Friday, May 21, 2010

New routine

So A. and I are now officially living in Rio de Janeiro. And although I have not lived here long myself (just moved  here in march) A.'s comments and reactions to Rio are quite amusing to a Brazilian. Also, being around him and looking more like a traditional tourist than he does also makes people mistake me for the tourist sometimes... So I thought I'd share a few short stories:

Yesterday, as we were walking down a street in Ipanema, suddenly A. crouches in the middle of the crowd and says a loud: "Wow!". It just happened that a street pigeon was flying over quite close to his head and he thought the bird might bump into him. I explained that pigeons don't usually bump into you, they just change directions at the last minute. It was hilarious!!

It wasn't as extreme... but A. was surely ready to duck! :D

We walked some extra blocks just to have lunch at what I consider one of the best places to grab a bite in Rio: lot's of fresh salads, lot's of veggie options and a nice ambiance... So I wanted to take A. there. We got the food and I must admit, A's reaction was nothing compared to my enthusiasm about the place. He said: "It's ok". Well, I understand all the limitations that Indians feel when eating food that is not cooked with at least 10 spices, but... my hopes were still high that he'd like the place. He promised to try again, but for now I'm planning on sticking to home cooking (with the 15 lbs of spices and dal I brought from the US).

As we got to the language school where A. will take Portuguese classes he chatted with the front desk people about the classes, etc in English. Then a woman turned to me:
"What about you, aren't you taking classes?"
"No, I'm not"
"Oh, how come? You should!"
"I'm Brazilian..."
This was followed by a short "ow" and a look of partial disbelief...

As I went back to work (yes, I'm working still, while A. has time off) A. wandered off to make a notarized copy of his passport (so he does not need to walk around with the original one). And on the way he found a museum open that I always thought was permanently closed since I never saw it open... So he's already getting to know more of the city than me.

Any interesting anecdotes of when you've been in a different country?


  1. Awww - A. should learn to appreciate all types of food, not just spiced foods. I love spiced food as much as the next person, but simple foods have their own value too.

  2. Yeah, I agree, but I've been trying to teach this for almost 4 years now and am about to give up...