Monday, April 22, 2013

Carinhos Brasileiros

I spent the beginning of last week in Búzios, a coastal resort town a couple of hours east of Rio. It was low season and the beaches were so clean the sand squeaked under our feet and the water was smooth like glass. 

I need to get out of Rio more. And I need to get out of the Latino ghetto in Rio, which I've actually been doing more of the last couple of weeks. You know, samba and feijoada instead of arepas, mate and salsa. It's not for nothing that my Portuguese is crap, though I do like Portuguese the Language, and Brazilian food, and Brazilian music, for that matter (as long as it's not pagode or funk, but I feel like that should go without saying...)

Yesterday we were at an all day feijoada for a friend's birthday, and after everyone had tired of eating and drinking and playing music, the jokes and stories started. One guy told a story about his young kid's linguistic confusion that I loved in part because it could only happen in Portuguese. In English, we don't use an auxiliar to ask someone for something (we don't say, ask TO your mom if you can go to the park), but in Portuguese "para" is used both to say "pergunta para ele" (ask him) and "pede para ele" (ask FOR him). So the guy explains that he's at a family event and his kid spills something on himself, so he tells the kid (let's call the kid Mikey): 
Mikey, vá pedir um guardanapo para você. (Mikey, go ask for a napkin for you.)
Para quem? (Ask who?/For who?)
Para você! (You!/For you!)
The kid, beginning to look distressed, Para quem? 
Para você, peça um guardanapo para você! (For you, go ask for a napkin for you!)
So the poor kid, looking really confused, asks himself out loud, Mikey, me da um guardanapo? (Mikey, can you give me a napkin?)

When we finally left the party at 2 in the morning, we ran into a large group of very drunk people coming out of a roda de samba. A friend walking with us had his guitar on his back, prompting the drunk crowd to chant "Play Pixinguinha!" (a famous Brazilian composer whose birthday is tomorrow) repeatedly until they took it upon themselves to start singing "Carinhoso" ("Affectionate"), complete with harmony and rhythm provided by some random percussion instruments they happened to be carrying with them (it's Brazil, I don't ask questions). 

But I have been thinking that I should post more Brazil-related stuff on this blog, given that I do live here and all (and given that I have a folder full of half-finished posts on the subject), so that's the plan for this week, for real. All Brazil, all week long, it's going to be incrível.

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