No Brasil

That’s not a dis on Brazil, for those of you who don’t speak Portugues… that’s “In Brazil”…

Which is where I am, as of a week ago. I arrived last Saturday morning, and my friend Mariah met me at the airport with her two daughters, Isabel (10) and Stephany (15). Sunday we went to her church, which is quite small, and full of very friendly people. Mariah tells me I’m the “Pop Star” in the church Whatsapp group.. “O americano, o americano!” is apparently all they talked about for the first few days after my arrival.

My new bicycleSo far I’ve mostly been acclimating to the climate and the culture. I bought a bicycle a couple of days ago, for R$160 (aprox US$72). It’ll get me around for a month while I’m here, and the savings in bus fare will just about cover the cost of the bike in that time–not to mention it’s a lot more fun to ride a bicycle along the beach than to cram into a crowded bus with no ventilation.

I’m getting a tan.

My Portuguese is improving at an impressive rate. But it’s still pretty bad. I haven’t passed the Barry Farber fluency test yet–which is to have a conversation with a beautiful woman in the new language, and not remember which language you spoke the following day. Maybe I’ll achieve that before my stay is up–there is no shortage of beautiful women here to try with!

tacoBrazilian Barbecue is pretty amazing. The thing that surprises me the most is how similar it is to the Brazilian barbecue I’ve had in the U.S. and in Mexico. It comes out on a sword-like spit, it’s cut at your table to order. My experience with ethnic cuisine has usually been drastically different from the true, authentic version. Think Taco Bell versus real tacos.

Early in the week, I went to the local shopping mall, which is called “Shopping Vitória.” “Shopping” is an interesting word–an Anglicanism for “shopping mall.” But my favorite local Anglicanism is for a restaurant we all know and love… “Ouch Back!” You know… the Australian steak house. I hope they have a good referral program with the local chiropractor!

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