Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Love my Gyno

My gynecologist believes that I am becoming Brazilian. No, my pap smear did not come out green and yellow.

So I had an appointment to see her this morning at 830am. Seeing that I am an early riser and Mr. Rant has to be at work by 10am at the latest (more like 1015. Now he is Brazilian) I schedule my appointments early.

This morning Mr. Rant was a super champ. I only had to nudge him once and he was up with The Menace (we take turns being the first one up). Chatterbox woke up closely there after and came to ask if I would get up with him. Screw that. Of course I sound far more loving while saying it to my child.

So I finally drag my sorry ass out of bed thinking it must be like 730am or something like that. Come to find out it was 840am. I was already 10 minutes late. I was just about to call and apologize for missing my appointment when Mr. Rant scoffed at me. Seriously, like a real old fashioned scoff.

"You're in Brazil. You aren't even late. Just go now."

I love a good pap smear as much as the next girl and decided to give it a go. I really didn't think my doctor would be able to see me as she is one of the more organized Brazilian doctors when it comes to her time. Honestly, I chose her because when I was pregnant I had some seriously bad 'I hate Brazil and am going to smack somebody' moments. Waiting for 2 hours at the gyno would certainly bring those up.

I finally arrived around 850am.  My doctor opened the door announcing, loudly, that "So you are Brazilian now!"

I laughed. For starters she doesn't normally answer the door and secondly she is right. I'd NEVER do that my country. Hell, you lose the appointment half the time if you don't show up 15 minutes early. I laughed and apologized for being late. I even started to go into the reason when she cut me off laughing and said "Now you're really Brazilian." FYI, I was blaming my husband.

As we sat down at her desk she semi-seriously said "Please do not pick up on some of the bad habits we Brazilians have. We're supposed to be getting better, not turning the foreigners."

I love my gyno. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Do I Look Fat in this Thong?

It seems that Brazil's expanding waist size is getting international press. Apparently Brazilian companies are, gasp, making larger bikinis!! Oh the insanity of it all. 

I stumbled upon this random article discussing how Brazilian bikini companies are finally making plus sizes. 

I can not deny that Brazil is getting fatter as it seems the entire world is. What I can say though is that the selling of "plus size" bikinis is not necessarily because of that. In my humble opinion, someone has finally jumped in to make mega money in an area where there has always been a demand but very little supply. 

When I walked into my first bikini shop in Rio I almost had a heart attack. The things the woman kept giving me to try on were obviously not my size. Hell, I was losing money on both sides on the bottom (losing money is a slang for your crack showing). 

That is when the saleswoman so graciously pulled the bottom up my bottom. She exclaims "This is how you wear it" with a laugh. 

"Excuse me, isn't this essentially the same as a thong???"

You could see the poor stupid gringa looks spread throughout the store. Silly American doesn't know how a bikini bottom really should fit. 

Thankfully things have been slowly but surely changing. I noticed, shortly after the birth of my oldest, that there were more slightly larger bikini options.  Keep in mind that these "larger" bottoms would still make most N. Americans blush.  

I am a proud owner of a couple of pairs of these great fitting "larger" bikini bottoms. My beach style has gotten far more active with the kiddos. Goodness knows no one wants to get an eyeful of kitty while building a sandcastle. 

The thing is not all Brazilian women look like Gisele or The Girl from Ipanema. Media always posts pictures of the women who do because, let's be honest, they are ridiculously hot. But the fact is that Brazilian women have junk in the trunk. They are gorgeously curvy. We have all kinds of shapes and sizes happening down here and that is nothing new. 

While Brazilians have always accepted women of all shapes and sizes, it seems they are only now willing to dress them as well.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hot Brazilians for your Friday!

Hot Brazilians For Your Friday

Maybe this is why I always found Bruno Campos hot when watching my guilty please show Jesse. The man is a Carioca!! 

