Reality Bites in New York City, Milan and Palm Beach

It was quite a few years ago,  I was fresh in the modelling business.  (Although already ‘ancient’ to having started modeling so late).

But I am a late bloomer, so won’t be surprised if I get discovered in my mid to late thirties or who knows in my nighties.  Besides, the whole world is now embracing the older woman, the Cougar, Sex In The City, Desperate House Wives, Demi Moore,  my sister, my mom (my dad is 7 years younger than her) and the likes.  Nobody, well,  most healthy people, wants to look at eighteen year old models that by the time they are twenty five they look like they are thirty seven.  Todays 40’s is the new 30’s and thirties the new 20’s.  We need our children to stay children for longer.  The sexual peer pressure in schools are getting out of hand.  It is no longer about how good a parent you are.  Women are getting fed up in the magazines and fashion worlds that portray as though their lives are all over once they hit thirty, they should be married,  and stay at home, have children, no more dreams,  its too late. (People have dreams till they are in their nighties, until our last breath we could start a business, piano lessons, singing, acting, etc…) whereas men have been portrayed as the distinguished older gentlemen with grey hairs and a few lived lines.  There has been extensive research that there are a fast growing number of men in a slow rebellion revolution whom are fed up with the perfect young girl without the brains and experience that prefer the older women, whom are much more fun to be around, not so boring as their younger sisters and are more healthy conscious and looking after themselves, better company and influence for what a man’s aging bodies need.  Great! I have something to look forward to.  I am appalled that it is the magazine editors, and moguls, such as an example represented by meryl streep in The Devil Wears Prada, and the likes of Anna Wintour, Emanuelle Alt, whom are much older themselves, although fearfully good at their jobs and brilliant but cannot have the power to put fourth their vision because she dreads that the men financing everything will make her loose her job and replace her to someone who will jump at their request.  Hence we still live in a man’s world.

Anyway, back to the dream job that could have launched the beginning of a career for me.  I was with Ford models.  I was sent to a casting in NewYork, but organized through someone from my agency in Milano.  I was to see the man who owned and was the financier of Victoria’s Secret, La Senza, Pink, etc, of the Limited brands.  Best mate with the CEO and founder, Mr Wexner.

I was met by a very sweet and kind Ghislaine Maxwell,  that I later came to know was the daughter of the mysteriously deceased media titan, whom looked at my photo portofolio and confirmed the casting with the LTD people.

I saw two people and the meeting went very well.  Subsequently I came back to South Africa where season in Cape Town was about to start and awaited me.  I was chosen to be the next Victoria Secret model.  I was flown back to New York,  no strings attached and put in my very own apartment for a few days in Manhattan and flown on a private jet to Palm Beach where I was going to meet the photographer.

I was told that I had a better body than the top models already in the campaign,  that they had cellulite and drooping breasts, wide hips, etc,  that I, at least wouldn’t have to be airbrushed and photoshopped as much and would be better for the catwalks as one of the angels.  Also, I got involved with intellectual conversations with the man in charge and he was very impressed, asking me why would I want to do modeling after he saw my art and dancing and that he invested in people, why didnt I come live in N.Y. and study at Julliard?

Anyway,  Just before the models arrived, I was made an advance/ a pass.  I, being very naive,  didnt know how those industries worked, and reacted very badly and offended.  and because I didn’t return the sudden ‘affection’, the very next day I was on a flight back to Cape Town.

That incident put me off the modeling world and the whole entertainment industry so badly, that I stopped modeling for two years.  In my prime, (however I have been told I look better now than then, and am known as ‘the body’ in the South african modeling industry).  It reassured what I had heard and feared.

I thought I could not tell my story to anyone.  Who would believe me?  That is until a few years later I heard of a documentary about a BBC reporter that went undercover as a top photographer to Milano and exposed the industry there.  How much abuse of power goes on.


I am not saying that every top or super model had to go through sleeping with someone to get that job.  But it does leave me wondering what most had to do to reach where they are now.

