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January 9th 2016
Published: January 10th 2016
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Ok, Ok, I know; 2 updates within a week is a bit much, especially considering that the other took ages to write and post after they actually happened. But I thought I put my fingers out and get up to date with the lot. Especially since I am back in Brasilia and all is ready for a fresh start. So here we go……

As I mentioned in my last update, Carla and I had different flights to Sydney and she took off a couple of days earlier as she wanted to visit some friends in Sao Paulo. It also broke her flight up a bit as she had a killer leg; Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Cordoba (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Auckland (NZ) and finally Sydney. And all that with 2 x 32 kg bags. That is what you get when you buy a ticket on points. I had it a bit easier as I had rerouted my original ticket from LA and only had a 24-hour haul in front of me.

When I arrived in Sydney my good old friend Michael was waiting for me, or better said I waited for him as he was stuck in Sydney traffic. Oh did I miss Sydney – NOT. It was great to see him after nearly a year away from Sydney, and hasn’t the city changed in that time. After Michael picked me up we went to a hotel in downtown Sydney that Carla and I had booked for the next two weeks until we could find a more permanent place. Needless to say that Michael and I sunk a few beers that night and many stories were swapped what happened when we were apart.

The next morning we picked Carla up from the airport and she looked great, even after a killer flight. Michael dropped Carla back in the hotel where we stayed a while and that he took me to pick up my trusted motorbike. And what a joy it was to see and ride my baby again. I have to say that if there was one thing I missed the most during my time in South America it was my BMW 1200 GS Adventure. The guys who stored it for me and made sure she was all ready to go, were the guys from Motorhansa in Rydalmere and they did a fantastic job. So a big thank you to Julian and Garry.

So now let’s get straight to the good and bad points about our stay in Sydney. And to start it off let’s talk about the bad things first so we can finish this update on a high note.

As I mentioned in my previous update I was contacted by my former manager, and so called friend, in March and he offered me my old role back. We agreed that I would start in August and Carla and I organised everything for the trip back. To keep Carla busy, and to improve her already good English, she enrolled herself in a very good, but intensive, 3 month English course, to prepared herself for the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) certificate test. With this certificate she is able to study anywhere in the Commonwealth for her master degree, which was the plan in the long run. After I told my manager that all is arranged and when we arrive, he dropped the bombshell that unfortunately the company is still short of cash, want me to work for two months for free and that the other partners want me to prove myself. Proof myself my arse. They worked with me for over 4 years and they knew exactly what I am capable off. After all I left a secure and good paying job after 12 years to be part of the new business they actively headhunted me for.

Since we had organised everything and shelled out a lot of money we decided it was too late to pull out and go back. I trusted my former friend to do the right thing, as you do with friends. To cut a long story short, after working for 9 weeks for nothing I was told that there was still no money to pay me and that the project I was working on wasn’t working. A project, if I may I say so, was never going to work in the first place as my former manager told me when I started the job. I put my heart and soul into it, not only with the project but with other tasks and projects as well. Needless to say that after 9 weeks I had enough, felt totally used and my friendship exploited.

Now call me naïve and old fashion to trust a “friend”, but that is just how I am. For me friendship and honour is what makes a man. Carla and I came back to Sydney to build a life together on a promise, a promise I trusted and how wrong I was. I am normally pretty good with knowing people, but this time I failed miserably. And if it was only had been me it would have effected that would have been ok, but to also involve Carla and her family is something I will never ever forget. Karma will be a bitch…….

Anyway, the reason I mention this here is that if a “friend” tells you to break up your holiday, promises you the world and you have to resettle yourself and your partner – ask for a contract. Friendships are nice, but work is work.

Another bad experience we had is that certain people still cannot see that there are other cultures in the world beside the Australian one. And other cultures that are as rich, if not richer, in substance and good will. OK, I agree that the media is showing Brazil in a certain way, but the media is full of shit. So take people on face value and how they really are and not with your preconceived and narrow minded views.