Fernanda Motta is the host of Brazil's Next Top Model. This sexy Brazilian was discovered on Guarapari Beach, north of Rio. Rio, where the hotties come out to play. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rio de Janeiro Buildings Collapse and Media Worries About Games

Reuters has a thing or two to learn about class and holding their tongue. Rio de Janeiro had 3 buildings collapse last night next to the principal plaza Cinelandia. Thankfully it was later at night and thus the building and downtown area were generally empty in comparison to how it is during the day. The things that killed me was the first paragraph of Pedro Fonseca and Rodrigo Viga Gaier online "article" about what happened. Check it out:

A building collapsed in downtown Rio de Janeiro late on Wednesday, according to local media, in the latest incident highlighting the failure of authorities to improve the city's infrastructure amid preparations to host soccer's World Cup and the Olympics.

Seriously?! It just shows the lack of preparations because the swimming competition was obviously going to held in those buildings right now. And the fact that Rio de Janeiro hasn't just demolished all building, seeing that it is a 3rd world country and therefore everything is dangerous, and built the entire city from scratch is just ridiculous. The honor of hosting the World Cup and the Olympics should be stripped from this damned country and brought somewhere else!

Screw you guys. If office buildings collapsed in London 2 years before the World Cup the first response wouldn't be that they are unprepared for the games. You would focus on the efforts of the firemen, the distressed families, and the history of the area where it happened. I doubt anyone would ever say, "Look at that. This tragedy is a sign that London (or Athens or wherever) is unprepared."

I understand that there is an infrastructural issue with the games coming here and that people are concerned. I get it and it is a reasonable fear. But seriously, your stupid little games do not get to cast a shadow on everything that happens in this country. Get your head out of your ass, those are games and this is life. Buildings collapsed and people were injured. Many were rescued and there is fear that some are still trapped. Just a tad too early to be taking this and making it about your games.

And just to mention something that is quite obvious, you knew what you were getting into when you chose Brazil. It's not like the country appeared out of nowhere a couple of days ago. You made your bed, now lie in it and look pretty. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Carnaval - My Old Photos: Wordless Wednesday

Some photos from a Santa Teresa bloco in 2005

Funky Monkey

I'm in a funk. I'm in an "I'm ready for school to be back in session" funk. Add on top of that my being sick and you have yourself a slightly unmotivated blogger.

I finally dragged my sorry butt into urgent care yesterday. I had been feeling at about 60% for a while but just blamed it on the hot weather and busy days. Yesterday I woke up feeling like I got hit by a mean little bacteria driving in a very large car.

So I got put into the urgent line at the urgent care because, and I'm guessing here, one of my complaints was stabbing pains in around my ribs and under my breasts. I must say that when the urgent care wants to treat urgently it really can! Who knew!

Pneumonia was ruled out but I do have an infection. Where you ask. I have no idea. The infection showed up in the blood test and that is all the doctor knows. She figures it's something gastrointestinal or something. Her words not mine.

So this little petri dish is now taking some random antibiotic that is giving me awesome stomach craps and quite potentially a body cleanse. No worries though, I will be seeing my primary care doctor on tomorrow.

Alas, I am a stay at home Mom so I get no break. Yes I plan to majorly play the martyr card. Like a bad martyr though, I totally flaked on my boys' 8am appointment at beach soccer. Seriously, there is only so much a martyr can take. Is there such thing as a lazy martyr?

Anyway, my down time is up and I have to go slather myself and the kids in sunscreen and take them to the pool. If you need me you can find me beached on the shady side. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Brazilian ATM Dance

I get performance anxiety at the ATMs here. Seriously. Every single time.

You see Brazilian banks have a rule, you mess up your pin 3 times and they block your card. That means long bank lines, documents, and all that bank fun just to get it unblocked.

Thus I always get ATM stage fright the moment I step up to start the withdrawal process. Performance anxiety is a bitch, though having it at an ATM instead of other places is not a bad thing. Thankfully for me, and not Mr. Rant, it doesn't keep me from my mission.

