Ooftah, it’s been a while since I’ve published a Isn’t that Weird? Quirks list. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my list, see this video link of Garth from Wayne’s World, and you’ll understand what i mean when i say, “Isn’t that Weird?”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsbaRQvmm9c; or look at my Isn’t that Weird? (Part II): http://studyabroadblog.wiscweb.wisc.edu/archives/10524. These are simply cultural characteristics that chamam a minha atenção. To be honest, they are qualities that truly make me happy to be in Brasil.
Let the Famous Quirks Continue hehe
Quirk #44: can’t bring bookbags into libraries at school. Nope, don’t even think about it. Also, don’t even think about bringing pasta into the library, it can’t come with you. And no, pasta is not food, it’s a folder…
Quirk #45: Knives to peel oranges. Brazilians don’t like to use fingernails to peel oranges so you get this:
One time when myself and some Americans were going to Cerra de Cipó, the brasileiro that was with looked at me when i was going to purchase some oranges for a snack, and said: “What are you going to do with a knife?” You know, after being here for almost *gasp* nine months, i’ve come to realize that eating laranjas the American way não tem jeito, because laranjas brasileiras are a ‘lil messier. So, i stand corrected.
Quirk #46: CHURRASCOS I love me some churrasco brasileiro. Churrascos consist of meat meat meat! Seriously, think of it like the fancy shmancy restaurant Samba near State Street except churrascos brasileiros are more authentic and don’t come with the expensive bill. Além disso, they include the company of gente boa.
Quirk #47: Green energy (except for lack of recycling). My homegirl, Alia, would be super happy with the way my roomies handle electricity-out of the room and lights are off! Not to mention we don’t own a clothing dryer nem a dish washer nem AC. I’m happy to say that my earth foot print will be much smaller this year, and for years to come.
Quirk #48: Lixeiras-garbage containers. These garbage containers are often smaller and are all wired instead of your usual dumpster or plastic garbage container. The way garbagemen collect garbage is even quirkier. The driver literally keeps on driving meanwhile three or four men are running like chickens with their heads cut off to grab garbage as fast as possible and run on the back of the truck before it zooms away.
Quirk #49: BUTT CLEANER ahhhhhhh (instead of toilet paper). Shout out to minha amiga brasileira, who studied abroad at UW last year woot woot! Hehe she told me about this device, which I had no idea what it’s use was for prior. There’s this hose thing next to most toilets and like i said, it’s for number two…
Quirk #50: Self Service. Many restaurants offer self-service, which really is similar to buffets in the U.S. except they’re mais chique and are paid by weight. Let’s just say they’re no Country Buffet (which i think is a good thing).
Quirk #51: Almoço verdadeiro (real lunch). Unlike Americans, brasileiros don’t care to bring lunch from home and eat it all by their lonesome at school. Instead, eating with colleagues at school is a must. At UFMG, your choices include Bandejão (which really means big tray). This restaurant is super cheap, about 4.15 Reais which is less than two US dollars. However, it’s a hit or a miss. Otherwise, every college has its own cantina that, of course, offers self-service. Apparently, America’s quirk is its preference to sandwiches for lunch, who knew?
Quirk #52: Snap brasileiro: this is the kinda snap you see people do in the United States, but these americanos are usually adolescent boys. I have yet to master it, but the only issue is that I look a little silly practicing it, so looks like I’ll be missin’ out. It’s often used when telling stories to emphasize hurry or mishaps and such, or maybe even excitement. Here’s a tutorial in case you’re interested and want to know what on earth i’m talkin’ about:
Quirk #53: Obssesão por padarias (obsession with bakeries). Brazilians are obsessed with bakeries. It is out of controlllllll. Quase every block you’ll find a bakery, and in that bakery you’ll find nothing but yumminess. Especially the French Rolls-we’re talkin danger zone for weight gainin’ folks.
Quirk #54: Businos depois dos jogos (Honking after games). After many futebol games, there will be non-stop honking and what sounds like gunshots (but i’m fairly certain they’re just fire crackers of the sort) that continue to go off for at least thirty minutes after the game is over. Because i live really close to the stadium, i get the full effect. In fact, i tried recording it so I could share with you what i often experience after futebol games, but não consegui….sorry! you’ll just have to come to Brasil and see for yourself!
Quirk #55: Sneezer goes Aaaaatchu! and Blesser says Saúde!!! then Sneezer responds, Amém!…Yup that’s right, when a brasileiro ou brasileira sneezes and you bless that person, they will respond with Amém! Isn’t that sweet? Talk about affirming a blessing! The other weird thing about sneeze blessings, is that people often don’t bless the sneezer…I guess americanos are a wee bit more superstitious.
Quirk #56: Just like utensils, you gotta use a napkin to hold any food item. Brasileiros are generally more concerned about hygiene than americanos. I say this because, at most food establishments on campus, there are sinks by the buffet line to wash your hands, some brasileiros may shower more than once a day (it’s a ‘lil hotter down here), and rarely do they eat food with direct hand contact, unlike nós americanos. One must have a napkin or a utensil. Take burgers for instance:
Quirk #57: Sweet tooth for avocados. There’s no guacamole here in Brasil. Instead, avocados are normally served sweet, like in a smoothie or mixed with lime and sugar. I gotta say, I don’t mind it, but i definitely sentir saudades do (miss) guac and chips.
Quirk #58: Capivaras (weird giant gerbils?). In English they’re called Capybaras and are known as the biggest rodents in the world. I can’t decide if these animals are cute, i’m mostly just confused because it looks like a gerbil, but it’s huge, so it’s not a gerball, and then i think bear, but obviously it’s not big enough to be a bear. Anywho here’s a picture of it when I was Lagoa Santa so you have an idea of what it looks like. Apparently, Lagoa Pampulha has a capivara problem, so you can get your capivara watching fix there.
Hope you enjoyed part three!