And as for the man who recruited Victoria Secret models, has recently been exposed and jailed for sleeping with under aged girls and is dragging prince Andrew’s name down with him.

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London vs Cape Town

So I’m mid-air to London today.  Only for three days, thank goodness I’m flying first class.  Although not much different to business,  making it quite difficult to justify the large increase in expense (rather donate it to charity).

Well, well, well, what can I say about London?   I’m not about to take on the thousands of words already dedicated to this center of the world.

However for being that, it is bizarre how after a certain hour you would think, as a major capital city of the globe, one would be able to get anything.  Well, not so.  Everything closes.  In London a simple box of Buscopan for upset stomachs COULD cost up to 100 pounds.  In order not to be an hour late for a pleasant dinner at Le Caprice (down the road from the Otto restaurant and the Ritz hotel) to avoid going to the only open pharmacy in London, twenty five minutes away by taxi.  You can imagine how we had to negotiate with a concierge of the afore mentioned hotel which I wasn’t even staying in.  No wonder things can be costly in London.

Anyway, a few years ago I really did not enjoy London.  I didn’t understand the attraction with that gloomy weather (pretty much like San Francisco).  All I am going to say is that after spending more time here, it grows on you.

If I compare it to my base, where I live now,  a city I have come to love and defend and from a country that I have adopted as my own, the more I travel the more I realize I am not sure how I survived so many years in South Africa.  Although I have not spent the last 9 winters there, I am realizing I need to start staying in one place if I ever want to build anything more concrete in terms of career and relationships. At the same time my patriotic state  or my love affair with Cape Town is  ending.  A city and country whom I never abandoned and continued to come back to, but whose people never supported me in my talents.  It is now apartheid the other way around.  As a  young, female artist, ballet dancer, or presenter… I don’t stand a chance.

It looks like I seem to always be at the wrong place at the wrong times.  I need to be discovered and have a new belief that I start creating the right places at the right times.  Trust that I can be that exception, persevere and continue against all odds in SA.  After all,  isn’t luck a prepared mind meeting circumstance?  I can’t help think, London, New York, Rio de Janeiro all have more of it.

London is at least equipped for bad weather.  Girls go out in little summer dresses under huge warm coats that can be coat checked, unheard of in the rainy, wet windy Cape winter days.

Cape Town is such a fantastic city, but very small.  Although the world is small in every circle, the fair cape is not accommodating when the city becomes dead.  Central heating does not exist!  If there are one or two ballets a year we are lucky.  London has exhibitions, shows, concerts, places to go, restaurants to try, etc…  It makes up for the boredom that sets in in Cape Town.

So seen through my eyes, I’m ready to move.  A good compromise between NY and London would be ideal.  Unless of course, I have another passion keeping me in SA.  I still hold it in my intention to convince my parents to get out of that crazy Africa.  It is as if the ANC has forgotten it is in power. It is supposed to be a governing party, responsible for the welfare of ALL South Africans and not supporting the likes of Winnie Mandela and J. Malema who thinks he’s still in a liberation movement, singing his outdated song kill the boer.

London also has easier means of travel.  A flight to the Caribbean for a quick weekend away can be possible for only thirty pounds.  Closer and far less expensive than when one lives in a place 13 hours away from anywhere else that might be civilized.

Many would freak if they knew I gave away my ticket for Wembley soccer this Saturday night.  I think I might be the only Brazilian that does not care for soccer, although I do tend to embrace all things in life, and believe in experiencing, as long it doesn’t hurt your own body and soul, or others.   And I did enjoy the festivities in the world cup.  I once also turned down an invitation for Wimbledon tennis when Venus and Serena played in the finals.  The only thing I would have gone for was the strawberries, oh and another harmless experience.