Of course once I miss my pin the first time, it gets significantly worse.  It's always that moment that I'm rushing somewhere and realize that I have no cash for the subway or whatever it is I'll need it for. I rush to a machine and put in my pin without thinking. That's where they get you, or me anyway.


Oh shit. I seriously get the oh shit face and almost want to bang my head against the machine. That means 2 more tries. I'm now questioning what my actual pin is. Breath.

That's what I do, I breath and attempt to remember the last 2 digits. The first 4 are no problem as you use them every single time you make a purchase with your card, but the machine requires 6. Those last two numbers are like those distant cousins you see at the occasional family reunion but you still can never seem to remember their names.


Seriously, I'm that lame that I have to stand for a second before I put in my pin and breath. My full pin slowly slips back into memory. In my defense, between all the sliding in and out repeatedly, pull it out slower, please leave it in a minute, etc etc it's a wonder how a girl remembers her first name... the ATM card you dirty bastards! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What is the Line before Rape?

I have always hated the show Big Brother. Nothing more annoying than watching a bunch of posers try to look cool 24/7 on camera. I have to say though, maybe these fame whores and the show that happens around them have a point.

Everyone has their opinions about the Big Brother Brasil rape. Some are actually so mentally slow and evil that they say the girl deserved it. A drunk girl means an easy score. Her fault. Seriously, the people who believe that make me want to hammer nails into a bat and go hunting. Sorry for the mental image, I blame the book I'm reading The Hunger Games. It woke up a slightly bitter survivor wannabe in me.

Anyway, this show is creating a dialog. It has people talking about what is and isn't ok, because some people obviously ride on such a freaking short bus that they can't see the flashing line that says "SO NOT OK!"

Regardless, dialogs are important. A society has to talk about rape, boundaries, labels, and such. We have to get rid of petty and dangerous stimgas. Whores, deserved it, how a woman is "supposed" to act... This is not ok stuff. As someone who has had her own experiences with what I'll call unwanted male attention, I know how small it makes you feel. You can break a person that way.

Getting off the subject here. Sadly Monique Amin had to experience what she did. That is not something I would wish on anyone. At the very least it has started an international discussion, quite possibly (though unlikely), opening some eyes.

Lastly, shame on you Globo! You make the big stealing scummy companies of my country look like little girls playing at evil. 


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.
  • 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. 
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Poor Brazilian Man

Oh the poor Brazilian man. You are always the object of debate or fascination. You are called charming and untrustworthy. We foreigner women hate your blatant attention and yet complain when we aren't receiving it. You can never win! Wait, or do you always win?

The Brazilian man can openly compliment not one or two women but all of them. And they aren't necessarily being inggenuine. They just love ALL women. Honestly, part of me buys this. Just look at the kilo restaurants Rio de Janeiro is famous for. Nothing a Brazilian likes more than being able to go in and try a little bit of every kind of something.

I started thinking about this after reading an article in the Huffington post. In it the writer goes over why she has lost her sexy mojo when it comes to Brazilian men. They just don't compliment her as much. One of the possible reasons being because she darkened her hair. That or because she is "giving off an inaccessible vibe."

I could see that but not in the way that she is thinking. The Brazilian man is not deterred easily. They are persistent if anything. What changes after being here a while is that you stop hearing it. It is kind of like the noise of the city, you get used to it after a while. The "linda" (beautiful) and the obnoxious hisses start to blend in with the fruit guy yelling about bananas, the traffic, and general people movement.

Though I can give you some advice if you want to notice the attention again. Get pregnant. I'm dead serious. While I am not the favorite body type of the Brazilian man, while pregnant I was harassed more than a woman would be walking around naked. I'm telling you, at least Carioca men seemed inappropriately turned on by my baby belly. I couldn't go anywhere, ANYWHERE, without being aggressively whistled at, linda-ed, and hit on.

