March 9, 2021

Sara Tuppen Veloso

Sara Tuppen Veloso

This week on Friendless, I unfriend Tourguide to the stars and linguistic mage Sara Tuppen Veloso!
We talk about day trips in Europe, learning languages for fun, the cultural resurrection of Love, Actually, that one James Bond where he fights Russians, shit-talking on Japanese transit, exposing oneself appropriately to negative content, the labour of giving yourself pep talks in the mirror, and so much more!
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Transcript
James Avramenko:

Friendless is a proud member of the Saskatchewan Podcast Network, which is sponsored in part by Conexus credit union and Directwest. Hello my sweeties welcome back to a brand new episode of Friendless. The only podcast about reconnecting with old friends by disconnecting on Facebook. As always, I'm your host James Avramenko. This week, I unfriend a long lost University friend, current tour guide throughout Spain and Portugal and infinitely cooler person than I could hope to be. Sarah Turppen Veloso. We talk about day trips in Europe, learning languages for fun, the cultural resurrection of love, actually, that one James Bond where he fights Russians, shit talking on Japanese transit, exposing oneself appropriately to negative content, the labor of giving yourself pep talks in the mirror, and so much more. It was an absolute treat catching up with Sarah from literally across the world, which just blows my mind. And I think you're gonna love the episode. stick around to the end of the show for some super exciting updates about friend lists and all that surrounding projects. But that of course is then and this is now, live in the now man! So for now, lay back and enjoy my interview with Sarah Tuppen Veloso here on friendless. So, um, I am so excited to have on the show this week an old dear. I hate starting that with an old friend. Because I now feel old so I feel like that's an insult But dear old University friend Sara Tuppen Veloso. Did, I say that right.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yeah,

James Avramenko:

or as close as I possibly can.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Perfect. Perfect.

James Avramenko:

So how the hell are you Sarah?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

I am Great. Thank you, James. How are you?

James Avramenko:

Hey, I'm so good. It's a it is a Thursday when we record this and the sun is shining. And it's only minus 25 right now. So

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Oh, it's shining here too. But it's plus 15 here.

James Avramenko:

Oh my god. So you're in you're in Portugal.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

I am

James Avramenko:

And, and and now now that's okay. Forgive me. I am the worst at geography. That is the country. Correct?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yes.

James Avramenko:

Okay. And so what what what area of Portugal Are you in?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Okay. So yeah, Portugal is the Southwest extremity of Europe. Right? Yes. And, and I'm in I'm in northern Portugal. So I'm in a city called Braga. Yeah. It's the third largest city of Portugal. And actually, just this year, it was voted the top destination of Europe. Of course, no one's traveling this year. But

James Avramenko:

I feel like everybody's claiming that they're like, Yeah, come see here. We're great. And nobody will ever know.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Right? Like the Portuguese economy depends so much on tourism that they're like please come.

James Avramenko:

Yeah. Now, what kind of like what kind of population size? Is it there? Is it like pretty? Is it pretty dense? Or

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

in Braga? Where I live?

James Avramenko:

Yeah or just like in Portugal I'm never sure about like, I'm never sure about European proportions. You know what I mean?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Okay. So Portugal has a population of 10.5 million people. And the size of it is about a 10th, the size of British Columbia. So if you want to travel from one end of Portugal to the other, it's shaped like a rectangle. So from top to bottom, it's about a six hour drive. And from side to side, it's about a two hour drive.

James Avramenko:

