Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Treats

Nothing says Halloween like waking up to a terrifying, deadly and tear-inducing bladder infection! Woohhoo! You see, when I was just a little mini-fetus in my mother's womb, I thought "Screw this, I don't want to be born a creepy Halloween baby, I'm coming out now". And so I did, on August 11th, 2 1/2 months shy of my Oct. 31st due date.

Since I can remember, Halloween has been SCREWING ME OVER as a little reminder that it was my fate to be born albino, with red eyes, zombie brains, and vampire teeth. So, thank you Halloween, for the little gift...a wonderful excuse to take painkillers and watch Dexter all day.

Keeping with the never-ending food theme of my blog, I thought I would do a little Brazil vs. USA Nancy's Favorite Candies competition.



Paçoca is what I would consider, the "Butterfinger"of Brazil. The insides of a Butterfinger are much harder than a Paçoca and less peanuty, but its the closest match I have found. Although I love me a good Paçoca anyday, I'm gonna have to go with Butterfinger on this one. There is nothing quite like that addictive flaky orange nougat!



This one is a tough one. Peanut Brittle, although not the yummiest of candies, is a very nostalgic candy for me. My mom loves it and we would always eat it together...meaning, I would buy it for her as a gift and then sneak into her room to steal peices. Pé de moleque on the other hand is an exciting new friend, with a cute name. I'm not sure the story behind the name which roughly translates to "boy's foot". Although this one is a hard choice, I think exciting new friend trumps klepto daughter's nostalgia. Pé de moleque it is!



So it was difficult finding a candy that we have in the US to even compare to the deliciousness of the Serenata de Amor. The best I could come up with would be a kinky hyrbid (trybrid?) between the smooth and creamy interior of a milky way, the crunch factor of a malted milk ball and the witty little surprise inside a fortune cookie. Either way, I think it is safe to say that the American Trybrid does not even come close to beating the Serenata de Amor.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Great Debate

Before jumping right in, I feel the need to clarify something. This is not a food blog. I just love food. Simple as that, moving on.

I would group Globo Biscoitos in the same category as Farofa, Caldo de Cana, and Brazilian hotdogs. There is nothing initially appetizing about eating sand with your beans, drinking a green frothy liquid made from crushing a giant stick, or diarreah in a bun with peas and french fries on top.

But there is something magical about these unique Brazilian treats that makes me love this country even more. Hell, if you're gonna put ketchup on your hotdog, why stop there? The more the better, right?

Globo Biscoitos look like that stale donut that you found under your couch, eaten from the inside out by all the termites, roaches, ants and critters running around (i'm not much of a cleaner). They cut the roof of your mouth and make you feel like you paid R$2.50 for a bag of air. But oh that air, is so so so sweet.

Globo Biscoitos come in two varieties, doce ou salgado, sweet or salty. Personally, I am a sweet girl, all the way! But I did buy the salty globo canga because I liked the colors more (shhh don't tell!)

When I woke up yesterday to the sun shining and sweat on my upper lip, I thought 'BEACH DAY'! Then my alarm told me 'WORK DAY'! I only work half days, so I spent my 4 hours at work planning my solo beach adventure. It would be my first opportunity since returning to Brazil to sit on the beach with my stupidly cold mate com limão (meia meia) and delicious globo doce.

Too bad for me, I got bogged down with a huge project and never made it to the beach. Oh well, there will be other days.

Globo Tips:

1) Face downwind while you eat them or the spiky little crumbs will stick all over your sweaty beach body.
2) Even though you can buy them in a Zona Norte grocery store for a fraction of the price, buy them on the beach. They are better (name brand!) and you get to support someone who works hard for their money (don't even get me started on grocery store cashiers...)

Which do you all prefer DOCE or SALGADO???

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Monolingual Translator?

I work part time at a travel and tourism company here in Rio as the in-house translator. Well, technically that is what I am supposed to do, but nobody there thinks they need a translator, soooo I get paid to drink coffee and doodle.

You see, my coworkers (read: patricinhas) think that 1 summer in Miama studying English trumps my 22 years and a bachelors degree in Linguistics. Totally makes sense right? No! And the strange thing is, it's not just my coworkers. It's my boss too.

