What it means to be Brazilian, and why I have a long road…

Through the looking glass.

(for more Born Again Brazilian, go to http://www.bornagainbrazilian.com)

I’m in Sao Paulo for just a couple weeks to start the process of organizing our new life. On the plane ride over, I began to succumb to a total and utter panic.

Without my daughter to distract me, or my husband to comfort me, trapped in a tiny seat on a plane, surrounded by chatter in Portuguese, I slowly began to realize the brevity of my situation.

Instead of hyper-ventilating or passing out, thus drawing unwanted attention to myself, I decided I would try and absorb my surroundings, be more observant this trip. Learn something. The following are some of my initial observations, not facts mind you, just ten observations (mostly ruthless generalizations)  from week one:

(But first, why are the Brazilian OK with breast augmentation surgeries, but not OK with the padding in my swimsuit?)

1. No one seems to get irritated that I don’t speak Portuguese. Unfortunately, I am highly motivated by fear, so this may delay my studies (see post The Language of Love).

2. Just because something has frosting on it doesn’t mean it’s cake. It could be anything.

3. Brazilian women do not break their elegant stature in order to make a total fool of themselves for a laugh, even for one out of a small child. As per the startled reactions I receive as I roll my eyes back into my head, wag my tongue, and screech to make my nephew laugh.

4. Either the topic of how skilled and inexpensive the plastic surgeons are in Brazil is common for table discussion, or I am being thrown a lot of hints.

5. Brazilians eat a lot of fruit. They eat fruit at every meal. Even if there is a yummy dessert on the table, a plate of fruit sits next to it, making you feel bad for even considering the dessert. Mocking you for all the desserts you had eaten thus far. This will bode very well for me fitting into previously mentioned jeans (see post Brazilianwear).

6. Brazil is not a dangerous place because of drugs or gangs or kidnapping.  Brazil is dangerous because crosswalks, traffic signals and stop signs have no significance. Simply decoration. You, alone, are responsible for getting yourself across the street in one piece. It’s like being in a video game – anyone remember Atari Frogger?

7. Every car comes with a fire extinguisher. I really don’t want to know why. I can only imagine that there were enough random car and/or street fires that someone said “Hey! I have an idea. Why don’t we all drive around with fire extinguisher in our cars!”

8. As most of the world suspected, the Brazilian economy is just fine. This is evidenced by the fact that I have been inside a Sao Paulo mall nearly every day of my trip thus far (much like US, “malling” is a popular past time), and not only are the luxury retailers reasonable active, but the environment is like being in a five-star hotel. The other night I witnesses a pianist at a grand piano, right smack in the middle of the mall, performing “I Did it My Way” to a crowd of people who may or may not have made a coffee purchase.

9. Brazilians seem to have an interesting idea of what a baby hairstyle should be, as all the baby dolls have the same bald head with a  bundle of hair strands sticking outside the side of their heads. Or they have crazy hair with insane expression on their tiny faces. Honestly, Brazilian baby dolls scare me just a little bit (especially at night).

10. My skin and hair have reacted tragically to the climate. But Brazilians have beautiful skin and hair (not reflected in their baby dolls), so I will assume, like a caterpillar to a butterfly, I am experiencing some kind of transformation leading to fabulous Brazilian features.

More to come from week two, I’m certain.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Culture Conflicts, Foreigner Insights, Living in Sao Paulo and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What it means to be Brazilian, and why I have a long road…

  1. Pingback: Update: What it Means to be Brazilian – the Only Child | born again brazilian

  2. juliana says:

    so funny. LOL

  3. Reblogged this on born again brazilian and commented:

    In honor of my second Braziliversary, going to repost some of my original perspectives on living in Brazil. Part 1.

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