That's the best thing about Europe, isn't it the way that it's every country is like so digestible?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Absolutely. It's one of the things that kept bringing me back to Europe because I came over here when I was 15. Not to Portugal, but to Germany. And then, when I was 19, I studied in Italy, and then I got a job in Greece. And like all these experiences of like European countries and cultures and seeing just how close other countries and cultures and languages are. Like, oh my god, I love it. I mean, I speak I mean, I'm not really speaking from like direct experience. I've never been but I'm just like, I'm endlessly fascinated by it about I mean, about the like, just the way the way everything's so condensed. And I would always catch like, sort of like, like the the sort of like, you know, the Canadian version of the experience by working at tourist spots and having like, you know, having German tourists Come and be like, you know, we'd be in the middle of nowhere bc for instance, like when I worked in barkerville. And they'd be like, yeah, we thought we'd pop out and do like a day trip to Toronto. What do you think? And it's like Oh, you sweet, sweet people. Yeah, bless them. One thing I love too is the variety. Like, you've got Switzerland right next to Italy. And it's like one culture that is so completely different from the other one, right? Yeah. languages to like, I remember, when I came over here, in 2011, I started working for a tour company. And I was doing tours, like on a coach group tours through all of Europe. So we would spend two days in one country, two days in the next one, two days in the next one, so you'd be speaking Dutch one day German, the next Czech the next. And like, like, that is addictive. You know, that kind of brain challenge where you're always changing. And I think doing that kind of thing really helps you appreciate how different we all are. And yeah, yeah, that's one thing that I keep coming to in life is because I've done a lot of studying abroad and a lot of traveling. There are so many different ways of being, and nobody's right. Nobody's wrong. But you know, when you you come into contact with something that's different, you automatically want to use a comparative like, Oh, this is better, or this is worse. Right? But it's just like I studied for a year in in Tokyo, and that culture shock just blew my mind and totally changed my my perspective. Right? Like, something can be 180 degrees different from what you're used to. And it works fine.

James Avramenko:

that's the thing that always boggles my mind is that it's like this thing of like, yeah, like, it totally works in that you're so spot on about, like, we have to, I think it's the thing that always frustrates me when it's like, I find that the people who say like, my city is the best city ever have, like, never lived anywhere else. Right? You know, it's like, yeah, it's like, you've lived in Vancouver for 30 years. How the fuck do you know, you know, like, or, or it's always like, I mean, not to like, not to, like, punch down, but it's like, always I was thinking more like, it's always like, he's fucking mouth breathers from like Tallahassee who are like, this is the best country ever, you know, it's just like, shut up. You don't know. Yeah, yeah. And then it but then it's like, at the same time, too. It's like, well, if it works for you, then by your you know, by your life standard, it is the best thing possible, because you know what, like, you know, like, you probably wouldn't be able to survive very well in Tokyo. So maybe it is best to stay, you know, chewing tobacco wherever the fuck it is. You do. Right.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Exactly. Exactly. Yeah.

James Avramenko:

So what took you? What took you to Tokyo? Why? What did you study there?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

I studied Japanese language and culture. So that was also with high school. I went to a great High School in Kelona that had a lot of language programs. And I was able to take all of them. So as of grade 10, I think when you get to kind of refine your your study path. Yeah, I just took everything like I was in French immersion, Spanish, Japanese and German. And then the other required topics, right?

James Avramenko:

So many languages. Do you speak?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Now I speak seven. I'm working. I'm always working on my other ones. I've recently become an enamoured by Danish. I've never been to Denmark, actually. The European countries I haven't been to, but I started watching a show on Netflix.

James Avramenko:

It's a four hour drive.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

I passed by it so many times. I've never been there.

James Avramenko:

It's too far. It's two hours away. We have to hit four other countries somewhere else. I'm sorry. You were saying you were watching a Danish show?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Oh, yeah. There's like a really popular Danish show on Netflix. I don't know if it's on Canadian Netflix. But it's Borgen.

James Avramenko:

Okay, Borgen, okay.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yeah, yeah, it's a political drama. But anyway, I so I watch it in in Danish, and then the subtitles are in Portuguese, so my brain is like doing little somersaults. And, and I have a friend in from Canada now living in London who's dating a Dane No, married to a Danish man. And she was telling me just how hard Danish was and so I was like, Challenge accepted. So I've been, I've been watching the show, like trying to get it trying to get it and it's beautiful.

James Avramenko:

It's sort of like you're kind of like, you're sort of like Antonio Banderas in the 13th warrior when there's a scene, there's a scene. It's a it's a terrible movie. But there's a scene where he as he's like, this Persian traveler in like Viking times, and he's traveling with a group of Vikings, and they all speak Dutch and he doesn't, and he doesn't speak it. So he literally like, sits one night and listens to them at the fire drinking, and then like, picks up their words. So by the end of this montage, he speaks their language.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Oh, my God.

