Friday, September 30, 2011

Hot Brazilians for your Friday

In honor of Rock in Rio I am exposing you to Brazilian Hotness in the Music Industry:

Meet Filipe Galvão or, as known on stage as, Fiuk. This guy has that look that says "Sure I slept with your best friend and smoked all your cigarettes but I wrote a song about you." Btw, you end up forgiving him at least 3 times because... goodness knows why but you do.

This is Priscilla Novaes Leone, or Pitty as known by her public. Pitty actually played or is playing at Rock in Rio this year! I see her as that woman who could bitch slap a hot dude who hit on her and then make out with him immediately afterward. She could totally pull that badass move off. This one is a real woman! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Please Stranger, Give me Candy!

I think she looks shady 

If you are a child or have a child and were in Rio de Janeiro on the 27th of September you may have been offered bags of candy from a stranger.

The first time this happened to me I thought the woman was joking. Really, I'm going to take a paper baggie of homemade (and thus unwrapped) candy from some strange lady giving them away at the park. Sure, that sounds like a really smart plan.

As it turns out it's another one of those fabulous cultural differences/traditions. You see, the are some random Saints called São Cosme and São Damião. Since Americans are like the worst Catholics ever, I think we missed the memo on these guys. They are the Saints of children. As the story goes, they were fabulously good people when alive (as most saints are) and after death they would materialize to help children who were victims of violence or illness. By the way, they were also doctors and obviously wonderfully good at multitasking.

Anyway, so Cariocas give out homemade candies to children in honor of these two saints. It's also said that people pray and make deals with these two, promising that if they heal a certain sick child the family member will give out x number of bags. I have also heard it said that some people put a Macumba (bad spell from the religion of Candomblé) on the bags as to pass the illness of the one child onto the children who accept the goodies.

Personally, regardless of all said above, I just think it is weird to take candy from strangers. I suppose all those after school specials in the US hit home for me. I'm sorry but I don't care if it is some sweet old lady giving them out. Sweet, old or whatever you can still be twisted.

I know what Brazilians would say to this. They'd say "But we aren't like you. We don't hurt children! Who would put bad stuff in candy and hand it out!?"

I don't know but I do remember the urban legend that circulated Halloween of 1986. My Mother confiscated any candy that looked like it was looked at.  My bag of booty turned into a big old bag of sad! I think that may have traumatized me to this day and now I will never look at bags of candy the same again.

So you tell me, would you take candy from a stranger in the name of a Saint? 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Starbucks Takes Down Another Country

I really never thought Starbucks would flourish in Brazil. I imagined Brazilians, on having their first sip of our watered down goodness, would throw their full cups in disgust. I mean really, their coffee and our coffee are like apples and broccoli.

Although I did get the fact that Brazilians like to buy American stuff. I think I could sell fake joke vomit like crazy if I just made it "American." Hate to break it to you but we Americans like to buy crap, and a lot of it. We also enjoy paying inflated prices. Go figure.

But I think I was missing the big picture. Starbucks also makes those big fru fru girly drinks like the Frappuccino (yes guys, it is a girl drink). Mochas, lattes, and all that stuff must be what are bringing the Brazilians in. While getting more common, they still aren't everywhere. It's a total habit forming novelty.

It also figures that they'd finally get themselves down here after I've already broken my Venti house coffee habit. Now I drink my cafezinho with a bit of milk. As Mr. Rant calls it "American Style"

Wordless Wednesday: Walt Disney in Rio de Janeiro

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

People People

They will talk to just about anyone...

Brazilians are people people. You talk to everyone, kiss far more cheeks than us North Americans are comfortable with, and wave to strangers. It's just the culture.

The other day I went out with the kids, who were in full costume of course. Being a Saturday in which Flamengo was playing, the bar next to our place was already full of Flamengistas drinking. Upon seeing two mini Captain Americans we were surrounded by the beer-ed up soccer fans.

The American in me would have screamed "STRANGERS" and ran. Ok, maybe not so dramatic but you get the point.

The Brazilian I have been molded into took it all in stride. My boys went around shaking hands and talked about their cool costumes. The men showered them with compliments of how cool they look and how good it is that Rio has superheros walking around keeping everyone safe. The smiles were contagious.

And that is just how it is here. Brazilians are ridiculously social and open people. Jim at Qualidade da Vida was talking about just that the other day. I have to say, I'm glad my kids are growing up that way.

You see, while not all things are created equal in this country (the understatement of the year), Cariocas have a way of treating just about all people like people. Seriously. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the Grandma caregivers stop and introduce their Grandkids to the neighorhood bum. It goes something like "This is so-and-so. He lives on our street. Make sure you say hello to him when you pass." Bum or not, he's a person too.

