Monday, April 25, 2011

Floripa Through New Eyes

Hey everyone! This is the third and last installment about my terrific vacation.

I have just gotten home from my amazing trip to Gramado when my phone rang:
- Hello.
- Hi Lily. This is Cristiane.
- Hi! How's life?
- Just fine. I'm calling to ask if you are doing anything next weekend.
- (I had been traveling too much and was about to give an excuse but I had a second thought when I remembered that I hadn't met the distance tutor Cristiane yet). I'm available. Why?
- Mike, my Bostonian friend, is visiting me and we would like to invite you to join us for a hike next Saturday.
- That's cool. I'm in! Can you pick me up?
- Sure. Saturday at 8am I will be there at your place.
- Great. See you then.
- Bye!

Saturday arrived and I finally met Cristiane, Mike and Eduardo - another friend of hers who joined us for the hike. Everybody was nice and friendly and we spoke in English all the time because Mike couldn't speak Portuguese. Well, he could say some words like 'oi', 'tudo bem?', 'obrigado', 'por favor' and 'que vista linda!'. He learnt all these words from a tourist book he bought at the airport. His Portuguese accent was very cute!

Before starting our hiking we made a stop downtown to show him the Public Market, the former Customs'building, and the Fig Square. Mike loved everything, specially the graffiti that we hadn't noticed before! He thought they were very unique. Then we went to Costa da Lagoa. It was a 7 km hiking but it lasted longer than we expected because Mike wanted to take a lot of pictures. He is a biology master's student at Harvard University and he was very impressed with every single plant here. For me that was amazing because when we live in the same city for a long time we just get accustomed to everything. I thanked Mike because I could see my own city through new eyes.

Later that day we went to the south part of the island and Mike fell in love with Matadeiro beach. But I told him that they used to kill whales there in the past and that was the origin of the name. Then he changed his mind and said that Matadeiro beach was not that nice anymore! Then the funny part happened. We were in a restaurant and Mike went to the restroom. He took a while there then came back and said nothing. A little later the cleaning lady started to clean the bathroom and kept the door open. When she pulled the cord to flush the toilet, Mike enthusiastically said: 'Oh, so this is how it works!!!' Then he told us that he hadn't understood that he should have pulled the cord to flush! Cristiane, Eduardo and I laughed a lot. But now I think we were kind of cruel. Mike was in a new country and didn't have to know how some toilet flushes work in Brazil. What would you have done if you were in our shoes? Would you have just laughed like we did? Or would you have explained the different ways we use to flush in Brazil? But how could that be since we flush the toilet every day without thinking about it? How can you explain something like that?


  1. Well, first I'll laugh, then I'll explain to him how things works around here.

  2. Hi you all!
    Just to say that flower is called Powder-puff or Fairy Duster (in Brazilian Portuguese it's called Caliandra, Quebra-foice or Esponjinha).
    It was a funny story! :)
    Big hugs!

  3. Lily,
    You laughed because it was not with you... poor Mike!!!
    Do you know sometihg similar happened to me??!!! In Spain, in a restaurants, bathrooms aren't separated as in Brazil. There men and women want together in a place like a hall (like a "ante-sala")and then each one has a specific bathroom.
    I found it very strange... a little embarrassing!!!... and waited for the men to leave.
    The end of the story: I went back to the table and talked to my spanish friends about differences between countries. I talked about the bathrooms here and I discovered how it worked there....rsrsrsrs... Of course: then I went to the bathroom!... rsrsrsrs...

  4. Unfortunately, this kind of thing could have happen to anyone dealing with foreign. We don't realize that small things can be different from country to country and consequently they don't have to be explained.
    If something like that happened to me, I would laugh a lot. It's impossible not to, and I also would forget to explain how it works.
    But I think you should have explained to him how things work, of course, after laughing a lot, and probably with him. And you should have been more worried about him, because he's a tourist in our country.
    But like I told you before, things like this happen all the time and they're the funniest parts of a trip, memories that he'll never forget.

  5. I think Patrícia, Karina, and Michele agree on something: first we have some fun from the situation... then we explain it! LOL

  6. Wow, Evermondo!
    Thanks for the explanation! My grandmather has this flower at home and I love it.
    Super hugs!