James Avramenko:

It's so good. And they're like, Oh, my God, you've learned our language. And he's like, Yes, I listened.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

That's how you do it yup.

James Avramenko:

Exactly. That's how you do it. Right. Exactly. You just sit and concentrate it's as easy as that right?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Absolitely. You know what, what movie scene really affected me as a kid. I kind of it was one of those little like, you know, you get many kicks in life that push you down a path. So it was one of those many kicks. Also, not a great movie, but the James Bond movie that features Pierce Brosnan.

James Avramenko:

Okay.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Okay, so

James Avramenko:

There's a few of them.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Really?

James Avramenko:

There's a couple.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Goldeneye?

James Avramenko:

Okay, okay. Yeah.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Oh, okay. It's the one where he has to go to Russia or deal with Russians.

James Avramenko:

Like most of them, right. It's the James Bond with the Russian bad guys.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Good point. Yeah. But like, the Russian guy comes along, and you think like, Oh, no, Pierce has to somehow pretend to be Russian, right? He's he's trying to go undercover. And then the Russian guy comes along, and he starts talking to him, and you're like, oh, he's gonna get caught. But then Pierce Brosnan just answers perfectly in Russian. As like, as a kid. my mind was blown. Like, I need to know how to do that.

James Avramenko:

Have you ever? Like, have you ever had a situation where you've been like, say, like, have you ever you know, you always hear those like, sort of anecdotal stories of like, Yeah, I was on a train and somebody was talking shit in another language. But I spoke that language. So I

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Oh, yeah. When I was in Tokyo, because I don't really look Japanese, right. So I would, I would hear people talking about me a lot. But That's normal. Yes. Yeah. I kind of stood out when I was there. I was very, very tall for a Japanese person. blond hair blue eyes. And always wearing a Japanese school uniform because I was going to Japanese school there. So what is that?

James Avramenko:

Blonde bimbo? I just find it so abrasive. I find that so aggressive. Like I just I would never. I don't know, I guess like, like those kinds of stories always boggled my mind. Because like, I've never found myself anywhere. Where I've been like, look at that person who I think doesn't speak my language. I'm just gonna talk trash about them.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Well that's very Canadian to because you're used to a multicultural country, right. But yeah, if you go to, like a more homogeneous culture, or everyone's just used to being just with people like them, right, they might be less aware that the people can speak your language.

James Avramenko:

And so so you're now you're now in Portugal and and what? What sort of what ended up there is this do you think this is sort of like your, your forever country or is this sort of a lay over?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Ok yeah. There are a couple of reasons why this could be my forever country. Yeah. So what brought me here was amore.

James Avramenko:

Ah yes. Ah oui.So I was based out of London from 2011 to 2013. Just doing trips through Europe, and and then I met a work colleague, who was doing the same thing. Fell in love. He's from Sure. What you don't want to raise a chineysweep? Portugal. And basically, we decided like, you and I, we should stick together. We should start a family. Yeah. Oh, yeah. But that that kind of brought us to the point of having To decide like, Okay, are we going to raise a family in London? Or are we going to go to another country? And the best options were, of course to go to where my family is or where his family is? Yeah. Because London is far too expensive. Yeah. And it was not necessarily the kind of life we want to give kids.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Morning Timmy, Ello governa. Any mushy peas mum?

James Avramenko:

I want some bangers! Just a real bully, you just raises total British bully.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yeah, that would be my kids, for sure.

James Avramenko:

Just always head butting everyone.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

I have to say, put a little asterisk here. I have friends in London, lots of friends and colleagues who have decided to raise their kids there. And it's a really good option for them.

James Avramenko:

I'm sure. Yeah, exactly. Doubling back to the thing. If it works for you, then then that's great. Right,

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

exactly. But yeah, for for me and my now husband, we thought that that's not for us. And but yeah, when it came to choosing between Canada and Portugal, we both love our jobs. touring around Europe, talking about European history, speaking different languages. And we, there is a great tourism industry in Canada, especially where my parents are. But I'm not the kind of tourism that we want to get into or we want to stay in. Right.

