The airport is quiet, people are talking on the streets and I don’t understand, there’s a guy (or girl) on the subway with really red hair, it’s snowing.

Yes, I’m definitely back in Vienna.

Banco do Brasil

It’s amazing to see how much trouble people put us through here is Brazil to try to guarantee our safety… The problem is that there’s always a smart ass trying to take advantage and steal money from other people, so the bank has to create a million traps for them. But as a result, people that have money at the bank also have to deviate from all the traps proving them to be themselves all the time in order to get their own money. It’s ridiculous…

Since I’ve moved to Austria, I’ve had all sorts of problems to access my online banking account. The problem is that every time I install some update on my computer, the bank’s certificate is somehow lost and I have to register my computer again to access my banking account. (Yes, in order to do some operations, such as bank transfers, I need to register the computer I’m using. Otherwise, I can only see the statement on the screen and nothing more). The problem is that every time I have to register the computer again, they do this by sending me a message on the mobile phone, or I have to personally go the bank. After I moved to Austria, my mobile in Brazil was cancelled, so the number they had there no longer existed. I asked if they could send the message to my father’s phone and they said I would have to go to the bank to register his phone on my account. How can this be more stupid?

Luckily, my father had a document giving him power to be me basically (I left it here signed before leaving Brazil, I knew it would be needed at some point). So with this letter he was able to go to the bank, register his phone. Then I entered the website, asked it to send the message to my father’s phone and he sent me an e-mail with the damn code. Now imagine that I would have to do this every time the browser is updated…

This happened once when he was visiting me in Vienna, i.e., his phone was there and not working. I used Skype to call the bank here and after a lot of waiting I talked to a lady asking here to authorize my computer and she said she could not do this because there was no way of proving that I was me. Really? She could ask me *anything* or *everything*, and I would answer correctly. But rules are rules, no matter how stupid they seem.

There is a branch of Banco do Brasil in Vienna and I tried going there to solve this problem. The lady was so rude and said that they could not help me at all. At the end, I have no clue what that branch is for… there is no cashier, no manager and they cannot do anything with respect to passwords…

Today the same thing happened after the latest update. Since I am in Brazil, I decided to call the bank to see if there’s an easier solution for that computer registering stuff. I knew that the phone password I had was canceled a long time for lack of use so I found another customer service number on the website and when I call it, guess what? There’s no solution… simple as this.

At the end, I don’t blame them, but all these people that force them to do this for our “safety”.

About being together

This year lots of my friends are getting married. But I know a few of them that actually ended their engagement. I was talking to my boyfriend about this the other day, and I was trying to understand what drives a person to end such a commitment. To him, the answer is simple, one of the two simply did not want to get married anymore. Either they found out that they did not love the other, or they had so many questions or just stopped loving each other. And then he asked me: “Are you sure that you will *always* be in love with me?”. I replied: “Of course not. The fact that we are in love know does not imply that we will always feel like this”. I thought this was a sad but true truth… And it got me thinking about marriage and long term relationships.

I thought of all the couples I know that are married for decades. Does the fact that they did not get a divorce imply that they have always been in love with each other? Not likely… Every couple I know enough has gone through some rough times. Sometimes they get over it, sometimes they break up. So what is it that determines if two people should be together? What is it that makes some people stay with each other although they have times doubting their love?

The answer could be a million things… and I suspect that if I ask around lots of couples married for 50 years they will all have different answers. Of course I could go on saying that is a matter of trade off, that the more two people are committed, the harder is for them to break up… but this is not a business. And these are hardly measurable things… Instead of trying to find a formula, I started to think on what holds people together through hard times. Maybe this is different for each person, but for me, it’s the memories. They give me hope that things will get better because they have been better before. I like to think why and when we fell in love. I remember the warm feeling, the butterflies in the stomach, the late night conversations… I remember the first time I noticed the things I like most about him. These thoughts make me feel good, and I realize the hard times cannot overcome all the happiness we had and will have. I hope I can always feel like this =)

PS: I wonder how much in love people that have been together for a long time feel about each other… It would be a shame to find out that this feeling goes away.