Monday, May 08, 2006

Four months in Brasil

Four months in Brazil

So I’m getting an early start on this one because when I posted my “Two months in Brazil” post it was about a week late. This one will likely follow the same format as the other one and will likely include much of the same exact information as was in the other one, but it’s all good. It’s not like many of you read that one anyway, or much of anything else I write.
Anyway, where should I begin? I guess first I can talk a little about classes here and everything. I’m taking two classes, one is called “Laboratório na Pesquisa da História do Brasil” and the other one is “Ficção e História na Literatura Brasileira.” None of those words should be too hard to translate.
So the format is pretty basic. The history class is two days a week, three hours (!!!) a day, and the literature class is only on Friday and is three hours long as well. I enjoy the history class but that’s mostly because I enjoy social sciences and stuff like history and politics, whereas the literature class is crap because I have never liked literature and we also have to read seven books for this stupid class: O tempo e O Vento by Érico Veríssimo. It has three stories, making it a trilogy, but each of these stories makes up 7 books: O Continente (two volumes), O Retrato (two volumes), and O Arquipelago (three volumes). So that kinda sucks and I’d rather be chilling out on Ipanema Beach in Rio or fishing for piranhas in the Amazon. But, such is life.
I have been reading some stuff outside of class, too. Not just to learn some more Portuguese, but also because it’s stuff I’m just genuinely interested in. One book is about 21 years of military dictatorship in Brazil (everyone who doubts what I say about the US government being a hegemonic terrorist organization should read something other than US government propaganda to find out the truth.) Anyway, I also bought a book that is about torture prisons in Paraguay during their respective military dictatorship. The book is translated from Spanish into Portuguese. Pretty good stuff I’ve been reading though.
Another thing is that for a while our washing machine here was broken, so I had to do all that stuff by hand. Seemed pretty economical and everything and I guess if I were single with my own apartment and stuff I wouldn’t mind doing that as a way to save money on water, but I guess it’s not really reasonable later on in life. It was okay though. We have to dry our clothes on a line, which really doesn’t take long at all as long as it’s sunny. Usually just an hour or two depending on the time you put’em out.
We don’t have a TV here either which is interesting. I mean the only thing I watch back home in the US is sports or HBO anyway, so I’m not really missing out on anything here. They have the same kinda shows here as we do in the USA: Supernanny, a version of American Idol, and a bunch of other crap to dumb down the citizens. Whenever the World Cup comes around (Go Brazil!) I’m gonna see if Leonardo is going to be watching all of the games so I have somewhere to watch’em at. If Brazil doesn’t win this year I’ll be pretty mad, mostly because I’m here and they are usually the favorites to win. I wanna get a Brazil World Cup jersey that has six stars on it, not five, so I’m holding out to get one.
I can’t watch F1 though which kinda sucks because I really like watching Formula 1, but such is life. There’s still half a season left when I get back into the US so that’s cool.
I want to let everyone also know about the greatest movie OF ALL TIME that is coming out on August 12th, SNAKES ON A PLANE! I kid you not, starring Samuel L. Jackson. Everyone should look this movie up on IGN and IMDB and watch the trailers, buy the merchandise, and see this film in theatres at least 10 times. My prediction is that this movie finally hands Titanic a crushing blow to its box office record.
Anyway let me see, what else is there? Ah yes, I have been going to capoeira as most of you have seen and I have also been going to a gym that’s a few blocks away. I’ve dropped some weight so that’s nice, and now I’m about 10-15 pounds (depending on the day) away from my peak sometime last year. Looking forward to getting back down there and everything, it’s been a while.
We have a Capstone Conference here on May 22nd where all the US students meet back up in Curitiba and do some presentations, so that should be exciting to get to see everyone again. Not sure what our presentation is on yet so we’ll find that out soon enough. Dr. Anderson is coming down for the conference, although I think this time it’s just him by himself.
I have an exam in my literature class on May 26th, so I have a ton of stuff I have to prepare for around that time. I know it’s a cheap way out but I’m gonna try to get the English version of the books I have to read for that class because I can read about five pages and then I give up. Not only is it somewhat difficult to understand, but also I just can’t get into it. Hopefully Dr. Anderson doesn’t read this :-\.
I have been learning a lot more Portuguese which is nice. Thanks to the friends in my classes that introduce me to their friends, it makes it a lot easier to talk to them.
I have three more months here, and the semester ends June 26th, so I have one month afterwards to travel. I’d like to go to the Pantanal and Rio de Janeiro before I leave. I’ve been saving money now because I want to travel and also because I’m gonna be going to Kansas when I get back and I’m going to need the money.
I’m also thinking about getting two more tattoos while I’m here, mostly because they’re cheaper here than in the USA. They’re not gonna be big or anything, but closer to the other one I got here.
But for now, I think this is enough for everyone. This translation is for everyone who can’t read the Portuguese version. I did that one mostly so Dr. Anderson could see that I’ve learned some Portuguese and also so the students in POR1312 have something to read.
So, have a good summer up there everyone. The temperature here is similar to that in NC during winter. Cold one week, hot the next, cold, hot, etc.
I will be seeing you all soon.

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