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it's been a while

by M

i'm back at that point in which life is happening so fast that it's hard to sit down and write about it, and the more i postpone it, the more i have to write about and then it's just seems like it's too much too put into words. but i'll try my best.


i went home for reading week which was just as amazing as it was overwhelming. it was so great to let go of adulting for a while, not having to worry about groceries and dishes and toilets to clean and laundry to do. but at the same time it felt weird sliding back into that role of being a daughter and living in a cohesive household. either way it felt normal to be home, which i didn't know i was expecting it not to. it was fun to run around town trying to catch up with friends and for once i actually did it. when you are away and only have a set amount of time to see people, things just work themselves out. which in a way is kind of sad, because it means if i were around i would probably not make as much effort to see them (nor would they). but i'm glad i did. monday i had hot chocolate with emma and carolina. tuesday i had pizza for lunch with alice, and then met q and crashed her class. we went for cocktails over sunset and sushi dinner with lara. on wednesday i went riding but idk if it were better or worse. i missed it more than i could put into words and in a sense being on the saddle felt no different at all. it was like it had been 2 days rather than 2 months, and i was so grateful for that, because i don't wanna lose it. but i hated being there feeling like it isn't my place anymore, like even if just a little a bit i don't belong there anymore. it broke my already broken heart. by the time i hopped on the car with mom that evening, i was overwhelmed and overthinking, i caught myself wondering i just wanna go back to london. there's a balance between london-life and home-life i haven't quite mastered yet, of course, and some moments back home they felt totally incompatible. i know that's not true and not fair, but i'm being honest here and that's what it felt like leaving the house on wednesday night.


back in lisbon things got better, naturally. the house has always had this specific smell and i wondered how that smell went from being someone else's house, to being home and now a new kind of category of being somewhere that used to be home. i went to see my friends at uni and even crashed their class and went to one of those lousy su parties and the whole time i was thinking how much easier life was in lisbon in a lot of ways, but how i wouldn't go back to it for anything in this world. living in lisbon was like i was living a borrowed life: one that fit me well but wasn't quite my style. and i've mentioned times and times over how much i love that city dearly, in ways i couldn't possibly love london because they're just too different. the same way i'm growing to love london in ways that lisbon couldn't possibly be loved. anyway. i had a great time. mags and i went for our usual breakfast at our usual spot, and there's like a million other breakfast spots in town that we haven't even tried but i like how it's our thing. and of course we ended up staying there chatting for two hours. then in the evening i went to patricia's birthday dinner which was pizza so yum and then we went to park for drinks and it was the best back-to-lisbon spot. the views, the atmosphere, how we sat outside in a november night, delicious cocktails that seem quite cheap now. everything was perfect. even staying home on friday finishing up my essays in pajamas practically all day felt perfect. and by the end of the afternoon we went to the mall and even though i didn't buy anything or had a starbucks drink it was nice to just walk around the neighbourhood for a while as the sun set.


on saturday i packed up and headed to the airport with the fam and a bonus of q who joined me for a few days in london. it was a hectic day, driving up north, the usual airplane delay, train ride back to central. although i still feel like a tourist wandering the city, getting lost in the maze of tfl, always with google maps in hand, although i live in a dirty road with nothing but fried chicken and kebab shops, although it's only been 2 months, i opened the door to my boxy room last saturday and i thought of it as home. or at least a tiny piece of london that belongs to me.


life update

by M

Today I've packed most of my stuff from Lisbon and took the train back home. I didn't bring just clothes and toiletries, but more permanent stuff like my stuffed horse, cameras and purses. Classes are over and I spent the whole of last week soaking up Lisbon in all of its sunshiny glory, frolicking around town with my friends. We went south for the weekend I couldn't believe just how much I missed the beach. Sure I was at the beach in April in Malaysia, but it's different here. It's our beaches somehow, and the routines we've grown around it as family. The way we position ourselves in the sand almost always the same, how I end up crawling to the shade eventually while dad fries up in the sun for hours on end, mom's swims and how my sister always wants to stay a little bit longer.


