Thursday, December 23, 2010

Where Am I?

Switching between two different countries can get a little confusing. Not only do you have to remember which language to speak, but you have to remember the different rules, social norms and appropriate style.
I've had a couple slip-ups since being home that can only be explained by the super-cool/douchey excuse "Sorry, I've been living abroad".

The first offence was taking a phone call while at a bar and stepping out with my drink. People were literally gawking at me as I absent-mindedly strolled around, chatting on the phone and sipping on my beer. A kind old gentlemen was nice enough to grumble as he walked by "damn kids, think they can drink anywhere these days"...oops!

A reoccurring problem I have is the hissing at people at the mall. You know, the Brazilian "ss-ss", short for "licensa" ('excuse me'). It's become such an ingrained habit that I just walk around the crowded shops ss-ssing anyone I brush up against. Turns out hissing works better than "excuse me" when you're in a hurry.

I just signed up for the gym here in my small town in southern California, and I have found myself stressing about my gym attire. I mean, I will surely leave the hoop earrings, swirly shorts, and tube socks in my suitcase, ready for the return trip to Brazil...but the push up sports bra may be a go.

Finally, possibly one of my biggest problems since returning to California is the cheek kiss. Yes, I accidentally kissed an old high school friend on the cheek (whom of which I probably have never even touched in the 10 years I have known him). I know that a hug is appropriate for old friends, but do we really just shake hands with people we are just meeting? It seems so formal and (dare I say it?) cold.

What do you guys and gals struggle adapting back to when you travel home for the holidays?


  1. I think we ALL go through those times when we travel home for holidays and most of the time for me it's not fun.
    But Christmas is near! May we all have a beautiful and festive Christmas!

  2. just hug and kiss em... start a new trend...

  3. I only stay in Brazil about two weeks each time I go. This last time I came back to the US from an amazing trip during carnaval and my fiance told me that I was talking in my sleep in Portuguese! This is strange being that it's my second language! haha!


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