Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brazilian Cuties for your Tuesday

Happy Tuesday to all! Let's let this week fly by with some Brazilian Cuties for your Tuesday!

For your Male Brazilian Cutie we have the cute man Murilo Benício. I think its his kind eyes that get me. 

Your Female cutie is so cute that I almost threw up a little in my mouth. Rachel's Rants introduces Sophie Charlotte. FYI, she is legal people!

Are you Laughing at Me?

The Circle of Moms blog contest is starting to give me a complex. I'm reverting to those fun feelings of High school of why doesn't anyone like me.

And when I was asked to join this contest, I was really excited! I felt noticed. I felt like someone likes me. How lame is that, and yet so very human. I love writing in my blog, so why on Earth does it matter if it gets noticed or loved by anyone else?

Well, because it does. I'm sorry but we are evolved puppy dogs yearning for some sort of positive feedback. And at this point of the race I am sitting with my nose down and my tail between my legs without any reason.

I'm in second, barely, but still that's good. This freaking contest is lasting as long as Sting used to claim his sexual encounters did. It's hard to keep up this kind of pace and I'm doing it. It reminds me of high school  Cross country when I used to imagine running right into a tree mid-race and knocking my ass out. Just let it be over already!

Of course I never did that. I didn't realize that I'd have a blog 13 years later and that it would make such a damn good story. Oh the shortsightedness of teens.

The soft side of the underbelly naked truth of it is that I really wanted to win. I was imagining how cool it would be to have that button on the side of my blog and a little mention on the Circle of Moms site. And now I'm getting a bit poo poo about it. How odd is that, a well meaning blog contest causing me to have sad clown moments all by myself in front of my computer. Pity party for one much.

But I really do have a couple good and embarrassing reasons why people should feel pity and vote for me (in no particular order):

1. I was in the middle school Slam book for having the world's smallest breasts. Sad but it was true. They really were nonexistent.

2. I took my tampon out in the bathroom of the bus during a school trip and everyone in the bus next to ours saw, even though the window was tinted. Awesome.

3. I fell during a track meet. More like I went to jump the high jump, slipped, and slid all the way across the concrete to the other side of the pad on my ass. The school nurse came to pick gravel out of my thigh and lower butt... in the middle of the field.

4. I was in the Miss Coronado pageant with 4 other girls and got fourth.

5. I dropped a soda bottle in the middle of the hall at school and it blew up spraying at least 20 other students and 2 teachers.

6. I wore vests with bodysuits, need I say more?

7. For my first 4 months in Rio, I ordered penises at the bread shop thinking that I was actually saying bread and that the people behind the counter just really like me.

8. One time I accidently pooped my pants a little on the way to work. Hey, I thought it was gas. Anyway, when I got reamed by my boss for being late I told her what happened and that I went home to change. In this case I don't know if this was more embarrassing for her or for me.

9. In the 6th grade I asked my big crush to dance with me at the school dance. They were playing Boys II Men The End of the Road. He said no. I never asked another boy to dance with me at a school dance.

10. I was told by a Proctologist (whom I had to see due to pregnancy complications) that I needed to stop having anal sex. That or at least have less.

And people wonder why I have no shame.

So if admitting to the wet fart does not make me worthy of a blog award, I really don't know what does. Honestly, It feels kind of freeing to relive these 'Laughing at you but not with you moments." And you know what, this time around I laughed at myself too! Got any you want to share?

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Had A Cesarean

I had a Cesarean in Brazil. For anyone who knows the rate of c-sections in this country, that is not a shock. For me, it was the biggest disappointment of my life.

I am naturally very defensive of my doctor's decision. It comes from a place of fear and shame. I have never gotten over the fact that I did not deliver naturally. I will never stop feeling like I missed out.

The fact is, I didn't go into labor. My doctor stripped my membranes, instructed me to have sex, and basically opened the way for me to do anything that may induce labor. Hell, I was at 42 weeks, the baby had dropped, and my cervix was off pouting for some reason.  Still, my doctor never showed any signs that she was planning on a c-section.  Her hospital was different.

You see, while I did give birth in Rio de Janeiro, I gave birth at a public educational hospital that encourage (aka somewhat forces) a natural birth. They want the doctors that they are training to experience the real thing before they fall into the scheduling trend. That and since I wasn't paying, they would have to eat the surgery fee.