Granted, all bosses have superiorty complexes because they are, well, superior to their employees. But, to tell your translator her translation is wrong because it doesn't sound right in does that make any sense?

I realize that "bancos do rio" doesn't make sense, and it should be "margin do rio"...but that does not mean that "banks of the river" has to be "margins of the river" in English. You see, they are two different languages.

At the end of the day, I don't care if her site looks unprofessional because she wants to use her craptastic English. I mean, who needs an in-house translator when your employees provide your site with glorious gems like these:

-"Cum drink a yum-yum in the hotel's slave quarters"
-"The church is filled with little negro angels"
-"The STD room has a contagious energy"

Yes, keep insisting your English is better than mine because those descriptions are F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S!!!

And, to the B$%*& who was under the impression that the translator (me) wouldn't understand portuguese, and asked a coworker right in front of me if I was a lesbian: No, i'm not, but if I were, you wouldn't make the cut!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cadê meu Açaí?

I arrived in Brazil with the American perception of Açaí as the cure-all berry. After eating it every day for about a year, I started to recognize it for what it really was, a sugar-filled crack pipe that left me with 4 extra kilos and a root canal that cost me my life savings.

I was able to kick the habit upon arriving in the US, and the withdrawals weren’t too bad, but I did fear for the day I would return to Brazil. Would I wind up sleeping in the streets, selling strands of my precious blonde hair for Açaí money?

I am proud to say that I have only relapsed once since arriving here 5 months ago, and I could almost hear my teeth weeping. But why is it that I NEEDED Açaí on a daily basis the first time I was in Brazil, but I have almost no desire to eat it now? What was different about my daily life last year and now?


I always used to drink Açaí to cure my hangovers.

I should have known. I always create a placebo hangover cure. In the United States it was bagels because they “soak up the alcohol”. When I couldn’t get a bagel it was listening to shitty old Blink 182 songs because they “make me want to vomit for a whole other reason”. In Brazil it was Açaí because I’m a stupid American that thinks it “cures all”.

So alcohol is the gateway drug that led me into my downward spiral of sugar addiction and cavities. Don’t let it happen to you…drink responsibly.

Se for beber, não coma Açaí.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Calling all Mexicans!

Alright, the Mexican food situation in Rio is getting desperate. Can somebody please just drive their taco truck cross-country, through Colombia and down to Rio? I don’t have a car, I’ll give you my parking spot below my apartment. Okay, so I don’t have a parking spot, but I’ll buy you one!

Thanks to jims post about huevos rancheros I am drooling in my sleep while I dream of spicy black bean salsa and fajitas....mmmmmmmmm

I lived off of Mexican food growing up in Southern California. Food from the taco truck was pretty much all I could afford on my unemployed income (ie. change found under the couch)

It is a tough reality to accept that I cannot afford Mexican food in Rio, but its true. The few Mexican restaurants I have come across earn a measly 2-3 stars in my book and are severely, inappropriately, sinfully and devastatingly overpriced.

If I had had had to choose my favorite, it would be Mizu.

The only real reason I like it is because it is Rodizio (all you can eat) Mexican food and Sushi. Who thought of that combo, I have no idea, but the logo is great. The sushi is average/good, but the Mexican food is downright hilarious.

Here are my tips on how to read the menu if you ever decide to check it out:

Tostadas = Taquitos
Tortilla chips = Doritos (sometimes)
Nachos = Doritos covered in movie theater cheese
Burritos = skinny soft-shelled taquitos
Mashed Potatoes = Mashed Potatoes at a Mexican restaurant.

And the big-daddy 5-star winner:

French fry and Sausage Burrito!!!! Mmmmmm!

My desperation is evident in the fact that THIS is my favorite Mexican restaurant in Rio.

***Warning: Do not google Mexican food!!! You will regret it!!!***

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shout Out!

I just wanted to take a minute to send a shoutout to my secret lover Cajuzinho!

Ugly to look at,
Poop with a peanut inside,
My sugary bliss.

First, give me a break, it was my first haiku. I literally searched ehow to learn the syllable count, then sat here clapping out "poop-with-a-pea-nut-in-side".

