I’m sitting here writing to you with an ice pack between my left shoulder and chin. This morning I had my wisdom tooth pulled (the other one I was too chicken to do when I got the first one out). The whole procedure went much better here than when I did it in the US (no offense to your boss, Bruna). Service, in general is 100 times better here than anywhere in the world, I’ve heard, and so far I’ve seen that this include medical attention as well. My dentist here is a nice 40 something Japanese man, Dr. Marius. I made sure to ask him for as many drugs as possible and he told me it was procedure. So right now I’m on pain medication, antibiotics, and an anti-inflammatory medication. Pretty sweet, huh? I’ve also been given strict orders to only eat cold, soft foods, so I just had ice cream for lunch and vanilla pudding for dessert. This was also in the midst of everyone making fun of me for not being able to have the delicious lunch they were having, and my uncle asked if I was going to the movies with them tomorrow. The movies = the cookout we’re supposed to go to at my (3rd) cousin’s house, and it’s going to be “the movies” for me because I’m only going to be able to watch! … He thinks he’s so funny …
Anyway, other than being swollen in the face, I’ve had a pretty fun past couple of weeks. My going away party from Wall Street was quite fun but also sad. I was so happy to see how many students and staff showed up and it made me feel quite loved! It also made me really happy to see how many great people I’d met in the few months I worked there and definitely realizing that I have made friends, a handful, but actual friends in such a short amount of time here in São Paulo. It kind of reminded me of the last weekend I spent in DC, only this time I get to stay in the same city. I don’t know if that’s any consolation living in this city, but it helps, I suppose. After the going away festivities at this adorable restaurant called Pão Com Manteiga (Bread & Butter), I headed to a bar with a couple of my students, Dave, some of Thiago’s friends whom I’d met at his house, and Dave’s other gringo friends from his Portuguese classes. Needless to say, it was a pretty good time and the bar was tons of fun. There were a couple of guys playing music – everything from pagode to forró, to what I guess could be classified as the Brazilian equivalent to classic rock/bar music type stuff. We topped the night off buying loaded hot dogs from the stand near the bar at 5 AM... yum. Speaking of forró, I went to a forró with patricia, my coworker (see SEO Nerds post) on Wednesday which was a good time too! One of my students came and I danced the night away!
I took it easy the rest of that weekend and continued to drink that following Tuesday, on my second day of work at a company happy hour courtesy of Media Contacts! It was an integration/celebration because the company had just bought an offline marketing agency, so both agencies were there for a mini celebration at this gorgeous bar/restaurant/event place. That Friday, the 25th, I left work and went to Paula’s going away and birthday with the people from Wall Street. It was nice to see everyone, especially people like Paula and Thi who I was so used to talking to everyday! The next day, I interviewed a girl for private classes (and I got the job!) and then had lunch at Habib’s (Brazilian/Lebanese fast food.. it’s quite wonderful) with Eder who then accompanied me on a venture to find Priscila’s house across town, but on the way to his house, sort of. I was going to Priscila’s because she had invited me to go to her friend’s farm for the weekend which was pretty wonderful because I needed to get away from the city pollution and noise. A lot of people here in Brazil do this… buy land a little ways away from the city just for the weekends. The place was absolutely gorrgeeouusss (see pictures) and was in the first town in Minas, called Extrema (“Extreme”).
A note on pollution: It sucks and São Paulo has a lot of it. Especially now with you know, 13 million people, 7 million cars, and like, 30% of the population smoking, and to top it all off, it hasn’t rained in over a month! The air gets super dry and this is going to sound gross, but even when I blow my nose, I feel like my mucus is blackish… which is even grosser than it sounds. Today looked like it was going to rain, but not a drop yet. Keep your fingers crossed! The worst part is that it’s supposed to be cold and rainy but it’s been gorgeous and not, which we’re dreading and people like you probably think is odd. I suppose it’s one of those ‘You had to be there,’ type situations.
Okay, I think that’s it for things I’ve done. I haven’t enlightened/entertained you enough in this blog. So here’s yet another list of things because I like lists. This list is random Paulistano things I’ve been picking up on and have been deciding whether or not I love/hate this. I’m losing my mineira accent and gaining paulista slang and phrases, but not completely the accent yet – I’m technically in a no man’s land. When I first got to SP, everyone would say, “You’re from Minas, right?” now people say, “You’re not from São Paulo, are you?” k, here goes:
1. Meu – I’ve been avoiding this as much as I avoided “Wicked” at PC… but it slips every once in a while… and there’s no need to use it, “Meu” literally means, “mine,” but people use it to say things like, “Hey,” “yo,” “so,” and “listen,”… it’s super multifunctional.
2. Sussa - ~ chill, tranquilo, relaxed.
3. Pagar pau – This one’s good. Literally “Pay wood.” It’s like, “to suck up to,” “to be attracted to,” “to admire”…. But not. Haha – you would say something like, “Pago mo pau pra ele, acho ele um gato.” = “I’d hit that.” J
4. Osso – “difficult,” “annoying.”
5. Pronouncing vowels – Paulistanos say “ô,” mineiros say, “ó”; Paulistanos say “ê,” mineiros say “é”
6. Mano – I hate this. It’s like, saying, “Dude,” or “Buddy,” or quite literally, “Bro,” or “Brah,” haha
7. Catraca – Turnstile… but mineiros say “Roleta”
8. Guarda chuva – Umbrella… mineiros say “Sombrinha”
9. Moedas – Coins – I say “Pratinhas” (I’m still convinced I say it right and they say it wrong – which is why i say that “I” say and not just mineiros – the other two I’ve adapted my vocabulary for.
10. … there is no 10, but one thing I have been working on is saying English words in Portuguese. People get a kick out of the way I say “e-mail,” and “manhattan,” and “club soda,” etc…
That’s it. I’ve written enough and I’m going to go watch a movie with my cousin now.
Talk to most of you soon I hope! Beijoossss.