But that still doesn't calm the acid inducing thoughts I have when I think of my c-section. It doesn't matter how many doctors, who have to take my medical history for one reason or another, make a side comment of "Oh it was at the Maternidade? So then it must have been necessary."

You know why? Because I was there when a woman was in labor with an estimated 10 lb baby and the doctor loudly asked if there was time for an emergency c-section. Obviously the pathway would be too small.

I can name 3 friends who have given birth to 10 lb babies naturally (without anesthesia.) I'm guessing it wasn't a party in there but the job got done.

That mini-conversation sticks in my head every time I think of how I had my babies. It weighs over me, even though when my doctor commented about LARGE size of my first born's head in the ultra sound and then stated that "Thank goodness you are a big girl. The Vagina will match the baby." In my defense, I think she meant tall, not large.

It makes me wonder about the lack of education natural birth advocates talk about. I never understood it until I had children. No, not because of my birth experience but from arguing with doctors. Standing up for what I feel is best for my children has made me focus in on the fact that doctors are human, and thus can make errors. To err is human or so I have heard.

The point being in all this is to advise all pregnant women to ask questions! Go get a second opinion. Fight for your right for a natural birth! As someone who didn't, I regret it. And it breaks my heart to hear of women who choose to have a cesarean. They choose to make a risk, raise the bar, and add complications.

To those women, if it's the glamour of the vagina, let me tell you something. Come look at my abdomen. Come over and check out my scar. I'll let you feel the bump where they cut the muscle. Trust me, I have 2 boys and this second one was done cosmetically, it does not matter. You'll sit in your bikini, no matter how low it is, and the skin will fold. You have cut the muscle in your stomach for goodness sake. Your Vagina will heal because that is what it is made to do, your abs won't.

Think of it like this. Take a envelope. Cute a line horizontally down the front where someone would write the address. Now open the flap where you insert letters and close it again. Which opening is more obvious?

So go for the gold ladies! If a Vagina can open up for a Brazilian penis, I think a baby will slide out like butter.  Well, we can hope anyway.

Important Information (to Rachel that is)

It may not seem like much to all of you but this is 100% golden information for this girl right here.

You see, I'm freakishly addicted to good candy. Here in Rio that's not always a good thing. You see, Brazilian candy blow serious ass when in competition with American candy. First off, everything is bite sized and secondly, there's no caramel and peanut butter!

Well, there's the one "foreigners" box of candy they sell at Lojas Americanas, but if you're like me you don't want to have to bust out R$8 for an entire mixed box of candy when you are only looking for one thing... the Holy Reeses Peanut Butter Cup.

That and if you buy a whole damn box of candy, you'll eat it all.  World, my ass is only requesting one, thank you very much.

So my husband has showed me the light, or totally corrupted me in yet another way, as I am addicted to a Brazilian substitute of the cup. I tell you this, it's not as creamy but is pretty damn good.

Without further ado, my new cup substitute is the Hershey's Paçoca candy bar. Oh yes, they have taken this Brazilian time honored peanut treat, made it into a bar, and have covered it in chocolate. And you all said that Brazil doesn't have 1st world qualities in it.

So if you want a Reeses, and are open for something close but not quite right, I recommend the Paçoca bar. Let's face it, sometimes as expats you just have to make due with what you got. At least this time it's a damn tasty way to do it!

Have you found a substitute for your favorite candy?

A Brazilian Wedding Weekend!

I went to a beautiful wedding this weekend in Teresopolis. The couple was so excited and in love. They were both sniffing and crying their way through the entire ceremony. It was beautiful.

And even more exciting was the reception that followed. You know when you are driving up to a party and you get a look at the venue and think 'HOLY SHIT! This is going to be a good party!" ? Yeah, I did that and then peed a little, that's how freaking amazing the place looked.

We left our car with the valet and walked in on a carpet of leaves. The entire place was draped with Christmas light (or fairy lights as they call them here), candles, greenery, and all around good taste. Whoever planned this wedding definitely had style (and money).

Our table

Mr. Rant and I managed to get the last table for our group of friends and we spent the first couple of hours drinking, eating, talking and toasting the couple. That's the thing about Brazilians, they really do come to weddings ready to celebrate! They are as happy as a bunch of old women on Valium. They bust out the real meaning of 'to eat, drink, and be merry.'

And that is exactly what we did. Between the 5 couples, we drank whiskey, Caipirvodkas, champagne, Caipirsakes, red wine, and water.

