language

The story of the mix CD or why I know all the words of a random Portuguese song by Jessica Lee


About a month ago, I set off on a road trip with a couple of friends around the eastern coast of Australia.

We had all been on road trips before but we all made the same rookie mistake in not bringing along music for the long 3500 km drive.

We were in luck however as we found out the person who rented the campervan before us had left a mix CD in the player. The twelve songs on this CD would be the only music we had during the full two weeks of our driving. As a result, we became extremely familiar with all the songs.

Though it has been more than a month, I can still tell you which song is on which track.

We didn't mind most of the songs, in fact they were songs we would have listened to anyway. There was some Coldplay, Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" (very fitting for an Australian road trip), Michael Jackson, Mumford and Sons, and some indie bands.

One song stood out in particular because it was in a language we didn't recognize and because the tune was more cultural than the rest of the songs on the CD.

I immediately took a liking to this strange and mysterious song and soon learned the words after playing it many many times repeatedly to the chagrin of my travel buddies. They liked the song too, just not as much as I did.

It's refreshing and a little exciting to not know what the words you sing mean. Or to not even know the language of what you're singing. We had deduced the song was European, but that's as far as we got despite my repeated google searches to find out more about the song. In my travels, I met a lovely German couple who recognized the song when I sung it to them, but they didn't know the origins either. However the fact that they knew the song confirmed it was popular in the European market. I didn't figure out more about the song after that. My search to find out more about the song ended soon after the trip finished.

That is, until the other day.

I met three Italian men on the beach in Bali. We got to talking about music and they revealed the song was actually Portuguese. This time, I managed to find out the name of the song through Google after adding "portuguese" beside a lyric I sounded out. After a month and a half, I FINALLY found the name of the song.

The song is called "Ai Se Eu Te Pego" and is performed by Michel Telo. In English, the title is roughly translated to "Ah When I Get My Hands On You".

Basically for the past month, I've been singing in Portuguese of the naughty things I'm going to do to some hot girl at a dance club when I get my hands on her. I think this is hilarious because now I know how to pick up chicks in Portuguese. I mean, if I ever wanted to.

It's a really catchy song so you can't really blame me for singing it nonstop. Even now that I know what the lyrics mean, I would still sing it aloud in public if I ever went to visit Portugal.

Listen here for yourself and let me know what you think:


Readers, I'd love to hear from you! Do you have any strange or funny stories involving language on your travels?

Australian food by Jessica Lee

It's been busy! Between going to orientation and applying for jobs, I haven't really had time to sit down and write, much less go out and do new things. Which is why I was excited when one of my housemates suggested we go out to a breakfast place for her birthday!


I had heard loads about Australian coffee, but yesterday was the first time trying it. It did not disappoint!

We went to the Clipper Cafe, it was delicious and a short walk from home. I think it could easily become "our place".

I had the baked eggs with lamb sausages. Quite delicious!


Here are some photos of what my friends had:




Somewhat related to this, today I learned from my housemate how to poach an egg! So I will be poaching some eggs soon.

At night, we went out for one of the FROSH parties.

In Australia, they have alcoholic cider! It tastes like and reminds me of coolers.

This one was apple flavoured, but there is a strawberry one that my housemate is trying to hunt down so I can try it out, or in Aussie language, "give it a go".



See? It says "cider" on it.

I'm pleased to say that I'm starting to understand Australian sayings more and more.

Here's a quick tutorial for you:

"Have a go" means "try it out"

"How are you going?" means "How are you?" (I know, weird)

"Suss it out" means "test the waters" (I think? haha I'm not too sure about this one either)

"Torch" means "flashlight" (I figured this out by myself and am very proud)

And when I said "scone", like "SK-OWN", my housemate was like "We pronounce it 'SCON', so no one will understand you."

Well I hope you got something out of that. I will post more when I figure out more things haha.

 Below, some photos from last night.