Friday, September 17, 2010

A New Adventure

As if Buenos Aires Argentina was not far enough away from home, I now found myself sitting at the airport in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Me and my good buddy Xerxes (Fellow American Expat living in Buenos that goes to our English) are traveling to attend the English District Convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil and then proceeding to Rio de Janiero.

This is my first real time being in Brazil (I had a layover here in the Airport once) and I’m a little overwhelmed by the experience. Even though I live in Argentina which is a foreign country, there they speak Spanish, which while I am by no mean fluent in Spanish, I am able to get by, and not get myself killed. Here however this is my first real experience with Portuguese, and let me tell you all…it’s freaking me out. Whenever they start talking, I kind of know what’s going on from my Spanish, but then things take a crazy left turn right when you are not expecting it. It sounds like someone from France, whom after learning to speak Spanish poorly, and then speaks it to you.

Today in the airport was quite an adventure trying to get around without knowing even a word of Portuguese. I managed to somehow exchange some money (Airport Exchanges are the biggest crooks), and then head up to the food court. However after my experience buying a English – Portuguese dictionary went bad, I didn’t have the courage to try and order something strange Brazilian food items, from a bunch of people that don’t speak English, so please forgive me for what I have done but I felt that my only option for lunch was…MacDonald’s. Even there the girl at the counter had a hard time working with me. I guess the way I said “MacChicken” was not clear enough. Then apparently there was something she didn’t like about the 50 Real note that I gave her so I had to pay with my credit card…still trying to figure that one out.

After hearing all of this you must be wondering how in the world I expect to get by going to Brazil for two weeks? Well to be honest I don’t really know. But fear not, we are staying with brothers from the English hall in both Sao Paulo, and Rio, and they have already told us that they are going to take good care of us. So I am not too worried about it all.

We arrive late tonight in Sao Paulo, and then we have a few days to play there, and then we have convention all weekend. Me and Xerxes plan on visiting the Branch on Wednesday (We already have a place at lunch…See why you should be a Pioneer…) and then service on Thursday with the English Congregation. Saturday night the family we are staying with has planned an “Asado” (Cookout or BBQ) with us as the guests of honor. Already I am finding these brothers and sisters to be among the most kind, and hospitable I have ever met.

After our near week in Sao Paulo we will be traveling to Rio. There I will be staying with a brother from the English Congregation there, while Xerxes’ parents are flying from the states and staying with him in a hotel. Our plans there are a little less set, but with so many things to do in Rio (which is a Tourist paradise with world famous beaches) compared to Sao Paulo (Which is the Business Capital of the country, Think New York without the culture) I know we will find plenty of cool things to do there.

Right now as our trip is just beginning I can only tell you of our plans, and what we believe will happen. But as any seasoned traveler (World Travelers especially) will tell you: nothing ever goes according to the plan, and the best travel stories and adventures always come from the unexpected. So I will try to write about this trip as I go, and keep the updates going.

Thanks again for reading and I will talk to you all soon.

Ciao Ciao

1 comment:

  1. Dom...I'm so excited for you. Another adventure!! Thanks for sharing. You write well. I feel like I was there in Brazil with you & Xerxes. The first day or two in any new country is culture shock...and during this time McDonalds is totally acceptable. My first night in BsAs I checked into the McDs on Florida St. It was a taste of home after an exhausting journey. Be well...and be adventuresome!!! ~Harmony