Mr. Rant and I sauntered out of the party at 4am. The Bride and Groom where still going strong and 2 couples out of our original party of 5 stayed behind. I have to say, I was proud that Mr. Rant and I stayed that long! We are a bit out of practice, especially in comparison to our friends. It's nice to know we can still hang with the big boys.

The Groom 

And so I ask you, what would you have drank at this wedding? (Don't even get me started on the food! YUM!)


Please don't forget to vote and spread the news about voting for Rachel's Rantings in Rio for Top Expat Mom Blogger! We have until the 6th of June and you can vote daily! Just press the button below.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hot Brazilians For Your Friday (Saturday)

We traveld to the country yesterday afternoon and I had a total and complete brain fart when it came to my blog. Can you believe I thought it was Thursday?!

So I have come to apologize for denying you your Friday Hotness. Better late than never, right?

Cauã Reymond can deliver me flowers like this any day he'd like.  

And I'm guessing Sabrina Sato dances like this in Mr. Rant's dreams.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm in Love... With my Kindle

I'm in love and it's with my kindle. You know when you look at someone, like a child for instance, and smile because they just make you so happy. I do that with my kindle.

Take yesterday for instance. I was looking on Amazon for phonic books for my preschooler and I stumbled upon one for the kindle. Oh kindle, you sassy little piece of technology. Children's books! Who knew?!

In around 3 key strokes I was the proud owner of a new book in, gasp, English! You do not know how big of a deal this is. For years I've read any hand-me-down books given to me. I would scan street vendors and buy anything, literally anything, they had in English. I even got so low as to read one romance novel.

I often fantasied about reading that new book that was the current talk of the town. Would I go crazy if I could get any book I wanted at a snap of a finger? Once I started with these fantasies I realized that I was officially a desperate book whore.

Thankfully my parents came to my rescue this past Christmas. My Mother insisted that I get one and, as it turns out, she had already purchased my Kindle as my present from them. I was a bit torn. Riding that wannabe book snob wave of 'I'll miss turning pages,' I didn't know if I'd love it.

Well, I'll tell you this now, I was insane. My Kindle is now my 3rd and favorite child. The screen looks like a freaking book page, it automatically saves the page you left off on, and I can buy books impulse shopping style in 2 seconds. It's an expat's best friend! It and Mexican seasoning packets that we bring back with us after visiting home.

And you can take it everywhere! Ok, not everywhere. I do live in Rio de Janeiro and I like to be careful with new technology. Yes, the Kindle is mysterious here, a large part of the population not even quite knowing what it is. Most times you'll just be bombarded with questions but sometimes it's a little more than that. Case in point, Danielle's experience on the beach.

But my little Kindle lover is so light and small that I just carry a bigger bag and no one is the wiser. You and me Kindle, we're going to take over the world!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Folks, We Have a Winner!

Guess what guys, the giveaway is over and we have ourselves a winner. The lucky owner of a new Spóra key ring is a miss Danielle B!! Danielle picked and won the above picture key ring.


Brazilian Things that Make Me Go "Huh?"

In all the time I've lived in Rio de Janeiro there are some things I still do not get. Here's the list:

1. The obsession with babies and socks. It could be 104 degrees but their toes are cold. They've melted off and onto the sidewalk but I'll scoop them up and put them into socks if it makes you happy.

2. The one piece workout suit. Please refer to the above photo. I'm sorry but regardless of the make up and attempt at edgy accessories, the 80s are over and they want their jumpsuit back.

3. Kids at bars. No, not all bars but at some street bars. Personally, I like to drink without the company of preschoolers. Just saying.

4. That cold floors give people colds. Seriously, people say that. It gives them a cold. I thought science existed and thus stopped this kind of madness.

5. How weather changes cause colds. I thought it was pretty well known that viruses cause them. Coincidentally viruses tend to be common around the same time as fall, aka weather changing time. Am I the only one who has heard of science?

6. Coca Cola and toddlers. Why not just give them crack?! And no, the argument that they love it does not fly. How do they know what it is in the first place?! Btw, I had to practically backhand the family to keep the coke away from my boys.

7. Avocado and milk Vitaminas (smoothies). Sure, your avocados are sweet and you add sugar but it's still nasty! I'll take my avocado on a salad thank you very much. You go ahead and think I'm the crazy one.

8. Sleeping over at your adult boyfriend's parent's apartment. Talk about a walk of shame... right into the living room. It's culturally ok and my husband expects me to open the doors for our boys when they are older. FYI, this is a future blog post.