James Avramenko:

So when you're when you're giving tours of BC, you could be giving tours of four countries, you know,

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

exactly

James Avramenko:

right. Like it's, you know, it's I get it right. It's a much stronger choice, in my opinion.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Well, yeah, it's just like, the kind of thing that we do is it's just up our alley. And, you know, he speaks a lot of languages, which he really loves. And yeah, and it's really, really challenging to do this kind of tourism in Europe. So life isn't fun if it's easy, right?

James Avramenko:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Who wants a free ride? Come on?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

No way. So I moved, I moved here to Portugal. I didn't speak a word of it. But, like, even though, I didn't speak a word of Portuguese, I didn't know anything about Portugal. I just moved here. Because, you know, my boyfriend was from here. His family was like, come, come, come, come. I had such a warm welcome to the country, like not only his family, but his friends. And like strangers on the street would be like you're from Canada. I have family in Canada. Like every Portuguese has family in Canada. And there are half a million Portuguese in Canada. Did you know

James Avramenko:

No kidding.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yeah.

James Avramenko:

That's like one 30th of all of Canada. That's

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

I know. Yeah. Yeah.

James Avramenko:

That's amazing.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

I know. Yeah.

James Avramenko:

I feel like the only I feel like off the top my head. The only encounter I have with Portuguese culture is that scene in Love Actually, when he goes to the cafe. But They're all super friendly, you know?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

But apparently that was filmed in Marsaille in France.

James Avramenko:

Of course, it was. Like, why film where it was supposed to be? It was only 10 minutes away. Like, Oh, no, we have to cross for borders to get there.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

But yeah, that's that's a decent contact with with Portuguese. A cute love story. Yeah.

James Avramenko:

Yeah. I mean, it was probably the highlight of the whole movie. But oh. There was a lot of low lights in that movie. I'll tell you how much. Oh, man.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

It makes me so sad that that movie hasn't stood the test of time. You know, you see, I read articles like bashing that movie. And I'm like, but it tugged at my heart at the time.

James Avramenko:

Well, it's a really, it's funny. What a great digression. We're going on here. It's it's really interesting that I feel like we've witnessed the love, the death and then the resurrection of Love Actually, because, like, just last year, there was a whole wave of articles being like, it's not that bad. Let's be nice to it. You know? And I think I think it's like every year, because it's I mean that movies become a staple. Like it's unavoidable. Whether you whether you, like, intrinsically agree with it or not, doesn't really matter. It's the same thing as so many other Christmas movies where it's like, well, yeah, if you pick it apart, it's a piece of shit. But it like, brings back memories of nostalgia. It's like Christmas story. Like that movie sucks. But I watch it every year. And love it. Right?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yeah. If it makes you feel something, then

James Avramenko:

Bingo.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yeah, who cares?

James Avramenko:

But it's like hard. But it's interesting that with Love Actually, it's like, it's it's like with all these new generations coming to it with their own sort of interpretations of love and of intimacy and of consent, and of all these different things, and really questioning, you know, those, those sort of motifs. And and I don't think, you know, I'm not one of those people who thinks that if you disagree with the movie, it makes it a bad movie, though. Right. Like, I think that I think it's just as strong to watch stories that you say, I don't want that in my life. You know, like, I don't think we should just be watching movies that are like, idealized, you know, regurgitation of our personal philosophies, right. Yeah.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yeah. Yeah. Again, if you're just watching things that you agree with, you're keeping yourself within a bubble, like,

James Avramenko:

yes, yes, exactly. You dullard!

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yeah. When you Yeah. This popped into my mind, you know, jameela, Jamil.

James Avramenko:

I know that name. I know that name.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

she's a she's a British activist. She has a movement called iway. where she? Oh, my goodness. How am I going to explain the succinctly? So she's, she's come from London to the to the state she's entered. acting in the good place?

James Avramenko:

Oh, yeah. Okay.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yes, Tahony.

James Avramenko:

Okay.Yeah. Okay. Yep.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

But then, like, she also really tries to move forward, like women's rights and topics about body positivity, or rather body neutrality. Right. And she's got a podcast as well. Beautiful. Who doesn't these days? Right. Right.

