Tag Archive: Brazilians

My Train of Thought

trainofthought1It’s true, it’s Sunday, I have had one coffee, but it’s just not enough.

Rained overnight, not a lot, but enough to wet the ground. Remains overcast and cool, not good BBQ weather.

It was hard yesterday, the neighbours had a BBQ out in the sun; all that lovely beef, and here’s me on a beefless week. But there was plenty of pork and chicken too, so I was not deprived.

Today is the last day of my first beefless week, given that all the beef in the house (bought before this week) is in the freezer, it should be successful.

I shot a small video yesterday, actually there were three pieces, but Movie Maker wouldn’t let me splice them together.

There you have it, a brief glimpse of a Brazilian neighbourhood BBQ.

Must blog along, this is only my third post of the day, five to go, including a Sunday Travel Tales here.


Life is Leftovers

I need one of these on my keyboard

I need one of these on my keyboard

I woke at six, I prepared to blog.

The laundry lady came and she laundried, and left.

I had intended to go to the supermarket when she left, but I had her wash the shorts I wanted to use.

Deep procrastination set in despite the four cups of coffee I had had since I woke. Normally this would be enough to fortify through the most strenuous of days. I did the only sensible thing, I napped.

Having napped and still suffering from procrastination, I have decided that the supermarket can wait until tomorrow.

Bacon & mushroom, yum yum

Bacon & mushroom, yum yum

Last night, due to an empty  fridge, I ordered pizza. Bacon and mushroom with olives. I tried a new pizzaria (pizza parlour, for those who can’t figure out such complexities on a Sunday, and Americans), Della Massa, their leaflet came in the mail box. They had a web site, I chose my pizza and filled out the on-line purchase form and waited; and waited, and waited…. Finally, I was sick of waiting; I rang them… Oh we didn’t get your email order. I repeated it over the phone and I waited, and waited, and waited some more.

Nearly an hour passed, and on hearing a motorbike in the street (all these places use a motorbike for deliveries) I wandered to the gate despite him not tooting. There was the delivery guy outside the botequim lost; I had used the botequim as a reference point. One of the locals pointed at my gate. I got my pizza while complaining about the service, or at least the lack of it. The guy told me that someone had taken the computer home… Typically Brazilian, how do you expect to take email orders when you haven’t got a computer?

I ate half the pizza. There was a time when I would have demolished the lot and looked around for more, but age has taken its toll. Gluttony is not something that I would go to purgatory for, I just don’t have the capacity anymore. I could still get to purgatory for a bit of coveting, age hasn’t affected some things. Tatiana, my first Brazilian partner, nearly sent me there for a bit of coveting… she caught me ogling the girls as we walked downtown; I simply responded that she had nothing to worry about until I started ogling the guys. That settled the matter, it was never mentioned again.

So lunch today is leftover pizza. I was wondering if it would be considered debauchery if I had a nice wine with that.

Blogging right along….

There should be a Sunday Travel Tales later, that would depend on the toll taken by consuming a full bottle of wine. It is Sunday, after all.

No whirling dervishes were injured in this post.

There’s not a lot to write about…

It’s hot and dry today. Already drunk litres of iced water.

The forecast temp was 38°C. It was hot this morning when I went out to pay the rent and that was about 9am. I haven’t been out the door since.

I have to go to work at 3:30, so I’ll find out how hot it is then. I’m not in a hurry to find out. Even the fan is blowing hot air.

Seven days off work. The benefits of carnival. The winner for this year was announced yesterday, Villa Isabel.


Vila Isabel parades on the Sambôdromo

So now it’s all over for another year. Brazilians can go back to work and school.

Me too.

I am sorely tempted to go to Brazeiro (BBQ restaurant) after class and enjoy the airconditioning, the food and the beer while I watch my soap operas.

Later…. not. Only tomorrow.

Breakfast at Noon

Queensberry-Classic-Laranja-320gYes, BREAKFAST!

I have had various cups of coffee, but between napping and procrastinating I have omitted to eat anything.

I am in the process of remedying that situation now. The grill is on to make toast.