OK, now the bad things are out of the way, let’s get to the good ones.

Carla loved Sydney. We were lucky that we stayed the first two weeks right in the heart of the city and had easy access to all the attractions and museums. The first two weeks Carla explored the city and it was such a joy to see her face every night when she told me about her adventures. Carla has, while still in Brasília, organised to write for several Brazilian online magazines in Australiaas a volunteer, as she was not allowed to work for money,and over the four month she did an amazing job, being published several times. Now that’s what I call a great achievement.

We found a great granny flat to live in about 30 minutes from the Sydney centre so for the next three months Carla did her English course and I went to work. And it was good to catch up with some of my friends after all the time being away. Some of the highlights being in Sydney was Carla’s 40th birthday which we celebrated in style at one of the best restaurants in Sydney, overlooking the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. She looked stunning that night, even more than she usually does.

We met up with a lot of my friends and had some great dinners and some great times spend with them as well. And Carla was busy with her course and writing for the magazines. That meant that she had to interview some amazing people for the articles. I have to admit that I was a bit envious about that.

At the beginning of December, we were invited to a good friend’s wedding in the Southern Highlands and we took the opportunity to make a long weekend out of it. Another good friend of mine lend us his car so we drove around Wollongong, Kangaroo Valley, Berrie and Mittagong. The wedding was amazing and it was in a great setting with great people. This event brought back some trust in real friendship, so thank you Daniel and his best man Dixon.

And there were a couple of demos I went as well. You can never take the the activist out of a man.......

After all what happened with work and the uncertainty we were facing, Carla and I decided that it would be the best to return to Brasilia. With no work for me before Christmas and no place to live it made sense to go back to a place we could call our own.

So after 4 months it was time to store the bike again, say goodbye to friends and pack the bags. We thought this would turn out a bit different, but such is life. We had very good times and some stressful ones, made new friends and cherished old ones, but the most important thing was we went back to Brazil together, still loving and committed to each other.

And you know what, even with all the shit what happened with my work, we got a lot out of it. Carla made a lot of professional contactsand received a very good score in her English test which will be valuable in her career. I know now who my real friends and the snakes are and I was able to show Carla a tiny bit of Australia. So all in all not a total disaster. One has to be positive after all.

So here we are; totally up to date now. First time on over a year. But as you can guess more updates are coming soon about our time here in Brazil. Stay save my friends and thank you for all the people who read the blog over the last 15 months. I hope I didn’t bore you too much and I had the chance to inspire you to do something different.

Enjoy life and don’t let the bastards get you down!

Additional photos below
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10th January 2016

I've enjoyed Following you over the last eighteeen months...
and seeing your relationship develop with Carla. I'm looking forward to reading the blog about your wedding. And thanks for finishing this blog on a high note. In the States it is illegal for a company not to pay you for your work. As you say, karma is a bitch, and they have it coming.
10th January 2016

Enjoy life and don’t let the bastards get you down!
Here here to that Welf. I usually only hear these stories when people contact me professionally. I'm not just a dancer you know. My practice and relationship with clients is based on trust so I can feel your pain and shake my head in sympathy. What a ****! Then I think of the crucifixion scene in Life of Brian and can hear them singing their final words "Look on the bright side...of life," Enjoy your days from here on in. Carla looks like a gem to spend them with.
10th January 2016

