We are off to Sao Paolo, Brazil. Our friends and family are of two camps about this trip of ours, due to the election there this past Sunday. Brazil has a new president that they’re calling ‘The Donald Trump of Brazil’, even in Brazil. There has been a lot of energy around this election – much like in the US, and half of the people we know are A) very worried about us going. Or B) they had no idea there even was an election in Brazil and/or where to find the country on a map. Let’s face it, most American’s believe that our country is the center of the known world, and the world we don’t know doesn’t really matter. This is sad but true.
I’ve had calls, WhatsApp messages, and texts from friends questioning if this is a good idea. There are news reports of rioting and civil unrest. But I’m not too worried. I’ve been to Lebanon during a civil war. We were in Athens during the economic crisis with the protests there; with tear gas and clashes with police in riot gear, near the Parliment in the shadow of the Acropolis. Even in Seattle, when the WTO protest went on for days, my office was right in the thick of it. So I think we’ll be just fine if anything happens. We just need to be smart about it.
One thing I’ve learned about these things is that usually the stories on the news are an exaggerated view of what’s actually going on. Images recorded in such a way to make the crowds seem larger or they show the video of just those that are not peacefully protesting, Because peaceful protesters don’t help ratings. It’s not inaccurate reporting, just a thin slice of the reality on the ground. I’m hoping that’s all it is.
But we are looking forward to spending some time South American and learning something new. We speak Portuguese, not at all, but we’ve gotten used to misunderstanding, and being misunderstood, for the last 8 months so we’re in the perfect frame of mind for yet another foray into the unknown. The country looks to be stunning and the Brazilian’s we know here are wonderful people. Although I’ve been asked by them ‘Why do you want to go to Brazil?’. Seems they like living in Spain a bit better.
And I’m taking my trusty Trafico bible with me, so I’ll be on track to take my theory test when I get back. It’s my constant companion now and I’m sure Jeff appreciates me randomly peppering him with obscure facts on things like traffic circles, the phrase ‘As a General Rule’ and so much more. His eyes only glaze over every so often now, and lucky him, he can continue to enjoy learning in the Southern Hemisphere. And I met someone the other night at a tapas party. He offered to teach me to drive a stick shift in their family car. And his wife offered to teach me all the basics in Spanish of ‘Right, left, straight and Dear God! – Stop this car immediately!’. I figure that’s pretty much all I’ll need for my practical exam.
I haven’t decided completely, but I don’t think I’ll be blogging while we’re there. There will be a lot to see and do, and I’d like to be present for all of it. Jeff is looking forward to confirming that toilets flush water in the opposite direction. But I’ll be back with pictures and non-toilet related stories when we return. The world will keep turning while we’re gone, so we’ll see you on the other side. Cheers!