Day 116: Close Encounters

So last night we went to a Japanese-type restaurant (not one I would recommend) and we took on the suggestion of a few and challenged ourselves to sit next to each other on the same side of the table.

In the U.S., if a couple is out together, they generally sit across the table from each other. It is deemed better for conversation. But in Brazil, you will most often find couples sitting smack next to each other on one side (oh yes, and making out like the earth was about to be smashed by a giant meteor – we decided to save the public display of affection for another day…).

It was a bit awkward for us, which is funny, because it means my Brazilian husband had this cultural behavior Americanized out of him during his time in the U.S. We managed, twisting ourselves to talk. But our next stop we, without even thinking about it, sat across the table from each other.

I guess some habits (even if reprogrammed ones) are hard to break.

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9 Responses to Day 116: Close Encounters

  1. UUGGGH! I HATE this. How can I see you and make eye contact if we are sitting side by side? My Brazilian always asks me, “Should we sit next to each other?” and I always say, “NOOO!” By the way, I love your main picture, the Brazil and America signs. I haven’t seen that before. Cute!

  2. Are you sure? This is probably a “paulista” thing, since they are a little bit ridiculous, lol.
    Here in Rio few couples do that, I never did that with my girlfriends ever. How am I supposed to talk to her while she is by my side?
    Trust me, this is not a brazilian thing, just paulista.
    Meet a typical paulista:

    • Oh no, I’m afraid it is not just a Paulista thing. Everywhere we go in Brasil we see it. Rio… Brasilia… Minas… Perhaps you need to take another look around… especially in Rio! My carioca husband confirms it. Thanks for your comment!

      • Really, this is not true. Of course you will find couples doing that, but they are a tiny minority. Enter in any restaurant in Brazil today and will see the huge majority sitting opposite sides. I still belive this is far more common in Sao Paulo, though. Congrats for the fantastic “portal” about your adventures in Brazil.

      • Really, this is true. Everybody does this in Porto Alegre and I HATE IT!!! I want to see my wife, not my mother-in-law. Last time we went to the restaurant, I tried to put my wife in front of me but it did break the sitting organisation of the rest of my family-in-law and they really didn’t like it.

    • Andrew Francis says:

      What’s “wand breath”, Mr. “Look at you, no wand breath”? That sounds like something rude.

      Sorry, I couldn’t resist making the joke… 🙂

  3. Danielle says:

    hahaahah Alexandre (my husfriend) HATES doing that, so I ask him if we can, just to tease him. If we go out with another couple, we sit diagonal to each other so we can talk to some new people! hahaha

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