And just like that, it seems, summer is upon us. My hair has grown into braids and for the first time in a long time I can't remember the last time I cut it. I finished this first year of uni, which was also the last. This last few weeks were just a hazy stretch of time, waiting for motivation that never came while cramming a semester's worth of workload into endless days, too many papers and little hours of sleep. It was not half as stressful as the first semester, mostly because I didn't let it be. Because I kept my focus on passing instead of succeeding for once. It didn't feel completely right, to be honest, but it was worth it. I skept uni to go to London and it really ignited a new kind of spark. Maybe the premise of a new chapter, or holding your breath when your about to leap into the pool.


Now I'm back home and today it really feels like it. How the sunset poured into the kitchen at dinner time, and just sitting here in the dimly lit attic, with the steady tic-toc of the clock while watching series and writing, at last.


I can't keep myself from wondering where the hell did time go. But I've been trying not to give much thought into it, especially considering what it means to have gotten here. June, that is. In 3 months I'll be living oceans away from home.


weekend snippets

by M

i have an above-average ability to be myself & i think that weekend really proved it it.


on friday i stayed home until sunset and then went to the supermarket to buy ingredients for soup. then i made soup and watched a film after dinner.


on saturday i had breakfast and lunch at one of my favorite cafés, tartine, and also finished most of my notes for uni. i shopped for awhile before coming back home, just before the city went bananas with the football finals. i made myself a chocolate mugcake and stayed up late watching the eurovision results, making the video and overall falling for amar pelos dois, which i didn't expect to. it never felt lonely because i was texting my sister, whatsapping with Lara and Q and speaking to London people on facebook.


sunday saw a late start and a lot of lazying. i spent too much time on whatsapp gossiping and eventually had to go to leave the house if i wanted to get any work done. i went to fábrica, which is also one of my favorite cafés in town and i knew it doesn't have wifi which helped through 7 pages of the worst text ever. it got so boring i felt compelled to order carrot cake and then walked back home. 


and eventually mariana got home and the weekend was over. here are some snippets:




by M

Moving to London might be the no. 1 goal on my 2017 list and while my mind is often planning and daydreaming (and even worrying a little), I have been trying my hardest to appreciate the privilege of studying and living in Lisbon as best as I can. It helps that the weather has been LAesque and my dear sistemics teacher has decided to miss class twice. But nothing can compare to mornings spent in Starbucks, sunsets by the river or afternoon's like today's - in which we left uni at 2pm to go buy (veggie) hot dogs and ate them at the park, no coats, just sunshades and the grass and there we stayed for 2h. When we left the shadow still hadn't reached our spot and the breeze was not enough to puts us off, so I walked home and 7 minutes later here I was.


Thinking about rainy days and cheap coffee and handkerchief-sized dorm rooms is a bit uninspiring right now, but that's why I know it'll be worth it. Because when it's so easy to stay, so legitimate, so appealing in a sense, I still want to go. I still want so very much to go, even though it's hard and dautning and even a little sad. If I'm willing to give up this city and these friendships which are only now starting to bloom, to start over in an unfamiliar darker city, then I must really want to do it. And none of these ever hinders my excitement.

And a lot of people tell me that I won't come back, that I'll be sorta trapped in a country less welcoming but more open -- to opportunity, to education, to success even. I can't know right now if this is true and to be honest I don't even dare pondering on it; when tomorrow's uncertain as it is, I can't bring myself to think much further. But if that's the case, at least I'll have Lisbon to call home -- that alone is a blessing.


fuck this week

by M
  • went to lisbon on sunday to start driving lessons on monday // there were no lessons
  • stayed in lisbon to have a london meeting // the meeting was shit and lasted 20mins
  • came home to have sewing class // they cancelled
  • had plans to see q tomorrow // her mom decided no at midnight

fuck this fucking week fuck you week FUCK YOU


  • bought a 13€ Paris Guide because it came with a map // dropped the map in mom's car which is now back in Lisbon and won't come back until saturday



by M

May this year be filled with moments like today's. 

This birthday kicked off half an hour later than predicted leading a late arrival to a morning yoga class, followed by breakfast croissants (I'm making this a thing) with mom. I was welcomed with a hug when I got to uni and didn't do that much in class. We spent lunch break at starbucks and although it wasn't particularly birthday-y, as I was slightly over-caffeinated we had a good laugh and took stupid pictures and of course since I was closer to home than I was to school I ended up ditching Philosophy bc it's my birthday and I can.