What do you think, is a pregnant woman that sexy or is it just a Brazilian thing?  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rio de Janeiro Lets Sewage Flow

Upon arriving in Rio de Janeiro for the first time, I remember Mr. Rant telling me to NOT step in puddles. He didn't care if it had just rained or if the road was flooding, avoid all water on the street at all costs. Sure, no one likes wet shoes or feet but what was the big deal?

I'll tell you what, sewage! This city is a ticking time bomb for piss and crap spills. At any given time in most neighborhoods, especially after a particularly good rain shower, you will see "liquids" coming out from under the big lids to the sewer system. Sometimes you even see a turd and some partially broken down toilet paper. Classy right?

Wrong. It is disgusting. Really, it is something that I just can't mentally process how it is ok. I mean, Rio de Janeiro police were giving out tickets to people peeing in the streets at Carnaval last year but would it count if they had found a leaky sewer system and peed into the pee? I mean, it's all the same thing right? If they give the pee-er a ticket shouldn't the pee-er be able to give the government one back for essentially doing the same thing only 300 times worse? The government should get a ticket for each person of the estimated amount of people needed for that size of leak.

This all comes up because there is a particularly annoyingly large hole and sewage leak in front of my building. The city's way of handling it is to put up two ruler sized sticks and a piece of red plastic, making a path for pedestrians to pass in front by going into the street "safely". The plastic has already fallen down but what can you expect after it being up for 3 weeks.

Of course this may be a building issue if the pipe is ours and not the city's...

And while I'm bitching, Mr. Rant has the gull to optimistically say "At least the puddle is much smaller. It is an improvement." Yes, I can thank the Gods of rain for not pouring down on us but what about the government whom we pay a ridiculous amount of taxes to? The building who we pay condominium payments? Maybe they could come by and, I don't know, stop something that we Americans would consider a bio-hazard...

Ah well, at least it explains why Mr. Rant get so grossed out by my wearing Havaianas while walking around the city. Still, this is one thing about this city that gives me that big ewwwwww feeling.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Birthing Around the World with Bundchen

Gisele Bundchen is talking about birth again and it's not to tell us how to do it! Ms. Bundchen is using her fame for good instead of evil and is now plugging her friend/midwive's project: Birthing Around the World. 

I think this is a wonderful and amazing project. Pregnancy and birth are not disorders or illnesses to take care of. Brazil desperately needs to change this perception. I will never forget meeting a woman at the hospital here in Rio de Janeiro. I was waiting for my ultrasound appointment and she was in the early stages of labor. Of course we started chatting. Yes, it would be stranger to not chit chat with a random person while waiting in a lobby in the early stages of labor than chit chat. 

She told me that she was waiting for her OB and that she really hoped the doctor would get there before it was too late for a c-section. I couldn't hide my shock! Hell, I can hardly hide my shock in normal circumstances but when super hormonal and after hearing something insane there was no chance in hell. 

I asked her why on Earth she would opt to have a c-section. She replied that she was scared of natural birth. I told her that getting your abdomen cut open was far scarier, takes way longer to heal, and seriously messes up your abs. She didn't care. She said she would try everything to make sure that child came out via c-section. 

So please help us down here Gisele, Mayra and Enrico. Goodness knows the population needs some sense talked into them and the doctors a good old fashioned bitch slap. 

Check out the first video of the trip:

Do you think this will make a difference? 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

Via random number generator, the winner is Shelley from Give us this Day our Daily Mango!!! Congrats! Please shoot me an email at racheljapi (dot) gmail (dot) com. 


I was chosen for an Xtravaganza Interview over at Impossibly Glamorous! You can check it out here:

Xtravaganza Interview Hot Mama

Friday, January 13, 2012

Expats, Goodbyes, and Where Are the Grandbabies?!

Saying goodbye to my parents is a difficult thing. The fact that after 3 weeks in my small apartment neither is going home in a body bag is a testament to how much I actually do enjoy their company.

