Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Colonial Influence and Other Observations

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My first dinner in Brazil: pizza and beer. Granted, I had feijoada and watermelon juice for lunch, but dinner was decidedly non-Brazilian.

Speaking of colonial influence (that is, the Great Beast America forcing its culture on the rest of the world, and the rest of the world--generally--accepting), English is everywhere here. The gym I work out at is called "Runner." My refrigerator is stocked with TNT Energy Drink (pronounced ener-ghee drinkee). Today, at a mall on Avenida Higienopolis, I discovered a shoe store called "Accentuated Feet," though I'm not sure why I should want my feet accentuated. And, of course, there was that first night's pizza delivery--yes, they say "delivery" even though there is a Portuguese word meaning delivery. Strange.

Today, we took the bus to the metro and the metro to the city to visit Maria's hospital. The main building is an old Gothic structure, one of only two in the entire city of Sao Paulo, wrapped around a courtyard that looks straight out of Europe. Were it not for the local birds constantly screeching "Bem-te-vi! Bem-te-vi!" I would have thought I was back in the south of France.

Humidity is normally around 50%, but today is reported at 15%. Here at the mall now (what they call "Shopping" in another abduction of the English language), I sneezed and almost crippled a small child with the chunks of red rock-like material shooting out of my nose. Yeah, it's a little dry. Arizona dry. So I'm at the Starbucks drinking an iced caramel macchiato and writing in my journal, and if that's not American, then I don't know what is.

Avenida Higienopolis, where I'm enjoying this tasty beverage, is lined by trees on either side. A loud crash, car speeding away with a new cavern in its roof, and now the avenida is one tree less. Exciting. The most danger I've seen since arriving.

Next, an in depth report of my first Jiu-Jitsu class in the land of Jiu-Jitsu (no, not Japan; that other land).

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