Thursday, February 12, 2009

Setting Into A Groove

I think I've almost died five times since I arrived here, just from being in the car. My FIL doesn't look in his blind spot before swerving into the next lane or turning, and my MIL is super aggressive. She almost took out three bicyclists today!

I know it's just how people drive here. I think it's why Brasilians like to live life to its fullest (hello Carnival!)- they never know when a car is going to wipe them out. So I've adopted a carefree attitude and try to think of it as a daily adventure.

Today we drove to a new part of the city so Gabi could start preschool (and almost killed the car in a giant pothole)! We thought it'd be a great way for her to learn more Portuguese, and because her cousin goes to the same school, they were very open to Gabi only being there for a month.

They wear the cutest little uniforms! Gabi won't have to, but I might get her one just because they are so cute. Well, if she stays. I thought for sure she'd love it, since she loves her preschool at home and was excited about going to school here. But after picking her up today she says she doesn't want to go back. I think we'll try it a few more times before giving up.

Preschool here is five days a week, from 1:00 to 6:00. Five hours! It might be a bit too much. But we'll see.

My MIL already has plans for me to go to her gym during my free afternoons. I wish I'd brought gym clothes, because she is so determined to get me in the gym that I'm going to end up exercising in my regular clothes. I can't afford two outfits a day with the long laundry turnaround time here!

It's also a bit amusing that's she's so concerned about my exercise regime since she keeps trying to stuff me full of food up to my ears. I'm certainly not starving myself, but it's so hot here I just can't eat a lot, much to her dismay. She also keeps trying to make me eat lots of cake and icecream! The woman is a mystery.

Gabi on the other hand, has been eating like crazy and making my MIL very happy.

I'll try to start posting pictures. It means I have to go out in the sun, but I know I can't hide in the house every day. I'm also going to start taking my camera with me everywhere we go. You should see the check-out lines in the grocery store!

Seriously, the lines wrap around the store, and it's considered normal! People will think I'm crazy for taking pictures, but there are just some things that are worth looking crazy for.


  1. Wow! Sounds like a huge culture shock! Lines at the grocery store? That's crazy.

  2. Pictures, yes, too!

    Will we finally get to see one of you maybe?! :D

    Lines at the grocery store -- just like here. Only I'm sure we end up much bitchier since we expect instant service. LOL

  3. How exciting!
    I'm glad you are settling in nicely. :-)
    Stay safe!

  4. Glad you made it to Brazil safely! Don't eat too much ice cream but try to stay cool somehow! I hope Gabi adjusts to her new preschool too. Hang in there..only a few weeks left to go!
    Ciao, ciao
    (I forget how they spell it in Portugese though!)

  5. Oh good heavens! My grandma has always said you need one GA a day - one Great Adventure.

    It sounds like you're stocking up to last you 'till next Christmas!

    Why doesn't Gabi like her preschool???

    Oh, have you found your ankles yet???

  6. yes, welcome back to Brazil. I will neve get used to the driving. I went to the US for a couple days in November and drove around. I was so happy!! It was grinning like an idiot because people were actually turning from the appropriate turn lanes and uses turn signals!! Supermarket shopping takes HOURS. Ah, Brazil!!

    My son goes to daycare for 10 hours a day and he is not adapting well this year even though he has gone since he was 4 months old and it is the same school. It just might be too much change for Gabi right now.

    Good luck FINDING workout clothes, Brazil stores carry few things over size 10 - I always have trouble finding clothes! However, there are people who custom make workout clothes and bathing suits -might be worth looking into.

    Sounds like you are having a good time.

  7. I am laughing... I love to read foreign people opinion about our crazy way of living.
    About the temperatures... we are in the mid-50s in São Paulo today... You would love that. About the blind spot, under the brazilian law you cannot turn your head to check the car on your blind spot. You have to rely on the side mirror. It is stupid, I know, but that is the way it is...
    I can´t imagine what you are up against when Carnaval arrives next week. Santos will be beyond crowded.

    Enjoy your visit.

    PS: I am from Curitiba. My whole family lives there. My husband is from São Paulo and we met at the Chicago O´hare airport.

  8. I don't think brazilians ever look at the blind spot, it's not like we are taugh how to drive! :P hehehehe!!!!


  9. Ah, what do you care if the people at the store think you're crazy? You're gonna be home in a month! Lol, hey! Take you MIL with you so that they can all remember HER when you leave ! lol.

    p.s. I think my husband may be Brazilion (according to his driving skills) ha ha

  10. Funny, I saw a similar wrap around line of people at the Coach outlet store. But now that I think about it, that should come as a surprise. After, all, food and Coach purses are both bare necessities of life.

  11. I am so gald your both having a good time. All day school will be good for Gabi. I miss you all.


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