Sunday postcard from… Novo Hamburgo, Brazil

Hey, how’s is going?

It’s been a while, eh? I’ve missed you, believe me when I say I have. Sometimes I think about all the familiar places and comfortable routine that I never got used to even after four years, and I feel a little pang of nostalgia for them. Saudades, as they’d say here.


And even though people are never dependent on time or a place, to me you seem like place-dependent people because there only ever was that one place I knew you, that one place I came to call home very eagerly even when I knew it was just a temporary haunt.

Missing home came as a surprise for me. I have been further from home for longer times before; I have even been to places stranger than this. I suppose that after I leave, I will miss here too.

Often people have asked me what has been my favourite memory of this place. I always shrug and say it is impossible to answer that. I am being truthful. It hasn’t been some single memory that makes leaving so hard – it has been the people. I would, without hesitating a second, call them friends.

When I think about them, I think about dancing around the kitchen to Sandstorm; sunset popcorn (and even though Fix You never played all the way through, it’s still a pleasant memory); code-switching at dinner table, where the other half of attendees didn’t speak Portuguese and the other didn’t speak English, but how the countless dinners, lunches and coffees were still spent amicably. And driving home, always driving home – the radio taken over either by obscure indie or the freshest pop hits, screaming when we hit that one downhill that made it feel like we were diving deep into the city, the night slowly shrouding the skyscrapers in darkness and bringing out the little lights that always made me think of a much bigger city. Those times on the backseat when the talk had ceased for the day and I was leaning against the window and feeling happiness slowly stir in me. That bit of a Jose Chavez poem always pops into my head: This is it, / this is everything.

Don’t worry, I’m coming back, even though now the thought of leaving terrifies me a little bit. As soon as I get on the move, I will be all right. I’ll see you soon enough, and I hope I can say the same to the friends I’ve made here.




ps. You know the poem I mentioned? You can find it here.

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