If you have never eaten a cajuzinho (and you don't have a nut allergy), stop by any padaria and they should have them. They are wonderful. I think they're made with condensed milk, chocolate, peanuts and a shit ton o' sugar. What confuses me though, is if the little nut sticking out is a peanut or a cashew? I would assume cashew because of the name, but some recipes say it is a peanut. Does anybody know?

Tales of the Gym - Sexist or Courteous?

I recently posted about Carioca Gym Fasion because I was on the brink of signing up for a gym in my building and I was stressing about how to dress. Well, I signed up for the gym and I didn’t buy the giant socks or the swirly shorts, but I did give in and get a push up sports bra (good advice Rachel! ).

It’s obvious that the Gym is a place to be and be seen. Take for example, the following real life conversation between my Namo and I while he was getting dressed for the gym:

Namo: What should I wear to the gym?
Me: Who cares? Your red shorts and green shirt.
Namo: too Christmas.
Me: fine, yellow shorts green shirt.
Namo: too Brazilian Flag.
Me: Red shorts, blue shirt.
Namo: eck, too American Pride.
Me: Jesus! It’s the gym not a fashion show!!!
Namo: ……..wait, are you serious?...........

Well, despite the fact that I don’t exactly dress the part, I think I made a friend at the gym. It’s the creepy old man that works at the gym; possibly the manager. Unfortunately, manager-man doesn’t know the difference between being sexist and being courteous.

Case in point:

I was the only one on the treadmill the other day and there was a soccer game playing on TV (big surprise). I witnessed him getting into a huge argument with some other gym employees and it all seemed to be directed at me. I panicked that maybe I wasn’t meant to be on the machine for some reason. Eventually, manager-man won the argument. He glided over to me with this look in his eye, picked up the remote control and switched the channel to a fashion show. Then gave me a giant Thumbs-up and a “Ive got your back” wink.

It was nice of him to fight for my right to watch what I want...but he probably should have asked me if he actually cared. I guess this could be reasoned down to making generalizations based on my gender rather than sexism. Unfortunately, my point is completely invalidated by the fact that I really enjoyed the fashion show and stayed on the treadmill for about 20 extra minutes because of it ( 1/2 because I enjoyed the show, 1/2 because of those skinny bitches).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Say Whaaaaat?!

I love idioms! I think nothing says more about a culture than the Idioms people use. I was once called out in front of my entire class at PUC (a class called “Estudos da Cultura de Português como segunda língua) for an email that I wrote my professor where I translated an idiom. It was an idiom so ingrained in American culture and our conception of time, that I didn’t even realize it was an idiom.

Thank you for your time.

To my teacher, it was absolutely absurd that I would thank her for something like “time”. To me, it was polite. She went on a huge rant about how Americans think time is something to be owned, have, give, waste, use wisely, borrow, need…etc.

Once I started realizing that idioms are so demonstrative of people’s cultures, I reaaaaallly started to understand why I love Brazil. Português has idioms for many of the same concepts as English, but they manage to put a naughty spin on it:

Favorite Idiom #1:

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch = não conta com o ovo no cú da galinha

Rough Translation: Don’t count on an egg that's still in the chicken’s asshole.

Favorite Idiom #2:

He was left with nothing but the shirt on his back = ele foi deixado com uma mão na frente e outra atrás.

Rough Translation: He was left with one hand over his man parts, the other over his bum-bum = NAKED!

Favorite Idiom #3:

Ele não fode nem sai de cima = He doesn't fuck and doesn't move away either.

I have no idea what the equivalent in English would be. Basically, someone who can't make a decision. He doesn't use the resources he has but doesn't free them up for others to use. Do we have an idiom for this?

Favorite Idiom #4:

Quem tem cú, tem medo. = He who has an asshole, has fear.

Again, I don't know if we have an idiom for this one. I'm assuming this means something like "everybody is afraid at one time or another"...