The thing is that when you are married to a foreigner you only see their family for blocks of time. Take Mr. Rant for example. He spends about 3 weeks a year straight with my family, if we are lucky. The only reason it is that much is because my parents are awesome enough to travel to Rio de Janeiro over and over again. They could be normal and say that this year they are going to Italy but no, my Mom won't have it. There are no grandbabies in Italy.

And Grandbabies really do mess up the expat system. There is no "it's only been a year" when kids are involved. In a year a kid has passed through 37 personalities, 2 difficult phases, a million photos, and about 3 honestly cute moments. That is a lot for an expat's family to miss. Let's not even get into close friends.

My saving grace is my life here. I have a life in Rio de Janeiro. I have my Mommy friends, my Brazilian friends, my Brazilian Mommy friends, and my fellow expat friends. I am doubly lucky because I have Mr. Rant's large extended family to top it all off. I'm talking a mega social 3000 calorie banana slip with around 3 cherries on top.

None-the-less, they aren't my history. Growing up you imagine raising your kids with their cousins, their aunts and uncles coming over for birthdays. Your best friends are supposed to be there to see you get fat... I mean really pregnant. You miss the people who, when your 3 year old storms off and slams his bedroom door (only to open it again for a second dramatic slam), laugh at you because he is just like you. The feeling is somewhat lost when your husband's family would give you that curious look like who did that come from. Thank you very much but we all know it came from me. At the very least you could mock me about it like my kin do. ;)

It is a fact of life when you marry someone from a different country. Someone is always far from home. Home also has a special definition as the expat just may have more than one. I, for example, call Rio de Janeiro my home. It is so my home now. I am only getting in deeper people.

In the end you resign yourself to the facts. You even come up with coping methods. Of course people will visit. You will also go back. Your children will be multicultural, how great is that. Skype rocks even with a slow connections. And lastly, who needs personal contact when Grandma is an awesome box sender.

Truth be told, I doubt I would ever have appreciated my family like I do now if I didn't move to Rio. It isn't just the distance but what the country has taught me about life. As hard as goodbyes are, I'm a better person than I was. I suppose that is what life is all about, right? Bettering yourself, learning, and living.

Whatever life is about, I miss my family. I love seeing my parents. I miss my brothers desperately. It breaks my heart daily that they aren't my boys' best friends. At least I have perspective, damn perspective, to remind me that I have a damn good life. Missing people means that I have a lot of people who I love and love me in return. I suppose there is something to say about that. 

Hot Brazilians for your Friday! Expat Edition

In honor of my parents return to the US this evening, I will be posting pictures of two HOT Brazilians who have decided to live outside of Brazil.

Gisele Bundchen is by far the most famous of Brazilian expats in the US. As much as she puts her foot in her mouth, she is capable of making even that pose look hot. 

Leonardo Barbosa hails from Sao Paulo and is guard for the Toronto Raptors. I do believe this man can heat up even the chilly terrain of Canada! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rio de Janeiro's Rocinha

Rio de Janeiro is like a family, a family with estranged children.

Visiting Rocinha, you could see the family resemblance. She looks like a sibling of my neighborhood only closer together and much more on top of each other. Then there is the obvious, more neglected by their parent the government. The thing about ignoring children is that it does not make them go away. Quite often, it just makes them hungrier for life. That was my first impression of Rocinha, a very concentrated center of life.

In Rocinha you have a large grouping of people who have all but been ignored by big government. They are our maids, bus drivers, tour guides, and trash men. They carry our city on their back, literally, with their labor. They are honest people who work hard and then climb up a large hill to their home, the view reminding them that as neglectful as their city can be it is still beautiful.

As I walked through the busy streets and down the narrow alleys, I saw a lot of things.  I saw newly washed laundry hanging. There were toys sitting on the windowsill in the sun. I saw welcome mats in front of alley doors and people sitting in windows saying hello to passerbyers. There were families chatting with neighbors, little babies breastfeeding and kids playing near their Mothers.

