The littlest expat is asleep and we were supposed to be at the shore this week, so I'm going to take this free time to write an odds and ends post of some observations on life in Brazil. It might be all over the place, just sit down with a PB&J for me and enjoy. Also, keep in mind that these are my observations and opinions and obviously do not run true for the entire country or for every Brazilian.
Toilet Seats - I don't know why this is a thing, but no one has a toilet seat. That's right, I sit on the cold porcelain rim of the toilet bowl every time I make a tinkle. A toilet seat is about R$17 at the store - not expensive at all, so I'm not sure why no one has them, but I mostly see them in stores and not in homes. We haven't purchased one because I'm kind of terrified that one day I'll lift it and a giant spider will be underneath. After three months I'm used to the 1 1/2 inches of porcelain so I won't be joining the elite toilet seat owning ranks any time soon.
Party All Night, Sleep Never - Brazilians are a special breed of humans that survive with approximately four hours of sleep every day. We live in a business district, so our street is full of people shopping during the day and people drinking and dining at night. The party seems to die down around 2-3 am; the cycle begins again around 7 am. It's not too long before someone rings our doorbell. Which brings me to my next point..
Random Visitors - When I was in high school, I had a friend that lived in the country at the top of a very, very steep hill (most vehicles could not make it to her house in the winter). I used to stop by randomly because my
tank car could make it pretty easily and it was on my way to work. Her parents once said to me, "You know, you're the only person who stops by without making sure we're home first." At the time I thought it was a complement - maybe it was, who knows. But in Brazil, no one calls before coming over. Which means people ring the door bell while I'm: in the shower, changing a poopy diaper, in the middle of cleaning, putting the baby expat down for a nap, cooking, add any other inconvenient time in here. I find it frustrating and I'm seriously considering disconnecting our doorbell.
Portion Sizes - I've lost 20 lbs since we moved to Brazil. I credit it all to the smaller, appropriate, portion sizes here. I don't watch what I eat; for dinner tonight I had fried chicken, french fries, and a coke. But I had less than 1/4 cup of each. Food is expensive, so that probably plays a roll in the smaller portions. And it's hard to work up an appetite when it's so hot out. I drink so much water that I'm never very hungry. I should add that there is not a lot a processed food here, so even the unhealthy stuff is made from scratch. (Yes, I made that fried chicken like a Paulinha Dean!) Still, when a bottle of Coke is ordered with dinner, it comes with small glasses and is divided among a few people. In the United States that bottle would have been for one person! And if it was a glass of the same size, it probably would have had a refill.