Sunday, December 09, 2007

The city that never sleeps. . .

I’ve made a few interesting observations about life in Brazil in the few weeks we’ve lived here. Number one is that the people are extremely friendly. Several Brazilians have gone out of their way to help us with a smooth transition, including the staff at our language school and our landlord. I’ve had a woman help translate the lesson during church, others give us directions on the street and help practice with conversation, and show us around the grocery store.

People also walk a lot here, which is nice because our walking everywhere doesn’t stand out like it would in South Africa. But even despite all the walking, the women wear high heals (we’re talking two to three inch heals) and high platform shoes. With most of the sidewalks uneven cobblestone, I honestly don’t know how they do it.

Another thing that intrigues me, is the security guards. Imagine a twenty-to-thirty-something year old guy, black suit, white button-down shirt, tie, and dark sunglasses. These guys stand in front of various stores, or sit on stools under a large umbrella, all day, and simply guard. They have walkie-talkies and seem to know everyone that passes. That’s got to be one of the most boring jobs ever created.

And then there’s nighttime. Last night was Friday night and about ten o’clock (the hour I’m ready for bed) the city comes alive. It happens on weeknights as well, but especially on the weekend, nighttime is party time. Horns blast, radios blare, shaking our house, cars backfire, and people shout. Add a victory for the soccer team, and there’ll be fireworks. And it goes on all night, until about four in the morning. I suppose we’re adjusting better, because while I still wake up several times at night, I am sleeping through most of it now.

So we are slowly beginning to adjust to our new life.

Today we had a bit of an adventure. We took the bus to the mall to do some last minute Christmas shopping. (The photo is of the mall.) I'll plan to post about our wild ride through the city soon.



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