Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An email update from yours truly

When I first started Brasilian Wax, I used to just copy and paste emails that I wrote home and called it blogging. I think I've evolved since then, but you'll have to forgive me if I backslide every now and then. Now is one of those times: I am going to paste an email I wrote home to friends and family so that those of you never agreed to be inundated by teffsinbrasil emails can share in the fun. Enjoy.

from eteffi
date Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 8:12 PM
subject Brasiw

Hello my faithful friends,

Thanks for agreeing to be bombarded by self-indulgent, Brazil-focused emails for the next four (or so) months. Here is the first one! I am going to try to make my emails different from my blog posts so as to avoid repeating myself and boring everyone more than is necessary. So, in the tried and true tradition of Steph-in-Brazil emails, I will list the (semi-interesting) things that have happened since I've been here:

1. I developed an interest in soccer. I KNOW. I never thought it would happen either. My long-held attitude towards soccer has been one of scoffing disregard, and I never intended to budge from that stance as long as I held an American passport, but it's basically impossible to be in Sao Paulo in the middle of World Cup season and not get a little bit sucked in to the futebol mania. I just had to abandon my anti-soccer attitude and embrace the World Cup - and you know what? It's been super fun. On days when Brazil plays, the entire city buzzes (and not just from those godawful vuvuzelas) -- you can actually feel the excited energy in the air. Everyone wears yellow or green and no one comes to work -- Brazilians have their priorities straight, after all (i.e., futebol > trabalho). One friend told me that on game days, you could go out to Avenida Paulista, one of the busiest thoroughfares in this city of 20 million + people, and lie down in the middle of it and take a nap, since everyone is glued to their TV screens when Brazil plays. Since Brazilians are so into their team, I took a page out of their book and decided to watch the USA-Ghana game with a bunch of Americans (and U.S. supporters) at a bar yesterday. We were the lone table of Americans in a sea of Brazilians, almost all of whom were rooting for Ghana (I made sure to glare at them in righteous indignation, although it's sort of hard to play the underdog card as an American), and I found myself YELLING at the TV screen as the U.S. slowly and painfully lost to Ghana. I never knew I cared about this crap. But I do. Who knew? Today I watched the Argentina-Mexico game (go Mexico!) and found myself yelling at the TV screen when I was ALONE in my apartment. Look who's a superfan all of a sudden.

2. I went clubbin'. I thought my clubbin' days were over, since the last time I lived here I was almost 5 years younger and had a significantly higher tolerance for ear-bleedingly loud clubs and house music in general. But on Saturday night, I found myself out until 3 am at one of my old haunts, Dolores, one of the only hip hop clubs in Sao Paulo. Side note about that: Brazilians don't think they are racist, and they definitely don't have the same issues with race that we do in the United States, but at least we don't call hip hop "black music." Yep. Brazilians call hip hop and R&B "black music," which they pronounce "blacky musicky," which makes it even more ridiculous. The club we went to last night advertises its "Sexta Black" (Black Friday), where they play exclusively blacky musicky, which I guess means no Eminem on Fridays? The best part of last night was seeing Brazilians wearing blinged-out baseball caps and wifebeaters C-walking (although it looked kinda like samba set to Snoop Dogg). Anyway, it was fun going out. Unlike last time I lived here, I didn't stay out until 8 am and then come home with my ears ringing and my hair reeking of smoke. Instead, I called it a night at the mature and reasonable hour of 3 am and went home and talked to my boyfriend and watched Shallow Hal. So much more grown up, right?

3. I went back to Parque Ibirapuera. I LOVE Parque Ibirapuera. It's this giant park in the middle of the city and to me, it is one of the most fascinating and fun places to go for quality people-watching. It feels like the entire city comes out to the park on weekends - it's crowded and loud and a bit chaotic. Today, as always, it was a colorful mess of rollerbladers, skateboarders, bikers, tandem bikers, walkers, runners, boaters, basketball players, volleyball players, coconut sippers, corn eaters, dog walkers, music listeners, and, of course maker-outers. I even saw two girls making out today. Way to evolve, Parque Ibirapuera.

4. I saw a military police helicopter hover above my friend's apartment building for a good hour. Helicopters aren't that unusual in SP, because rich people often use them to get to and from work (no joke) but military police helicopters flying at close range and circling a small block for an hour? That's weird. I was at my friend Mariana's apartment and we had just finished watching the Brazil-Ivory Coast game when we heard the helicopter outside. We went out and looked and realized that there were military police cars parked up and down the block, and cops in bullet-proof vests prowling the streets outside Mariana's building, obviously looking for someone. All of the people in the building came out and stood on their balconies, blowing vuvuzelas and throwing green and yellow confetti down on the police. Ah, Brazil. Eventually, the helicopter left, I guess because it got dark and they couldn't find whatever super dangerous criminal they were looking for. Awesome use of taxpayer resources, eh?

Anyway. I guess I'll leave it at that for today. I've done more stuff here over the past week, but no one wants to hear about how many mangoes I've eaten (four) or which bad American TV shows I've seen ad nauseum (Smallville, Two and a Half Men). So, yeah, I won't even mention it.

Hope you are all well! Ate mais.

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