At the same time my kids are being taught, by me, to be careful with other people, to not wonder too far from Mom when out, and to general keep their eyes open. Rio de Janeiro is not an innocent place and there are bad people in the world. Kids do need to know that. Of course, they don't need to be afraid of people, life, or everyone new.

It's all about balance. Personally, I like my balance with a little more chit chats and smiles. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Standoff

Last night I had the standoff of my year. It was between me and the Grandmother of Mr. Rant, the Great-Grandmother of the Chatterbox.

You see, she steals goodie bags. I guess you can't say she steals them but actually takes them to give them to other random children like her maid's kids and such.

It really is a cultural thing. All Brazilians have this idea that they are entitled to a goodie bag if they should even know of a child around the age of the birthday boy. This is normally ok but I am that weird Mother who takes her kid's goodie bags way too seriously. No crap, nothing that doesn't even work when you take it out, and definitely not all candy.

This year my parents were rock stars and mailed a box of US goodies you just can't find here. We're talking sticky hands, flyers, and finger flashlights among other things. So when I managed to only make 48 goodie bags, and at least 40 kids were definitely showing up, I knew I'd have to take the Monarch down.

It's not as easy as it sounds. Trust me! When your child's Brazilian Great-Grandmother makes a request, you do not say no! For example, when she makes an effort to bring you a cup canjica she sweetly made for the party, even though it really doesn't go with your beer and hot dog, you eat it. It's just how things roll.

So when she came up and requested a couple of goodie bags I had to hold my ground. Honestly, I had to picture crying children and Mr. Rant scolding me for not being more prepared. I told her "Sorry Grandma but there may not be enough bags. More people came than expected but if any are left over I will bring them over to your place on Monday."

Of course she replied "oh but only 2. For sure 2 is ok."

"Sorry Grandma, I can't. I don't know if we have enough. I promise you will be the first to know if any are left over though!"

A short time later I finally got to leave my goodie bag post as people were not hovering over me like happy cake fed vultures.

The moment I left the table I turned back. Call it instinct, call it knowing better, call it life experience. There circling the good bag box was the Great-Grandma. She was slow, smooth, and innocent but I knew better.

When I sauntered up to the table I got the famous granny 'You may have caught me but I'm too damn cute for you to say anything grin' and she shuffled away. This much sass from an 87 yr old. I would love to have seen her at 20!

By the way, I had the perfect number of gift bags! 48 bags to 48 kids exactly! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brazil 'Ketchup' Murder Tail

This is the only proof I need to show that White Trash is not just an American trait! Awesome and Hilarious! 

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Fuzzie Moments

I had a moment when I was standing with my boys at the cake table last night at Chatterbox's birthday party. We were waiting for Mr. Rant to finish rounding people up and sending them over so we could sing "Parabens" (Happy Birthday) in full Brazilian style.

I stood there looking at all the faces and cameras. I thought of all the good madness of the couple hours before. I then looked at the row of excited kid faces at the front of the cake table. Both my boys were standing there sweaty, exhausted, covered in sugar of all kind, and happier than hell. 

This is exactly the type of childhood I wanted for my children and I didn't even know it. I felt so lucky to surrounded by awesome people all there to celebrate my son's life, as well as eat some of the DAMN GOOD food we were serving. 

So when the singing started and the smiles broadened, I was on cloud nine. That's when more warm fuzzies hit. Once the Portuguese singing stopped a goof friend's super cool husband (who earned total brownie points) starting singing Happy Birthday in English! And since it is pretty much the most uninspired and simple song in the history of the universe, everyone there knew it too. The entire group, foreigners and a hell of a lot of Brazilians sang Happy Birthday to my little man in his other language. 

I suppose my little man can have it all after all! 


This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
Link up your post below.
Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hot Brazilians For Your Friday

This, my dear friends, is William Prazeres. That's basically all I know about him and I'm strangely ok with that. The picture is pleasing enough.

Meet Paolla Rahmaier. She needs to eat like 3 sandwiches, a  pound of fries, and a snack pack but I'm still pretty sure most of you would still do her. 

5 Years Ago Today...

5 Years Ago Today My Life Changed:

He came out of me screaming like a 60 yr old drunk and slightly overweight Irish man. Momma was proud.

He was a late talking and I was concerned. Of course he did eventually start and never ever ever stopped, ie. the nickname Chatterbox. He obviously gets this from his Father.

He is a great partner in crime, often inspiring the crime itself.

He is a total suck up when it comes to teachers and such but I swear it is in an endearing way. That or as his Mother I just can't see it. Hmmmm, what would Freud say will come of this dynamic? Maybe...

