22 October 2005


Some things I noticed about Brazil in my short stay there:

  • Guidebooks say that Brazilians dine around 10:00 pm. Brazilians actually plan dinner for 8:00 pm. But "plan" is too strong a word — chaos typically ensues at 8:00 pm. Thus Brazilians actually end up eating dinner around 10:00 pm.
  • São Paulo is the most bustling city I have ever seen. And I have been to the Shinjuku district of Tokyo.
  • Rio really is that beautiful. Green lumpy mountains just pop right out of the city at random.
  • No, I am not saying that Rio is beautiful because I saw a bunch of nearly-naked young women on the beach. It was not the season for that sort of thing. The beach is spectacular anyway, and I'm not even a beach kind of guy.
  • Actually, Rio is kind of a conservative town. Together with my pale skin and long hair I wore a coat and tie, as I usually do. I recognize that this is eccentric-looking even here in eccentric San Francisco, but it made me more conspicuous in Rio than I have ever been anywhere else. In São Paulo, some people gave me a second look, but in Rio lots of people stared.
  • This may have had something to do with being taken for a rock star. Really. Slipknot had played there just before I arrived, and one person actually asked me if I was in the band, and didn't seem to believe me when I denied it.
  • I'm jaded from hanging around with witches in the US. The words “witch” and “witchcraft” aren't scary for me any more. But hanging around with Brazilian witches, they refer to bruja and bruxeria, which sound pretty spooky to me!
  • When I'm King of America, when a woman sitcom-ish-ly asks if a pair of pants makes her ass look fat, she will get a trip to Brazil for three days. Women in Brazil have a false reputation for having unusually terrific figures. Not so. They just all wear very tight pants, which is much more flattering on perfectly ordinary women than most folks in the US would think.
  • When a tourist attraction is a spectacular work of art, the tourist kitch they sell at the little shops is much better
  • The amount of Spanish that an attentive white guy in California picks up is extremely counterproductive in trying to quickly learn some conversational Portuguese, because it completely screws up your pronunciation. But one can read a lot of things.
  • The ubiquitous caipirinha is unbelievably tasty, and more alcoholic than it tastes.
  • Rio has suco (juice) stands on every corner in many districts, serving fresh juice from every fruit you can imagine and a few you cannot. We need this in the US.


TheWayOfTheGun said...

You know somebody who used to work with somebody who used to date somebody in Slipknot. That qualifies you to answer in the affirmative next time somebody wants to know if you are in the band. I have to confess that I purchased their^H^H^H^H^Hyour first album when it got big, but that the music just made me feel old.

Bucci's makes a damn tasty caipiriñha, though I have no idea if it is authentic. Or, for that matter, how to pronounce it, but after a few I don't seem to mind.

Jenn said...

I've been to Shinjuku - it's fabulous!

I've always wanted to go to Brazil - it sounds like you are having quite a fabulous time.

Caipirinhas rock!

Br. Port. is the sexiest language on earth.

Anonymous said...

where are the pictures!?

Jonathan Korman said...

I'm not a big traveling picture-taker. I do have a small handful of pictures, mostly of urban design. I hope to post a bit about them later this week.

Anonymous said...

Actually "witch" in portuguese is "bruxa" (pron. broo-shah)and "witchcraft" is "bruxaria".