James Avramenko:

It's so easy.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

But But she really embraces like having conversations with people with whom she doesn't necessarily agree. And I think that her show is better for it, you know, hearing two people disagree on a topic, but in a polite or, you know, a cordial way. I think that is something that is so so, so important nowadays.

James Avramenko:

Yep. Well, we've really conflated argument with discussion, right? And we think that like, we think that yelling at each other on the internet is the same as having a conversation. And it's not, it's not interesting at all, it's really destructive. You know, no matter what you're arguing for, I don't care what part like what you think you're supporting or arguing for if you're just screaming at a stranger, you're probably inevitably doing more damage to the cause than good. Because you're you're you're regressing people, you're making them dig in, you're doing all those kinds of things. Right. And so yeah, like when you have, yeah, it's it's and it's work and it doesn't necessarily always feel good to be like polite to people who you think are shitheads. But like, but like, that's, that's why you're better than them. Yeah, that's where that's that's where your real ego gets to be fed. Right.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Right, right. exposing yourself to things you disagree with, can be just as good for you as, as a thing, exposing yourself to things that you do agree with.

James Avramenko:

Right? Yeah. I mean, isn't that the whole? If I'm remembering correctly from theater school? I think that's the whole point of catharsis is that you watch something that is so like, tragic, and horrific and unfair, that it gives you a revelation of how you'd like your life to be, you know, you're actually, you know, the cathartic event in theater is to actually witness something that you don't like, and that sort of propels you into your life, you know, oh The very heart the very essence of this show has been the question of Have I been a good Fred, you know, speaking of, you know, long term friendships and things like this? And if I'm going to answer that question, I have to figure out what it even means to be a friend good or bad or what that is. So I'm endlessly fascinated by everybody's perspective on it. And I'd love to hear your, your take on how you define friendship.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Mm hmm. I have, this is one of the things I really love about your podcast, too, is that every time someone answers, like, I take notes, I'm like, Oh, yeah. And yeah. Because it's, it's such a big question. And it's so important to the human experience to have friends. You know, it's something we all have in common. And even though we may define it differently, so in my reflections, I decided that, for me, friendship is like a validation of your identity. Right? You have someone who, who you can share yourself with someone who knows you with without artifice, because we all wear masks. We all have our different, you know, versions that we present to the world, but if you can show who you really are to someone and have them, not just accept, but like and support you. Yeah, that is that little magic piece of what keeps people together in friendship. And of course, it's a two way street. It's a visa versa thing.

James Avramenko:

Well, it is. Yeah, it's work. You know, yeah. That's something that I always struggle with, like, for myself, and then for others is that it's like, I'll hear people be like, Oh, yeah, I haven't heard from them. I don't think you know, whatever. And it's like, Well, have you? Have you reached out? What, when was the last time you wrote to them? When was last time you reached out?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

And like I remember, like, I have spent, you know, years being, let's say, friendly or friends with with someone because of a shared interest or whatever. But never really. I would never really consider that person. You know, I've had very close friends simply because something doesn't allow me to be comfortable enough to be completely myself. But as soon as you find those, those few people in the world with whom you can be completely yourself, and have that person go like hey thumbs up, I like that. Yeah.

James Avramenko:

Absolutely. I'm so on board. I like that you're, you're literally speaking how I feel about about people in general, where it's like, I really, it's something and I think it's actually one of the parts that is sort of, at the at the core of a lot of this is like, I want to be more genuinely friends with people with more people, you know, I I'd like to be comfortable having more general, General genuine connections. But I often stop myself out of any number of you know, you know, I talked about the bullshit detector or, you know, my own internalized like, shame cycles and my own internalized anxieties and all those right, you know,

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

well, in the past, yeah, you've talked about, you know, working with anxiety and depression, right. And it's, especially when it comes to anxiety, because I've got a heck of a long history. Working with dealing with I don't like the vocabulary

James Avramenko:

Yeah, the clinical language is the fucking worst.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

But like, a nice long history, like, navigating anxiety, and I feel like you put up barriers, not to be false, but to protect yourself. From from the pain of whatever you're afraid people are going to say or do or, you know, or think. And, and, yeah, I think if you can find someone who speaks the same language as you, Not necessarily literally and figuratively, right? Yeah. If you can find that core part that connects somehow, like, all those those barriers can just go away.