I saw people there. I saw people living their lives. And you know what, they are damn resourceful people! Take the mail system. In Rio de Janeiro, as in everywhere, you have to have an address to receive mail. 90% of the residents of Rocinha live in the little alleys that don't even have names (though they are starting to put some in). Did they throw their hands up in surrender? Nope. Someone found a solution.

Members of the community can give R$2 a month to a barber who has a shop on the main street. Using his storefront as their billing address, they can get whatever service they need (internet, cable, etc). The barber organizes all the bills in alphabetical order and they come and pick it up monthly. He makes an additional income and offers a service that aides another resident. That is not survival, that is just smart.

Regardless, life is not all peaches and cream. There are still quite a few sections with open sewage lines that are blocked off by pieces of wood and an issue with the water supply. It is ludicrous that the one and only pumping station was built 25 years ago. Don't even get me started on the "community center" built by the government. That is its own blog post!

What hit me the most about this visit was how wrong I was. People should tour Rocinha just as much as Santa Teresa but with the same intent. I went on an educational tour. Trust me, Zezinho is not the guide one wants for a light and history free visit. He goes into politics and voices the thoughts of someone who has been a member of the community throughout all the changes.

We as Cariocas (or wannabes such as myself) have a duty to know our kin. It is our job as siblings to know who they are, understand them, learn about their joys and struggles, and accept where they are coming from. You do not fear your brother. Rocinha is a part of our Rio de Janeiro family. It is time we look them in the eye and welcome them in. Working together as a family, as opposed to fighting among ourselves, makes us better as a whole.

Yes, it is more complicated than that but what family isn't? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Birthday Menace!

Today my little Menace turns 3 years old. As he declared this morning, I am NOT a baby. It's true, he's not a baby (I'm just saying that to placate him as he will always be my baby). 

Here are some photos of my littlest man:

And they grow up so fast....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting to Know Rocinha

I'm sure everyone is curious about my thoughts on our visit with Zezinho in Rocinha. This week is going to be very difficult to dedicate the time that this kind of post needs. To hold you over until then, I give you two mini-videos of Zezinho giving you some interesting facts about life in Rio's largest favela.

Don't worry, I will soon be busting out a serious post about yesterday's visit, all I saw, and all Zezinho taught us. Tomorrow I will post some choice photos for Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A New Cultural Experience: Rocinha

I'm going on my first favela tour tomorrow. In all my years in Rio de Janeiro I have never been on one.

Many would initially think it is because my Brazilian husband wouldn't let me. First off, when did I start listening to my husband? Secondly, that couldn't be further from the truth. Mr. Rant has nothing against the favelas, but did have something against tours that showcased the residents of favelas as if they are animals at a zoo, at the same time giving money to the drug lords.

The truth is, I have always been disgusted with the tours that drive foreigners through on jeeps, close enough to take pictures but far enough away to be removed. There is something to be said about seeing a new neighborhood. We all love it. Hell, I can't get enough of walking around Santa Teresa and taking pictures.

What you can't deny is that there is an international stigma against favelas. The truth is that some of the most honest people of Brazil live in them, just living their lives just like the rest of us. I have been waiting for someone to show me that tour of the neighborhood of Rocinha, and I have found him. Someone to give us not a tour but a personalized visit.

Tomorrow my parents and I will be meeting up with Zezinho of Life in Rocinha. He will be showing us his neighborhood. There is no better way to see a new place than with a local who loves his spot on this planet.

I am excited for tomorrow as I will see Rocinha through the eyes of one of their many good people. I will get to know the neighborhood from a local's perspective. It will not be a "favela tour" but a friend showing me around their home. Someone giving me a cultural experience that I have yet to have. I can't wait to tell you about it!

If you would like Zezinho to share his love for Rocinha with you, you can contact him here at his Facebook page: Deejay Zezinho

SOC: Attack of the Tourists

I can appreciate tourists. I really can. Hell, I used to be one. The thing is that they are taking over my city.