Anyways, Brazilians do seem to have an obsession with all things cú related...and it has quickly become my favorite naughty word in Portuguese!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bad-Voodoo-Be-Gone Purse Hangers

My Namo’s mother has quite a few theories about Bad Voodoo. Okay, so she never refers to it as bad voodoo, but the theories are so wild, that voodoo is the best explanation. Basically (as almost every ex-pat in brazil blogger has mentioned), Brazilian mothers think they are doctors.

My sogra thinks she is a voodoo doctor.

“Ayyyy Nancy! Don’t walk in the house with your shoes off, its bad for your stomach”.

“Nossa! Don’t leave your purse on the ground, it will pick up bad energy and you will carry it around with you all day.”

“Meu Deus, Don’t put your purse on the bed! You don’t want bad energy from the street on your bed”

…and the list goes on.

I brushed this off as her crazy voodoo theories until I received an in-house email from my work:

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Do not leave your purses or backpacks on the table, on the ground, or hanging over your chair”

…uhhhh should I hang it from the ceiling?

Luckily, in my office I have a little Ottoman that isn’t classified as a table or the ground. Score! But it did leave me wondering what all the others would do. That is when I discovered this genius invention. I have never seen one in the US, but maybe just because I have never needed one.

In Portuguese it is refered to as a “Gancho para pendurar a bolsa”, but maybe it has a more slangy name. It comes in many styles from industrial metal (for the men) and blinged out (for the women). I've heard you can get them in most lojas americans or mercado livre.

They look pretty handy. I've even seen women whip them out of their purse and use them at botecos. Have any of you seen these before in the US/Canada or whichever country you are from?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Electricity + Showers = ???

Is it just me, or should the term "electric shower" just not exist? I mean, I don't know how many times my parents told me when I was a kid to stear clear of radios, hairdryers, anything with a wire while I was in the bath.

So you can imagine my surprise when I realized that my showerhead in Rio has two wires coming out of the top that lead to the electrical box. I decided that maybe things in Brazil were different and for some reason and electricity and water just magically get along here....NOPE!

I think I almost died yesterday. And no, i'm not exaggerating like I was with the mini-bombing. This one is serious. I was taking a shower, and just as I turned off the water and started to step out I heard a CRACK and saw a huge flash of light, followed by a bunch of smoke and burning rubber. I threw a towel on and ran to the other side of my apartment (yeah, a whole five feet away).

I called my Namo about it, super shooken up and we called an electrician this morning. After closer inspection, the entire wire was burnt, including the tube connecting to the shower head and the wall where the two connect! If the water had still been on, I would have fried!

The electrician came today and I got a stern speech about how I can't overindulge in 10 minute showers. Wait. How does one overindulge in a 10 minute shower. If by overindulge you mean putting shampoo in my hair and shaving my left armpit, okay....but how do you expect a girl to wash and condition her hair and shave everything that's got to be shaved in under 8 minutes. (yes, he told me I have 8 minutes tops unless I want to get fried like an egg).

Maybe it's time I invest in a gas shower. Personally I'd rather get blown up in a gas leak than fried in a shower.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Brazilian Weddings - A Family Affair

I have now been to three weddings in Brazil, and it seems each one gets more and more bizarre. The first wedding I went to was at a beautiful church at the top of a hill in Petropolis. The outside of the church was charming and covered in ivy. The inside was a little creepy. Perhaps it is because Im not religious, but there were too many crucified and bloody jesuses in that church for a wedding.

It was a day time wedding, so my Namo informed me that guests would be dressed “casual”. I heard “casual” and thought sundress. Well, I forgot that my Californian casual is a casual like no other, and I should never ever make the mistake that Brazilian casual means anything less than a ball gown.

When I first saw the guests waiting outside, I thought “wow, she has a lot of bridesmaids”. Nope. Just guests. Each one more elaborate than the next. So I was horribly underdressed, but luckily (for me) my Namo got the stomach flu and we left soon after the ceremony (but not without getting to eat delicious cajuzinhos and mousse de maracuja).

Naturally, I was terrified when my Namo told me his cousin was getting married at a super ritzy venue in Barra “Garden Party”. A night wedding! GASP! The scary thing is that night weddings are even more elaborate than day weddings, as if that is even possible. And to top it off, they are Italian, and we all know what that means.