James Avramenko:

yeah. And it's so magic to and it's like, and it almost it What's so magic about it, too, is like it doesn't. It's not? Like it's not conscious, right? It's a it's just like a natural progression of a relationship. And that's, that's when you really know you got something good, right is when you're not when you're not stuck in your head questioning and you're not analyzing and you're not overthinking and it just goes

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

well, and I think those barriers come down naturally, you can't force them down. So I think it's admirable to want more genuine connections, more genuine friendships, but they can't be forced. You know, you can't force yourself to be completely vulnerable, with Someone has to happen. Naturally. Yeah.

James Avramenko:

I just imagine like, like I was, I've been trying, I feel really dumb doing this, but I've been trying, like, affirming myself in the mirror. I've been trying, like I like it's very fresh and it's very new but I've been trying like, you know, talking to myself in the mirror. And and I always stopped myself because I see myself doing stuff like that be like, you're gonna be more vulnerable today. And then I'm just like Shut the fuck up.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Oh my gosh. I've had counselors recommend that.

James Avramenko:

It's hard. It's hard. It's it's one of those like, I don't know, I again, coming back to it. If it works for you. That's awesome. So far, not doing it for me. Maybe I'll have a breakthrough. I don't know.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

That's so easy to get distracted to when you're looking at yourself in the mirror like,

James Avramenko:

well, I get that. Exactly. What and I get that thing. I get the thing. I there's a term for it. I can't remember what it is. But it's like, the reason why like kids do like you know Bloody Mary and stuff where they like stare. If you stare your face in the mirror, there's actually a thing that happens to your eye and like in your brain that basically makes the image warp like in your eyes. That's why people say like, if you stared you say Candyman four times, he'll come and get you. Because it's actually like a weird brain psychology thing that sort of melts the image. And I start getting that if I stare that, you know, I mean, everybody does. But like I start getting that if I stare in the mirror too long and so I'm like, Oh, this this is creepy. I don't like I mean, look at me. Look at this fucking beard. I don't like looking in the eye. I don't like looking in the mirror very much, right?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

I've actually, as we're recording this, like this, this website, this app now has a video. I have I have put up a piece of paper like fun tacked it to my computer screen. So I can't see myself. I can't handle it.

James Avramenko:

Yeah, it's weird. It's a weird playback loop, isn't it to let you have it? Have it? You know, you're you're supposed to be watching other people. But then you're sort of accidentally watching yourself and then you're like, Oh, fuck is that what I look like? Is that what I'm doing?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Exactly. And that's super human. Not super, very human.

James Avramenko:

Now that is a superpower. I have the ability to watch myself do anything.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

But yeah, it's it's so human to be very overly interested with, with ourselves like me, like I have someone very interesting to talk to over here, but I can get me.

James Avramenko:

Right, right. I love it.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Our social media platforms are for me, way too easy to manipulate. Like, you can't see friends with someone if your image has been manipulated. Here. Exactly. You know, it's that same thing with having walls up. Yeah, exact. So hold on, hold on. Yeah. And that's one of the reasons I stopped using a personal account is that, like, after five minutes of meeting someone, it's like, okay, friend request. And then that means that when I'm 40 I'm going to be getting updates from someone who I met for five minutes when I was 20. And in my work, I meet around 300 new people every year, and it's my friend all of those people than that. I've been in the this industry for almost 10 years. That's many too many people

James Avramenko:

That's too many people! like, like I'm struggling with, you know, I've got 300 some odd friends and I'm struggling with that. I'm already. Like, that's too many people.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yeah, once I got to 1000 I was like, nope.

