Brazilian Challenge Day 58: Senhor

Today, to be a bit more Brazilian,  I addressed my acupuncturist as “Senhor.”

I did it twice, once on the way in and once on the way out. While I’ve heard it a bunch here, I don’t know if I used it in the correct context or not. Since I don’t know his first or last name (ok, I know this is weird, I never bothered to ask and only realized I didn’t know it until this morning), I didn’t feel comfortable referring to him as “Doctor X.” And since he seems to be in his mid-to-late 70’s, it felt right.

He appeared neither impressed nor offended. So I think I’m ok. I mean, he is sticking needles in me, I don’t want to insult him.

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5 Responses to Brazilian Challenge Day 58: Senhor

  1. Stephanie says:

    It’s a funny situation, wondering how to address people!? I mostly avoid it, just say, “oi, tudo bom?”…kind of stuff. But the people I know at stores and in my daily routine here who call me “querida” or “amor” or “linda” after many years of living here…I address them as querida(o) or cara…small steps. I guess at this point, I wait to see how people address me, and then follow suit in addressing them. I think my biggest goal right now is to come off as being polite, so I always try to remember to say por favor and obrigada, as much as possible. I think it’s very easy to come off as rude when you can’t express yourself with ease, so gratitude and thanks, in plenty!

  2. What if he is peeved that you didn’t recognize his standing as a physician in the community by not calling him Doutor?
    Concerning his apparent indifference I refer the bench to Bee-eigh-bee vs Passive Aggressive Brazilians.. .

  3. Meredith says:

    I try to call people older than me “senhora” or “senhor” but it’s just too hard to remember to do it every time I would normally use “voce”. So if it’s my friend’s mom than I say “senhora”; if it’s my doctor then I’m sorry, I respect you, but I’m using “voce”.

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