Seriously, there are too many tourists in Rio de Janeiro. It is enough to make this local go crazy. Today we went to one of my favorite fairs, the Hippie fair in Ipanema. I could hardly walk down the isles!

While I understand that we are in peak season, I have spent many summers here before. This year is far worse than the rest. My worst fears are being realized, Brazil is the new Europe. Backpackers from around the world are coming to stay in our new hostels and drink beers on our beautiful beaches. They are upping the prices of crap goods as, with the exchange rate, the price isn't bad. FYI, you should have seen the price 3 years ago.

You should all see the amount of half burnt people walking around this city. I don't know what it is about tourists in Rio de Janeiro but they never seem to give the sun the credit it deserves. That and they never remember to flip. The front half of their body looks like a second cousin of a cooked lobster and the back the brother of Casper.

And these freaky breeds of Casper and Lobster are taking over this city. With their Tevas protecting their feet and their money distributed over the 37 pockets in their cargo shorts, tourists can now be found in every single neighborhood at any given time.

If it's this bad now, just imagine during either one of the approaching games. Even as a lover of the normally chaotic streets of Rio de Janeiro, all this is enough to make me want to flee back to my Motherland in 2014 and 2016. It is food for thought. One could make a pretty penny renting our their apartment for ridiculously high tourist rates... Who am I kidding? We all know I'll be staying here and using it as Ranting ammo. 


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.
  • 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 on Fadra's page.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hot Brazilians for your Friday!

Since Hot Brazilians for your Friday is a favorite to some of you out there, I'm keeping it. That and I do get a bit of pleasure looking for images. Hey, I'm only human. 

 This is Rafael Vergas. I swear I've posted him before but he didn't come up when I searched my blog. That and come on, this dude totally deserves a second posting. HELLO Rafael!

This is Juliana Martins. Mr. Rant finds her totally hot. I have to agree with him. She is that hot chick who if your spouse cheated on you with her you'd totally get it for a split second before being heartbroken. 

Happy Friday!

Btw, don't forget to enter to win your own tacky Cristo treat! 

Calling Home Made Easy

My Mother was very supportive about my move to Brazil. Who knew that support came with a cost, her cost. Regardless of my living outside of the country, she just couldn't drop our semi-daily phone conversations. Once I started reproducing the phone conversations became daily.

Now call me an old fashioned girl but I like a nice chat on the phone. Sure there's skype and a bunch of other options, but it just isn't the same. I can't pace in circles while chatting on skype or binge snack. It's kind of weird/gross with people watching you. Don't even get me started on how I can't skype and go to the bathroom. That's just down right frustrating. You turn on the facet and they still know what you are doing...

That is when Ray at American Heart, Brazilian Soul saved the day! Turns out that Ray and my Mom became besties via Facebook chat and he told her about buying a Brazilian phone number. Say what?! Now I don't know how the entire process works. That is where Ray comes in. He is the genius behind this new knowledge! Go check out his post on it: Global: we are huge fans

This is a must have for families of Brazilian expats! It is seriously awesome! My Mom emailed me one day with a Brazilian number and told me to call her. And it was a Rio land line!

So I called the number and got a Brazilian recording in English with a HORRIBLE accent. That is the added bonus as I laugh every single time I listen to it. It says: Press onie for Mooms cell. Press Twoo for Mooms Hoom. etc. By the way, in case you are a little slow this morning like me, I was writing phonetically.

Anyway, I just wanted to personally thank Ray. Now I can easily call Mom without it costing her or me an arm or leg.

Go learn how to get your own: American Heart, Brazilian Soul

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Giveaway: Because I Love You All!

Because I love you all, I will be having the best giveaway ever. This giveaway comes with a quick little story of two friends. A very good friend and I have always had a contest as to who can bring back the tackiest gift from a trip abroad. She currently holds the title for bringing me a stuffed toad keychain and a kangaroo testicles bottle opener.