I asked my boyfriend about the whole idea of “not outshining the bride”…does not exist here. You should have seen the number of guests in white wanna-be wedding dresses. I tried my best to dress up for this wedding, but it just didn’t happen. I refuse refuse refuse to buy one of those gross shiney fabric bridesmaid/junior prom dresses for R$300."

The third wedding was my favorite of the three. I actually got some photos of this one.

It was at night, in a venue across from Norte Shopping. The food was soooo yummy. Sweet cherry tomatoes filled with gorgonzola, and the mini pastels that everybody loves. The best had to be when the waiter offered me a dried apricot with brie cheese "Damasco". Something about the look on the waiter's face made me realize he was offering something a little naughtier than a dried fruit...apparently "Damasco" (apricot) sounds a lot like "Dá mais cú" (dirty waiter).

The ceremony at this wedding was actually very odd. It was right in the middle of the party, during the party. So about an hour after we arrived, mingled with guests, drank and ate snacks, the procession began. It took about 30 minutes for all of the family members to prance around and do their walk down the isle. Finally the bride arrived, and nobody paid any attention to the ceremony. It was the oddest thing. Everyone just continued on with their conversations, eating and drinking while the priest mumbled into the microphone. I've never seen anything like it. I don't think this is very typical of Brazilian weddings though, because my Namo was pretty shocked as well. The best part of the night had to be the Lady Gaga drag queen.
Here are some observations I have made about Brazilian weddings and how they differ from the traditional American weddings I have been to (keep in mind I have only been to 3 Brazilian weddings, so I am generalizing here):

1) No garter removal! I have never seen this at a Brazilian wedding and my Namo tells me it would be way too inappropriate. Instead, the bride throws the bouquet and the groomsmen go around cutting up the groom's tie and selling the pieces to guests. The peer pressure to buy a piece of the tie is enormous and you get some sort of sticker or keep sake when you do.

2) Family Family Family. The wedding ceremony is just as much about the family as it is about the bride and groom. The mothers and fathers take just as much time walking down the isle as the bride, and their dresses are just as elaborate and over the top as the wedding dress. Nobody is afraid of stealing the bride's thunder.

3) The ceremony. At all 3 weddings I went to (okay, I missed the ceremony at wedding #2), the married couples signed their marriage papers during the ceremony. I feel like Brazilian wedding ceremonies are a bit more stop and go in this regard. At the first wedding I went to, the camera man stopped the bride as she walked down the isle, to bring out his lighting experts and take mock-candid photos of her pretending to walk.

Have you guys been to any Brazilian weddings? Some of you were probably part of them...did you adopt the Brazilian traditions and mix them in with your own?

Say Whaaaaat?!

Being a linguist (I feel totally pretentious every time I say that) I am constantly realizing weird little things about language that I and only I (well, maybe Danielle too, I hope) find interesting. In hopes that others might share my interest, I’ve created this little subsection of my blog: “Say Whaaaaat?!” for all my linguistic inquiries.

I’ll start with the Brazilian word-intial “R”. Oh Brazilian “R”, how you have provided me with hours of entertainment at my Namo’s expense. I do not know how many times I have heard Brazilians refer to “rats” as “hats” and “rap” as “happy” (gotta love that strong accent on the word-final stops). “Hippy-hoppie”, “picky-nicky”, “flippy-floppy” (okay I made up that last one).

In attempting to drill the correct pronunciation of the American word-initial “R” into my Namo’s head, I seem to have gone over board. Now, words that start will “H” are being pronounced with “R”s. Like some sort of crazy overcompensation. So now not only do I have to decipher rat vs. hat, and rap vs. happy, but roneymoon vs. honeymoon and rouses vs. houses.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not meaning to bash on Brazilians. Learning a new language is hard and it is kicking my ass as well. I can’t even tell you how many times I have flubbed up the infamous pão vs. pau. And I have decided to just pretend ver & vir are the same verb because I don’t want to (read: can’t) figure out the difference in conjugations.

I came here with the intention of being a teacher, but other opportunities arose and I put teaching on the back burner. I know a lot of you are teachers, do your students do this? Pronounce words starting with "R" with an "H" sound and vice versa?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Make it a Combo!