Challenge met!

There is no breakfast quite like marmalade on toast.

Here, they call it geleia de laranja (orange jam). Brazilians don’t have the concept of marmalade, although this is imported, and horrendously expensive (R$9.98 a jar), there is no word that equates to marmalade. Not to be confused with mermelada in Spanish which means jam and not maramalade.

Having a late breakfast is rather fortuitous today, as I have nothing for lunch. I got fish at the supermarket on Monday night, but I didn’t take it out to thaw. The fact that the supermarket was crowded, I forgot to get anything else edible, except chocolate. One shouldn’t have chocolate for breakfast. Which is as good a reason as any to have lunch out tomorrow when I go shopping with my ex and Emmylee for school stuff.

I was surprised by a comment today on yesterday’s post. Who or what is a Bieber, pray?

JBA Beiber is having the unfortunate condition where ones singing enchants young adolescent girls whose hearts throb at the very mention of his name.

Quite frankly, he is the nadir of singer wanna-bes who are under the delusion that they can sing. Which is supported by the fact that only immature adolescent girls (mainly) consider he can.

I was under the impression that everyone knew who Bieber was, even if only to avoid anything supposedly musical connected with his name. But apparently, not in Hong Kong. Oh the bliss of living in a place where Bieber is unknown.

The fridge saga… Yes, once again the best laid plans of mice and men went awry. During the day the availability of the pick-up disappeared. Now we have set Thursday as the day.

The nuts and bolts of blogging

The nuts and bolts of blogging

I am worried. I keep an eye on my stats for the blogs, and since the weekend they have been way down. My best two blogs Nether Region of the Earth III and Things that Fizz & Stuff are down from 150+ visits per day to 32 and 61 respectively, and that reflects for Mondays (normally the best day of the week) stats too. Eco-Crap, while not the best, is the only blog still swimming with the current. It makes me woonder if I am doing something wrong when I see dips like that. Blogging is not without its frustrations.


So, it came to pass…

Another Christmas Day.

Before I ruin it, I’d just like to wish the faithful, the followers and other assorted visitors, even if you landed here accidentally,

Merry Christmas!

Santa-CocaColaI had intended to do that yesterday. I mean, I really did. I had the ‘new post’ box open for so long that WordPress told me that my session had expired and I had to sign in again.

You will note that I didn’t use RED for the Merry Christmas. After all Christmas is red, isn’t it? Well it is, but only since Coca Cola used the paintings of Haddon Sundblom  who is generally accepted as to having changed the colour to red, although a red Santa had appeared earlier. But, Coca Cola saw the red Santa as fitting into its corporate image.

So, by not using red I am protesting at a corporate level because since 1984 Coca Cola has been using HFCS as its sweetening agent because cane sugar is too expensive. HFCS aggravates obesity and type-2 diabetes and should be a banned substance, but of course, with Coca Cola’s lobbying power, this will never happen.

Last night, as I tried in vain to sleep from about 10:30, the air was split with bangs and booms and the occasional ‘whumph’ in the distance sounding more like an artillery piece being fired.

Brazilians have decided that Christmas should be split asunder with fireworks like New Year.

The traditional ceia (midnight dinner) is a feature of Christmas for this largely Catholic country. the meal features a turkey, Brazilians are big on turkey, and features familiar dishes and the not-so-familiar. Bacalhau (slated cod) is always featured in some dish or other, along with staples like rice and farofa (a mandioca flour side dish). For many the midnight mass, then home for ceia, but this year they decided fireworks were needed as well. There have always been a few, but this year featured more than I can remember.

We continue to have hot. It has been two weeks since any rain, despite forecast promises. Today is already sunny and hot, but a wind has sprung up in the last few minutes which is refreshing.

Today, nothing will happen. Brazilians do not ‘do’ Christmas Day; their excesses are on Christmas Eve making Christmas Day rather a non-event. They don’t ‘do’ Boxing Day either, so tomorrow, it’s back to work.

Such is Christmas.

Next weekend we do it all again for New Year.

Whoops, I did it again

From an old backyard BBQ five years ago

I just love BBQs.

