Sunday, March 7, 2010

Settling In

So I know that I said a while back that I would do a post on what exactly it is that I am doing here in Brazil - and I will! This week, I promise! But I for now it is enough to say that really like my work so far, and I have been keeping quite busy with it. Last week I had to lead a call on Friday with our team of lawyers in NY and London, so the entire week was busy with preparation. We are moving forward with the project I am here to work on, and progress feels good (especially in a place where getting people move forward is NOT easy)!

I have also been developing something of a daily routine and that has been comforting. I walk on the beach often in the mornings, which is a great way to start the day. I have learned how to take the subway and the buses (it is a bit different in the US in terms of purchasing the tickets and knowing where to go). Luckily I work on the same bus line that takes you to the Christ statue and so if I ever ask which bus, someone recognizes that I am foreign, and we can usually figure it all out by holding out our arms in a Christ statue imitation which leads to me getting onto the right bus. I have been running along the lake most nights after work, too, so I am trying to be outside as much as possible! After dinner I usually watch Viver a Vida (a novella here everyone watches) with Claudia and then get some work done (though sometimes work actually means read the internet) and/or study some Portuguese. I usually read for pleasure then and head to bed (if you care, I am currently reading Love in the time of Cholera and really enjoying it).

The description of that pantomime above should be enough to let you know that I still can't speak Portuguese! No, I actually am capable of asking which bus goes to that particular neighborhood, but I am still struggling with learning the language. Every day it gets better, though, and I have confidence that I will get there!

We had a party here on Friday night partly to celebrate Marcello's acceptance and start at the Medical School and partly to celebrate Claudia's birthday. It was a really nice time and everyone I met was super friendly and enjoyable to talk to. I spent most of Saturday with some friends -- we went to an open market with both a produce market that was amazing and also many stands of art, clothing, and jewelry. We spend the rest of the day at another friend's house just hanging out and preparing a really nice "lunch." Oh yeah, they called it lunch. even though we ate it at approximately 5:30 or 6p.m. I was starving on account of I didn't eat lunch since I thought we were going somewhere for lunch. I wonder if I will ever figure out when to eat and when to not eat in this country!

We had a nice day, but when I was ready to leave at around 9:30 I found out that I couldn't. There had been a huge rainstorm that left much of the city flooded and taxis couldn't get through. Some other people that were visiting at the same house had been trying already for an hour to get a taxi. At around 11, they got a taxi to come for me, but on the way there it went through water and broke. No joke. Finally I was able to get a taxi at 12:30.

I hope all is well with everyone back home -- it sounds like the weather is getting nicer for you!

There aren't even words to tell you how amazing these spices at the market smelled!

At the fera (Market) -- there is a square area where you can buy a drink and usually there is a band there


  1. The language will come, San. It just takes time and you don't come from a long line of patient peope, you know! I love reading your experiences. Love You, G'Ma

    ps - I don't know what they mean by my URL or the other things I have to pick from, so I am anonymous!!!

  2. I'm fascinated to see how much of the language you pick up near the end :) That pic of the spices is amazing. I want to be there!