Brazilians seem to have a knack for creating odd combinations and making them work.

Hamburgers and fried eggs,
Coca Cola and red wine (or is that just my sogra?)
Catholicism and Creu-ing

However, my ultimate, all-time favorite Brazilian combination is super nice work suits and crappy ol' Jansport backpacks. Okay, well maybe they're not crappy because backpacks in Brazil cost almost as much as cars, but still...

Seeing a nicely groomed Brazilian business man walking to work with his shirt tucked in, jacket ironed, shoes shined, and a brand new first-day-of-2nd-grade backpack just makes my day, everyday! Whoever decided using a briefcase was a better idea than a backpack anyways? Backpacks are a way more convenient place for a 30 year old man's mother to pack their homemade sack lunches and breast milk! I kid...not all Brazilian men still breast feed. (i'm only hating because i'm jealous)

Alright, all joking aside. I like the backpack/suit combination. I think it's cute. What do you guys think about grown men sporting backpacks to work?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mini Bombing

The title is a little overdramatic. It probably technically couldn't even be called a bombing because it wasn't a bomb, it was a firework, and nothing got blown up, it was just loud. Whatever, gunshots, fireworks, bombs all sound the same and are scary as hell.

Me and my Namo (Namo = Namorado...yeah, I made that one up myself) went to our favorite little neighborhood chopp place this past weekend. It apparently was voted the best chopp in Copa the past 8 years in a row. I don't really get how one chopp can be better than another chopp...i was told it had something to do with the amount of foam on top.

We were waiting for a table for so long that we decided to bail and cross the street to a different place. When attempting to leave, the waiter came over and assured us a table would be cleared soon, so we decided to wait. Just then, some babaca decided to chuck a bomb thingy out his window in the neighboring apartment, at the crowd up people sitting outside drinking. Everyone at the boteco screamed and jumped up. It was terrifying!!!

The scariest part is not only did he almost hit a dog, but it was right where my Namo and I had been standing a minute or too before. This isn't the first time this has happened. We once thought there was a fire in our apartment building (which is a frightening thing living on the 12th floor) because some crazy-pants tossed a firework into the common area below the building and filled the space with thick smoke.

What was really special about this event though, and something i have actually never really seen happen here, was everybody's response. A passerby had seen the guy who threw it (on the 2nd floor) and pointed him out, people banned together and started calling the whether or not the police actually showed up is another story, but it was nice to see people react to a situation like this. I'm sick of watching people cut in line at the grocery store, blow snot rockets on the ground in front of where you're walking, and be outright rude and obnoxious without getting a good Carioca Wording!

Quick side-note about the picture: Durring WWII Roosevelt approved a military plan to attach small bombs to bats. The bats would be dropped from an airplane over Japan and would fly to various buildings to roost. At any given time, someone would push a detonator switch and all the suicide bats would explode, causing mass fires across the country. After spending a measly 2 million (no biggie) developing the plan and training these poor captured bats...they decided to just go ahead with the atomic bomb.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bus Drivers' Death Wish

I am terrified of public transit in Rio. Hell, I am terrified of ALL transit in Rio. I have always preferred to be a driver over being a passenger, but I don't even think I could stomach driving in this city.

The worst has to be the buses. And the later you get on a bus, the crazier the driving is. It's a safe bet that if you board a bus at 2am in Zona Norte, you can make it to Copacabana by 2:30am at the latest...that is, if you don't fly off a cliff on the way. I get that the driving style is different here, kind of like a video game. That being said, I don't want to die on a bus full of strangers.

So what can be done? Well, in China, some bus drivers have to drive with a bowl of water suspended from the top of the bus. If they drive Carioca style, that water is going to be all over the ground at the end of their shift and someone is going to be unemployed. To top it off they are filmed, so no cheating allowed!

I can see how Rio bus driving can be a positive thing, like when I'm really late and need to be somewhere...but let's face it, even when you're late in Rio, you're on time.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Carioca Gym Fashion

After putting it off for the past year (yes...year) I think it is finally time to join the gym. My decision was made easier by the fact that there is a gym in my building, so I don't even have to go outside to get there. Unfortunately for me, that means no excuses when it's raining.
Starting at a new gym can be kind of awkward. I always go into it with a game plan. Enter. Go straight to the treadmill/elliptical. Scope out the other machines while I'm running in order to figure out where I want to go next. However, I have absolutely no endurance, so I begin to panic after about 5 minutes because I haven't yet decided where to go.

