Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cara de Pau!

I'm starting to think my waxer is mocking me. 

I went to the salon to get my feet demasculated, when I decided I should just get my legs waxed too. Nothing turns on a husband more than a painted and de-haired woman.

My waxer, being the gem she is, was available.  Of course I'm a glutton for punishment and started up the chit chat. I really shouldn't be allowed to chit chat. 

Push came to shove and it came out that I'm an English teacher by profession. Shocker, she's taking a course and has one questions. Just one!

Sure I'll take a look at it. No problem. 

Post wax and 10 minutes of free English class later, I'm doing her homework!  As we would say in Brazil 'Cara de Pau!'. I think it sounds so much better in English: Penis Face!  I'm so mature, I know.

Anyway, I really did attempt to teach her as opposed to doing her homework but she wouldn't have it.  I would start to explain, in Portuguese, and she would push the whole 'but what would I write?'.  For starters, it's against all the 3 beliefs I have to teach English in Portuguese.  Secondly, she isn't my student. I withheld my, 'you are only hurting yourself' speech because it is directly followed by the 'you are not paying me to speak to you in Portuguese' speech. She wasn't paying me at all!  Actually, I paid her to rip my hair out and cause me pain only to give her a free mini-class. 

Really, it's not a big deal. I didn't mind.  But when she pulled a second worksheet out of the chapter I had already helped her finish, I said enough! I promptly did the worksheet with little explanation. Yes, I'm a wuss. So what. She got her homework and I kept my tip. Oh yeah, I kept my R$5 as payment.  She actually sat there and waited in an awkward silence, giving me that where's the extra look. 

I do not feel awkward that easily. If I did, I'd be living in a closet at this point in my life. When it hit me what she was waiting for, I gave a little wave and went about my ex-pat way.

Nothing in life is free. Not English class and not even a paid wax.


  1. haha that shirt is perfect!

    Reminds me of the people who ask me to do a "correction" of their English texts (because corrections are cheaper than translations) and then say "oh there are just a few phrases that I didn't know how to say... can you just translate them?" and then it's like half the text. The nerve!

  2. Rachel,
    I believe the best translation would be "Wood Face", "Stick face" since historically the phrase goes back to colonial times when saints were carved in wood (their faces smiling or on "brotherly" mode ON). The priest would ask for something(money, favor) and use the "wooden saint" as an excuse "you don't want to desapoint Sao Jose', do you?".
    A "sincere face" asking for an "unfair trade". That's why people are called "Cara de pau" (you wood face!) Beeing.
    - you little "cheeky/shameless"...
    This is related to another phrase you probably have heard "Santo do pau oco" (empty wooden saint).
    Pau also means "Wood/Wooden stick"

    Not trying to be a smart*ss with you, I do like your blog and read it regularly (My Girlfriend loves it!). But most popular Portuguese phrases/expressions are tied to the colonial times and have a nice historical background... It's a pity that many Brazilians don't care about their own linguistic history, :(

    I Enjoyed your entree this one and all I that I have read! Keep up the good work! Don't take me as being negative on you, just some curious facts ;)

    Take care...

  3. Thanks for the correction Gladius. I did see that when I searched the word. I usually do some research on most things before I post. I did remember that there's a more common meaning. Pao and Pau, got to love how Portuguese likes to mess with foreigners! Could they make things more similar???

  4. Fyi, please feel free to correct me! I'm all about growth and learning! And thanks for reading!

  5. And what about the fact that everything have a sex? 'nuvem' (cloud) is female, but 'céu' (sky) is male. So 'A nuvem', 'O céu'. Toss in verbal conjugation and contextual compressions, and you're in for loads of linguistic fun!

  6. ok, I'm brazilian and I didn't even know that story of the saint and stuff oO hahahaha I just found this blog and loved it.. I like when people talk about my country =) I love it here! and yes, portuguese is very hard, unlike english, compared to portuguese is actually easy, kind of.. Where are you from btw?