"A man who has been the indisputable favorite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror. "
Sigmund Freud (FYI, Totally NOT a Freud fan)

You should also know that he is obsessed with Fusilli pasta and not surprisingly has requested it as his birthday breakfast. 

Honestly, I could go on and on about this little man. I find him so unique and wonderful, even when he is being a total pain in the ass (he also gets that from his Father, I swear). My life changed dramatically when he entered into this world and 5 years later he is still one of the two best things I have ever done! 

Happy Birthday Chatterbox! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Brazilian men: Hot or Just Charming?

I ran across an old friend on Facebook the other day. This old friend comes out in my stories as being absolutely gorgeous. Seriously, I still remember thinking, every time I saw him, that he was gorgeous. Of course, the Facebook photos tell a different story.

Don't get me wrong, he's a good looking guy. The thing is, Facebook only provides the image. No charm is involved. That got me thinking, how much of Brazilian hotness is due to personality?

Honestly, Brazilian men are freaking charming! They are smoother than butter. They are smoother than a male swimmer's legs! Hell, there's a Carioca rule that if you are into the girl you try to kiss her within the first 5 minutes. You miss that window and it's all downhill from there.

Some foreigner girlfriends and I were discussing just this last week. We are all from different countries and have had experience with men from different countries as well as Brazilians. The consensus was that Brazilian men have a smoothness that we foreigners have not seen anywhere else. One minute they come to say hello, the next minute you are kissing, and the next minute you are buck naked and having sex on their dining room floor. Alright, maybe their Mother's dining room floor as a shockingly large amount of Brazilian men live at home for far too long. Whole different blog post.

It made me stop for a minute and just look at Mr. Rant. Thank goodness we have been married for almost 8 yrs now and he wastes hardly any of that charm on me at this point. (Isn't it nice how I turned that into a positive?)  Anyway, I can say that I do find him very attractive. He's hot! Phew!

None-the-less I really couldn't keep my hands off him when we met... and for like 3 years afterward. After a night with him you'd think he had created the bra hook with the ease in which he got that bad boy off!

Let's also not forget how well he handled my awkward ways. When we met he was sexy and smooth and I would say something lame. He continued to be sexy and smooth and then I would be awkward and sarcastic. There was no stopping the smooth people... and obviously it worked.

Fast forward and I married the guy. Personally, I'd like to act as if that compliments me because I caught this charming man. But let us be honest, I am living in Brazil and have learned Portuguese. The force in him is strong my friend.

If I had to compare the Brazilian charm to anything I would say it is like a top shelf tequila. It slides down so smooth you almost think you aren't drinking alcohol at all. Of course 2 or 3 sips in you are practically bar girl putty in their hands. Be warned ladies!

FYI, you can grow a tolerance to it just like tequila, and that is a good thing!

So what is more important to you, charm or beauty? Do you find Brazilians particularly charming or is it just me? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Zona Sul vs Barra

Barra vs Zona Sul is an argument right up there with Flamengo against any other Rio de Janeiro team. What We Did in Rio reminded me of this debate. Let me rephrase that to be less politically correct, this non-debate.

I am full on pro Zona Sul. Sure I've teased myself with apartment and house ads from over there in the boonies. I've even been to some AMAZING homes of friends that are surprisingly affordable in comparison to my zone. The problem? They are in Barra! 

For those of you who don't know, Barra is not in Rio de Janeiro. Not for me anyway. There was a time when the city of Rio de Janeiro actually wanted to make Barra it's own city like Niteroi. Of course Barra didn't want that. For me it might as well be another country.

Actually, let's just call Barra Little USA for the sake of argument. For starters people don't walk anywhere. Seriously, I walked on the wild side once and insisted on walking in Barra. I was alone in that decision. Secondly, they have a statue of liberty and a Hard Rock Cafe. Thirdly... I don't want to live there? 

To be fair, it is just a different kind of lifestyle, one that foreigners may feel more comfortable in. It's like being a  coffee or tea person. Both are types of breakfast beverages but show a very different taste in morning. 

Personally, I like my morning strong and in my face. You can't miss the smell, attitude, nor wake up call from my coffee. Barra-ists prefer the more watered-down, slow wake up lifestyle of a good tea. They prefer their morning to slowly seep into existence. There is no attitude, it all looks the same, and it takes FOREVER to get there... the tea... I mean... Screw it, Barra is far people. 

While I enjoy that occasionally, I figure if I am going to live in Rio de Janeiro I might as well actually live in the heart of it.

Let the debate begin! Why do you live in Zona Sul, Barra, or Other?