I had another one last night with the meat that was left over from Wednesday. I had bought far too much; sat the appointed hour of beer o’clock (4pm), I fired up the BBQ again.

This time I was watched by a small bevy of regulars. Normally when you light a BBQ there is a dearth of helpers, they seem to appear as if by magic when the meat is ready. But being a Friday, there were some around.

They chided me for not using easy firelighters nor alcohol in whatever form, pure, soaked in newspapers or old bread crusts, etc (every Brazilian has his favourite method) and of course they figured my way wouldn’t work. Because I just shred an old cardboard carton, heap some fine charcoal on that and set fire. Within minutes, the charcoal is hissing and sparkling, then I add bigger pieces of charcoal. They were amazed at how simple it was.

Erick at 10 learning the finer points from the master chef

I managed to recycle a cardboard carton, I didn’t have singed eyebrows, I hadn’t created a revisit to Hiroshima and within ten minutes, I had the first meat adding it’s fat to the fire.

Marinated rump steak, liver slices, sausages, chicken wings, a slap of pork, pork ribs and garlic bread were the order of the night until around 8:30. The rump steak was salted with rock salt and soya sauce, the chicken wings had a dusting of curry powder, the pork slab was covered with rosemary and garlic and the pork ribs had freshly cracked black peppercorns rubbed on them. So there was a good variety of meat and flavours.

August and September are the months of birthdays; ever wondered why?

Pre-Christmas equipment checks and Christmas – New Year promises fulfilled, so the world is full of Leos, Virgos and Libras. My family is no different here; we have birthdays on the 8th, 12th, 16th, 29th, then in Sept, 7th & 17th. So it’s a busy time of the year, also an expensive one. So it is with my neighbours, they have a birthday today, yet another BBQ; I have been invited. So no cooking needed today.

I have been busy at the keyboard. Posts already for tomorrow and one ready for Monday.

Just a special note here. I don’t often thank all my loyal followers and readers, but I do see all your likes and try to visit your blogs  with each one to see what news there. The commenters, the life-blood of the blogger, I try to reply to each one, sometimes a couple of days late, but I get there eventually. A BIG thank you to you all.

Must go an water the plants, hot day and they are wilting.


The Perfect Button

The perfect button

I have finally found the perfect button for my PC.

Every PC should have one. Veges and vegans can opt out, that’s a problem for Microsoft..

Middle Rashers

Bacon, wonderful thick middle rashers of carcinogenic bacon. Dripping with lard straight from the pan to take their rightful place alongside the perfectly fried eggs.

I love bacon.

I’m waffling. I missed posting yesterday, and the day before that. I have accumulated a number of topics that I thought worth mentioning. But, now that I am here, they’ve gone; as so often happens.

I am actually waiting for Shirley and the girls to arrive for lunch. It’s ready, just have to cook the vermicelli. As usual, they’re late, but then they are Brazilians. A prearranged time does not mean a lot to Brazilians. Midday was accepted as the best time to arrive, of course, being a non-Brazilian, everything was ready at the appointed hour. So now the waiting game begins; began, actually as it’s now 1:00pm.

I have been a busy boy this morning. I have posted on all blogs, cooked lunch, tidied the kitchen, written two drafts for Eco-Crap, which will save me time Monday and Tuesday. I have, so far, resisted the temptation to call a beer o’clock stop and wander along to the botequim (bar), they are having a BBQ for the local soccer team. They must have won their game this morning. But if Shirley doesn’t arrive soon, that’s where she will find me. At least frm there I can see them walk across the square, so it’s not like I am going to disappear.

I have decided that it is beer o’clock, I can’t resist the temptation. BBQ is like a magnet.

Later, I should have the Sunday Travel Tales up.


LOL cat talking in ‘capshuns’

This is something that I have often wondered.

Self doubt is a terrible affliction.

I talk to my cats in ‘capshuns’; is that enough proof. Am I the only person who does this? It’s worrying.

It’s worrying because I am a stickler for correct English, it’s one of the problems of being a teacher of the language, a prerequisite, if you like.