9. The live-in maid. Maybe in a mansion but in my tiny ass apartment that barely fits my collection of American Girls dolls... Did I just say that out loud? Ignore it. I'm lying.

10. Black beans with spaghetti pasta. My boys LOVE it. When they won't eat anything else, they'll eat this. It makes me gag. Oh well, Iron and Carbs...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Full Bush

I was thinking about women's bushes and their styles. You see, there has been a bit of a controversy around the Brazilian wax. Apparently it's giving the vagina a hard time.

Weird right, a Vag hair style being a controversy. Like we don't have enough to worry about in the world. At the same time, the Brazilian wax is a total movement. People who get them do it religiously. Again, weird obsession with pubic hair.

So I started to wonder if it had something to do with partner preference. In this day and age, how would a man react if he pulled down a lady's pants and was time warped into the 1960s? Personally, I bet he'd hit it anyway and then just talk about it to his friends later. Personally, I can't imagine eating out carpet. Not that poonanny is my cup of tea either but it is an even less desirable thought when it includes a mouthful of hair.

And it's not just us ladies. If I pulled down Mr. Rant's pants and found a freaking rain forest, we'd have to talk. My throat does not like to be flossed. Leave the hair but make some room for us to get in there without the fear of getting trapped in a jungle.

So I ask you, how important is pubic hair? Do you have a preference or are you just pleased to be getting some?

Another One Slips Through the Cracks

Photo by: Slices of Time. Amazing stuff! Check it out!

We have a boy that sits near our apartment a least a couple of days of the week. His name is Leandro.

When Mr. Rant first talked to him he still looked fresh faced and somewhat innocent. Leandro never would quite answer Mr. Rant's questions about family or why he was not in school. He must be around 13 years old but is already guarded.

Over time we learned that he has a baby sister and we would pass along the baby clothes the boys had outgrown. We also passed along some of Mr. Rants sweaters to keep him warm in the evening.

And Leandro was always clean and dressed. He usually had something to pull out for a snack in addition to what people gave him. You could see that he had a place somewhere although he never said anything about parents.

Anyway, Leandro has been around more and more and I have seen him chatting with some less then desirable characters. The thing is that drugs are quite common when you live on the streets. Hell, if I had to live on the streets in Rio de Janeiro, I'd probably end up self-medicating as well.

So it broke my heart a little bit when I ran into him in the convenience store the other day. First off, he was not sober nor was he clean.  The workers were watching him and called over the security guard as he was counting his change to see if he had enough to buy a soda. When he got in line behind me I had the cashier scan it, I gave him back, and I told him that I had this one.

While I know they had a right to be cautious, how shitty must he have felt to not even be welcome in a freaking store to buy a soda. Then again, security is a fact of life down here.

My heart broke completely when I saw him this morning. He was slumped by the curb, filthy, and with a smile of contempt for the world. His eyes were glazed and he immediately reminded me of the street kids who attacked my friends.

And yet another child slips through the cracks... I really hope I'm wrong about this one but the odds are with me. 

Brazilian Cuties for your Tuesday

Today we are going to go very local for your Brazilian cuties! These are unknown and real Cariocas. Well, unknown to you and family to me. Yes, my Brother-in-law and his wife Maria are so very cute and stylish that they were stopped one day in Leblon and asked to take a picture for a Rio de Janeiro style site Rio Etc.

 My Brother-in-Law Renato

My Sister-in-Law Maria

Photos by: Rio etc. Check them out to see some of the cool (and also sometimes super random) things Cariocas wear. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cross-Cultural Breastfeeding and The Boob.

Mommy and Son getting a snack together in Brazil

I keep stumbling across articles about mass breastfeeding sit-ins. Women all over the US fighting for their right to breastfeed without discrimination. I find this mind boggling. Never in my experience as a Mother in Rio de Janeiro have I felt discriminated against because of my breastfeeding.

In actuality, I was quite encouraged. Hell, anyone who has seen pictures of the Carnaval parade know that Cariocas aren't afraid of a little boob.

I never even got a sideways glance. Actually, they stared full on. The comfort level was so high that I thought they were going to come and introduce themselves to my girls, give them a high five, and take a picture.

Everyone from the Grandma to the parking guy to the best friend to some random old lady thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world. Whenever my boy was working the boob people felt the need to come and congratulate me. Not only this, they wanted to stroke the nursing baby's head and give him a kiss. Women would actually take a peek to see if he was a good latcher and then congratulate me more.