*Thanks again to What we did in Rio for inspiring my post! You should go check them out!*

Warning: Strong Images

The Bonde accident shook Rio de Janeiro to the core. This morning a friend of mine posted a link to a Youtube video her friend took right after the accident. It is the only video of its kind. Be warned that there are some strong images (to say the least).

Notice all the bystanders helping...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Portuguese: The Language of the Future

Mont Corcovado Pictures, Images and Photos

Now that Brazil is the new black, everyone, including your Mother, is talking about it. Hell, people have even started to figure out that Brazilians don’t speak Spanish! Good for you!

Anyway, I am bringing you a post by some people who not only know that Spanish is not Brazil’s native language but they can also TEACH you Portuguese! Whoo Hooo! Anyway, without further ado, I am going to subject you to a little sponsored post. Give them chance, they have something interesting to say:

There are many reasons to learn Portuguese

            Portuguese as a second language is gaining more and more ground against other languages, which explains why everyday more students travel to take Portuguese lessons in Sao Paulo. They also study at the place they live, but there is a new trend that consists in travelling and studying a second tongue at the place it is spoken. Portuguese as a second language is gaining significant ground against other languages. While studying in the city where you live has been common practice, travelling and studying a second tongue at the place where it is spoken is becoming the new trend. Every day more and more students are arriving in São Paulo to study Portuguese.

But why are people choosing Portuguese? This is a question that simply arises given that not many years ago this language went unnoticed to many people. Well, the truth is that there are many reasons as to why people believe that learning Portuguese is beneficial.
To begin with, the Portuguese speaking country of Brazil has been experiencing a dramatic economic growth lately. According to the experts, Brazil’s economy increased 7.5 percent in 2010. Brazil experienced the highest GDP expansion registered since 1986, attributing the high growth rate to the increase of domestic demands in the country. Brazil’s local industry expanded 10.1 percent in 2010. Besides that, Brazil had the third highest expansion as regards GDP, after China and India. This explains why so many companies and investors are trying to do business with Brazil.

No one can afford not to get involved with an industry with such huge development. Nowadays, many companies are hiring either Portuguese speaking employees or Portuguese teachers who can teach the language to their workers.
However, Portuguese is not only about business. There is something else encouraging people to learn this language which might result in more fun: travelling. Brazil is one of the favorite destinations worldwide. There is just a unique atmosphere that can’t be explained with words, you have to feel it yourself.

What can be said about this is that Brazil is a perfect destination for a vacation, whether you travel with friends, with your partner, family, etc. There’s something very romantic about the weather, music, dance, etc.  that everyone can enjoy. Brazilian people are friendly and always in a good mood. The good thing about this is that their joy is contagious! Just speak with a Brazilian and you’ll start smiling, which explains why we think that every country should have at least a little bit of Brazil. In order to do so, many people take Portuguese lessons in Rio de Janeiro, where the Brazilian Carnival celebration takes place every year.
This article gives you a few great reasons to learn Portuguese. Can you think of more?

** For More info on Portuguese for Foreigners check out this site: Language Trainers

Life is About the Little Things

I know people have an opinion or a thousand about Brazil. There's the whole thing about how politicians steal money and nothing works right. Sure, there really is a lot of bullshit happening. I agree with that completely.

Of course there's also the good stuff. Brazilians have got the small stuff down! Take today, it's a gorgeous day. The kids and I went to the park. We swung by Hortifruti (the fruits and vegetable store) and bought 8 oranges, half a perfectly ripe pineapple, 2 Haas avocados, a decent slice of watermelon, and two perfect papayas. The best part, all that cost me and economical R$12.36 ($7.19).

Ok, that's not really the best part. The best part was chopping up that bad boy of a pineapple pictured above and eating half of it as my late morning snack.

Seriously, the way to my heart is through pineapples! Or pizza.... or sushi... or meat... quite possibly wine as well... We're getting off the subject here.

What's one of your favorite little things about where you are at?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: SOLD!

I'm off to sign papers for my apartment. Yes people, it has been sold. Not only am I going to go sign them, I am going alone! At first it was just a big inconvenience. I was put out by doing serious stuff on Sunday. Hell, I live in Rio de Janeiro! We don't do anything but drink beer and eat meat on Sunday.

That was when my husband tried to get me out of it by saying I was nervous. I got super annoyed! I told him to not tell them that! I mean, what the hell?! They already only want to talk to the penis of the house, I'm totally screwed now. Then he pointed out that I should be nervous.


Apparently I'm not just swinging by to sign a thing saying we will sell to them. No no, I am signing the documents selling the apartment. They are full legal documents with numbers and legal words and is in Portuguese.

That does slide me over to the nervous side a bit...