Anyway, I saw this and thought of her. While lovely it just doesn't beat kangaroo testicles, but it is perfect for my readers. Tacky with a touch of ridiculous all while having a logo representing Rio de Janeiro. It was love at first sight.

A Christ the Redeemer nail clipper. I mean, what home doesn't need this?! And when you think it can't get any better...

You open it and see that it is also a bottle opener. I think this is exactly what Jesus was hoping for when he turned water into wine, a nail clipper/bottle opener in honor of a statue in his honor. Doesn't get much better than this folks.

And since this such an awesomely random item, I'm giving it away to you. I feel it's small enough that I won't get totally screwed with shipping so the world is this clipper/opener's oyster. Anyone can apply to have this badboy.

Also, in case you didn't notice, it's also a keychain. That way you can take your Christ the Redeemer nail clipper and bottle opener with you everywhere.

I know. You are welcome.

To enter please leave a comment stating how awesomely tacky this giveaway item is and an email so that I can easily contact you in case of a win. I will pick a winner Saturday the 14th of January.

For additional entries Tweet about this comment by opting for the tweet share down below and leave me a comment telling me you did it (honor system here people. Christ the Redeemer is watching).

Another additional entry for liking my facebook page: Rachel's Rantings in Rio on Facebook Also leave a comment please.

Good Luck! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How We Know You Are A Tourist

1. You wear socks with sandals. Seriously, that is just wrong. You wouldn't do it at home, why do it when you are representing your country abroad? Shame on you.

2. Swimsuits should hug the bottom, not tent it. Your ass isn't getting fumigated, you are going swimming. Get something that cups your butt like it should.

3. You walk to a restaurant at 8pm with a can of beer you brought from somewhere else, and it is not Carnaval.

4. You travel in herds. It's like going on safari but the other way around.

5. You are tan when we are white or are white when we are tan. Think, for example, Norwegian in Brazil or vice versa.

6. You pull cash out in public and count it or carry everything in a wallet taped to your chest. This shows either an ignorant level of confidence or an extreme level of paranoia common to 1st world country dwellers.

7. You walk around with a bottle of water. Not only do you have that but you also have a freaking carrier.

8. Gear. You have a hat, sunscreen, glasses, camera, and a backpack full of other potentially useful gear. I'm walking to the store and you are out for survival. If that isn't an obvious difference, I don't know what is.

9. You are reading a book that talks about my city in a foreign language. Enough said.

10. You watch us like we are a live National Geographic Documentary. Foreigners always have a strange twinkle in their eyes as they view a new way of life. I like it. It almost gives me a Peter Pan like buzz. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Language Charades

Yesterday evening we took my parents over to my husband's Grandmother's place for a new years lanche (snack). It was entertaining on all accounts.

Out of the 25 people attending from Mr. Rant's family, about 5 spoke English. That leaves my parents sitting like the big pink gringo elephants in the room.

The best moment is when the uncles come and chat. Their English is good for someone who doesn't use it regularly, but they still need help. That is when the impromptu charade games start. Even though I am there to help translate, the vocabulary they needed help on is super random. Examples from yesterday: exhaust pipe, chrome and off the shelf technical material. Fyi, between the two uncles and my Father they were discussing building motorcycles and military issues in both countries. Last time I checked you are supposed to have easy light chit chat when you don't speak the language.

Regardless, it was absolutely adorable to see all the effort going into making my parents feel involved and comfortable. Even one of the cousins came and took over as the official unofficial random word translator. A good time was officially had by all.

At one point though, Mr. Rant and his cousin wanted to play a joke on my Father and their Uncle. They wanted to tell the uncle the wrong word. For example, instead of translating seat, the word he wants, telling him hammer or something like that. Just enough to confuse the crap out of the two men. I said hell no. They gave me shit for not playing along.

What do you think? Personally, I think the men were having a hard enough time as it was.