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Mayhem in Mechelen

Zoom. I spun around, probably quite theatrically. Zoom. I stepped to the side, trying desperately to avoid the kamikaze forces engulfing me. Zoom. Little by little, I Frogger-hopped my way across Mechelen’s Grote Markt, mentally chiding myself for making such an amateur mistake as attempting to walk across the city’s main square. I was bike-less, […]

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A little bit of Japan in the middle of Brazil

‘Você fala português?‘ the man questioned me. I shook my head sadly, embarrassed that my Portuguese skills were solely confined to obrigada and ola. ‘Inglês?‘ I asked hopefully. The man shook his head and fired one back. ‘Espanhol?’ he offered. I made a whole bunch of noises, which in every language mean ‘a bit, but hardly at all, even […]

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Somewhere in Sao Paulo

I got an iPhone almost four years ago. I had switched over from a BlackBerry and was instantly a convert; within days I told Paul, ‘I love my iPhone’. I filled it with all sorts of apps, in that excited way one gets when given an iTunes gift card (score!) after having spent the last […]

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Far away in Rio de Janeiro

I think everybody’s got one. A far-flung destination, so far away from home and so foreign that you think you’ll never get there, yet you simultaneously kind of believe that maybe you will one day. For me, that has been South America, and specifically Rio de Janeiro. South America was the sixth continent I had […]

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Getting ready for the Rio Olympics

Even though I was in Brazil for the World Cup, I didn’t completely forget about my Olympic obsession. I mean, how could I? Rio de Janeiro is the first city since Munich in 1972-74 to host the World Cup final and the Olympic Games, back to back. Our first day in town was rainy and […]

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The girl and boy not from Ipanema

I’ve made it quite clear on this blog that European beaches kinda stress me out. It was partly due to this – and the fact that I LOVE good beaches – that I was so looking forward to visiting the famous beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro. Unfortunately, the weather gods were […]

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That time I was cranky at Christ the Redeemer

I think it was the eighth elbow in my arm that did it. If not, it was definitely the fourth person who stepped on my foot. If all else failed though, it was the third idiot I tripped over who was sprawled out on the floor, as if trying to see up Cristo’s skirt. * […]

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A peek at Porto Alegre

I’m not going to lie here. Before last December, I had never heard of Porto Alegre before. In fact, if Australia wasn’t drawn to play the Netherlands in the southern Brazilian city in the World Cup, I probably still be pretty ignorant as to its existence. Porto Alegre was a bit of a funny place […]

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An update from Brazil

Greetings from Rio de Janeiro! As I type, I can see Christ the Redeemer from my hotel room (said like Tina Fey’s ‘I can see Russia from my house’). You should also probably know that I have been well and truly introduced to caipirinhas. I am in Brazil for the World Cup – yesterday I […]

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The charm of Cesenatico

There is something truly wonderful about going for a walk in a small, seaside town. It’s even better when you realise that you’re the only native English speaker around. This was the case for me in Cesenatico, where it was almost as if the locals were all actors in a play put on for solely […]

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