Of course I will bring the contract back for Mr. Rant to sign. Double of course is the fact that they understood that Mr. Rant couldn't come because the Botafogo vs Flamengo is on at that time... right now actually.

Crap, I'm already late! Hell, I live in Rio de Janeiro and it's Sunday...


This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
Link up your post below.
Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Hot Brazilians for Your Friday

Everyone should know Lea T by now but just in case here she is in all her glory! Ms. T is a transsexual model who is paving the way for equality all while looking good.  Here's a link to Lea T's interview with Oprah:

Meet Luiz Melodia. He is a well known composer and singer of MPB (Musica Popular Brasiliera, Brazilian Popular Music). While I will go out on a limb and say I am not a big fan of MPB, I'm thinking if Luiz started singing to me I'd have to reconsider.

Here's a video of him just so you can get an idea:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Will You Be Taking the Sink Too?

I'm getting real estate in Brazil down! I have learned the tricks of the trade and I am here to share them with you.

1. Even if it's attached to the wall it may disappear with their sofa. That whole rule that we have in the states that anything attached stays does not apply here. Light fixtures, kitchen cabinets, and toilet seat covers could all go, among other things.

2. Visit on a rainy day. Windows leak here. Hell, this country is so unprepared for rain that it's shocking. You'd almost think it was a desert state and rain was rare because when rain pours in this tropical world things flood and leak.

3. Look at the garage. Always look at the garage! Some of them, especially the fabulous older buildings with high ceilings, have garages like dungeons. Yes, the above mention leaks drip right onto your car.

4. If you really like the place, go visit 3 different times. One time in the morning, one day when it's raining, and one time in the evening during high traffic. This will give you a hint at how much noise, traffic, and sun you'll be getting in respect to your apartment.

5. Be blunt. Are there kids running around the common areas all hours of the night? Would you leave your keys with the doorman? Why are you selling your apartment? Is this black spot mold or some kind of alternative art?

6. Bring in a plumber and electrician. Make sure you know them. Have them look at everything they can. Most likely you'll have to do some kind of work but at least this way you'll have an idea as to how much.

7. Check the paperwork and do not believe the Realtor when they say it is perfect. Realtors seem to have a different definition of perfection in that it means almost perfect. Save yourself the drama of arguing during the paperwork process and check them out yourself! You just need a couple of numbers and you can look online. (I don't have the link right now. Anyone know it?)

8. Ask about building maintenance. Have they been updating things like the pipes etc? If not you have a good chance at dealing with construction and extra condo fees.

9. Count outlets! There's a lot of info entering your head when you are looking at a place but I have come to realize that outlets are bitch in this country! You will go to apartments that only have 1 in the living room for goodness sake. FYI, if you aren't planning on breaking wall, putting in a couple more is a bit of a pain in the toosh. Count them!

10. Ask: Has the building changed to natural gas? Has the electrical system been updated to the new one? And the most important, for internet people like myself, which internet companies work here?

There are many many more tips but this is a basic outline. You have to be hardcore, ADD proactive with apartments in this country! Look, think about it, and go back. If it is too good to be true then maybe it needs a second look or buy it now before someone else does. It's a crazy real estate world down here. Be prepared!

What would you add?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Brazilians and Sex

A Facebook friend shared a very humorous link talking about "The Top 50 Mistakes Women Make While Having Sex." Being that I blog about living in Brazil, I'm going to Brazilianize some of these thank you very much.

#1 was a personal favorite: Assume he can get a raging hard on when it suits you. 

I don't know about you but I find that the Brazilian man usually has a hard on, even when it doesn't suit you. These guys have horny down like a bad crack habit. Although I do agree that you can not expect it to just jump up to salute you, unless you are Juliana Paes that is.

#13 has a good message: Allowing your Crotch to resemble the Amazon.

I get where they are going with the Amazon reference although Brazilian women are known for their highly kept up nether regions. Seriously, you let that stuff grow in a bit and your waxing lady tells you off!

#14 is awesome: Assuming that sex means a relationship. They continued to say: "The only relationship you have is that he now has stuck his hoo-hoo dilly in your cha-cha."

I think both sides understand this down here. As I have said before, there is a decent amount of inter-sexing, at least in Rio de Janeiro. I believe there is an understanding that sex does not translate into meeting the very large extended family. At the same time, I have heard that Carioca women wait longer to have sex with Carioca men than they do with foreigners. Things that make you go hmmmmm.

#19 is also one that we have down in Rio: Refusing to be Spontaneous ie. sex outside of the bedroom.

