domingo, 29 de julho de 2018


It would be all too easy to start this post with "Hope is the thing with feathers", but that is exactly what occurred to me, after I realized that hope is when your Starbucks baristas do not call you M'am one morning -- a rather elusive definition. I am sure that it was not planned because all women are usually treated as M'am, as that is the norm in this part of the country, but I am hoping that maybe it was the fact that a woman in a Moon Taxi t-shirt and flip-flops on a Sunday morning should not be called M'am. Certainly, the next time I go to Starbucks during the week because I forgot to buy yogurt for breakfast, or I do not feel like eating anything for lunch, but I still have to eat and thus I roam to the place where I am most at ease, I will be called M'am. I realize the contradiction, but then I will be dressed for work and when I'm in my work attire, being a M'am is probably not a bad thing.

The other day, at that Starbucks, where I go to every Sunday morning for breakfast, as if it were a religious experience, one of the baristas asked me what I did: was I studying or working. I was practicing my Portuguese, I told him: I try to read a bit and then I also write. I wondered later why it would matter in what language I write or read when I answer a question about what I am doing? Furthermore, why is it that I want Portuguese when I am in the U.S. and English when I am in Portugal? I must conclude that I do not want to belong, to be defined by the place where I am and the easiest way to rebel is to go through the day in a foreign language when I can perfectly function in the native language of the people around me.

And so hope is that someone does not define me by how they define others.

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