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.


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!!!