Yeah, people are practically having sex on the streets. Yes, slight exaggeration but when making out like you are dying does happen at 9am on the subway, you feel that way. I think spontaneous sex is happening in Rio as you read this blog post. What was that? I think someone just got pregnant...

#20 I have to mention just because of personal preference: Do not diss the quickie!

People, quickies are the fast food that can supply an orgasm and not make you obese. Go for it! I couldn't see any Brazilian man turning down the quickie. Let me rephrase that, I couldn't see any Brazilian man turn down just about any form of sex, no offense. Also, I think the women here are more open to it. There seems to be an understanding that sex is healthy and good.

#45 may touch home for Brazilian men: "Anything that involves inserting anything into his body that he has not specifically approved beforehand."

I find that one particularly amusing because I have a very close friend who insists that all men LOVE the shocker (look it up on your own if you have to) and that you do it without asking. Of course they'll say no but they say yes when you do it. Sounds like date rape to me. I can't see such a machismo population liking things slid up their toosh but then again you never know.

Anyway, the entire article is hilarious and you should take a look at it. Ladies, in my opinion the points are very true and some of them fall under "learn to live by."

Check it out: The Top 50 Mistakes Women Make While Having Sex

Wordless Wednesday: Cake

Happy Birthday to Me!

Classy from a young age

Since it is my birthday I thought I would make this blog post totally 100% about me. It is my birthday after all.

So here you go!

Things you didn't know about me:

15. I like to call men's underwear panties.

14. I'd move to Europe in a minute if we could.

13. One of my favorite places in Brazil is Buzios.

12. I would so get a boob job if anesthesia didn't scare the crap out of me.

11. I hate whistling. If you want to annoy me, you now know how to do it.

10. I can play a mean game of Super Trump (super trunfo in Portuguese)

9. I have an endlessly empty stomach, especially for junk food. You should see me at Brazilian children's bday parties. This will bite me in the ass eventually.

8. I LOVE cottage cheese. Love it, would roll in it, and would eat it daily (with celery salt of course).

7. I hate celebrating my birthday with a big birthday party. Makes me weirdly uncomfortable. I like to keep the day low key.

6. I was once told by a tattoo artist that I have perfect skin for tattoos.

5. With both of my children, my left armpit smelled seriously rank at the beginning of my pregnancy. It was actually why I suspected my second pregnancy.

4. I have a weird thing about picking at my nails. I can't help it. I'm super fidgety and they get the brunt of it.

3. My brothers' nickname for me as a kid was Poop.

2. I hate bugs. Love the outdoors but hate the bugs that come with them. By the way, the bugs in Rio are on crack! Not fun.

1. I  have to sleep with one foot out from under the blanket. Oh, and no socks! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

R$300,000 Plus Your Wife

Negotiations in other countries can be different from what you are used to. Take Rio de Janeiro for example, it's totally Kosher for someone to ask you to throw in your car.

I heard about someone who made an offer on an apartment and the people basically accepted it on one condition: they wanted their car. Seriously!

So now that I am selling my place, I am wondering how far this negotiation strategy can stretch. Such as, would it be inappropriate to accept someone's offer as long as they include 200 hrs of free babysitting? Or what if you wanted to purchase someone's place but their price was higher than you think the apartment is worth. Would it be ok to request ownership of their dog to make up the difference? Lastly, is it immature to demand their left flip flop just to see if they'd do it?

If you think about it, things could get pretty indecent proposal on you in these situations. Say you just don't have the last R$30,000 but your wife is pretty damn cute and just got a new rack (reason why you don't have the money in the first place). Is it tacky to offer her up or are you just getting your money's worth out of the new hardware?

That's why I personally prefer to play it clean. I'm very much a 'do you have the money because I have the stuff ' kind of girl. I mean, buying shoes here is a paperwork nightmare. Could you imagine buying an apartment, giving away your car, and offering up your wife?! That is going to kill you in lawyer fees!

Though I have to say that I am a bit offended with our negotiation proceedings. No one has asked me to throw in my Havaiana collection nor my children. Don't even get me started on poor Mr. Rant. If he doesn't get propositioned soon I may end up having to pay for therapy!

Oh well, I've never been the world's best sharer anyway.

Have negotiations ever gone weird on you?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Craigslist: A Different World in Rio

I have known since it was first created that Craigslist Rio de Janeiro just isn't the same practical page as Craigslist San Diego. Of course, I'm a glutton for punishment so I looked at apartments there anyway.

I'm not sure why I wasted my time. I used to go there just to check out the pictures of the HUGE places for sale (obviously being geared towards foreigners). I also find it super annoying to have to sift through all the ads selling places in Florida or Buzios. I'll except Buzios because it is in the state of Rio de Janeiro, but last time I checked Florida is in a different country...

