Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oh yet and still, you wouldn't believe your eyes if you went to Brazil...

Bom dia readers,

  It's about 1:00a in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 4 hours ahead of the Twin Cities. I landed around 9:00a local time today. The plane ride was fine, a 10.5 hour flight that showed 4 movies over the night. I got some good sleep in (during eat pray love) and sat next to two friendly old folks (yes, Dad, they were actually old, meaning older than you, not like 40). The woman smelled like potpurri and was convinced that I spoke Portuguese so she just talked to me and I nodded and smiled.... I'm sure she thought we were having a very productive conversation. The man was very nice, he bought 3 or 4 of the little whiskey bottles you can get on planes and offered me one. Nice of him, but I declined (Mom).

  The plan landed within 10 minutes of the scheduled arrival, so I thought it was smooth sailing from then on out. Augusto, the man with whom I've been emailing regarding living in his house, was to be waiting for me near the exit with a paper with my name on it so I could find him. Little did I know that I wouldn't get to him for an hour and a half. Customs was an absolute zoo... foreigners (extranheiros) had to wait in a separate like that was stagnant until EACH Brasileiro got through. After that, the same policy went for declaring items once you made it through the baggage claim.... fun fun.

  This was the only sour part of an otherwise awesome first day in Sao Paulo. I was picked up by Augusto Senior (I had been emailing Junior), who spoke zero English and gave me a friendly albeit awkward half hug. He tried to play charades to tell me that we were waiting for his son in law, Franklin. Franklin is Augusto Junior (from now on referred to as just Junior)'s sister's husband. Still following? Hope so. Franklin spoke some English, and I speak some Portuguese, so working together we managed to have a decent conversation on the hour or so ride back to the apartment. I met the rest of the family when I got home.... it was easy to remember the names of everyone. In the blood family (meaning excluding Franklin) every man is Augusto and every woman is some form of Ana. I mean Grandma (Ana), mom (Ana), little sister (Annie Medina, 24 years, Franklin's wife) and little-er sister (Ana Isabel, 23 years).

 The day was filled with a quick apartment tour, unpacking, a 5 hour nap (vey nayce), a quick trip to the supermercado for some weird fruit, and a hangout session with the family at night, when they all meet to eat dinner, even though just mom, dad, grandma, and junior live in the apartment. We laughed talking about our differences in pop culture.... they thought SpongeBob Squarepants was a weird way to say the name of the character in Brazil, Bobby Espungee. At the grocery store we met up with Johnathan, a Guyanese guy my age who spoke perfect English and was a friend of the Carneiro family. Needless to say, I'll be bringing him around to translate when I need it.

 It's been an awesome first day... filled with childish excitement from the minute I stepped off the plane into 77 degree warmth. I think it's excitement for the coming semester, both with school and learning about this colorful and loud Brazilian culture. Or maybe I was just excited to get away from the potpurri smell. Either way, I am confident that I will enjoy my stay in this beautiful place.

No comments:

Post a Comment