Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cats (Gatos) in Brasil

It was my observation while living in Southern Brasil that (1) most Brasilians prefer dogs over cats as pets probably 2 to 1; and (2) most of the cats I saw in Brasil are skinny and have short hair. That is not to say that they aren’t cute and it's not to say there aren't the same types of cats as in America, it's just that the short hair variety is predominant. I’ve never met a cat or a kitten I didn’t like, and the ones in Brasil are no exception.

Those of you, who know me and my cats, know that they are huge and they are long hairs. Everyone in Brasil who saw my cats could not believe how big they were and how gentle. I had many people ask me to breed them, but darn it all, they’ve all been fixed. I might have had one great business down there breeding my type of Maine Coon cats.

Hmmm, gotta go. I think I saw an ad on Craigslist for some Maine Coon kittens…..

Til Later, Tchau!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Clouds in the Mountains

I think one of the prettiest sights in Southern Brasil is when you are standing on the side of a hill and looking down over the landscape and see long lines of white clouds nestled between the hills. It’s a surreal feeling to know that it is raining where you are looking but not raining on you because you are above the clouds.

As much as I love looking at the clouds in the mountains, I don’t like going through them, especially when you are going up the side of a mountain where there are no rails and only two lanes. It can get dangerously scary.

We were caught a couple of times on mountain roads when the fog rolled in and your visibility drops to zero in no time at all. You can’t just pull off the side of the road because there is no side of the road. Fortunately, there’s always a daredevil truck driver who knows the roads like the back of his hand and you get behind him and just follow the tail lights.

Best advice I can give is don’t travel early morning or toward evening or at night and you’ll fare well traveling up and down the mountains.

Til Later, Tchau!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pirabieraba (Peer-ah-beer-ah-bah

I come back to this place in my mind all the time for the calmness it brings. From the small, quaint town of Pirabieraba with its many shops and cafes through rural areas where the mountains meet the road, and on up into the mountains on a winding road that brings you past waterfalls and roadside stands ready to sell fruits and homemade goods to all the travelers. There is so much beauty, that sometimes it overwhelms.

This is a magical place to me. Never once was I bored living there and never once was I unhappy to be there. And if the situation were right again in my life and I was asked where I’d like to live in Brasil, it would be this beautiful corner of the world that took my breath away the first time I saw it, and continues to do so today.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My First Shopping Trip in Brasil

Some memories of my first trip to Brasil are etched forever in my mind. One such memory is the first time I went shopping in Brasil for clothing. Upon arrival in Brasil, I noticed that the women were wearing very colorful fashion tops with their jeans, and I wanted to see if I could find something for me in that style. In my mind’s eye, I knew what I was looking for, and so, when the opportunity presented itself, I began my search.

My husband and I were in a small shopping center with his mother, brother, sister, brother-in-law and two nieces. We were all window shopping when I saw a shop that I wanted to go into. Have you ever seen those clever graphics on some internet pages where the mouse is set up to have a group of something follow it as it makes its way across the page? Like if you are on a site that talks about honey bees, a swarm of bees follows your mouse pointer’s every move?

Anyway, that’s what it reminded me of. As I turned to go into the store, everyone just changed the direction in which they were headed and followed me into the store. I went to the first rack, they went to the first rack. I pulled out a blouse, they pulled out a blouse. I went into the dressing room (a curtained area in a corner of the store), they went into the dressing room. I yelled, they all stopped.

No, seriously, I didn’t yell. I was too surprised to yell. Charles told them in Portuguese to back off and they did. All of them except his mother. She stayed like she belonged there, going about the task of handing me tops that she personally thought would look great on me and waiting for me to try them on. Once we got it straightened out, I was left alone to try on the tops by myself and the family went about their business outside the store. I can’t help but think that I hurt their feelings that day. They were so eager to share in my shopping experience and I was too wrapped up in modesty to understand and thank them for their help.

I’m no less modest today but I do know enough in Portuguese to personally thank them as I gently nudge them out of the dressing room.

'Til Later, Tchau.