I spent the afternoon studying in a fluffy pajamas, but it wasn't all that bad and felt pretty damn productive for a change (these days have been the pinnacle of procrastiation). Then we went to dinner at a veggie restaurant with a somewhat random assortment of family and friends and everyone liked it. I mean dad liked it! And the people from the restaurant gave me a gift in the end!

When we got home, they sang happy birthday and we took pictures with sparkles and I got the best gifts. Like. WOAH. I know this is materalistic af but who doesn't like getting the things they asked for birthday?? A new laptop!!!!!!!!!!! Lush things!!!!!!!! Food!!!!!! Overly warm scarves to hibernate in class!!!!! 

This birthday was atypical in many ways, starting with being 200km away from home (whatever that is) to not being around the usual people, but maybe that's why it was so special. Because I felt and still feel so so so immensely blessed and loved loved loved to the point it this felt somhow like home. A new kind of home. The first birthday of this new life I am creating every day these days, on my terms. Getting a chance like that and a life like this makes me feel profoundly lucky and grateful.Today was like a rollercoaster that only goes up. A crescendo of tiny special moments of happy that added up to an amazing "ordinary" day which hopefully forsees an amazing year. A brand new year of this new life that starts now.

Tomorrow is the first day of christmas ♥



falling for lisbon

by M


A couple of weeks back, I headed south with my sister to spend my midterm break in Lisbon. Whenever I go to Lisbon either my sister isn't there or we're in a rush - this time we had three lazy days ahead of us and made sure to check some of our plans off the list. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera home! Regarless, here's the outcome.


1. Fábrica Coffee Roasters

fábrica coffee roasters.jpg 

I'd never heard of it before, but a quick look at zomato and I was sold. Upon arrival, we decided to go have breakfast: I asked for a cappuccino blend, my sister and our friend Margarida asked for macchiato blends. The coffee really, really good, however the macchiatos were too small, especially considering the price. Points for soy/lactose free milk, though! As for the food itself: my sister opted for toasts with butter (it wasn't on the list, but they said it was fine) - contrary to the beverages, we got two big piles of bread and little bowls of butter to spread as we'd please. Margarida asked for "Bolo Fábrica", their special cake which was basically layers of puff pastry and whipped cream... absolutely devine and surprisingly very light! 


The staff was nice but barely spoke any Portuguese - which only added to the weird feeling of not being in Lisbon, but rather in some fancy northen-Europe café. The space is very quiet cozy, especially for a rainy day, but also has tables outside. 


More info here.


2. Sweet Rolls

sweet rolls.png


Not really a café or shop per say, but rather a counter at the Ferry Terminal, Sweet Rolls brought the Transilvanya-born chimney cakes to western land. Having tried - and obsessed over - them in our trip to Budapest a few years ago, we were thrilled to give this a try. Unable to decide between chocolate chips, nutella or cacao, we opted for the classic one. Not as good as those the originals we'd had, but surely good enough to ease that Hungary nostalgia and put a smile on our faces (and tummies) in such a rainy day!


Check it out.


3. Landeau



Lastly, but definitely not the least, was the famous Landeau chocolate cake. Considered by the New York Times one of the best chocolate cakes in the world, it's been years since we wanted to give this one a try, but it seemed as thought there timing was never right... Even this time around, a lot of running and praying was involved, but we eventually got to the picturesque shop in Chiado - five minutes before it closed.


Now I must admit I was a bit skeptical, because my mom found a heavenly chocolate cake elsewhere a couple of years ago and there was no doubt in my mind anything could possibly beat it. However, nothing could've prepared me for those fifteen minutes of pure lust and wonder as we ate. The cake itself consists of layers of fluffy sponge and rich mousse and is coated in a thick, silky layer of pure cacao. But somehow all of these components seem to blend perfectly in your mouth, balancing perfectly between the bitterness of the cacao and sweetness of the mousse and combining all three textures in a whole new, creamy, light one. In other words: a pure tribute to chocolate, taking its cult (religion?) to a whole new level. 


Do yourself a favour, and give it a try. Won't regret it.