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You can see tiny parts of Walls.
Herodian walls,
And Roman walls.
But most of the wall of the Jerusalem citadel is around 1500′s.
Nothing you see is exactly what or where Jesus saw or walked. Very, very little.
Seeing the mount where people were crucified is now covered with a church called Anastasis in Greek or the holy sepulcher/Resurrection church.
I think if Jesus or David were alive today they would be laughing or
really upset at how and what human beings (their followers) have come to.
More than ever I see now, after being in Jerusalem, how religion is
such a joke.  Each taking themselves so seriously, and in the end,
It’s all the same.
One thing that is nice to observe here in Israel, is that everyone
works well side by side.  Orthodox Jews buying from Moslems and vice
versa.  Coexisting very well.
Catholic orthodox building inside catholic churches,
Greeks, Coptics, Ethiopian villages built on top of the cave where
supposedly Christ’s cross was, with the Armenian church taking over
the cave.  Each claiming their own little corner…  Lutheran German
church, synagogues, mosques, Russian churches, mormons, etc… All
compete with each other.
Two christian churches fighting. Taking over, claiming and reclaiming
the same church.  Everyone wants a piece of Jerusalem.
It was great to visit, but knowing what life is all about, I wouldn’t
live there if u paid me.
Thank G-d for different tastes, ideas, and views.
However may we embrace everything and peacefully respect all things
living.  And let them be with their opinions.  Quietly let them walk on
by.  And show and live by example but not force them our way. 

And so was my one day trip to this phenomenal city of Jerusalem. I hope to come back and explore with more time.. Maybe I will change my views a little more.
I walked around searched for my Hamsa, and star of David and mezuzah
and left feeling somewhat a little let down…
Although I came to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with very little or no
expectations at all.  Not knowing in the least what to imagine, one
conjures up all sorts of ideas I guess.  I have just found out that even when one doesn’t have expectation it’s human nature to create images with short velocity.  And oh boy was I in for a surprise. 

If religion is such a holy thing, killing isn’t.  So how can one kill
in the name of religion?

Me, being such a tree hugger, I wanna do my part for Israel and buy a
tree from facilitators keren kajemet and live by example.  You can buy
them as gifts and
I think that is a really beautiful gift to receive.
The gift of life.  Now, if only the Amazon, Madagascar and some other
deserts could do that (kudos for Israel turning salt water fit for
irrigation)  I wud b buying lots of trees.  Hm, now I know what I want
for valentines day.  A Brazilian forest in Israel . (There is already
a Danish one).
In Tel Aviv Jaffo was lovely, almost felt I was in some Greek lil’
island in the mediterranean.  It was interesting to notice houses

between high rises as in Neve Tzadek, the first settlements in the

area now a sort of trendy, quaint bohemian area with restaurants,
little shops etc.  On my way to the airport I passed by the market, a
must see.  To get the last of souvenirs and a Brazilian delicatessen
sold as Ribat Halav.  And of course to feed my body with my favorites
anti-oxidant fresh juices of orange pressé/spremuta, (you know, in the
ex english colonies, England, states, south Africa: they have no idea
of the meaning of freshly squeezed orange juice), and for the first
time I now understand how to extract fruit from a pommegranate as they
do it in front of your very eyes.  And of course carrots etc…  I love
it!  It’s in my latin culture.  Funny enough, Israelis enjoy a few
things Brazilian, Bossa Nova filled the air everywhere from beach bars
to their finest restaurants and hotels. And as I arrived at the
airport, a Brazilian jewellery billboard of H. Stern, whose wife would
actually come to my dad for her personal jewels as a client, made me
feel welcome and right at home on arrival.  Also the shops Castro,
which is from my mom’s maiden name direct ancestry from sephardic Jews
from Spain. 

I do have to come back to give this land a fair chance.  Three days is
just not enough.  I didn’t get even to feel the buoyancy of the dead
sea.  Floating and hovering around I already do a lot of, but of that
kind sits on my list of things to do before I die.

One more thing,  when it’s not your time,  it is NOT your time.  I
have been invited to Israel on a number of occasions, and I have
always been a little worried to go because of the bombings and
terrorism.  Lately things had calmed down a little and seemed more
under control.  One week after I was there a bomb went off in the bus
station in Jerusalem.  The Islam fanaticals have no value for life.
They don’t even care if they kill their own people.  My moslem friends
that are not fundamentalists, family members died and were affected.
I know they were not happy with that.

