Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Neurosis of a Carioca

I can´t speak for all Cariocas, but I can speak for my husband. I find that as mellow as this specific breed of Brazilian is, the Carioca has some really funny deal breakers.

1. Coconut water: My husband will not drink pre-packaged coconut water. He says it tastes dirty. Plus it´s just ridiculous to drink it out of a box when you can go outside and get it fresh.    It´s a good point. And as a processed food, everything comes in a box and loving it American, I never even thought of that. 

2. The dirty beach:  My husband hates dirty beaches. Funny because I consider any city beach dirty but there are degrees of dirty in the mind of my Carioca husband. For starters, you can not even step on the sand at Praia do Flamengo.  It will eat your feet right off. Ok, maybe not but it´s still not recommended. You can, however, walk on Praia Vermelha (Red beach) but can not go in the water. You get the point.

3. You do not, unless it´s completely unavoidable, go near the ponte on the last day of a holiday weekend. This is just insanity and will cause your spouse to call in the professionals. Of course if you are returning from Buzios or something like that, it´s ok.  Then again, I´m sure my husband would say there are even better routes. 

4. You can not plan to meet someone on a beach without getting their cell phone number. It does not matter if you designated a spot, are going to put up a sign, or will have a plane circling. It´s madness to not have the person´s cell! We had this discussion yesterday when I, oh dear goodness the sanity of it all, didn´t get my friend´s cell number.  By the way, we found each other just fine.

5. Sit on your bed in your street clothes:  He will not sleep well if he sees me do this. Seriously, the microscopic germs he imagines transferring from the butt of my jeans, through the blanket, and into the mattress will keep him up at night.  He´s not the first person I´ve seen with this rule.  The entire family does it.  People in the family wouldn´t hold my newborn because they had just been outside, on the street. I was like, then unless you move in with me, you´ll never hold the kid. Apparently, just walking outside makes you a dirty sack. 

Just a few little things that make me laugh every time.  I wouldn´t even notice these things if it weren´t for the people closest to me.  Got to love their little crazies.  Goodness knows they love mine, or at least are good at faking. 

By the way, the great image highlighting this post is from the book I am Neurotic.  The brilliant Lianna Kong composed a book of people´s random neurosis.

What are yours?


  1. He hides his neurosis well.

    Did Itaipú qualify as a clean beach?

    Love the new look of the blog.

  2. He does but also keep into considerations that these are his only neurosis. I think that still puts him in the very mellow category. Far mellower than I am!

    Thanks! Mr. Rant busted his ass this morning on it. I have to say, quite a turn on. I´m always so impressed when someone can easily do something I can´t.

    About Itaipu, he didn´t say. I´ll have to ask him

  3. Ricardo will not get in bed without p.j's and a fresh shower. The shower must be taken before bed, a shower two hours ago does NOT count.

  4. Hypothetically speaking while visiting the US I, on more than one occasion, may or may not have broken the strictly adhered to Never sit on the bed in street clothes policy is possible that I even went to bed without a shower a third strike I wore my pj's all day and even sat on the couch in them! But that may have been a dream and it is probable that I did not in fact commit such lude behavior.

    I can't relate to my friends who complain of their partners less then sweet smelling tendencies. I can't complain. But am I the only one who thought she was a clean girl until a culture she loves turned her into a slob and seriosly messed with her self image in the process?

    You are so right that we all have our "issues". Food safety, cutting boards, sponges and teflon flakes in the Brazilian home can push my buttons like little else. So in our apt... pineapples and chicken never see the same surface and the guest bed is all about lounging in jeans. But don't tell our guests!

    Thanks Again Rachel!

  5. hahahaha, I know what you mean! I thought I was clean before I came here. I really did...

    Thankfully my husband is just as anal about raw chicken and counter tops as I am!

  6. What about needing a nice retail store bag (preferably from a high end store) to carry extra clothes or such? My husband almost divorced me on the spot when I put our beach stuff into a plastic grocery bag to carry!

  7. hey, I am the carioca described... I would like now to confirm all that was said about my neurosis... I have several other ones, for example, always ask the price of something before buying on the beach. I cant remember others right now, so Rachel might be right.

    About Itaipu, sorry Jim, but that qualifies as a dirty beach... if you can see a lot of cigarette buds, crazy stuff made of plastic that look like came from titanic, that means that in that beach the ocean likes to bring all sorts of stuff that came from human waste :) so avoid at all costs and pick one of the other 15 beaches avaiable :)

    I talked to a friend who lives in Niteroi how we had a lovely time in Itaipu and she was like, man, Itaipu, why didnt you go to Camboinhas... so yes, we are pretty stuck up when it come to beaches... picky i would say.

    Hey, about food handling, I only started paying attention about that after doing a course on Food Handling to get a permit in Seattle... funny enough, all those years on my mom just cutting chicken anywhere never got me sick.

