Friday, June 24, 2011

Home Land 101 :

I didnt become a citizen until I snagged a sweet half blind white boy, married him, gave birth to his children, and became worthy in his mama's eyes. It took me years of planning and finally putting into action that plan. I am a slow planner and it took me 15 years from the time I stepped on US soil to actually become a citizen. But I did it.

No more worrying about Mimi (immigration in case you are not an import). No more checking over your shoulder. I could now vote (although presidential elections has just passed a couple months before), and I could do so much more including getting that shiny blue passport. Oh so pretty. Prettier than the dark green Brazilian one I carried (except that Brazil also switched their passports to blue a couple months after I acquired my new American one, but we wont let bother us). Life was great. Except that really it wasn't.

Becoming a citizen did nothing for me. I didnt feel more American and I didn't feel less Brazilian. I just felt the same. I love both countries because of specific reasons. There are pros and cons to both places.

So without further ado, I am going to share what I love the good and the bad about my home country.

1. Cachaca.

Cachaca is the best alcoholic drink in the world. Its made from sugar cane. Its considered a type of rum. Cacacha is also the base for Caipirinha. One of the best most orgamisc drinks in the world. Its just cachaca, lime and sugar. You are not Brazilian or havent really visited Brazil until you have experienced Caipirinha.
I have drank a lot in my 17 years of legally and illegally drinking and I have never came across a better drink.

2. Brazilian food.

OMG get ready to wet your pants. American food doesn't even compare and what is American food anyways?? Mac and cheese, hot dogs and fried chicken?? Sorry that is an easy win for us. We love our food, are completely foodies and there is a reason for that. Food solves everything for us. I remember my last trip home...I wasnt feeling good my grandmother told me I needed to eat. Never mind I was 5 months pregnant and absolutely nauseous. A nice big plate of food was the answer.

My husband indulged too much on Caipirinha and this hot milk dessert we have. The most assinine combination ever, but a white boy in Brazil doesn't have much self control and common sense. Anyways, he was huffing and puffing and praying to the gods inside the porcelain bowl and my grandmother knocked on the door with a plate of fresh black beans. Because everyone knows there is nothing better on the tummy than a plate of black beans full of pork.

Happy, sad, stressed or feeling joyfull, food is the center of our lives. Most people eat to live, we live to eat.

Its funny looking back now that when we firt moved here we were invited to a bar b q. We were all excited. Brazilian bbq is sirloin meat rubbed with some sea salt and thrown on the grill, drumsticks and thighs seasoned with a mix of garlic and olive oil and spices, and chicken hearts. Our mouth were watering.

We get to our friends house (who are American) and they served hot dogs and burgers. Talk about a disappointment. Days later, my father invited them to a bbq at our house Brazilian style. You could see the drool pooling around their chins. They laughed and said never again they were inviting us to a bbq but that they expected an invitation from us every weekend.

3. The closeness of neighbors. I have been here 16 plus years and I have never and will never get use how people are so reserved and how people live next to their neighbors and dont know them. I truly miss knowing our neighbors and everyone in the street. I grew up playing soccer in the middle of a dirt road while the parents chatted. Someone saw you doing something wrong?? They had every right to pull your ear, give you a pinch and then tell your parents so you could get your other ear pulled and your other arm pinched by your parents. I truly believe its takes a village to raise children and if I ever decide to pack up and go back home to raise my kids, that will be the number reason why I have done it.

4. Ipanema and just the beaches in the general.

Brazilian beaches are a sight to see. Absolutely gorgeous, crystal clear water, and just lots of half naked people around. Whats not to love.

Now for the things I dont love.

I dont love Favelas. Favelas is little run down shacks built by the extreme poor through out the mountains of our beautiful country. Its filled with crime and corruption surrounding the cities. The police goes up the mountains rounds people up, conflicts happen, many lives are lost by lost bullets, and then the next day everything is normal like nothing happened.

That brings me to my number 2 most hateful thing about my home land. The corruption and inflation. The country is absolutely gorgeous, almost completely self sufficient, filled with natural beauty, it could easily be a number 1 country, and yet the corruption is running amok. You can buy off a police officer, senator and president with a little more than a candy bar. You get stopped by a cop for a traffic violation?? Just throw him a couple of bucks and you are on your merry way. It disgusts me when Americans complain about their judicial system. Your system is not broken. Slap your mouths the next time you say that. Yes there are mistakes, its not perfect, none is, but your system is not broken, the one in Brazil is an example of a broken system.

Also the inflation. Here you want that brand new ipad. You can save your money and a couple months later it will cost the same or even less. In Brazil a couple months later it will cost 4 times more. The inflation is killer.

The rudeness of people and the self centered mentality. Its only considered a 3rd world country because we have done that to it. Here people wont throw a cup on the floor. I dont know if its because of manners or because of fines. I think it has to do with manners. A lot of brazilians are not that. They have this mentality of the world revolves around me, bow down to me, I want the most for the less amount of work and I am going to get that, one way or another.

That is why the crime is high (you think I wear my nikes, coach , wedding rings, necklace, or even my earrings when I go home?? You are insane). I have had many cousins getting robbed at the bus stop for a crappy pair of sneakers.

So that is it for now. I hope you now have a better understanding of Brazil and that what I said wont ever deter you from visiting. Do, you will enjoy yourself, just make sure while you are eating that succulent steak, someone could confuse you for a homeless person and you will be good to go :)

Love A

1 comment:

sanctimomious said...

This was really interesting to read, thank you!! I would love to go. My grandfather (Dads dad) is from Brazil and only moved to the UK when he was 30, so my Dad grew up with all the food and language. But I got nothing, except maybe the skin tone....

Great post!