I enjoyed Sydney, in Australia, the same way a enjoy a city as São Paulo, in Brazil or Berlin in Germany: full of options for all tastes (in Sydney each neighborhood is like a different city) and good places to go. The thing is I'm not a fan of beaches and summer - what attracts many Brazilians who live there, mostly in Manly and Bondi. It was very bad what happened to Welf and I saw he put effort and dedication so that everything work fine the most as he could. But I never had a good intuition about this "friend/boss" - and not a positive intuition regarding other issues too. As going there seemed inevitable, then I tried to prepare a lemonade from the lemons, trying to achieve the best as possible for me. The people in my professional area I kept in contact there reflected in great results for my resume. Regarding one or two bad experiences I had: A) envy exists in everywhere - and I'm prepared to deal with it. Envy is the most dissimulated of human feelings because, if admitted, it would be immediately nulled, then becoming frank competition or resigned desistance; B) The essential envy, primordial, has as target spiritual goods, because they are more abstract and impalpable. Material wealth and mundane power are never so distant, so incomprehensible, but vulgar, purely material envy exists. And I have great enjoyment in reacting to it in the most cynical way as possible, vulgar as it is. I can be very cynical when I wish. I react to arrogance with arrogance in double. Cretinism with amplified cretinism; C) I met perfectly normal people. But the problem is the vision which few may have about lifestyle, quality of life of average people not only in Brazil - but in the whole Latin America, from Mexico to Uruguay. The other fact refers to the difficult some bad intentioned have concerning the acceptance of the region as part of the New World as much as Australia or USA (settler populations that substituted - or mixed with - authoctonous populations - it is interesting to notice how they accept this for them, but not for us). And then you can face one day a situation when someone asks for you if you can show pictures about the residential area where you live, if you have these pics, enquiring about your lifestyle. As, for disgrace of this person, I do adore challenge and provocation, I showed, in details, how I live, with my most cynical and materialist smile - it was great to see the expression of envy/shock of the person who asked me this, thinking "she lives much better than me. I presume I know about her country, but I know nothing". I showed I am independent, I have good savings, I live in my own apartment (and also owning some for renting). I live comfortably, though I can't be considered rich, according to Brazilian and international standards. I know many people would react impatiently and would say at least: "nobody needs to know how and where I live". But I enjoy playing the game, if what values are external factors: beauty, youth, money, being thin, being white, being successful. The sad though is imagine that if it was a Brazilian living on poverty, without conditions to pay for an international travel, to sustain him/herself from personal savings abroad, if was the resident of a shanty town, then this individual would feel embarrassed for this kind of question. It was not the first time I saw people with such modus operandi. Who asked this was not someone full of enthusiasm for Capitalism, but one who believes in "Honor", such manipulable word, which meaning changes as it is pronounced by default due to the expenses of dissimulation. Even because the dignity of that kind of person is for selling - and it is very cheap. Everything I have came from the work, study, effort, competence, merit of my parents, myself and part of my immigrant ancestors which arrived two centuries ago in South America, looking for a better life to my grandparents and great-grandparents. This can be called called honor. The rest can serve as fantasy or opportunism.
10th January 2016

It was the best of times, the worst of times...
Incredible blog on the best and the worst of times and people! So glad Carla was with you to inspire you with the joys of Sydney. So sorry your so-called friends at work took advantage of you. But you and Carla will always remember celebrating her 40th birthday together on your adventure to Sydney. You two are such positive people that I know good luck will find you and unite you in love forever in just the perfect spot to use your talents and creativity. Viel Glück und boa sorte!
11th January 2016

Friendship and honor
MJ heart sank as I read your story and you are right Karma is a bitch. He'd be wise to be looking over his shoulder. We've loved following your S.A. travels and the relationship with Carla develop. Looks like the two of you are on solid ground and we are happy for you. [quote]So take people on face value and how they really are and not preconceived and narrow minded views.[/quote] Wisdom comes at times in life when we really need it and I don't want to fill this with cliche' but...I do believe things happen for a reason. As sad as it was to lose someone you thought was a trusted friend you did all the right things, you found the high rode. He is the one lacking integrity and he may be ahead a few dollars and cents for getting you to work for free but he has to live with himself in those dark, quiet moments of the night. I'm glad Carla was able to experience Australia. That makes the trip a plus and not a loss. Keep those blogs and adventures coming.

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