Honestly, it was a bit much. Then again, support is support even if it's in the form of a nosy cheerleading squad.

When I finally brought my almost 6 month old bundle to the states for a visit I was prepared to be a bit more modest. I knew the population there preferred their breasts size DD and on anorexic actresses as opposed to on a Mother feeding her baby. I even picked up one of those obnoxious blanket things. But it wasn't enough for some people! Even when I would find an isolated area in a food court and cloak my child like a Middle Eastern woman, I still got crap!

It was such a wake up call for me. On one hand a 15 year old girl could be wearing clothes that would make a tranny hooker blush but what I was doing was inappropriate.

I wanted to take me and my breastfeeding baby back to Brazil where he could eat in peace, but that wouldn't have accomplished anything now would it. Instead I breastfed more. I thoroughly pissed off an older woman at a makeup counter in Nordstrom when I stayed in the little seat and let my boy use my boobs in the way God intended them to be.

Regardless of my defiance, it comes down to education. At some point we Americans decided breastfeeding was indecent. Old men can ogle overly-developing teens but Mothers using them to feed their children are just crossing the line.

Where on Earth did we Mothers get the idea that breasts belong in a baby's mouth?! The insanity! Personally, I blame rap music.

The Joys of Bilingual Children

All us Moms end up doing school projects with our kids. It's part of the package, right? Well, mine today was a little different.

You see, my 4 yr old is learning about the ocean and everything in it. He picked 2 sea creatures for us to do research on. Of course he comes back with the Portuguese name and then translates it to English for me. FYI, not always a smooth translation.

That's when we get into verbal charades. It includes a lot of hand movements, some sighs (from both of us), and him drawing pictures to help me out. From there we find the animal (an Anglerfish that the teacher called a Vampire fish). Of course we have to find photos and fun facts. That starts translation number two.

And you know what, I half-assed my kid's project and busted out Google Translate. Well, it's not entirely half-assed but more like I lack under the sea vocabulary. Why we don't talk more about algae and random fish species at dinner parties and playdates is beyond me.

So I throw it in there and then correct the obvious translation mistakes.

In some ways I find the entire process unfair. While other Moms can focus on the artsy fun part, I have to actually worry about context. Does it make sense? Is that really how you say that? Is it only me that finds conjugation of Portuguese verbs cruel and unusual punishment?

Honestly, I doubt the teacher even notices. Who would have the time with a classroom of 16 cracked-out 4 year olds?!

Turns Out I'm an Ass

I did a little more research into my claims last night. Turns out, the Petersons know a pretty popular Youtube personality. But there's more.

They adopted a HIV positive child, speak Mandarin, and are basically perfect people. I write about penis charts. In what fair world are our blogs even allowed to compete!

So the reason why their numbers jumped greatly was because they were basically featured on a youtube channel. And you know what, they totally should be! Good for you guys for getting your blog out there and stepping up in the world of parenting!

I apologize for getting all conspiracy theory on everyone's asses. What can I say, I need to be a little less reactive and a little more proactive. Then again, would Rachel's Rantings be this fun if I was?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Quality of Workers' Care Better in Brazil, study shows

A study finds that Brazilian workers are better taken care of than American workers. Duh! I figured out the same thing when my husband first told me he had a month off work. I wondered if he had quit and was lying to me. That or was sleeping with the boss. Either way, beach trip!

But it turns out that legally working Brazilians do have a right to vacation time, an entire month of it! Not only that, if their job follows the law, the company has to pay them a paycheck and a half that month.

Hi, my name is Rachel and I would like a job in Brazil!

The first example in the Globo was a comparison between the fast food industries. The American McDonalds workers do not get holidays, healthcare, or welfare. That last one was translated and I am not quite sure what they mean by it. I'm guessing that it means they have to eat the food and without healthcare their basic welfare is shot to hell.

But there is some truth to this study. If you have a job where your Brazilian workbook is signed, you have some serious rights! You have a decent maternity leave, vacation time, sick time, sometimes healthcare (although they do have a public one in place), and many other safeguards. You can even get your lunches and transportation to work paid!

I think Reagan just rolled over in his grave.

And while not a perfect system, workers' rights are strong enough that some feel the need to protect themselves from their employees. For example, you can fill out paperwork stating that your home is the only place you have to live. Seems a bit odd, right? Well, if you do not pay your maid correctly she can take you to court. They will assume your assets, including you home, until things have been figured out. Keep in mind that this is in extreme cases but this document will save you from having to vacate your property.

