“Inaie the blogger is the one who cannot keep her mouth shut, and she tells on all other Inaies”

At Yosemite, California

Inaie Ramalho is the author of Inaie – out and about, a blog about her life and travels as a serial expat. Her homeland is Brazil but she has lived in Australia, New Zealand and the UAE, and is currently based in Bahrain with her husband and two daughters. She writes mostly about her and her family’s travels and lives, with plenty of accompanying photos, but also about all the people close to her in her life.

‘Out and about’ is certainly true, then, but one realises that she has her eyes wide open with curiosity as she goes from place to place, person to person, experience to experience. Her writing is typically open-hearted and direct – she has little use for self-censorship – but a sense of what really matters to her shines through, as well as a desire to learn and understand more about herself and the world around her.

I discovered her blog after she left a comment on mine, and was immediately intrigued by the fact that she double-blogs in English and in Portuguese (which she clarifies further below). Having looked into her archives and found them at times hilarious, at other times moving, I asked if she would answer a few questions, and she responded in record time. All photos used with permission.

***

Why did you start blogging?

When I left Brazil I started writing  emails with “my stories” to friends back home. They were emails with my feelings, my discoveries and a bit about everything. A way to stay connected. 10 years later, I was still sending the same emails, but my “receivers” list was much larger and incorporated friends from all countries where I lived. I was writing my emails twice. In English and in Portuguese.
If I were tired, fed up, or just had nothing to say and did not write frequently enough, these friends would send me angry emails, complaining about my absence.
Because of it, I made a point of writing regularly, but Yahoo was blocking my account every other day, calling me a “spammer”. Every time I was blocked I felt so p’off, I would promise I would start blogging. But then Yahoo would unblock me, and I would forget all about it.
I also had several friends asking me to start blogging. BLOG! BLOG! BLOG! they would say…
Recently I met a FAB lady who is a professional blogger, she translates blogs from several languages, she does a pretty serious job with this blogging business. When she told me I should blog, I thought: Well, maybe I should. ‘A’ is someone who knows what she is doing… she has not been my friend for long and has no reason to say things just to please me.
I started the blog, thanked her for “making me do it” and received furious emails from all those friends who have been saying the same thing for ages, with no result.

Bridge near San Simeon, California

Do you keep a journal? If so, what relationship do your blog and your journal have with each other?

Nah. No journal. My mother used to break the lockers to read my teenager journals. Initially I would make up these horrible stories, about unthinkable things, just to terrify her. After a while I just lost interest. If I could not be true to my journal because my darling mother would read it, what was the point? I never went back to journal writing, unfortunately. Today, my revenge is to write things she would not want to know in an open forum – and I know she still reads it.

What is your first memory of writing creatively?

I always enjoyed writing, I remember being 8 or 9, and spending hours making up stories… As I grew up, I realized real stories are far more fun!

Describe something that is beautiful to you.

This is going to sound so tacky, but my girls’ smiles are the most amazing sight. When they look at me and smile, the whole world changes colors, all sounds seem far more clear and beautiful. It is just amazing!

I have pictures of them on my phone; when things get rough, I just look at them and smile too.

Ramalho girls in Santa Barbara

You blog in both English and Portuguese. Do you try to convey the same feeling in both languages, or do you attempt to express yourself with the difference nuances of meaning to which each language lends itself?

You are mistaken. My blog is both in BAD Portuguese and Pidgin English, as I explain in the first line of the blog, but your question has its merit. Initially, my idea was to write in one language and then translate to the other – but as I started doing it, I found it just impossible. I write one story, then when I tell the other one, I remember different facts, I use other visuals; I just write all over again instead of just translating it. Sometimes the texts are completely different, although they talk about the same thing and they are both true.

Have your experiences living and travelling in various different countries changed your belief system(s)?

They sure have. This lifestyle taught me to be more tolerant with the world and see people under a different light. I used to think WE were right (whoever we were) and THEY were wrong. Now I don’t believe in us and them. People are just submitted to different stimuli, grow up under different circumstances and form their values based on these experiences.
People behave different because they see things different. In most cases, there is no right or wrong, in my opinion.
All this traveling made me want to travel more, want to know more, to learn more… life is a fascinating journey!

On the road in California

In your Blogger profile, you mention ‘several Inaies living together under one identity’. Would you say the ‘blogger Inaie’ is distinct from the others, or more an attempt at representing all of them?

Inaie the blogger is the one who cannot keep her mouth shut, and she tells on all other Inaies. She is the gossiper. She would get in trouble, but would not lose the opportunity to tell her story. With my life story, I do live many different realities in one. I am an only child, but I live far, far away from my parents. I love my dad desperately, but I have not seen him in four years. If you ask how I would feel if I did not see my children for a year, I would say it would just not happen. I could not survive without them. Both of them. I am Brazilian, but I am not your “regular” Brazilian. I am a workaholic who is in a huge crisis because I just found out there is life beyond the office desk (but don’t give me an office desk, I will get stuck in it), I am all for equality and sometimes catch myself being so totalitarian. I am a walking contradiction. I have always been told I am different, but no one ever managed to explain “different” how – and it haunts me. I would really like to know who I am. Sometimes I have no idea what I want or how to get it…

Michael, a friend of mine, once gave this close definition about me:

‘I want it all – and I want it now…’

That sounds pretty real.

