this is me..!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


This is probably really rude or mean, whatever, I think this is a great way to see how culture mix.

The Portuguese alphabet consists of 23 letters. It is derived from Latin as is the English alphabet. The letters K, W and Y are missing from Portuguese alphabet. This is because these letters only appear in foreign words. Y used to be used (although rarely) during the Renaissance but in 1911 The Portuguese spelling reform displaced the letter Y for ever - prefering to signify it’s sound by the letter ‘i’.

They call "Y" upsilon. Wierd!
Any who, here is a classic example of "W"

Monday, April 13, 2009


So I went to Rio again, not like it was huge imposition; the beaches the sun the views. ;) This second time was my official tourist visit:
Pão de Açúcar, Chisto Redentor/Crocovalo, Jorge Ben Jor concert, FLA vs FLU and of course the beautiful beaches!

Our hotel was a block away from Ipanema, Hotel Ipanema Inn. (one of the best beaches there) Everything was beautifully planed out. Thank you Council! (shout out) All in all the trip was awesome and culturally enriching, among other things.

I finally build up the courage to wear a Brazilian bikini. Thank goodness I didn't get burnt where the sun usually doesn't shine. (lol) On to serious matters, being a tourist definitely has its perks, but it can get old and irritating after a while. Let me explain.

SETTING: 11ish at night. Lapa- Rio de Jainero. 3 New York City blocks of people waiting to get in.

So this popin club, all the rage apparently. When we first got there we were like wow people really like this place. So we kept walking and then we realized the club was full and we were still walking to the end of the line. WTF?
Some people had been waiting, in heels non the less, for about an hour plus. WHAT? So is it worth it?

Our crafty Brazilian friend worked his magic. He ingeniously walked to the VIP line to talk with the security guards and spoke something along the lines of: "Hey I have a group of Americans, how can we get them in faster?" Seconds later he returned saying, "Speak English. Follow me." This sly dog I thought to myself. Wow, he got all the gringos in in less than 15 mins. The power of a tourist should never be underestimated in a "third world" country, please this is BRASIL! They love tourists.

The club was great, decorations were to par and there was a choice in music live Samba or Bossanova dance. Very Brazilian. Very fun.

SETTING: 1000S of people. Big flags. CHEERS CHEERS and more CHEERS. Palavrões.

The love for futebol transcends all types of good and bad boundaries, in Rio its called "Fla/Flu". This is a futeball (soccer) game between rivals FLAmengo and FLUminese Rio's most popular teams. The stereotype associated with Fla fans are people who live in the slums/favelas. Flu stereotypes are seen as the pompous rich kids. It is played in Maracanã Stadium, located near downtown Rio, in the city's Maracanã district.

These games are developing into a touristy spot. Experiencing the energy put out by these people who bleed for these teams is hard to put into words. It really is amazing sitting there in the middle of the cheers and sorrows of the game.

Before getting off our tourist bus a couple of blocks away from the stadium we were once again reminded to hide our tickets and not show them in public.
2. Did you remember to wear neutral colors?
3. Try not to speak any English while we walk there.
It felt like a warning ad before entering the city of Compton,CA. (lol)

The night before I had been told to do about the opposite. So there is something wrong with that right? The whole point of being here is to be part of the culture. Of course no one is forcing me to keep my ticket hidden or to wear neutral colors, but I still listen to them for safety issues. So why did this feel so uncomfortable? Perhaps I had just aided the stereotype my passport had to offer. Is it if fair to say I felt a little dirty, like cheering for both teams? (pun intended)

This is where it turns simple and real, I am a tourist in foreign country. I really don't know how to live here yet, but I'm learning slowly. I've always been an advocate of using what you've got to get you what you need (receptively and within your moral standards, of course silly). Perhaps I'm not "integrated" enough to fully understand the differences between irony and the clashing of cultures. I don't want to say that Brazilians are this way, but what I have witnessed is just the human side of the "jeito Brasileiro."

Thought of the Day

Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at Sunday school. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.

Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm.

Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is true, no matter how old you are - when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

I found this on an old friend's Facebook page and thought that it really applied to a lot of things in life and Brazil.- Thanks Bianca.