All this comes from the fact that many Brazilian workers have been mistreated for many years. The workers came together, creating unions, and fought for their rights. Hell, they have mandatory extra pay for Sundays! Brazilian workers said "screw you, we don't want to count hours, you give us the day!" And they did.

Regardless, pat on the back to worker unions everywhere! And an extra pinch of the cheek to the Brazilian ones, you guys did good.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hot Brazilians for your Friday!

Going random this Friday! These are some who you may not know already!

  Introducing Evandro Soldati. Well hello Mr. Soldati. Fine evening we are having...

Also introducing Model/Actress Ildi Silva. Sexy and without starvation! 

Reading in Portuguese: I'm still a preschooler

People we have had a breakthrough! I read a children's book in Portuguese and did not sound like I was attempting to speak German with a mouthful of marbles!

I know what some of you are thinking, a children's book?! Hey, it's harder than it looks. Children's books usually rhyme and have to be read out loud. Little known fact about me, I don't like reading out loud. I get performance anxiety and have flashbacks to elementary school.

But I love reading to my kids. They don't judge me, at least not yet. Of course there are the Portuguese books. While our personal collection is principally English, their school sends home a book a week with each child. As the picker upper of the wee ones, I am the one who receives the ever so excited "Please read it now!" requests.

Of course I do it, unless Mr. Rant is present. If he's home I pass the Portuguese along to him with the excuse of it being Daddy's first language, not mine. Funny enough, that's something my children totally get.

Still, the majority of reading time still falls into my lap and I've been schlepping through it like a pro. And it seems to be paying off! I sat down to read "Fome Danada" by Ana Maria Machado e Claudius (hello long name) and didn't stumble once!

I busted out the rhymes and told the story with a great beat, as I believe all Brazilian stories should be told. The little one laughed and pointed and had a ball.

And while simple, it made me feel good. It's the little things that count the most anyway right?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Blog Contest

If you are a reader of my blog, my follower on Twitter, or a fan of my Facebook page (especially this one) you have seen that I am in the running for something.

I was contacted by Circle of Moms and was told that I was nominated as one of the Top 25 Mom expat bloggers. Score!

Here's the thing, it's a popularity contest. Oh they get you every time with those. I used to shy away from these as a teen as I feared rejection. Ok, it was more like I got rejection when I ran so I avoided it! I was a lucky girl, I had great friend but I just didn't sell myself well. I blame awkward height, a clumsy demeanor, and weirdly ranging hormones. Yes, I was a special teen!

But not anymore baby! And I love my blog. There, I said it. I love blogging, I absolutely adore the readers I have, and I think your comments are normally funnier than what I wrote in the first place. That's exactly what I look for in virtual company.

So when you look at that little Circle of Moms button at the top of my page, it's a real and serious thing. It goes until June 6th and you can vote daily. DAILY! Every day with your coffee you can throw your good virtual friend Rachel a line.

What do I get is what most people ask. I was told that "The Top 25 will be featured on one of our most popular pages and exposed through our social media channels." Apparently they have about 6 million active members. That's not light stuff right there.

Basically, I just wanted to let you know why I'm harassing you. There is a reason. I'm not completely crazy... well, it can't be proven anyway.

The link is: Make Rachel a Top Expat Mom Blog! You can vote daily. Once a day with your morning coffee or evening wine or even after your nooner.

And Thank You All for throwing this girl a bone! If you'd like to throw some more I have my jazz hands up and am ready to catch!

One of the Beauties in Being an Expat...

There are many beauties in the lives of us expats.  We get to learn about new cultures, travel, and sometimes learn new languages (yes this is a blessing). One of the unexpected beauties for me came in the form of all the other great expats I would meet. I mean, we are drawn to each other like Mr. Schwarzenegger's hand to an ass! And let's not forget that he's an expat in his own right. 

Take today for instance. This American expat went to the home of a Mexican expat and learned to make real corn tortillas from scratch! Mexico, your secret is out of the bag! And you know what, it's not that hard if you don't count the fact that they don't sell the flour you need in Rio de Janeiro. 

And I had a blast! Good company, fun activity, and it ended with a damn good snack. Throw in the adorable baby cheering us on and you have got yourself a great afternoon away from the kids... mine anyway. 