P.S.  Talking about your time, again, I was meant to be in Marrakech about two week ends ago when the bomb went off.  I arrest my case.
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She Is Missing On An Island And now With An Ocean In Her Ear, With A Bee Trying To Get Out.

I am missing myself…  I hope to find me soon.
My friends think I’m on an island somewhere.  Those who know me, know those are my happy places…  Tropical islands.
However I find myself in a different kind of isle.  Yeah, an island in my head…  Alienated from all of reality.

I have been missing and I hope to find myself soon.

Someone recently wrote an email to ask where is his favorite Brazilian, I replied : “She is missing on an island and now with an ocean in her ear, and a bee trying to get out”.

Yes… That is the manifestation of stress.  For the last 3 days I have had yet another one of those bizarre physical things that is not detrimental, but doctors can never figure out what it is.  My mom tells me that if she didn’t have me,  she would think that I am alien.

I just suddenly woke up to a buzzing noise in my ear as if my ear drum was loose.  No pain,  just unconfortable discomfort.  An awareness that it is there.  (And I wasn’t even on a plane).

I am not accustomed to being chained down in one place and not be able to travel.  Specially on a nine to five kind of job where I am the executive director of a corporate company for the next three months,  they need me to be one funky, young, hip, dynamic creative power house behind an otherwise boring industry, in order to set us apart from the rest for the purposes of a reality show for E! Entertainment called Clifton Shores.  Opportunities with friends or work, or dates have been knocking for me to climb on a plane.  For example my glam travel buddy Ambra suggested we go to St Barths for new Year. Because I couldn’t make travels arrangements in time,  I had to see her part to Gstaad and Verbier without me.  Wow, that hurt.  But not too bad as I am a heat bunny and Cape Town is the new destination to be at this time of the year, my brother was here visiting for the first time from Brazil and I was preparing for this series to come, that I am now in the first month of filming.  Hence my imprisonment in paradise.  but inprisonment is jail nonetheless,  specially for someone with wings like me.

Then when I was invited by a potential love interest to go to Madacascar, that was also difficult to say no.  Someone I met at the most prestigious of glamorous parties on new years eve invited me on a date for dinner at any city in the world I choose…  Now that sounds either like a movie or bad.  However I get invitations like that all the time.  Some are complete gentlemen and some, well, lets just say we know what they expect.  We just have to sieve out the riff-raff and go with the gut and take the cautious routes.  So for me to have turned down 90 percent of those, well,  you can imagine that it is very hard indeed.  Me that likes to go around the world searching for culinary delights.

This is where I bring up that I am a very old fashioned kind of girl,  and my morals are very, very high.  It does not mean, just because a guy pays for your dinner or takes you on a trip that you need to sleep with him.  Actually something you girls should know,  if he didn’t take you,  he would take someone else anyway, and besides he should be so priviledged that he has your company and not someone elses’s.  I don’t understand women that have no respect for themselves.

So whilst I am happy to be working again on a semi permanent basis,  I am suffering cabin fever.  And going way beyond my duties to ensure the success of this show for everyone involved but seem being taken very wrongly.  When I take something on, that I am passionate about, I take it very seriously.  Hopefully sometime soon I will be able to combine work with travel again and have my own traveling reality show.

In the meantime the stresses are still on.  I am beginning to stress so much that I am beginning to not care,  which means,  let go, and let G-d.  Sometimes,  we push and we push,  and best left alone and  by that we let go and come out on the other side.

And so the ocean and the bee, start to seize being.

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I love travelling.  I am not sure what it is that gets my face to light up with excitement when speaking about going somewhere new.  It is my obsession.  I’m addicted, I got the bug.  Clearly I am not alone, hence all sorts of glossy types of magazines suddenly available, (one of my faves, Condé Nast) and selling well!  Appealing to people’s dreams. Wether it’s for those one time a year, save all your life, long term holiday planners, or for the business traveller or the jet setter, back packer, explorer and wanderer.   Since the last 20 years even, traveling has seen great advancements…  Almost a pity are the days gone of an era where traveling was quite an occasion, with people dressing up in their best clothes, to travel as well as the loved ones traveling soley to the airport.   Sure it was something limited for a privileged few, and luckily, as with most things in life, competition of new airlines, more hotels, restaurants, etc, have made this very affordable for many.