But I must admit that I do get a certain perverse pleasure from butchering the language for fun. I do silly things like make regular verbs irregular (arrive, arrove, arriven) and vice versa; or try going a whole day without conjugating the verb ‘to be’, as in I be happy today. In some cases, it actually makes sense, makes the language simpler.

Have a read of this and you will see part of the problem that makes English so hard to learn, besides its system of verbs being easier,it’s just… just so irregular.

The chaos

A poem on English pronunciation

Charivarius, (G.N. Trenite: 1870–1946).

Dearest creature in creation,
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.
It will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye your dress you’ll tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer:
Pray console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it.
Just compare heart, beard and heard,
Dies and diet, Lord and word.
Sword and sward, retain and Britain,
(Mind the latter, how it’s written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Say–said, pay–paid, laid, but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak:
Say break, steak, but bleak and streak,
Previous, precious; fuschia, via;
Pipe, shipe, recipe and choir;
Cloven, oven; how and low;
Script, receipt; shoe, poem, toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery;
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore;
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles;
Exiles, similes, reviles;
Wholly, holly; signal, signing;
Thames, examining, combining;
Scholar, vicar and cigar,
Solar, mica, war, and far.
Desire–desirable, admirable–admire;
Lumber, plumber; bier but brier;
Chatham, brougham; renown but known,
Knowledge; done, but gone and tone,
One, anemone; Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen; laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German; wind and mind;
Scene, Melpomene, mankind;
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross; brook, brooch; ninth, plinth.
Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet;
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which is said to rime with darky.
Viscous, viscount; load and broad;
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s O.K.
When you say correctly; croquet;
Rounded, wounded; grieve and sieve;
Friend and fiend, alive and live,
Liberty, library; heave and heaven;
Rachel, ache, moustache; eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed;
People, leopard; towed, but vowed.
Mark the difference moreover
Between mover, plover, Dover;
Leeches, breeches; wise, precise;
Chalice, but police and lice.
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, discipline, label;
Petal, penal and canal;
Wait, surmise, plait, promise; pal.
Suit, suite, ruin; circuit, conduit,
Rime with: “shirk it” and “beyond it”;
But it is not hard to tell
Why it’s pall, mall, but PallMall.
Muscle, muscular; goal and iron;
Timber, climber; bullion and lion;
Worm and storm; chaise, chaos, chair;
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Ivy, privy; famous; clamour,
And enamour rime with “hammer”.
Pussy, hussy and possess,
Desert, but dessert, address.
Golf, wolf; countenants; lieutenants
Hoist, in lieu of flags, left pennants.
River, rival; tomb, bomb, comb;
Doll and roll, and some and home.
Stranger does not rime with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Soul, but foul; and gaunt, but aunt;
Font, front, won’t; want, grand and grant;
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then; singer, ginger, linger.
Real, zeal; mauve, gauze and gauge;
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age.
Query does not rime with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post; and doth, cloth, loth;
Job, Job; blossom, bosom, oath.
Though the difference seems little
We say actual, but victual;
Seat, sweat; chaste, caste; Leigh, eight, height;
Put, nut; granite but unite.
Reefer does not rime with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull; Geoffrey, George; ate, late;
Hint, pint; senate, but sedate.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific;
Science, conscience, scientific.
Tour, but our, and succour, four;
Gas, alas and Arkansas!
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern; cleanse and clean;
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian.
Dandelion with battalion,
Sally with ally, Yea, Ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Never guess–it is not safe;
We say calves, valves; half, but Ralf.
Heron, granary, canary;
Crevice and device and eyrie;
Face, preface, but efface,
Phlegm, phlegmatic; ass, glass, bass;
Large, but target, gin, give, verging;
Ought, out, joust and scour, but scourging;
Ear, but earn; and wear and tear
Do not rime with “here” but “ere”.
Seven is right, but so is even;
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen;
Monkey, donkey; clerk and jerk;
Asp, grasp, wasp; and cork and work.
Pronunciation–think of psyche–
Is a paling, stout and spikey;
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
writing groats and saying “groats”?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel,
Strewn with stones, like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Don’t you think so, reader, rather
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally: which rimes with “enough”,
Though, through, plough, cough, hough or tough?
Hiccough has the sound of “cup”,
My advice is … give it up!