The thing is, we expats kind of end up sticking together. There's a comradery there because of our similar situations. We are all far from home, we are learning about the same new culture/lifestyle, and we can speak to each other in English (or whatever language is your preference)!

It's a part of expat life that I've only just started exploring in the past couple of years or so. And I love the random mix of friends from different places, backgrounds, and lifestyles. At the same time, I think I'm making some friendships that will last a lifetime.

I know I'm getting corny. Don't feel bad for getting nauseous, I just threw up in my mouth a bit too. 

But the point is, I like this part of life here. It's fun to know and meet a new group of people.

By the way, you get total brownie points if Mexican food is involved! 

Does Penis Size Correlate with Country Happiness?

So I read in an old Forbes article that Brazil is the world's 12th happiest country! I am not surprised to say the least.

First off, beer flows like water here. We all know the alcohol is a great mask for depression. Secondly, sex is widely accepted even though everyone is very Catholic. I do believe that priests have a lot of confessions to get through each day, which probably makes them just as happy as sex does the rest of us.

But I think that one needs to look at this study a bit closer.  I feel that something has not been accounted for and I would like you to refer to the penis chart.

I first introduced this chart in an old post of mine and it seemed to give yet another variable in the question of happiness and what we need in life.

Now while Brazil's level in the penis chart more or less coincides with it's level in world happiness, I am finding some discrepancies with the other countries.

I will accept Denmark at 6inches and with their stable economy. The two together do make for a happy population. Netherlands at a rousing 6.2 and Coasta Rica at an innocent 5.9, with their lovely countryside and beaches (respectively), are totally understandable.

But just look at Finland's sad 5.4 and take into account the amount of snow in the winter! There's also the less than ideal 5.5 of New Zealand and Canada. I know I'm nitpicking here people but we are comparing against Brazil's 6.3inches, sunshine, and samba.

And it should be noted that it is impossible to check the African countries listed last on Forbe's list as they are not on the penis chart. Personally, I believe that either the number of inches didn't fit into the tiny box or they didn't want to make the other penises feel bad.

I will say though that Turkmenistan is listed as the 18th World's happiest country and 5.3inches in the World's length. You have to wonder who got paid off for that one.

It also shouldn't be ignored that, at 19, United Arab Emirates have refused to even partake in the length debate, but because they run the world I will say it's for the same reasons as Africa (if by same I mean opposite).

Honestly, I'm a little disappointed in Gallup World Poll. If Rachel's Rantings in Rio can find such an obvious mistake in research, there is some serious lack in hustle there. Or maybe we are just looking at different qualities.

You tell me, which matters more in life: the motion of the economy or the size of the country?

Don't forget to vote for me as your favorite expat Mom! Ok, maybe I'm not your favorite but you still like me and get a laugh at my expense. Totally worth a vote!

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Love you too!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The House that Hoarders Built

The beauty of apartment hunting in Rio de Janeiro is the x factor. There is a BIG x factor in this city!

Take today for instance. I randomly saw an adorable house for sale in Santa Teresa. The price was very reasonable and the pictures were beautiful. I started dreaming about leaving apartment life and moving to a chic place in the artist/thieving district.

So it came as a surprise when I arrived at the home to discover that it had been split into two home and I was seeing the other one. Oh was it the other one alright!

To make matters even more pleasant, it is also the home of hoarders! No, I'm not exaggerating here. We're talking serious hoarding. Yes, paths were made through the crap and one room could not even be entered.

I have always known that there is a big potential for great hoarders in this country. Whatever is not thrown out the window is usually saved. Brazilians fix things, at least the older ones do, and save things that could possibly have later use. Obviously this is paradise for those who take saving to the next level of mentally questionable.

And while I attempt not to judge but only mock the crazy, this crossed the line. I don't care if you save a sample from every stool, I just don't want to visit your apartment while you are doing so.

That is why I am here to ask the hoarders of Rio de Janeiro to give a girl a warning. Put up a note like do not throw away the trash, we like to save it. Or hand out a pair of booties to put over my shoes before I walk in. I have no problem with you wanting to sell your place. I do, however, have a problem walking through a home that would make a dumpsite feel inadequate.

On an ironic side note, the garage was clean and empty! 

Wordless Wednesday: My Favorite Juices

We have a lot of random fresh juice mixes here in Rio de Janeiro. I love them and here are my favorites!

Beat, Carrot, and Orange juice

Papaya and Orange juice

Pineapple and mint 

What are your favorites?