Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The joys of being an expat


Living without stick deoderant, corn tortillas and functional plastic wrap can be a challenge, but I’ve gotta level with you – I LOVE being an expat. Let me count the ways:

- A busy work week means about 15 hours.
- I have not worn a watch since our plane touched down 2+ years ago.
- Brazilians are proud of/comfortable with their bodies, no matter the shape – it is an inspiration.
- Given the language barrier, I don’t have to have regular conversations with my mother in law. (But I love her all the same.)
- Nearly every store delivers.
- The only US political/campaign commercials I have to see are those I choose to click on.
- Fresh fruit juice (or coconut water) is the new soda.
- I get to see my favorite TV shows without any commercials (thank you internet!)
- Long vacations are the norm.
- Futebol is much easier to understand than football.
- Skype makes it painless to stay in touch with folks back home.
- It feels great to repair a broken appliance rather than buy a new one.
- Learning a new language is like growing a new pair of eyes.
- As luck would have it, so many Brazilians are happy in spite of their circumstance, not envious for what they don’t have.


- Being in a new country means a new adventure is just outside my door – or at least not too far away.
- We live near the beach!
- The dentist is cheap.
- There is no FOX news here.
- A bus, some bus, will take me anywhere I want to go.
- Having a pair of Havaianas in every color is reasonable.

We’ve definitely settled in.

10 comments:

Ben Ellis said...

Not sure to keep following your blog or the other Brazilain expat bloggers for that matter... You all make me jealous and I can't wait to join the expat community at some point... maybe 18 months 8-(

Rachel said...

I def a little Havaianas whore. Love them! And they don't cost me $30.

And no FOX news is the best! Hell, I don't even watch the news anymore. Doesn't fit in with my lifestyle

Zoe said...

It feels great to repair a broken appliance rather than buy a new one.

About 2 years ago I was in Rio for work, and while most of our clients are gringos, we also have quite a few Brazilians living in gringolândia. A carioca who now lives and works in Toronto came up to me to tell me how she had brought 3 broken suitcases with her on this trip so she could get them fixed by a guy close to her mom's apartment. Then she went on a looong rant about how Canadians throw away everything when it's broken! She had no idea that I wasn't Brazilian, otherwise I don't think she would have been quite so emphatic about it :)

Fabio Bossard said...

Things we've been using for a while have a sentimental value.

Jean said...

Nice post. Loved your comment that learning a new language is like growing a new set of eyes. Never thought of it like that, but you put it so nicely that it makes having to learn Portuguese much less painful!

As for Havaianas, my 2 year old already has 5 pairs and refuses to take them off! Her favorite thing these days by far ;-)

Thanks for the inspiring post!

Jim said...

Ben - we are waiting for you! It will be great.

Rachel - Our orange Havaianas draw attention, but we are into our third pair of blue ones.

Zoe - the guy working out of the back of his car near our park who fixes pots and pans always reminds me that you can repair, not replace.

Fabio - you know what I mean.

Jean - embrace the adventure in your future! We will help you.

Danielle said...

Loved the list! I can't wait till we live closer to the beach. T-3 months and counting!

I wanted to tell you here instead of on my blog that there's a children's clothing store here in town called "Showgirls: Moda Infantil". Cracks me up every time.

Jean said...

Thanks Jim! Your little bit of encouragement goes a long way. We're inching closer to the Big Move day by day...

Fiona said...

A really nice post. What a great life!

Paper plains said...

Oh wow this is so inspiring! I will be there in 1 month and I am so nervous and excited! Great post, lots to look forward too!!!