In this site, I hope with time to be giving very insightful, maybe fun, sometimes sad info on my experiences. Hopefully some tips going forward,  here and there.

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A Bit of History

I have mingled with hobos and vagabonds, I have met the queen, I have danced on medieval castle tops, I have dined with film stars.

I have attended some of the best parties the world has to offer: Movies premiers in L.A., film festivals in Cannes, Venice, Amfar parties, Rolling stones after parties, backstage to some of the best concerts and shows on earth, Nelson Mandela’s Charity events, three days wedding in Paris where tiger and elephants greet u on entrance, vernissages in Dubai, Krakow and copenhagen as well as the four art capitals of the world, Monaco and São Paulo Grand Prix , halloweens in N.Y/L.A, my sister’s wedding, family Christmases, the biggest show on earth, carnival in Rio, carnaval in Bahia, label store openings such as Armani in the Bunds in Shanghai, others in Milan, London, etc…

I have experienced highs and lows in life.  I have played amongst the stars and I have tasted normal life at the centre of the universe.  Have also sipped what it feels like to be a gazillionaire and what it feels like to be a pauper, to be so economical that one is living off cereal and if you are lucky, bread or pasta.

I have partied in St-Tropez and Sardegna and Paris, Hong Kong, Rio, New York, Sydney, Cape town, Miami, Aspen…

I have been wined and dined, felt the most incredible array of flavors inside my mouth, hunting the world for the best foods, and michelin star restaurants..  I must be the luckiest girl in the world for all my diverse experiences.  I have been on billboards…  Mmmm,  the universe has given me so much.  I am so blessed.  I definitely chose well!  I chose my parents well, I have the best parents in the world, my sis is pretty cool too, so is my bro. I have seen and heard it all, I have seen art, and what they call art.  I have seen hunger and desperation, I have seen and felt pain.  I have been there and back.  I have caused pain and joy.  Although always not intentionally.  I am learning to live with full intention.

I have been given so much physically and the higher power has given me much talent and thrown in some rhythm and the ability to see things aesthetically and tastefully.

Have lived in the two most beautiful cities in the world.

I am a very rich person, maybe not monetarily anymore, but definitely in affection, love and worldly experiences and the experimental path I have chosen to follow, learning from different cultures and peoples from around the globe, yet still having so much more to learn, I am hungry for knowledge, thank you for that, and for further experiences to further understand and deeper nurture myself.

We cannot be that in relation to what we don’t experience.

I have walked on air, I have walked barefoot, walked the catwalk, walked on hot coals, walked in the slums of South Africa, walked on the marbled palaces of Europe,  walked in water and on water, walked the great wall, the great tropical forests of the Indian and Atlantic, dense forests, streets of Vegas, and walked in many shoes.  I know what it is to worry about tomorrows because there is no money in the bank, and if your parents get sick they will die because there is no medical aid and so I know what it feels like to be useless,  and know what it feels like to win the lottery.  The lotto of life.  And so is life, a bit like traveling…  We are all travelers traveling through this great, exciting unknown..  with its troughs and valleys,  through the storms and the balmy nights and the calm seas, and the tranquil sunny days.  One cannot have the one with out the other, but we can surely thrive to create more of the things we like.  Tomorrow is another day, we never know what wise men we might meet in our paths we can learn from every encounter…   And everything can change.  Anything is possible,  we truly live in a wonderful world.

So let our journey begin…

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Beginning Of The Middle

Enjoying the sun on a boat leaving the harbor.

St-Tropez 2010

You must all be wondering what that means.   Way I see it is that this is the beginning of something new for me, a blog.  However I have been traveling for most of my life, and although I am not anywhere near the middle of my life,  I am definitely in the middle of my travels.

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