James Avramenko:

you know, Europe is actually in a in a very different scenario than, than Canada is in terms of where they're at, where, where they fluctuate with, with the pandemic, and with lockdown and quarantine and all these things. And so, so I think your take on this is going to be not not very different, but marginally different, depending. And I'm curious what you think, you know, what's it going to take to remain a good friend in 2021, and then going forward with, with whatever, you know, like good with good lord knows what's coming?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Well, when it's possible, and for me, I think the most important thing for people is going to be face to face, hangouts face to face meeting. I also live in a country where going out for coffee is really important. It's just like a daily thing, like part of the culture is you go out for coffee with your friends, and you sit there for an hour, an hour and a half chatting.

James Avramenko:

It sounds amazing.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

It's really nice. Like in the UK, you've got a pub culture, where you go out for drinks with your friends. And here you go for like, a tiny espresso coffee. So which you finish in like 10 seconds, but then you just sit in chat for for an hour. And it's amazing. Yeah. And so like, on a cultural level, I see people in Portugal just, you know, itching to get out and to have those face to face meetings. And But until then, and like a lot of your your past interviewees have said, it's just making sure that you reach out. One thing that I've been trying to do a lot of is not just reaching out via you know, text message or like sending something via by email, but calling. Yeah, because it's so much more real. If you can hear the person's voice. And I've done a couple video chats. I don't really like video chat so much, though.

James Avramenko:

There's I like I think phone call is the happy medium. I think you're you know, and I think we're we're expected to be on video too much because of work. So I think that it's like a favor to be like, No, we'll just call

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

it as also when you call. You can't be like when you text someone when you're having a conversation via WhatsApp, for example. You can be having the conversation and scrolling through Instagram, and listening to the movie that's in the other room all while you're taking it.You know?

James Avramenko:

Yep, absolutely.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

But when you're talking to someone on the phone, you you can't be multitasking. You have to, you know, you have to give your full attention. And your presence to that person.

James Avramenko:

Yeah.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

I think this year, I've really been thinking about, you know, being present being like living a more presential life. Yeah, like, when you want to be with your friends don't just like text them to be like, Hey, what's up, but just be like, Hey, I'm coming over. like, hang out, be with people.

James Avramenko:

Cuz that's the thing to us that I think that there is, there is a way to be safe about it. You know, I mean, like, obviously, like, obviously, you have to follow all the parameters, and probably more so because more often than not the government's like, actually just half assing it. So like, yeah, you actually need to be, you need to be safe first. But I think that we do need to be more present in each other's lives. I love the idea of like, of like, it almost sounds like a respect thing, right? It's like, be respectful of your friends by giving them the attention that they deserve.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Absolutely. Yeah, you hit it on the nose.

James Avramenko:

LIke don't half ass it for them. Right? Because they deserve better.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Exactly. Well, and for you, too. I mean, yeah, if we're talking about like, furthering or developing a friendship, you're only going to deepen a friendship, if you are both, you know, sitting there and paying attention to what you're saying. And thinking about your responses and really, really listening to, to the other person,

James Avramenko:

Well, and that's, you know, and that's actually something that really comes down to for me with with, you know, discussion, you know, conversation like this, whether it's on the phone, whether it's video, versus something like a text message or an email or something like that. Email, and text in general, can be so controlled it can be so, you know, contemplative, right? Yet I ended up I feel like I end up saying, what I don't mean, by overthinking it through text. Whereas when I just speak and I'm talking to my friend and we're together and we're, we're just, you know, for lack of better word, you know, we're just vibing right. I'm speaking much more genuinely much more authentically because we are in a moment together, and we both Know where we're trying to get to. So you speak more authentically that way, right?

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yeah, I agree. You know, one other thing that this, the pandemic has done to, to what my friendships here is. It's made the close friendships even closer. Like the the, like acquaintance friendships because, you know, I moved here not knowing anybody or anything. So I, as soon as I learned the language I worked really hard to know people. Yeah, and to find a community to build friendships. And over the past year, basically, friendships have become like a, are you willing to risk your health or your and your family's health to hang out with me? And yeah,

James Avramenko:

Yes. So you better be worth it.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Exactly. Like the the friendships that I've chosen to include in that I will be in the same room as you for a hang out. Those friendships have suddenly stepped up a notch in terms of how serious they are. Because we're both saying to each other, like, you are worth it.

