band (which Bernardo mistook for a cock ring), a little bottle of moscato wine and – most intriguing of all – a sexy pair of Levante Jolanda tights (ladies’ stockings). I am afraid, though, that Bernardo will not get much use out of these. His pair were a Nero Medium, whereas Bernardo, who it must be said does have great legs, is at least a large, if not larger. But the saucy, stripey, see-though black just might be his colour. We shall see 🙂 Ciao!

What to do in un cutremur or mysterious earthquake swarms

vranceaBernardo learned a new word in Romanian today – cutremur – which means earthquake. There was “un cutremur de 5.5 grade pe scara Richter” in Romania on Sunday morning (4.37am, to be precise; many sweet dreams were disturbed). Its centre was near Focşani, the capital of Vrancea county (marked in yellow on the map). Although some reports described it as puternic (powerful) there were no reported deaths or injuries, thank goodness, or even of damage, as the quake was deep. Deep quakes apparently send out waves over a wide area – this one was felt not only in nearby cities such as Bucharest and Iaşi, but also in the surrounding countries, such as Moldova, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Shallow earthquakes’ waves don’t travel so wide in comparison but because they are closer to the surface they can cause more damage (as far as I understand the science of earthquakes). The Vrancea region is scenic and is noted for its wines, but is particularly prone to seismic activity, as it is where some tectonic geographical faults converge.

Cutremur is a neuter word, which means it acts like a masculine word in the singular and a feminine one in the plural (Romanian being a quirky language). So the plural is cutremure.

Coincidentally, perhaps, there has been a puzzling series of cutremure, or as some sites are describing it “a mysterious earthquake swarm“, in the past month or so near Galaţi, the highest one being de 3.8 grade pe scara Richter a few days ago. These have been close to the surface and have been causing damage to homes etc. Some people are blaming local mining activity and suchlike, or hearing strange bubbling sounds from some underground water system.

The website earthquake-report.com has all the details of the Vrancea earthquake here and the Galaţi ones here.

Off the railsBernardo has experienced one earthquake in his lifetime; two months after he arrived in Australia, in 1989, there was the “Newcastle earthquake”, in which 13 people died. It was mid-morning, he was standing in his bedroom in Sydney when the room got the wobbles. It was bizarre but not particularly scary as the centre was about 200km to the north and it was over before Bernardo could comprehend what was going on (he is a little slow). But obviously it was a different story for the people of Newcastle, NSW.

More recently in the Antipodes there was the earthquake that destroyed much of the city centre of Christchurch, New Zealand, in February 2011, killing 185 people. That was one of a series of tremors in the Canterbury region from 2010 onwards.

So what should you do to protect yourself if you happen to be somewhere where an earthquake strikes? Please read this official government advice on the Victoria State Emergency Service website.

http://www.ses.vic.gov.au/prepare/quakesafe/what-to-do-in-an-earthquake

Note that it says it is very dangerous to attempt to flee a building in the middle of an earthquake; it is better to stay inside and try to take cover under a strong table or suchlike. Try to protect your head as much as possible. Stay away from glass windows and doors. Never try to escape in a lift, it is much more dangerous than the stairs.

Here is some good advice from a Californian authority on what you can do before, during and after.

http://conservation.ca.gov/index/Earthquakes/Pages/qh_earthquakes_what.aspx

Back to the matters of Romance languages. Here is some vocabulary related to cutremur:

  • a murdări means to soil or dirty something, and a se murdări means to get dirty.
  • o murdări (noun, feminine) means dirt, filth or muck.
  • murdar and murdară are the masculine and feminine adjectives for dirty and soiled.

Unrelated words are a muri, to die or perish (you would certainly want this word to be unrelated if you were ever in un cutremur); a mura, to pickle; murături are pickles, and o mură, which is a blackberry (the fruit, not the device). However, you could say in English at least that if you are in an earthquake you are also in a pickle.

Let’s hope that’s the last we will hear of earthquakes for a long while.

Meet his eminence, Eminescu

Hi, today I am going to look at an excerpt from a poem by Mihai Eminescu which has been superbly translated into English and French, and I am not going to look for pictures to accompany this post, I shall let the words speak for themselves. Eminescu (1850-1889) is regarded by many as the greatest Romanian poet. I have chosen this one because not only is the poetry excellent, the structure of the poem is very interesting (I’ll explain as we go along, bear with me).