Anyway, so I ended up taking a break from looking for practical places for my family and I and became a real estate voyeur once again. It's nice as I get to mentally live in a large kitchen with a island (fyi I'd change the tacky light):

Or enjoy the view from my pool. Maybe I'll go up to the balcony later to sip stupidly cold beers and stare at all of Rio below. Just saving my energy for when the house gets broken into later. Oh the joys of Santa Teresa (joking). 

I particularly love this one as you have the fireplace to enjoy the 6 weeks it's chilly in Rio. I'm not being sarcastic either! Apartments get breezy down here and there is nothing like heating cold toes in front of a warm fireplace. 

And if I lived here I would only travel the grounds via cartwheel. 

Now compare these to this:

Say What?!

I had a "Say What?!" moment this weekend.

On Sunday we all headed down to a charity Feijoada with the family. I was hanging with the kiddos making sure they only got into innocent trouble when some dude came up to chat with them. Of course he somehow knew that Chatterbox is half American. Random news travels fast when served over rice, beans, and sausage.

The funny part was his reaction. When he talked to Chatterbox, he spoke in Portuguese. Obviously Chatterbox, being surrounded by Brazilian children as well, responded in Portuguese. Then man's reaction:

"WOW! You speak Portuguese really well!"

Say what? The man knows my kid's entire Brazilian extended family.We live in Brazil. His Father is Brazilian. Of course he speaks Portuguese!

And I know maybe for some reason or other, he thought that I would completely ignore the language of my son's home country, the language of his father, and the language of his family. I get that.

But the guy continued with his amazement and then it came out that he was not surprised at all that Chatterbox speaks English. Portuguese, for the half Brazilian kid living in Brazil surrounded by a Brazilian family, was the surprise.

It's moments like these when I wish we were teaching him some random 3rd language and I could say "Sorry, he only speaks Mandarin." 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hot Brazilians for your Friday

Happy Friday to Hottie Alice Braga. She is a wonderful Brazilian actress who broke out onto the international scene in the movie City of God. That was only the start for this Paulista as she has continued working her way into Hollywood.  

Diogo Nogueira is a Brazilian from inside out. A samba singer and song writer, Diogo stopped all that to go after a career in Soccer. It was his Father's dream for him. Unfortunately a knee injury ended that dream for both men. At least he was able to return to his first love of Music. I think it is reasonable to say that those eyes really do go better with some sexy samba action! 

Immigrants Are Coming Home

Word on the street is that many Brazilian expats are returning to their homeland. Contrary to the 1st world countries out there, Brazil's economy is doing well. 

While I only know a small handful of people who have returned to Rio de Janeiro from abroad, I can say that I have seen an attitude change in the Brazilians here.

When my husband and I first visited in 2003, the general consensus was that we should live in the US. Of course that does not include my Mother-in-Law. She is a believer in working to live not living to work and is also very Brazilian in that "ahhhh, everything will work out here. It always does."

Mr. Rant's and my motives were still questioned when we officially moved here in 2006. Even though Mr. Rant had a good job upon arrival, people still questioned our decision. Since he was legal there, why move back? Weren't opportunities better in the US? You can buy everything there! Isn't it also safer? 

Those questions always led into some story about someone's cousin or best friend's brother who was making it big American style. As if Guilherme's (or whomever) story would just push me over the edge and make me pack my bags. 

Regardless of other personal issues bringing us back to Brazil, Mr. Rant also wanted to be a part of changing his country. We had a whole conversation about it before our move. Just like this article, Mr. Rant said that all the young educated workers have left or our leaving his country and that they needed to return in order for Brazil to become great. 

Fast forward to around 2009 and people stopped asking about why we chose Brazil over the US. This was big being that a foreigner's living status here the #1 conversation starter for all people you cross paths with. Even taxi drivers would turn to me and say that I did good choosing Brazil and that life here is better.

While I know part of this new way of thinking are the new developments in business down here, I'm  thinking there's more to it. There is something about the US economic crisis that hit home for Brazilians. They are no stranger to this kind of thing. Actually, in comparison to what Brazilians have dealt with in the past, what the US is going trough is is merely a kick to the balls. You recover eventually from that.  

Brazilians have a way of taking these things in stride, relatively speaking. I remember watching a documentary where they showed where the happiest people lived. No, it was not Iceland or anything Utopian like that. It was Brazil who was named the country with the happiest people as no matter what is going on around them, they find time to enjoy life. There were clips from bbqs in extremely poor neighborhoods, people having beers on the street when the market was apparently going down, and of course they showed people watching soccer games. 