    One day I will tell you a little about Rachs neurosis, man, that would be a long post hehehe

    PS. bed sheets are sacred!!!!!!!! Keep those jeans away!

  8. Hysterical! I too thought I was very clean and tidy but my husband puts me to shame. He averages 4 showers a day no matter the season and he will not touch me if he knows I haven't showered in the past 6 hours, juro! Shoes must come off the moment you step in the door, better yet before you even get in. But now I'm a believer, there's so much dog poop smeared around and those manholes for esgato on the street sometimes ooze up...I agree on this point 100%. We must eat at the table with placemats, it is unthinkable to not use placemats. I loved the comment someone said about putting something in a plastic bag to take with you...SO true, don't even think to do this! Or to take a doggie bag from a restaurant, absolutely not! Que vergonha!

  9. Rachel,

    This is a another interesting post that I can relate to...
    My Brazilian husband will not allow me to get in the house when I arrive from a trip, which frequently involves flying on an airplane.
    He will make undress in the garage and walk straight into the shower and just after showering we will hug and kiss.
    Sheets are also sacred ground ( starting to see a trend here...)...
    We never ever walk into the house with shoes on...and clean floors after visitors leave.
    Wash hands every time we touch our dog! Every time and the dog is very clean, a bath once a week.
    Two showers a day, one when you get up and one just before you go to bed...
    Never go to bed without a shower...
    Plus all the kitchen paranoia with the meats and vegetables being cut in it's own specific places...
    Got used to big deal now.
    It is funny and a relief to find out we are not the only crazy anal ones... :)

  10. Thanks to my Carioca's prodding, I now have a pair of indoor only flip flops. If I forget and walk out the door without switching to outdoor flip flops, well the only acceptable solution is to buy a new indoor pair. And I have to have indoor flip flops. I cannot walk on the tile in bare feet. I will catch a cold and die. Bare feet on the tile floor = death. (And socks still require flip flops.)

    A female Brazilian neurosis...the purse on the floor. I was engaged in an unspoken, yet epic battle with my MIL over the location of my purse. I keep on the floor by my night stand. If she was in our room for any reason, I'd return to find my purse moved to the top of the nightstand. Sitting on top of my books, clock, essentially a very inconvenient place to keep my purse. I know the whole "purse on the floor money falls out" thing. Even after I said that doesn't happen to American purses, she still couldn't leave it on the floor. And it's not even her purse. She can't stop herself.

  11. DJ - yeah, many folks share your assessment. I prefer Itaipú for a couple reasons: bus access, full service restaurants, more scenic.

    Water quality varies by season, but you are right that Camboinhas is cleaner more often.

    We definitely have, as you say, "pretty stuck up" beach going friends. LOL.

    Here is a site that tracks water quality on beaches in Rio state.

    Brynn - women are wild about the purse on the floor thing!

  12. My Mother in Law enters into battle with my 4 year old every time we stay at her place. He hates socks. She feels you have to after showers or when it´s cold otherwise, as previously stated, you will die.

  13. You have to love a culture where going barefoot is a significant form of rebellion. Coming from a family where I was not allowed to wear heels or clogs until I could do so without sounding like "a herd of elephants", the indoor flip flop festival took some getting used to. These habits run deep and are sometimes hard for many to resist commenting on. Purses and bare feet are definitely great examples. Anyone get the same reaction to using pepper or vinegar? or possibly cold liquids and hot showers?

  14. My in-laws tried my eggs with pepper. It wasn´t love but they tried it. I did, however, get them addicted to pumpkin pancakes.

  15. I have one no one mentioned: nobody can step with shoes on on the little mat that goes beside my bed. That's exclusively for after shower super clean feet.
    As for the bed sitting, I have to say it's deep within my skin not to do that. Once I had an American friend over and she went horse back riding, came back and sat with those filthy jeans on my PILLOW!!! I wanted to yank her outta there by her hair! Gross, it was only not gross-er than switching pillows with her. Plus she'd put the same fork she was eating with in the pan or wherever else the food was being served at, then stick it in her mouth, then do it all over again. Nobody would eat the meals after she started her routine, so it was everyday a fight to see who was the first to pick the food, before she'd had her saliva all over everything...
    But nothing beats grandmothers with baby grandchildren. That's the paranoia peak, mine would just about dump my kid in alcohol every 2 hrs.
    And for us it's really hard to eat in the US bc EVERYTHING HAS PEPPER IN IT! We don't feed our children pepper, EVER! We hardly eat pepper ourselves...
    Love to hear your POVs though, always!

  16. pre-packaged coconut water is yuck! fresh only please!!

    shower first thing in the morning and just before bed always!

    yes DJ: bed sheets are sacred!!!!!!!!

  17. I have to agree with Mr Rant on that one: No street clothes in the bed!! That´s the rule in my family ;o)