One last post on Brazil, now that I’ve returned to North America (and experienced a touch of reverse-culture-shock). Here are a few things about Brazil that I found interesting:
Brazilians like things very sweet:
You may have been able to guess this one, since Brazil is known for growing lots of sugarcane. Still, I was surprised by how sweet their desserts and candy were, since I thought North America was known for liking things sweet! Here is a picture of some banana candy I brought home for my family to taste – they liked it, but it’s a bit sweet to eat all at once:
I never drank a cup of coffee that wasn’t sweetened either. Fortunately, I always put sugar in my coffee already. My mother, on the other hand, would have to insist not to have sugar added.
There are very strange fruits in Brazil:
I expected fruit to be fresher here, since it’s closer to where they grow it. And bananas, pineapples, and even plain old apples, did taste a million times better – it’s amazing what a difference freshness makes. But Brazil is also home to fruit I never knew existed. If you ever happen to be in that part of the world, don’t be shy, try them! Even the spiky ones taste delicious. Here is a picture of what is known as graviola fruit. It makes amazing juice as well:
A graviola fruit – they’re quite big! (“Corossol” by Damien Boilley, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License)
Not everyone in Brazil speak Portuguese the same:
I expected this. I was kind of nervous I’d show up in Northeastern Brazil and find out all the Portuguese I’d learned was completely incomprehensible to them. It wasn’t that bad, but some of the pronunciation rules I’d learned did go out the window. For example, all my language programs carefully taught me to pronounce “de” as “je,” and “te” as “che.” Guess what? That turns out to be the way they pronounce it in Rio de Janeiro (obviously where all the language teaching programs assume you’re going if you go to Brazil, because they all taught you to do that). Of course, I go to the one area of the country where they don’t do that – they pronounce it the way we do in English! It actually would’ve been easier for me to pronounce some of the words they way they looked to me, instead of learning the “Brazilian” way of pronouncing them.
For example, the word “pode” (“you can”) is pronounced in Northeastern Brazil as “pod-de,” and not “pod-je.”
So I had to decide what kind of accent I wanted!
They shower more often than we do:
Unless you happen to shower multiple times a day, the people in Brazil probably shower more often than you do. When I was there, my frequency of showers did go up, because the weather can be hot and sticky, and a shower feels quite nice. But still, I thought showering once a day was pretty frequent, and now I know it’s not!
Anyway, those are a few things I thought I’d point out! This will probably be one of my last posts on Brazil, so I’ll probably go back to my usual blog subjects over the next couple of weeks.