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Why Born Again Brazilian?
If all those repentant criminals, addicts and all around sinners can transform themselves into God-fearing Christians, this midwestern babe can become a Brazilian.
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- Rio airport technology http://t.co/jnN230OhgM 1 month ago
- @DisplacedNation @camdenluxford @1expatbrazil got it! Thanks!! 1 month ago
- RT @DisplacedNation: Attn @CamdenLuxford @1expatbrazil @BornAgainBrazil - In case you missed it: South American #TCK's #bookgiveaway: http:… 1 month ago
- A PSA from BAB
- The Avocado: Dip or Dessert
- Beware What You Like & Contest
- Beware What You Like & Contest
- Bizarre Banking Business
- Safe in São Paulo – Live!
- Safe in São Paulo: Stats & Tatts
- Mark Hillary delivers reality check to gringos who moan about Brazil, in self-published book (1/2)
- Safe in São Paulo: Home Security
- Safe in São Paulo: School Security
I grew up in the 70′s and 80′s. Divorce was a rising, and almost liberating, phenomenon. Although my parents are still together for more years than I’m going to admit, I spent most of my adult life confirming that I would never marry, I think in part to this trend that influenced my upbringing. I enjoyed dating, traveling and freedom. The people I knew who had gotten married never made the sanctimony seem like much fun. Then, I met my husband.
Shortly after I met my Brazilian, not only did I know I loved him, but I knew that if I agreed to marry him, my life would never be boring. This has proven thus far true, but not more than the day that he dropped dead of a heart attack and returned to survive it. Nearly worse yet, for a couple of weeks the doctors were convinced he was brain damaged and would need to live in “a home” for probably a good part of his life. But he didn’t. He came out A-Okay.
Today, the sister/sister-in-law of our good friends and fellow expats in São Paulo died of cancer. She was young, certainly way too young to die, and left behind not only a husband but also an infant and a one-year-old son. Her cancer was quick in medical terms (a couple months) but for her and the family that suffered around her, it was tortuously endless.
Stories like these, especially those that hit close enough to home that I feel the need to grieve, make me look over my shoulder, anticipating that Death will be there lurking, wanting to collect what was rightfully its. Like me, this family now knows that the monster in the closet exists. The blissful ignorance of our invincibility is shattered.
I won’t ask you to mourn a woman that you don’t know, that I didn’t even know. But on what will be a sad anniversary for at least three generations of a family, I will ask you to give your child/children and/or your spouse an extra hug (maybe even in her honor). I will ask that you consider the petty fights with family or friends in a different light. To remember that what you might take for granted today could be easily be taken away from you tomorrow in an episode of instant tragedy or senseless suffering.
Those of us who put our words out into the inter-world to talk of avocados or caipirinhas might be entertaining, but we should also have, every once in awhile, a responsibility to share the real life lessons we learn. Tonight, mine is to appreciate everything you can while you have it.
A few months after moving to São Paulo, we had lunch at a friend’s house. When dessert time came around and my daughter received a bowl of green goop, I believe this was the moment she initially decided Brazil wasn’t for her. Horrified, she nearly shrieked, “Green isn’t for dessert!”
Oh, but it is in Brazil. Creme de Abacate is a well known sweet dish made basically with avocado, sugar and lemon or lime to keep it from getting brown. Sometimes it’s made with a little condensed milk as well. But before those of you in the U.S. go running off to throw these items in your blender, know one thing. The Brazilian avocado is different than the Mexican Haas.
Shockingly (and disappointingly if you love Mexican cuisine) the Brazilian avocado doesn’t make such a great bowl of guacamole. Both the texture and flavor are at odds with what many of us are used to in a dip. But it does make a darn good dessert if done right. The Mexican avocado, not so much… at least in my opinion.
How do you love your avocado?
In the security info that Brazil in My Eyes and I share, there is a portion dedicated to protecting your online presence. It's a good idea to Google yourself and see what shows up. This morning, I did just that. Nothing surprising. But then I decided to click on "images" to see what photos are associated with my name.
There were some pictures I know are public images.
In the security info that Brazil in My Eyes and I share, there is a portion dedicated to protecting your online presence. It’s a good idea to Google yourself and see what shows up. This morning, I did just that. Nothing surprising. But then I decided to click on “images” to see what photos are associated with my name.
There were some pictures I know are public images. However, not so far down I came across a photo of a girl on the beach in an embarrassing, awkward and kind of disgusting situation. If one didn’t know better, one could assume the girl in the picture is me. In one click I assessed what happened. I had “liked” a public photo posted on Facebook by one of my favorite fellow bloggers at some point in time.
So the moral to this story is be aware that if you like a photo, it could come up if someone does a search for you.
The first one to guess, in the comments of this post, which Brazil blogger posted the funny, yet offensive photo I liked wins a copy of my book, American Exbrat in Sáo Paulo (if you already have a copy, I’ll gift it to the person of your choice). FYI – there is a clue in the tags of this post…
Is Citibank the only one that doesn’t have its act together in Brazil? I thought the most annoying obstacle is when I go to withdraw money at the teller and they cannot tell me my balance, or anything else interesting or useful about the account, because that’s a whole other department. But I was wrong.
Yesterday, we noticed a rather large check had been cashed in our account. The check was out of order with the ones I had been using recently using (not surprising because we rarely write checks). So I made a note to dig through our safe and see if there had been any note associated with that check number… but I couldn’t get to it until later in the afternoon.
Coincidentally, an hour later, Citibank called my husband about that very check. The agent stated that they were alerted because the signature didn’t match. My husband asked the obvious to try to get to an answer. Who was the check made out to? The agent couldn’t tell him. Which of our signatures is on the check? The agent couldn’t tell him. Not that the agent wouldn’t give him this critical information, she actually made the phone call without having access to it. The information was in a different department.
Of course, because neither of us recalled writing the check and because Citibank was concerned, forced to go in blind my husband had them cancel the payment. Later that afternoon, I was able to investigate, only to find that my husband DID write the check for some service done on our apartment. The reason we didn’t remember is because it had got written awhile ago (and again we rarely write checks) but the check floated around Citibank for awhile, got drawn from our account a couple days ago, and then somebody at Citibank got worried that the signatures might not match and decided to call and freak us out – without having any of the important information about the check.
Am I out of line to state that whoever is managing Citibank Brasil is a dumb ass?
For those who enjoyed our series on staying safe in São Paulo, and reside in the city, Brazil in My Eyes and I will be taking our show on the road!
This Thursday evening, we will deliver dicas on crime-avoidance, as well as instructions how to react if you get in trouble, live (as we like to keep it) and on stage! You will also have the opportunity to share your stories and participate in a Q&A with local security experts. The event is free for International Newcomers Club members and R$10 for non-members. (FYI – the fee is not something that Brazil in My Eyes and I will be collecting on… only to ward off those who might want to take a “free shot” at us. HA.) A coffee service is included and for those who might be hungry, you can order food and drink before the event.
For more information and to reserve your spot, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.