All of this and I worked at a 24hour fitness for a year.

Now, my biggest predicament isn't figuring out what machines to use (because anyone who has ever stepped foot in a brazilian gym or clothing store knows that they are overemployed to the point of being intimidating "pois não senhora" "pois não moça" "pois não querida"...)

No no no, my biggest problem is the unbelievable Carioca gym fashion. I once had a Brazilian Teacher (Roberto DaMatta, famous Brazilian Anthropologist and prof at PUC) tell me that American women are more oppressed by mochismo than we realize...just look at what we wear to the gym and the office, men's clothes.

My wearing "men's clothes" to the gym is not because I think it is an inherintly manly place and I want to fit in. I am at the gym because I feel like a fat ass (in a bad way, not a brazilian way) and I don't want my junk hanging out all over the place in front of the fitties coming out of spin class.

In addition to not wanting to wear a backless, skin tight body suit with cutouts down the legs, I do not want to wear those ridiculous socks! Brazilians can rationalize it all they want, but they are straight fugly!

So what do I do? Suck it up and wear the socks because I already stand out like a sore thumb? Or let my inner man free?
What do you all wear to the gym?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fala Engrish?

So I know we have all seen them, and probably been tempted to buy a few at one time or another. The A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Engrish T-shirts that you can find in any store in Brazil. And by "Engrish" I mean "English" with some glaring mistakes that should have been caught before being mass printed on thousands of T-shirts.
It has becoming a hobby of mine, spotting these shirts. I will literally run across the street Carioca style (ie with a death sentence) if I see someone with an Engrish shirt on the other side of the road.
I mean, these shirts are not just in the dollar bin at a crappy thrift store. People pay good money for their Engrish. But why? Is it just a chic thing to have English on your shirt, kind of like the Japanese character trampstamp? I can't help but wonder how these shirts made it here. I have a few theories.
1) They are fabricated here in Brazil by Brazilians who don't give a shit if they are grammatically correct or not because people will buy them anyways. So they find some words on the internet, print them out and start selling.
2) They are the reject shirts from some English speaking country. Kind of like, Brazil is the graveyard for all missprinted graphic tees.
I like option number 2.
To show my appreciation, here is a list of my Top Five Engrish Shirts in Brazil (yes I write them down when I see them):
1. Operation have sex anyone. all days, nights mine as too (11 year old boy wearing this one)
2. Sparkle and of night, music its for me unforgenable
3. Save trees, ride waves, smoke soundeds
4. Love, Bang, ALL
5. Out of Control (this one wasn't really Engrish, but this badass little old lady was wearing it while "Vai se fuder" ing cars that were honking at her while she crossed the street veeeeeeeeery slowly)
What Engrish shirts have you all spotted in Rio?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm Coming Out

Alright, it's about time. I've been creeping on the ex-pats in Brazil clique for awhile now (read: months and months)...and now that I am on first name basis with a few of you (without your knowing it) I feel it is time for me to come out of hiding.

This first blog post feels a little strange, like I'm going to look back at it and be embarrassed, but here goes. I guess I'll start with an obligatory introduction.

I'm living in Rio. I came to "work" but really I don't care much for my job and I don't know many people here, so it's looking more and more like I'm here for my boyfriend. I lived here in 2009 for a year while I was on an exchange program through my school UCSC where I studied Linguistics and Portuguese. After graduation, I packed up and moved to Rio.

My original plan was to teach English, but I haven't quite gotten to that yet. I work part time as an in-house translator for a tourism company in Leblon (shhh don't tell the brazilian gov't) and I do freelance translations (kind of) and article writing to pay for my overly expensive vacation rental, because renting an actual apartment in Rio is like trying to get ahold of the federal police by phone....impossible.

So this is the end of my Coming Out post...I'm excited to join the clique...start the hazing!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...