This or That

I promised I'd write about my 3rd month at work, but nah, I'll do it someday later, perhaps when I complete 6 months or a year. :)

Back to regular programming, this is the Blog of Eternal Worries. It is not the Blog of How's my Life in Australia.

I'd like to share with you one of my favorite tricks (I don't have that many, actually). I just named it 'This or That', because it didn't have a name before and I thought it would be a good idea to give it a name.

First, let's introduce a problem. Do you find yourself with a pile of stuff to do and not knowing what to do first? Do you ever find yourself unable to choose what to do? Dear Reader, if you never have this sort of problem, you are blessed.

I have moments like these all time. To put it in simple examples: Should I wash the dishes, play PS4, go outside and walk a little, study, wash my laundry, buy groceries? What should I do first? That's just an example, but you can easily apply that to your work routine.

We usually have dozens of mini tasks to complete, which, if you are like me, you procrastinate. Sometimes you are good at procrastinating (Is it a good thing?) and you simply hit the most urgent stuff first and let the others become urgent then you have no choice other than do it.

Classic procrastination is horrible planning. You might get a boost of productivity, but you usually cannot make mistakes. You cut corners and you do a lousy job. You get a guilty feeling that once again you pulled at the last moment and it will eventually lead to your doom. Of course I digress, I love doing that.

The 'This or That' technique applies exactly when you are stuck in complex choices. Sometimes choosing between two is as hard as choosing among 4, 8, 20! You are still stuck and you can't decide what to do. Either you sit frustrated and unable to do any, or you forget about it and turn Netflix on again and leave the tasks for another day (that's procrastination, in case you didn't notice).

Get two choices - any two. And just ask yourself. Should I do this or should I do that? I mean, are you serious? All this talk to get this stupid question? Yeah. Ignore the rest for the moment. Compare the two choices. Understand what is behind each, what are you trying to accomplish, what is more important on the long run. And then, ta-da, just do it.

This is about making snap choices, and getting things done. This is about reducing your amplitude of vision and eyeing just a part of the bigger problem. And checking that item off your list. The trick is about momentum. Getting a decision made and doing something about it. If you lose momentum, if you make a decision and do nothing about it, you lost. That is why this is a trick. Of course you have a lot of things to do, and you are leaving the others behind. That is quite obvious that if one of the tasks should be done first because it is urgent, this is not the time to think about 'This or That', that would be misusing the technique.

'This or That' is a technique I use to hit lists of non-urgent tasks that must be done anyway.

How do you cope with your log of eternal tasks? Don't answer, because I don't have a comments field. hehe But ask yourself. Think about it.

Three Months

I've completed three months in Australia this week, on April 11. I realized I was completing 3 months when I was doing some head math about how many days since I last kissed Ju.

The days without Ju pass slow and slowly. Every where I go I miss holding her hand and hearing her voice. I even miss our little petty arguments and those little things that piss me off every time but make me love her just because of that.

But I digress, this is not the 3 months alone post, this is about my 3 months in Australia.

Put it shortly, life is good (albeit incomplete). I've been adapting really well to the new way of life. The changes are subtle. What I buy for groceries, when I go out for groceries, what I eat for breakfast (Yes, I am eating breakfast).

I'm walking home everyday now, except when I don't feel like it. It's a 3 km walk, very nice and quite beautiful, cutting it through Hyde Park, a little stroll and then finally a lovely full of trees walk through Bourke St, with old style Englishman townhouses and English style buildings. It is a stark difference from the the tall buildings in the CBD.

Walking home also opened a new sort of entertainment, I've never really enjoyed audiobooks until now. I must admit I probably walk a little blank-faced, because I walk paying close attention to the audio, as if I was walking with a friend besides me telling the story. It's really a great part of the day and I wait the whole day to pass just for that newfound moment of solitary delight (I'm listening to American Gods, narrated by Sir Neil Gaiman himself).

Dinner was very interesting in the beginning, but it's rather boring to eat meat and veggies everyday. (#firstworldproblems), I am varying between salad and beef, salad and pork, salad and fish, salad and kangaroo and salad and lamb (yeah, it's good, I admit), I've also began trying to cook kangaroo different ways. Grilled I didn't really enjoy, but for pasta sauce and Brazilian style strogonoff it goes quite well. I am trying to avoid pasta and rice at dinner, so I keep it to once a week at best. Perhaps it's time to try different veggies...

I will purposely skip saying anything about work. Next week I'll complete 3 months at work and it will deserve a post of its own.

Last but not lastly, Australians are an incredible people. I've met a few really repulsive people. Outright racists that eye everyone "un-Australian" with a contemptuous gaze, treating you like an invisible person. They step in front of you to enter the bus or train, they outright enter in front of you in cashier lines (can you believe it?) and they simply don't enter the elevator when you are in. Yes, it's that bad.

But these are so few, and I'm kinda glad these people exist. They remind me that even in a place so incredible as this, some people live hateful lives, probably feeling invaded by thousands and thousands of immigrants from everywhere. These are probably the same people that despise the First Australians and I'm sure they are homophobic.

Enough about these people, they got more words than they deserved. Now to true Australians. The hardworking people of this nation, some of them behave absurdly polite, to a point of perfection. Some of them are extremely pragmatic, with a very, very well tempered sense of humor. I do love all of them. These people show to me a Culture can work. Works gets done. People care about their work. Yes, they go home at the end of the day. They have their lives. They take vacations, they enjoy a beer after the day (sometimes during the day too).

I have a very strong feeling that anyone coming into this country willing to be like that will be welcome. I feel welcome here, I begin to feel at home again. The beginning of every relationship is always such a marvelous moment where everything is magic. Love is great, rain is great, pain is great. Yeah I feel like that, let me savor it.

Now to some curiosities:
- When I enter a Chinese restaurant, I am asked what I want in Cantonese (or Mandarim);
- When I enter a Korean restaurant, I am asked in Korean;
- I've been occasionally greeted in Japanese as well;
- I've been asked if I am a Brazilian Indian (that was a first for me, quite amusing, not without logic at all);
- Coffee is great here;
- No one understands my name. I've been called Michael, Marty, Marco, Markus...
- Everyone knows Brazil, of course. And they ask me where I come from... when I say Curitiba I get all sorts of funny looks. Except for one guy from Philippines that knew Curitiba because of our bus stops;
- I've not seen a huntsman spider yet. When I was living in Kingsgrove I saw a tiny child Redback, which I promptly killed. If it was a Huntsman I'd probably bring it home to pet;
- Living Down Under sucks timezone wise. Everyone is asleep when you're wide awake. You're asleep when everyone is wide awake. I want to talk to Ju, but she's either sleepy because she just woke up or wants to go to sleep, the same with me. We both hate talking to each other when we're sleepy.
- Sometimes it feels I'm living in some Asian country. My neighborhood is mostly Korean/Chinese, though I've heard Portuguese spoken. Sometimes I hear English too (j/k, there are really Asian neighborhoods here, this is not one).
- Vegemite is good, you don't like it, you're eating it wrong. In the toast with butter, Vegemite and something to sweeten it (honey, jam or maple syrup), you're gold.

I could keep writing tons of things... This is rather large, and maybe I'll write some more later. Maybe not.