See what I mean?

Now on with the day. Brazilian… Love them, but they have a terrible problem. Brazilians need to know everything. For example a simple road accident report in a western newspaper might take a couple of column-inches; here a whole full page spread covers the same accident in almost indecent intimate minute detail.

Here’s a case in point.

Pedro Leonardo – Singer and heart throb

The story so far: 32 days ago a young singer Pedro, son of one of Brazil’s famous sertaneja (country & western) crooners, Leonardo, had a car accident in Goias. After a gig in the north of the country he decided to drive home alone, against his father’s advice. The result was, he fell asleep at the wheel and rolled the car. He broke a leg and had some head injuries and was rushed to hospital and they induced a coma and later transfered him to a major hospital in São Paulo, where he had a couple of cardiac arrests.

The kid was in bad shape. Now I have nothing against the young man, he’s about 20, clean cut and the girls love him. I can’t castigate him for rolling the car either; I did the same to my Dad’s car at 16.

But, every day there have been reports in the papers, big spreads, double page in some cases. Every news bulletin on TV carries the news. There has been no let up. Doctors, hospital workers, relatives, father, fans giving televised interviews in front of the hospital. The news, ‘he flinched,’ ‘he’s breathing on his own,’ ‘he turned in bed,’ ‘he reacted to stimulus.’ It has all been news.

Yesterday, the fervor began again. ‘He’s out of the coma,’ ‘he spoke,’ he recognised some songs,’ ‘he talked to his father.’ His father heard about the news during a show up north. He then interrupted his repertoire to give the audience a blow by blow reporting of his son coming out of the coma. The fans just lapped it up.

But already today, both news slots, devoted more than the average news item to the miracle. Of course, it’s all ‘graças a Deus’ (Thank God), ah, I don’t think anyone has said thanks to the doctors yet, not publicly anyway, that wouldn’t be newsworthy.

Maybe I’m just jealous that I didn’t get this coverage when I rolled Dad’s car. Quite frankly, I’m glad I didn’t. I didn’t want the world to know what a fool I had been.

See, maybe I am crazy…


Another One… Damn!

Yup, Brazilians sure like their long weekends.

This one for the benefit of St George on Monday.

That’s two this month.

But it gives me a chance to do important things like evict the polar bears from my ancient fridge. It’s defrosting automatically at the moment. Not that I have an auto-defrosting fridge. I simply turn it off and open the door and it automatically defrosts… Technology, isn’t it just wonderful?

I am procrastinating. Should I, or should I not go to the supermarket. If I don’t there isn’t a thing to eat in the house. Well, I have some crackers and milk, but it’s hardly what you would call nutritious. I must have a look at my bank statement to see if I have the funds to go shopping. This month I am a bit skint. I am watching my pennies… as they flow out the door. Payday is still two weeks away, Monday. Man cannot live by bread alone, I don’t even have that until I go shopping.

I have toyed with the idea of a nap, but shelved that idea for the moment. Raimundo at the botequim is using a power saw on hardwood making some project and the noise is terrible. I don’t know what he’s making, but in due course I’ll wander along as the project becomes more apparent.

There’s not a lot going on to write about really, I’m here because I have been feeling guilty of neglect.

Boys will be boys

I did read a report during the week about how the professionals are concerned at the ease of access to pornography; stating that some 70% of primary school children have seen pornographic material on the internet. I’d say that was an improvement; when I was at primary school it was a 100% who had seen Playboy. Boys will be boys. They have an innate curiosity… mostly about sex and it doesn’t improve as they get older.

The internet just means that you can do it in the safety of your own home, rather than behind the bike sheds like we did.

Of course for us it was more difficult to hide bulky magazines from the prying eyes of parents than simply clearing your history.

It appears the power saw has finished, I am seriously considering that nap.



%d bloggers like this: