Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wrapping up Brazil

Here is my final (for now) Teffs-in-Brasil email. Enjoy!

Oi oi -

It's hard to believe that it's been SIX whole months since I arrived in Brazil, but I guess time flies when you're working long hours at a tedious, mind-numbing job. That's the saying, right?

I really can't wrap my mind around the fact that I've been here for half a year. So much has happened here in this gigantic, crazy country! Dilma got elected (sigh), as did a (possibly) illiterate clown (double sigh), Rio became a war zone, Brazil got its ass handed to it in the World Cup, someone spelled my name "Stethanie." So much stuff! And I guess stuff happened in the US, too. Or whatever.

Six months. Whoa. When I arrived here it was June and now it's December -- the warm heart of Brazilian summer and the frozen, miserable heart of American winter. I'm already scared about getting off the plane in DC on Saturday night with no winter jacket, no boots, and no gloves, with my already pitifully fragile circulatory system softened into utter uselessness by six months of lazy, South American heat. Pray for me.

So, I guess since this is my last Teffs-in-Brasil email for a while, I should probably wax rhapsodical about my time here and tell some witty anecdotes about cheese or whatever I usually write about. But to be honest, I am SUPER tired, because I've been going out this week *a lot* (trying to squeeze every last drop (of alcohol, mostly) out of Brazil before I leave) and during my free time away from partying, I've also been working, so my brain feels like mush, and whatever quadrant of gray matter that's in charge of wittiness is not lighting up today. I can't even get a metaphor right. Gray matter lighting up? C'mon, Steph.

But, I will say that although the last six months have had, shall we say, ups and downs, overall, I am SOOOOOO glad I came. Seriously. I know some of you have listened to me bitch hard-core about some aspects of my life here: my job, being lonely, not being able to find a decent piece of gum in this town, the weird smells, the fact that the toilet lid in my apartment touches your back when you sit down (*shudder*), the outrageous prices, etc. But you know what? All of the inconvenience, loneliness, and resentment was worth it. Over the last six months, I've made new friends, improved my Portuguese *vastly*, learned a lot professionally, and, yes, grown as a person. I know, gross.

This past weekend was particularly wonderful. It was filled with karaoke, towers of beer, barbequed meat, caipirinhas, Brazilian music, fresh fruit, dancing, buckets of rain, and intense sun. Sometimes all at once. The whole weekend left me with a warm, benevolent feeling about Brazil in general, and put a lot of the bad stuff in perspective. Of course, every day can't be a karaoke-barbeque-beerfest, but it's a nice goal to shoot for in life.

Anyway, it's nice to end my time here on a good note, and coming up I have so much to look forward to. I'm spending Christmas and New Years with Al and we're seeing all three of our familial units, in three different locations. International Christmas travel adventures will abound! In January I restart work back in DC -- never thought I'd say this but I can't wait to get back into arbitration. All in all, I have a good feeling about 2011. I mean, it better be good since the world's ending in 2012 and all.

Hope to hear from all of you when you have time. I'll see you guys on the flip side!


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