Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Terrible things happened this week

We're going through a weird wave of bad luck. Seriously. I'm scared.

I) The day before yesterday, one of my new friends' grandpa passed away. She was on her way to work, and got the dreaded phone call informing her he had fainted at home and been brought to a hospital. Unfortunately, his heart stopped beating. His funeral happened yesterday. She was brave enough to come to work and go through training, still fighting to keep her mind busy. Still, though, it was clear she wasn't fine. My heart goes out to her and her family.

II) Yesterday, another of my new friends also heard bad news on the phone. When we were done with training, he called his significant other's cell phone number and to his surprise a stranger answered the phone. It turned out her cell phone had been robbed, and the robber started terrorizing him on the phone. When he hung up, he desperately called home to check if she was safe, but she didn't answer. Fear that they had done something bad to her hit him full force. He ran down the avenue all the way to his neighborhood (literally!), trembling and absolutely nervous. Thankfully, she was safe at home. He was so scared, though, that even today he still felt awkward, psychologically drained.

I don't know what to say. Really. I just wish things are going to get better in their lives. And pray nothing bad will come my way.

Hope YOU are doing fine. Stay safe.

-- Becca 

Monday, July 16, 2012

We're in Porto Alegre. And my accent is weird.

Hey guys, how are you doing? We're in Porto Alegre!

Remember when I moved to Wisconsin and started a blog on my life as an international student? Well, even though I'm in Brazil, now and then I feel like a tourist. Okay, not just "now and then". I feel like a tourist all the time. So, I guess I should start blogging about some about my adventures here.

I should start by telling you that my accent is really weird after only four years living abroad. Seriously. Since I didn't have many Brazilian friends in Wisconsin, I spent 99% of my time speaking in English. And then I started thinking in English. And writing fiction in English. And dreaming in English. It was English, English, English all the time. So, now my accent is like that of someone who's learning Portuguese.

It's really frustrating when someone asks me, "Are you Brazilian?" That happened in Recife, when Michael and I were taking a taxi cab and the taxi driver was really puzzled when I told him I actually am Brazilian. "But you've live abroad," he said. "Yes," I confirmed, and he was then very happy with himself. "You have a different accent," he told me.

My family thought I sounded weird, too.

One of my flatmates' family here in Porto Alegre -- or, should I say, here in PoA -- invited us to a traditional gaucho barbecue. It was wonderful. We took a bus early in the morning and went to this nearby town. Cachoeirinha. All his family was there: his mom and dad, his brother and sister, and his in-laws, too. They were wonderful, welcoming people and we had a great time. They thought, however, I sounded like someone who's lived abroad. And added that I actually don't look Brazilian. They thought I looked I could be from Spain. Or Portugal. Or even Argentina. Only my flatmate Airton thought I sounded normal, though last time he heard me was in 2007. . .

To make my situation even more complicated, another of my flatmates is French. So, when we hang out, people see Michael is American, Axel is French, and yours truly with a weird accent, Iberian features. They presume right away I'm a foreigner.

Oh well.

We're fine and still adjusting. Today we got the rest of our furniture, and all we need are desk lamps. I'm going through job interviews. I'm back to writing. I'm gonna guess very soon I'll have a story to show you. All I can tell you, at least for now, is that it will introduce you to a bit of Brazilian folklore.

All the best,
-- Becca