Living in Brazil I am enjoying the culture, commenting on the differences, celebrating local expressions and inviting others to enjoy all Brazil has to offer.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
You know you are NOT a Brazilian when
Most days would be better if I were not spotted as a Gringo. I try, really I do.
Giving good conversation to the butcher about what meal I am cooking and how he can make it better if he just sold me the best cut of meat (which I have no idea how to say in Portuguese) is always interrupted by – “Where are you from?” It’s all down hill from there.
There is no escape. I buy a cold coconut opened for the water within from a beach vendor – “Where are you from?”
Sometimes I feel really confident in my Portuguese when asking for eight copies of an article I’m using with my students. The Xerox worker’s response is always: “Where are you from?”
I am a Gringo. There is no mistaking this reality. (The first clue is my use of swim trunks rather than a Speedo – slam dunk!)
People here are over-the-top ready to be helpful to foreigners. That is not the problem. The problem is within. When does it stop feeling like I am a stranger in a strange land? Maybe never.
While I lived in San Francisco, CA for more than 20 years, I could ALWAYS spot someone who was from somewhere else - listening to just three or four syllables. Now I am appreciating their personal struggle to just be a member of the local community.
We arrived in Brazil in January, 2008 to start up a new chapter in our life together. Luiz has returned to his hometown and I've jumped into the deep end of the pool ready for anything. Let the fun begin!