The poem is called Glossă (Glose in French and Gloss in English). The English translation is by Corneliu M. Popescu (1958-1977), a gifted translator who died aged only 19 in the earthquake that struck Bucharest and other parts of Romania and Eastern Europe in 1977. There is an international prize for translation that has been named after him, details here. The French translation is by Jean-Louis Courriol, who as far as I can ascertain is a writer and lecturer in Romanian at a French university. It comes from a book Mihai Eminescu Poezii/Poésies, (Editura Paralela 45, 2012) which I picked up purely by chance while scouting around in a bookstore in Brasov earlier this year. It cost the bargain price of 10 leu, or about three Australian dollars. No wonder poets are often penniless!

In my opinion, it helps if poetry rhymes, but what is more important is that the rhythm and pace must give some sense of the beauty and capacity of the language, and what feeling and mood the words are intended to evoke. Thus, if you read a good poem aloud, even if you don’t know the meaning, you should be able to pick up the mood. Obviously the imagery must be striking, etc etc blah blah blah, but lines of poetry must have their own musical sway. Poetry dances, prose walks.

Try reading aloud the opening stanza in all three languages … starting with the Romanian, then the French, then the English. It doesn’t matter if your pronunciation is bad, just feel the beat…..

Vreme trece, vreme vine,
Toate-s vechi şi nouă toate,
Ce e rău şi ce e bine
Tu te-n treabă şi socoate;
Nu spera şi nu ai teamă,
Ce e val ca valul trece;
De te-ndeamnă, de te chemă,
Tu rămâi la toate rece.

Le temps s’en va, le temps s’en vient,
Tout est nouveau, tout est ancient.
Ce qu’est le mal, ce qu’est le bien,
À toi de savoir enfin;
N’ai plus d’espoir et n’aie plus peur,
Ce qui est vague vauge meurt;
À tout appel, à tout appât,
Reste insensible, reste froid.

Days go past, and days come still,
All is old and all is new,
What is well and what is ill,
You imagine and construe
Do not hope and do not fear,
Waves that leap like waves must fall;
Should they praise or should they jeer,
Look but coldly on it all.

To me, the rhythm and mood are established superbly from the first line of each .. the lines are like waves gently lapping the shore, you can sense the point and counterpoint, the ebb and flow of life … Vreme trece, vreme vine… Le temps s’en va, le temps s’en vient …. Days go past, and days come still

Next up in there are eight verses of eight lines, and the last line of each is one of the above lines. The first verse ends with the first line (Vreme trece, vreme vine), the second verse with the second line, and so on. The ebb and flow of life is being reiterated. The poem is mostly about how to keep your intellectual and moral dignity when all around you are losing theirs. Here is a sample verse in English….

Like the sirens’ silver singing
Men spread nets to catch their prey,
Up and down the curtain swinging
Midst a whirlwind of display.
Leave them room without resistance,
Nor their commentaries cheer,
Hearing only from a distance,
Should they praise or should they jeer.

After these eight verses there is one more which – and this is very clever – is a repeat of the opening verse except the lines are ordered in reverse, that is, swapped from first to last, with some punctuation changes.Thus the poem ends as it began Vreme trece, vreme vine... 

Read these aloud again to see how they work together in this order.

Tu rămâi la toate rece,
De te-ndeamnă, de te chemă;
Ce e val, ca valul trece,
Nu spera şi nu ai teamă;
Te intreabă şi socoate
Ce e rău şi ce e bine;
Toate-s vechi şi nouătoate;
Vreme trece, vreme vine.

Reste insensible, reste froid,
À tout appel, à tout appât.
Ce qui est vague vauge meurt,
N’ai plus d’espoir et n’aie plus peur.
À toi de savoir enfin,
Ce qu’est le mal, ce qu’est le bien,
Tout est nouveau, tout est ancient.,
Le temps s’en va, le temps s’en vient.

Look but coldly on it all,
Should they praise or should they jeer;
Waves that leap like waves must fall,
Do not hope and do not fear.
You imagine and construe
What is well and what is ill;
All is old and all is new,
Days go past and days come still.

