Monday, 20 May 2013

'Adapting' to Life in Brazil

(The mall doesn't have any UK-Brazil adaptors, so I've had to go UK-USA-BR
-those pesky Americans get in the way of everything, haha)

Sorry I have not really updated properly, but it's been an interesting few days (to say the least). 

I feel like so many things have been going wrong, that maybe it's a sign I shouldn't be here? At the same time, it means I've learnt a lot? Guess it depends how you look at it.

I mean for example, it's not like I can give a pictoral recap of everything I've seen out here, since I have no phone now (smartphone anyway). So the most I've managed to do is use my laptop's webcam to take pictures of stuff inside lol. 

The actual phone I do have (an old Nokia brick phone) is refusing to co-operate with me- it picks up the signal for TIM & Claro (2 Brazilian networks around here), but won't let me send/ receive calls anymore. Basically it's useless for everything apart from waking me up as a 4 hour late alarm, & for Snake =P 

Things are starting to look up a little though. After finding out we need a CPF to buy a sim out here, someone else did that for me & I should have it soon. And my luggage should apparently arrive soon.

The mishaps I've been through in the last few days have taught me some things about Brazilian people. Firstly, they are very good at passing you along to other people- but once you've been passed along, nobody is responsible if anything goes wrong from there on out xD There's a lot of hopeless bureaucracy, & you can't expect to get things done quickly- so although I knew Brazilians are late to almost everything, I now know that they also don't actually come when they say they will. (There's a difference between being late when someone else sets a time, & you being late when you say you will come at a certain time lol).  

The other thing I've learnt though is Brazilians are generally open & accommodating. So even though things aren't going smoothly, it's the little things that count- so the woman who tried to tell me all the names of the things in the coffee shop (even though I told her 'eu no falo Portugues'* as many times as I could), was very sweet. Even if my Portuguese sucks (the words are written so differently that I don't even understand them lol), I can at least use my pictoral dictionary to point things out to people (it's been surprisingly helpful actually!) 

So yes, to recap, there's been a silver lining for every cloud hanging over my head:

  • I lost my (other) phone, but there was no sim in it anyway (& it's locked to the Orange network from back home),
  • My suitcase still hasn't arrived, but at least my valuable things (like my laptop) were with me in my carry on, so I can make do with that for the moment
  • I've learnt the hard way that taking a shower for 5+ mins floods the entire apartment, but at least when I step out from the shower it's no colder than inside it (the heat keeps everything nice & warm).
  • The cooker in the apartment doesn't work, but my flatmate was nice enough to buy me lunch today anyway.
  • I've been wearing the same damn clothes for 4 days now (only bought a change of underwear in my carry-on), but thankfully my flatmate has lent me some more (though I'm much fatter than she is, so I'll probably end up stretching them all out after only wearing them a few hours lol)
  • I'm incredibly scared about how little Portuguese I know, but when I was watching TV I made notes & the Portuguese made more sense to me than I thought it would. Also, I'm very lucky that my flatmates both speak really good English (even though they don't think they do)
  • My worries are relatively small (like how to get to work), considering the fact that I am still alive & well

So now I'm trying to keep myself occupied with other things, like taking out the trash & making small talk, whilst washing my 2 pieces of clothes in the sink. 

I asked my mother about going back to the UK, but that was because I wanted to be somewhere safe- I realise now that the things that have happened to me (like lost luggage/ phone) could happen absolutely anywhere, not just in Brazil (well, apart from maybe the late bureaucracy thing, lol)

So just remember... things won't seem so bad if you choose to look at them from another angle...

Doesn't look as extreme from here, right lol?

Take care,

*I think 'eu no falo Portugues' means 'I don't speak Portuguese'- so maybe they thought I still understood Portuguese (even if I don't speak it), lol...

*(PS- If you don't understand any of the acronyms/ terms that I've used anywhere on this blog, please check my glossary page for a definition.)

1 comment:

  1. Aw don't worry hun, once these teething problems are done inshallah it will be smoother. Just pray Namaz e Hajat for your lost luggage and for your time here to go more smoothly inshallah.


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