Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Greetings from Brasilia

A long day, but fun... waited for Berlane to get off work inthe airport, a nice place actually... then we went for a chope in a shopping... I am in deep culture shock... tomorrow to see the sites!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tchau Ouro Preto, uai!

I really like the way you can walk around downtown Ouro Preto and run into people you know. It is something that is impossible in Sacramento. First being the lack of sidewalks in my neighborhood, and the other the way that we are encapsulated in our cars, live vast distances from each other, and well, we just don’t seem to have time to be with people, anyway. Here of course it is far different.

The witching hour is between 4 and 5pm, when the streets fill with people and their packages, with school kids, university students, and the occasional clueless tourist, and this visiting professor. After a year as a visiting faculty member here, two years ago, it is great to still feel part of the show, though I still walk about with my mouth agape at the beauty of the place and kindness of the people, and general craziness of it all as well. My 10 minute ride to downtown in my taxi lotação from Marger and Vianna's house stopped suddenly in front of a poor bike rider (coitado!), managed to miss a dog, and an old lady, befroe screechign to a halt at corner when I got out.

I ran into Silvia (the wife of the reitor) who I walk with every morning. We stopped and chatted and then decided to follow me and my camera around a bit, and we ended up having a chope before she headed to her aerobics class. We ended up sitting for a bit in a new restaurant in a corner of town that has the most amazing view of town and Elizabeth Bishop’s house and a favela that runs up the mountain to its west. She left for her class and promised to call me and later.

I decided then to walk some more as the sunset and cold set in and ran into Rafael who was running to the bank to get money to pay the lady the looks after his mother everyday. He is taking care of his mother, while working full time and finishing a specialization in education. We were talking briefly when he introduced me to other folks he knew that were walking about as well. I like the way that when I am introduced I am referred to in the 3rd person, as if I am not there “He speaks really good Portuguese – insert for a gringo”, etc… It’s a funny little trait that folks here have here with foreigners

I ended up in a café and drank bad (but green) tea and worked on more of our project outline and wrote until Silvia called later.

It’s been a great few days here, the Projeto with CEAD is going to be super and I will come back next year for a month or so. I hate to leave, and now kind of wish I’d just made plans to stay here longer for more of the Festival.

So tomoroow CEAD is takign my to the airport and I am off to Brasília and Berlane’s place and the cahpadas until time to go home.

que vergonha... os gringos sao "tão rudes e críticos quanto os franceses"

07/07/2008 - 14h07
Franceses são os turistas europeus mais odiados, diz pesquisa
da Folha Online
Os franceses foram eleitos os turistas mais odiados entre os europeus em uma pesquisa realizada pelo braço francês do site Expedia, especializado em viagens. Em termos mundiais, eles ficaram atrás apenas dos indianos e dos chineses.
Segundo o levantamento, publicado no site da revista "Time", os franceses são considerados desagradáveis não apenas fora de seu país: na própria França, eles ficaram em penúltimo lugar no ranking de popularidade dos viajantes.
A pesquisa aponta os compatriotas de Nicolas Sarkozy como grosseiros, reclamões e desrespeitadores dos costumes locais, além de pães-duros e incapazes ou não interessados em se comunicar em outras línguas.
O primeiro lugar da lista de popularidade mundial é ocupado pelos japoneses, considerados os mais educados, silenciosos e limpos. Depois vêm os alemães, britânicos e canadenses. Os norte-americanos ficaram na 11ª posição.
Os dados foram levantados em 4.000 hotéis na Alemanha, Reino Unido, Itália, França, Canadá e Estados Unidos. Foi solicitado aos participantes que listassem os clientes por nacionalidade e critérios como comportamento geral, educação, tendência a reclamar, desinteresse pelo idioma local, generosidade, asseio, discrição e elegância.
Muitas das respostas apenas confirmaram o que já se sabia --os italianos, por exemplo, foram eleitos os mais elegantes--, enquanto outras trouxeram surpresa, como o esforço campeão dos norte-americanos para se comunicarem na língua local.
Os turistas dos Estados Unidos, porém, deixaram a desejar em outros quesitos. Eles foram considerados quase tão rudes e críticos quanto os franceses.

an early morning walk with Silvia on my last day here...

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