If you would like to see the poem in full, here is a link to an interesting website, I Call This Home, belonging to a Romanian now living in Australia that has it in English and Romanian side by side:

http://www.gabrielditu.com/eminescu/gloss.asp

On the Romanian Voice website you will find many poems by Romanian poets in their mother tongue, plus a selection that that have been translated into English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish and German.

http://www.romanianvoice.com/poezii/

As well as Eminescu, another poet and writer that is greatly admired is Lucien Blaga (1895-1961). People seemed to nominate one or the other as their favourite poet. Younger voters, however, preferred Enimem to Eminescu. 🙂

Coincidentally, my summer language course in Romanian was held in the journalism faculty of the Lucien Blaga University in Sibiu., although it was not run by the university. So I have a soft spot for Lucien. I might delve into his works some time.

Songs of the sea: hit the waves in Brazilian rock style

English: Parity, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

One of Brazil’s colonial gems … Paraty, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Photo: Wikipedia)

All that sizzling seaside poetry by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen in my previous post made me want to strip off my clothes, pull on my cossie and run down to the beach. But it would have been a 14km run so I resisted. I let my nose do the running instead (I have a cold). However, Sopia’s lines about waves breaking made me recall one of my favourite Brazilian rock songs, Até o fim do mundo, by a band called Os Gurus. It was on one of the many compilation CDs linked to the popular Malhação TV novela (soap opera), which ran from 1995 to 2013. The CDs – at least one was released every year – are great for anyone who is seeking an introduction to contemporary pop/rock artists from Brazil.

English: Wide street in the touristy colonial ...

A wide street in Paraty. (Photo: Wikipedia)

The song contains one of my favourite words, mergulhar, which means to dive, dive in, plunge, dip, immerse, etc etc. The first time I heard that word was when we were doing a day trip on one of those schooners that sail in the bay around Paraty, on the coastline known as the Costa Verde (Green Coast) that runs from Rio de Janeiro to Santos. This area is one of the most beautiful parts of the world. An old English couple (in their late 60s or 70s) on board were with a young guide/chauffeur whom they had hired on the spur of the moment on their arrival at Sao Paulo airport. The schooner had dropped anchor, and everyone was hovering aimlessly, wondering what to do next. I was dying to swim, and was wondering if it would be impolitic to ask if sharks were a problem in Brazil.

Português: ilha comprida - paraty - rjThe young guide said “Vamos mergulhar” and took the plunge. It was the sign we all needed, and we followed suit, jumping like lemmings into the water and losing our inhibitions. That day was one of the best of my life, and it was the best-value tourist experience I have ever had – the outing cost only about the equivalent of $20 Australian, including the lunch that was served on board. (These are prices from 2003, when Brazil’s currency was comparatively weak; I am sure it is a different story now.) If you ever get the chance to see Paraty, please take it.

Here is the version of the song that I know from the CD, and the lyrics and my vocabularly guide are below:

Olhando alguns versos, eu tento encontrar,
O caminho da verdade, aqui nessa cidade,
Ou em qualquer lugar.

Caminho num segundo, até o fim do mundo,
Tentando encontrar, o mar é só saudade,
Em plena tempestade, te vejo mergulhar.

REFRÃO
Nas ondas de saudades, que não param de quebrar,
Fugindo das verdades, que não param de chegar!

Distante do silêncio, não dá pra escutar,
Quem fala a verdade e diz que tem saudade,
E vai se aventurar.

Caminho num segundo, até o fim do mundo,
Tentando encontrar, o mar é só saudade,
Em plena tempestade, te vejo mergulhar.

If you go on holiday to Brazil you should at least know the following vocabulary from the song: ondas = waves; mar = sea; tempestade = storm.

Other useful words are: cidade = city; verdade = truth; caminho = road or path or as a verb, I walk; encontrar = to meet, encounter, find; saudade = Portuguese-style nostalgic longing; lugar = place; alguns = some (plural); qualquer = any; escutar = to listen; plena = full; vejo = I see; segundo = second; até = towards; fim = end; mundo = world; quem = who.

The “-ando” and “-indo” words are present participles. Olhando = seeing; tentando = trying; fugindo = fleeing. Fala and diz are the third person singulars of the verbs falar (to speak) and dizer (to tell). Param is the third person plural of parer = to stop.

You should understand the whole song now! By the way, to swim is nadar, and the word for shark is tubarão.

Below is a YouTube clip of the band performing the song. However, it sounds different to the CD version – there are fewer effects in the chorus, for example – and I don’t find this as appealing. But at least you can see the band in action.