Is there a post on your blog that you are most proud of?

To be honest, my blog is a window into my soul. It is not supposed to be pretty, fun or anything specifically. It is just meant to be a piece of me, to tell my story, my thoughts, my feelings. And to register my journey… I am not afraid to show my ugly sides. I have plenty of them. I guess I am proud of having my blog, and I am sooo grateful (and surprised) people actually read it.

Sunset in San Simeon

Name two countries: one you’d like to visit, and one you’d like to visit again.

I would love to visit Iran. And Morocco. And India. I also would like to visit Oman and see sea turtles. Mexico too. I would like to go to Turkey and fly over Capadoccia. Ireland is in my list of countries to visit, so are Vietnam and Lebanon… oh, sorry – you said ONE! But there are so many other places I would like to experience…

A country I would revisit? To be honest, I am not ito revisiting places. Given the opportunity, I will always choose the one I have not been to. In saying that, I would like to take my teenage girls to Egypt and to Jordan, to share the beauty of these places with them, especially because we are so close and these destinations are so magic…
I would not consider going to these places again if it were not to show them to Anita and Lia.

Do you believe in God?

I sure do. I just feel very sad for all the atrocities men do in name of Him. I am sure it pisses him off too.

***

This interview is part of Inside the Bloggers Studio, an ongoing project of short interviews with bloggers I read and admire.  (Apologies to James Lipton.)  To view the archive, click here.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to ““Inaie the blogger is the one who cannot keep her mouth shut, and she tells on all other Inaies”

  1. Another great interview! Great to see Inaie featured. She has indeed led a really interesting life. I want to find time to read more of her blog. 8)

    • Glad you liked it! Yeah, she’s such a character, and I love how heartfelt her writing is. If you’re looking for a post to hook you into her blog, look no further than the one I linked to with the word ‘hilarious’ in the intro…

    • Hello Sharell, Barnaby mentions he met me because I left a message on his blog. Guess who’s interview I was reading. I first came here following a link from YOUR blog. I just love the white indian housewife. You are the best!

  2. Karin Everts

    Interesting interview. I am sure Inaie is disappointed now that she didn’t mention me, her best friend in all the world in the interview.
    I am sorry if I’ve offended any other of Inaie’s “best friends in the world”…

    • Love of my life, you know there is no one like you and you also know your place in my heart is secure. Forever. I may even write a whole post about us. Should I tell everyone about our trip to the sex shop fair and mention the articles YOU bought? Or should I tell the story where we were ïnvited to leave”teh supermarket for bad behavior? Should I talk about my farewell from Auckland, when I was so crazy, hysterical I was yelling and screaminga t everyone (including YOU, my best friend in the world?)? Maybe it would be better if I told our DHL stories. Or the times I spent with you in hamilton. Would you rather read about our laughter crisis? Or our refusal to take separate lunch breaks at work (very mature…)

      Well, as you can see, I have lots of memories, lots of stories and you should indeed feel like my best friend in the world.

      Love you, cookie!

  3. Linda, vc é a melhor irma do mundo! adoro seu blog como ja amava antes seus emails..amei a entrevista! Sobre vietnan, ja sabe que te espero ano que vem…estamso tb indo pro libano em abril..nos vemos por la tb?
    bjs

    • meu amoooor, que saudade, que vontade de te ver! Libano? bem que eu gostaria. Fica aqui pertinho, ia ser ultra divertido!!!

      :-)

      Qdo estiver la, da um pulo na Syria.

      Amo vc

  4. Michael

    A very insightful interview with a wonderfully complex woman.

    Reading this made me realize that Inaie is a person who never stood still, even for a moment. She is always hungry for more experience, and sees herself as a “work in progress” rather than the finished article

    It is that desire to sample all that life offers that made her so fascinating to me, from the first time I met her.

    She is able to open her heart as readily as she opens her mind, and that is why I love her, and cherish her as a dear dear friend

    • Michael, the guy who bestd escribed me:

      ” I want it all and I want it now…”

      Now comes with this comment. I have no idea how we can manage to live without you. We miss you like crazy.

      Fabs, Anita, Lia, Mia, and of course MEEEE!

  5. Bela Nunes

    Ola Inaie, meu nome e Bela cheguei a pouco dias em Bahrain (Manama).
    Gostaria de saber se vc conhece alguma communidade de brasileiros aqui em Bahrain, ficaria agradecida se vc pudesse me passar essa infromacao. Muito obrigada Bela

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