James Avramenko:

This matters.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

yeah. Your presence in my life is worth it.

James Avramenko:

Yeah. Oh, I love that. I love that so much. Sarah, you know, I hate to do this, right. I hate to sort of, we have to kind of wrap this up. And I am I, I know. And I just, you know, before we do, though, like, I just, you know, I am so grateful for you. And I'm so grateful for the words of encouragement that you've given me recently. And just, you know, it makes me feel like, it makes me feel like we you know, I mean, God, you're on the other side of the world. So it's like, I'm not going to like, pretend we're going to become best friends. But it's like, it makes me wish we had been better friends when I could have been.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Yeah. Oh, I feel that. Yeah. Yeah. And it's also nice Oh, thank you very much. It's nice to know that, that there are people around the world who with whom you do have a connection? When I heard you talking to your high school friend about singing the Penis song? And oh, yeah, I was like oh that's magic, we would have been best friends in high school. I know it!

James Avramenko:

Well that's just it. Right. And it's, you know, it's, it's one of the, it's sort of one of the it's one of the things that I really love about doing this show. And it's also one of the things that ends up sort of making me sort of melancholic, right is is, is, you know, because I'm somebody who, like, I try not to live with regrets and yet I'm inevitably riddled with them, you know? Yeah. And so just, you know, you know, like, just talking to you today, but also like, just the way you've been so supportive of me this year and and I just like, I'm so appreciative of it, and I just like, I feel so seen by it, and and it really it means it means so much to me, you know, and, and I just like I hope you and your family just to have like, just the bet like I just hope you're so well and healthy and I hope everything good comes your way. Right? You deserve it.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Thanks, James. And likewise, like thank you for doing the this podcast, I'm a big fan. And just, it's, it's like a light in my day getting to listen to to an episode, because it is listening to people who are on the other side of the world. But with whom you feel like you're having a conversation as well. Like I said, I like I take notes well, while people are talking and it's almost like I'm participating.

James Avramenko:

totally. Yeah, absolutely. Are you you know, I feel like you're one of the I feel like you're one of the superfans and I really appreciate it. It's so great.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Do you have t-shirts?

James Avramenko:

I'll be making I'll be making them but it'll be a very limited run. But before we do have to do one last thing again so I'm pulling up your your super secret Facebook and the dummy account. I love it so much. Oh, here we go. One last thing. Sara Tuppen we are no longer Facebook friends

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Goodbye. James

James Avramenko:

Good riddance Sarah.

Sarah Tuppen Veloso:

Oh, what was it going to be Welp see you around.

James Avramenko:

And that's it. Thank you one more time to Sarah for coming on the show. She was just such a treat to catch up with and I'm so grateful that she exists somewhere in this wild web of friendship that has somehow woven itself around me. In some really fun friendless news, I have a new website. At long last, it's all updated and streamlined. I've moved off the nightmare of WordPress and simplified with the appropriately named Podpage. or anybody who has a podcast nd wants an easy and super unctional website. Check it out od page. This isn't a paid dvertisement. I just really iked them. You can check out my ew website at as usual riendlesspod.com. While yo 're there, why not sign up fo the newsletter, once a mont update on what I've read that month with some brief revi ws, reading reco mendations, and an excl sive piece of writing you won' find anywhere else. This mont 's issues is coming out soon. So sign up today. Raised by th movies has launched the podca t about my wife and I re watch ng old movies from our child ood and discussing how they essed up our adulthood. had a fantastic launch last week and I want to say thank you to every ody who checked out the first episode. The whole first seaso is about the Disney Renai sance. And I will tell you Jenni a and I had an absolute bla t recording it so check it out anywhere, you get the pod g ods. It's a ton of fun. That's i for me. Don't forget to f llow me on all the social m dias at friendlesspod. Give the show a five star rating and Dam it. Have yourself the best wee you can have in the middle of his endless hellscape we cal reality. I will catch you nex week with another fabulous epi ode of friendless but of cou se that is then this is now.Live in the now man! So I'll just sa I love you and I will catch y u soon. Fun