Sunday, December 19, 2010

1 month : 31 days : 730.4 hours

If you'd asked me a few years back if I ever thought I would be spending Christmas 2010 listening to bossanova on a beach in brazil surrounded only by my husband I doubt I could have foreseen it. First, I never miss a major holiday to be home by a fire in the snow with hot chocolate and a big furry animal at my feet. Second, I hadn't met Alex so my life was Denver, the mountains, my best friends and my new apartment just for me. I was too busy planning a ski house to even consider switching gears south. But life doesn't always play out how you plan it and I wouldn't change a thing. Well maybe I am a little homesick and do wish I could be living out the first scenario at home by the fire but instead its a rainy gray day in Sao Paulo and I am at the mall, drinking a cafezihno in a comfy leather chair and listening to live guitar at the food court. Yes, beautiful live guitar at the food court. I want to bottle up this private little moment of solitude to save as a memory to reflect upon for the me in another few years.

So one month in, here's where I stand:

1.The first thing that comes to mind as I look down at my stomach is food. We've done a lot of food. I feel like I've swallowed a balloon that I can't pop. Inside somewhere are a few too many pizzas, cows and draft beer but I sure had a smile during every indulgence. I've been living like its a vacation, churrascaria for lunch and dinner AGAIN? Sure, "I'm in Brazil!" Yep, well if I am Brazilian then I have to get a handle on it. From the looks of my first beach experience the women here are NOT eating from the same places I'm calling home. They appear to be doing yoga three times a day, working specifically on their backside for 4 hours in the gym and consuming only fresh juice and salads. Apparently I didn't get the memo.

2. If I want to fit in, I am going to have to get a little more girly. No more nasty uncolored dry skin toe nail falling off feet. EVERY female; maid, waitress, stay at home mom, working woman with no time on her hands person with boobs has perfect feet. And hands. Its not hard to maintain yourself, places are everywhere and its very cheap so I now have no excuse. Also, no more forgot to wash my hair again run to the grocery store in flip flops and a smelly t-shirt no one will notice... It is now who cares wear your high heels and put on some make up and even a nice dress if its clean people WILL notice. Blah, and how do they ALWAYS smell so good?

3. We bought a car and I will learn to love it. (Im such a baby but no power steering is tough!!)

4. Chocolate Panetone. AHHmazing. Thank you again to the Italians for mixing yourselves into Brazilian culture.

5. Maracuja (passion fruit). Double AHHmazing. I eat it plain every morning, on my frozen yogurt in the afternoon, in pudding for desert and in my caipirinhas at night. It was the second word I learned, right after thank you!

6. For some reason our hotel decided to conveniently re-do the pool during Summer and well I'd rather watch grass grow. I've tried melting on the patio next to the waterless pool but its quite miserable. I would however love a job with these workmen's hours, mosey on in around 10, 2 hour lunch and leave at 4. Ahhh, nevermind I'd rather just have a pool!

7. I've had a tremendous time seeing lots of new neighborhoods and most especially where we will call home once we finally move in at the end of the month. I consider finding our apartment quite an accomplishment considering everything I heard about lack of closets, teeny tiny bedrooms and cramped kitchens. Screw new, old ugly on the outside buildings are the way to go! Very very excited!

8. Also very very excited that every day at 3pm Oprah comes on GNT. Wanna talk "Favorite things?" I know alllllll about it! A little piece of home that I have sadly arranged every weekday engagement around.

9. Brazilians are hands down the nicest most welcoming group of people I have ever encountered. People complain they are always late, take days to do something that might take an american an hour but I've stopped trying to compare them so much to back home. Whats the point? When in Brazil, do as....

10. Thanks to blogging I feel like I have a whole host of internet buddies to swap stories with. While it might seem creepy to lean on people you've only met through the "bio" section of their websites it makes the country and experience feel a lot cozier knowing lots of other people have gone or are going through the same crazy adventures. They add other perspectives, great advice, local knowledge and A LOT of humour to my life! Its also fun to read about Brazilians experiencing the US like Gil and Ray!

11. One more. Holy moly things are expensive. An expat friend of our that has lived here for 3 years confessed the only tangible thing he has purchased in Brazil is a basketball. Doubt we will be able to pull that off, I plan to buy many many shoes here over the next few years (wohoo) but we will certainly bring lots of empty suitcases with us to fill when we travel back home!


*This post was inspired by Linds another fellow blogger, who just celebrated her first "Braziliversary," I cannot wait to see where we'll be in a year!


Reagan Bond said...

i'm so glad your first month is going well... Enjoy all the ups and downs along the journey. You'll be back in the states before you know it and be missing all the amazing things you are experiencing right now :) I hope to have the opportunity to make the journey down to visit so you can show me all the amazing things Brazil has to offer! You will however be greatly missed over the holidays!

Gil and Ray said...

Dear Jana,

I am excited to read about your experiences in our hometown.
If you like larger, spacious apartaments, look at Higienopolis neighborhood, lot's of older well built spacious apartaments over there.
There are many in the Jardins area as well, but Higienopolis is more residential and at Jardins you have to be careful because some streets have all night long night clubs and bars and not enough silence...
The one thing you need to watch for older buildings is the condo fee, some of them have very high condo fees, but if you get a good realtor you should find a good older spacious place with a resonable condo fee.
It's good to see you enjoy reading our blog. I have enjoyed seeing your comments on our posts.
I will look forward to hear your Sao Paulo experiences.


Jim said...

I hear you about the eating... I've gained WAY too much weight since we moved here.

I NEVER had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast in the states! And açai is a secret calorie and fat bomb!

Not to mention all the empty calories in all the beer.

Good luck finding your groove.

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