That, my friends, is the difference in the quality of life down here. People don't let money problems rain on their parades 24/7. If you lose a job you have a support group in family and friends to emotionally, and some times financially, help you out until you get on your feet. And let's be honest, the country is pretty damn beautiful too. 

I figure that Brazilians are thinking that if the US isn't going to be stable, they might as well come home. Not only is the country doing well, the lifestyle is a simpler and happier one. 

What is your take on this? 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Brazilian Novelas Educate People

"A study reveals that there is a direct correlation between the availability of the Globo TV signal and low fertility rates across Brazil." CNN

This is an old article from 2009 but I couldn't resist talking about it. Apparently Globo Novelas (soap operas) are teaching the Brazilian public about a variety of things. At first I really wanted to laugh at this. I mean, who the hell takes anything from a novela except drama drama drama?! Then I remembered how Mexico changed it's visa requirements after Brazilians started copying a character on the novela 'America' (I think it was anyway). They were entering the US via Mexico because at the time there were no visa requirements for Brazilians to enter into Mexico. And I thought I hated the line at the US consulate.

And look at this:

"Globo executive Luis Erlanger says that one episode, which featured a young girl in tears as her head is shaved in preparation for chemotherapy, prompted 23,000 bone marrow donations in the month after it first aired."

All I can say to that is Wow! I have also experienced this TV phenomenon first hand.

I carried both my boys in slings as babies. When I would walk around with my oldest in it people would stop me and exclaim that I was suffocating my child. They would tell me I was hurting him or that he was going to fall out. It got to be quite annoying as my walks would last about 5 and a half steps before I had to stop and explain how a sling works all over again.

Fast forward 2 and a half years to the birth of my second child. Shortly after his birth the sling was shown on an extremely popular Brazilian show: Fantastico. Talk about a change of heart! After that aired I was stopped just so people could look at in amazement.

They'd say things like: 'Wow! I just saw this on Fantastico!" or "That is very good for your baby, they said so on Fantastico." or "Where did you get that? My Daughters is pregnant and she saw it on Fantastico and now wants one for her baby." etc etc.

People, we have the key to Brazil here! Let's sit down all Brazilian politicians and have them watch a special novela episode where the main character cries because corruption is ruining the country she loves. They will need to make it good and heartfelt. And if this study is correct then we should be good.

While they're at it maybe Fantastico should do a piece on how Maracana won't ever be finished if there aren't any workers.  The show could suggest that maybe they should raise the bar a bit when it comes to work conditions. I don't know about you but I'm guessing that if stuff is blowing up than things could improve. Just saying...

Do you watch any of the novelas or Fantastico? What have you learned from them? 

Brunching like an Expat

Yesterday I went to a fabulous brunch at a fellow expat's place. I have to say, one of my favorite parts of being an expat is brunch! It's a tradition a bit lost with Brazilians although they already do pretty nice breakfasts down here in the first place.

I think the real problem is that Brazilians are obsessed with lunch. They just can't go a day without sitting some time between 1 and 4 pm for a large meal. It would be sacrilegious for them. 

Us foreigners understand the beauty of the brunch. It's breakfast and lunch combined! Where can you go wrong with that? And brunches always showcase the best from each contributor. 

Here a tradition was created somewhere along the line that the host provides a large base and each guest brings a nice additional item to pick at. It usually comes in the form of some really good bread from a hard to find French-style bakery or a pastry that takes far too long to make for anything other than special occasions.  

My absolute favorite comes from the kitchen of Becoming Brazilian. She makes this ridiculously amazing spinach, salmon, and cream cheese roll thing. Of course it's completely homemade and makes my tongue scream like a... let's just say in a very NC-17 way. 

Anyway, it was a wonderful way to spend our day off! Not only did I get to spend time with friends and their families, I also got to meet some new fellow foreigners. There were people from everywhere. It felt like we were at a UN meeting or a Carnival Cruise or something! 

And I am already reading some of the minds out there. Yes, I like to hang out with my fellow expats. While having our Brazilian circle is wonderful, it is also nice to hang out with families like our own. It is a chance for all these traveling and bi/tri -lingual children to chat with others like them. Us parents get to talk about all the kinds of things we adults talk about as well as all thing fellow expats discuss.

Finally it seems that I have my yin and yang, my expat and Brazilian friends. We were a bit heavy on the yang there.  And while you can never go wrong with yang, a little yin is much appreciated. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Brazilian Independence Day

Since Brazilian Independence day hardly celebrated, at least not in the opinion of this American (we really do know how to bust out a decent 4th of July), I decided to post some old school Sete de Setembro pictures.

FYI: For those who don't know, today is the celebration of Brazil's independence from Portugal. Woo Hoo!