Category Archives: about_me

Meet Benjamin

This past couple of months have been a wild ride. I moved to a new place, where my girlfriend and I finally feel like “ours”. It feels good, but includes moving and a lot of hassle. My thesis went from nosediving into chaos to ending up pretty well (as I write this I have just submitted the final document). And now, the most surprising of all of this: I got a dog.

Ladies and Gentleman, meet Benjamin.

Who is Benjamin?

Getting a dog definitely wasn’t an impulse decision, but something that has been cooking for a while. We needed to be living in a place that accepts animals and a long-term contract, to prevent the challenge of finding a place that would take Benjamin in. And we needed steady incomes and a routine, so we know we can pay for everything. So now, as I am wrapping up my studies it looked like time. Then we met Benji.

His mom was rescued in Ireland, pregnant with 7 or 8 puppies. She is a Welsh Springer Spaniel and the father is probably a Setter, though no one is sure.







He is still a puppy, only 4 months. That means he got lots of energy to spare and still a little dummy, playing around everywhere. To be honest, his size, he was the biggest of the batch that came with him, worries me about his final size, as I am living in a small apartment. But there is time until that becomes an issue.

The day he arrived in Stockholm.

Ok, just to make one thing clear: I got a dog because I have no plans on leaving Stockholm in the near future. I like the city and I’m staying, so I’m slowly growing roots here. If you are a student, it is irresponsible to do so, right?

Hundar Utan Hem

I just wanted to talk a little about these guys at Hundar Utan Hem, which translated to “dogs without a home”. They are an NGO that brings dogs from abroad to Sweden. Why?, you ask. Because in places like Ireland and Spain dogs are sacrificed if they stay too long on a shelter. So NGOs like Hundar Utan Hem does all the bureaucracy for you to adopt them.

And it is a long process, they take it very seriously. For us to get Benji, we needed to answer a long form with questions such as “What is leadership?”, “What does it means when a dog barks?”; we also have one phone interview and another at our place. Their argument for this rigorousness is that often the dogs have been through a lot already, so they need to make sure this is the “right” home for him. Also, it is not free, as you need to pay for transport, vaccines, etc. But it is worth it.

If you have plans to get a dog, or even be a temporary home, get in touch with them.

The First Week

We got Benjamin last Thursday, so we are quite new to one another. But it has been a lovely experience. Of course, it can be exhausting and demanding, we have to think about him when we want to go out, but so far, so good. We still need to join a course and train him, as it would be good both for him and us. However, it is nice that he is already getting used to us. He respects our sleeping routine and when I sit down to work, like now, he lays under the table and relaxes.

Here are some more pictures:

He basically dies whenever I sit down to work.

Hope you liked it!


Ready for the Semester

Well, it’s been a long vacation I guess. I had time to spend holidays with family, have a Swedish New Years, spend a day walking around in Uppsala, take a cruise to Finland,  visit museums and much more. It was great, but you know what? I’m tired of it. I came here to study and I am eager for this next semester. Especially because I got the feeling that the first semester was kind of introductory, and now I could pick all the courses and really start tailoring my Master to my expectations. And since I am really excited, I wanted to presented what I will be up to the next couple of months 🙂

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Surprised by Turku

One of the best things moving to another country is the exploding amount of new opportunities you have. In just a few months, I have taken part on amazing projects, had incredible experiences, and even helped to build an after party for Nobel nominees. And just this week it happened again: suddenly I was on a cruise to Turku, a city in southwest Finland that I had never heard of, even less thought someday I would wander around. It all began with this Sunday morning dialogue:

her, from the bedroom on her phone: hey…. just wondering do you trust me to plan something for us to do? 
me, in the living room, doing nothing in particular: yes, sure. What are you thinking about? 
her: I want this to be a surprise.
me: ok….

[15 minutes later]

her: well… we are going on a cruise to Finland.
me: er… what?
her: yep, tomorrow we take the ship to Turku and spend Tuesday there. How about that?

That’s how I began the last short day-trip I did before the classes start again next week. And I am going to tell you all how nice it is to take a boat from Stockholm. But before a fun fact, do you know that Darude Sandstorm is from Turku?

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I Have This Thing with Christmas

I don’t know about you, but I have a thing for Christmas. I am not religious at all and neither a crazy consumerist that goes insane over Black Friday and other sales. However, the end of the year always makes me a little nostalgic, since it has always been a happy time of the year, when  I would spend time with loved ones to decorate our trees and houses, go over to my grandma to bake the most amazing cookies, and, when a kid, design myself some gifts for mom and dad. And even after all the kids became grown-ups, as a family we tried our best to keep these traditions alive. Traditions that, I think, are not the most  Brazilian ones. I mean, as far as I know I was the only one to bake cookies or have a chocolate advent calendar, and for most of my friends, Christmas has always been a work-free day, where they could go to the beach or party hard. I never felt like this. Maybe here my german heritage that I got  from my grandparents plays a huge part.

Anyway, I just wanted to say all this to give a little hint about how happy I was when I heard about all the Christmas Markets around Stockholm. And since today is Advent Sunday*, I decided to write about them and show them a little. How about that? 🙂

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Do you know who you are talking to?

There is no better way to start a conversation than with introductions, right? So I will start this blog by telling a little about myself. A little egocentric? Maybe. But also necessary 🙂

That's me after winning 2kg of chocolate at Gröna Lund.

That’s me after winning 2kg of chocolate at Gröna Lund.

As you might have noticed now, my name is Tomás. But everyone, from friends to teachers to bosses, calls me Tommy. You can call me that too. I am born and raised in Brazil. However, not from Rio de Janeiro and its beautiful beaches or São Paulo and its non-stop life. I come from a city called Porto Alegre, way down south, close to Argentina and Uruguay. It’s not exactly what you expect from Brazil, but still good.

I consider myself to be a curious person by nature. And it led me to take different courses and reading on a variety of subjects. It ranged from literature to futurism, to creative writing, to music theory, and so on. Also, as a curious guy I love traveling and experiencing new things. And probably in some way or another, all these interests will appear over here and there along with the blogging.

Nice night view from Porto Alegre. Photo by Felipe Secco. Check out his work:

Nice night view from Porto Alegre. Photo by Felipe Secco. Check out his work:

Ok, but how come did I end up in the amazing city of Stockholm?

To answer this, the first thing you should know is that I am no engineer or computer scientist, as a lot of KTH Students. During my college years and in my career I have always worked with communication and advertising. But during my career, I have grown more and more interested in technology, digitalities, the internet and so on. Things that I could not explore in my daily life. So I decided to move to the tech side of life. And what better place to do that than one of the Top Technical Universities in Europe? Then, at least for now, my days of TV Spots, Radio Ads and Online Campaigns are over and I am part of the Interactive Media Technology Program, which focuses a lot on human-computer interaction and new media technologies. In a future post, I promise to scrutinize the program and hopefully I motivate some newcomers 🙂

This surely was a big move for me. New studies, new city, new country. But I am loving it. Stockholm is a great city, safe, clean, interesting. The people at the program are super fun and interested in doing great things. And the Swedes are also amazing. So, I can say I could not be happier.

Ok, so this is me. Or something like that. In this blog I will share my perspective on how is it to be a student at KTH, how is life in Sweden and Stockholm, some tips, and everything else. Tag along and join me.

/tommy 🙂