Just when I thought I was ready to live abroad but then I got my first culture shock :O. It’s funny to think that because I watched people get weird reactions about my culture and tried to explain to them the reason behind it and now I’m that person who freaked out at the grocery store when I found out that they do not have peanut butter. My first reaction was, how come? It’s peanut butter! worst is you got to explain it in Portuguese which I’m still learning and really bad at it.
My favorite Portuguese lines are?
1. Voce fala Ingles? ( do you speak English?)b
2. Nao falo Portuguese ( i don’t speak Portuguese)
and people will give you a frown look that says “ why are you even here?”
but generally Brazilians are friendly and warm they always greet you in the morning, will ask you if everything is fine “ tudo bem?”
I also met a really nice Archaeologist yesterday she was finishing her Ph.D. I met her through Couchsurfing and decided to meet her finally. She just got engaged to a Filipino man who is living in America and so we have things to talk about, she also wants to practice her English so there is another one. I asked her if she could also give me some Portuguese lessons. And of course, she gladly said yes.
After my peanut butter incident, my day went from my! to omy : I made a friend and learned a lot of new things.
She took me around her University which by the way is humongous. Take note it’s a public university as well, she said that it is in the law that it is right of every Brazilian to get access to higher education. Which I think should be a priority of our government too. There is nothing more powerful than to get a good education.
We also talked about relationships well mainly because we are women and women love to talk about relationships. She shared with me her story about how her color was really a big deal to her past relationship, she is 34 and she had two long term boyfriends. Her first one was 12 yrs long but she decided to end it up because the family of the guy couldn’t accept that she has a different color. She said, “ I would accept that his mom would say bad things to me” but at least if the guy really loved her he could have stood up for her and defended her but he didn’t do nothing and so she decided to break that connection. After 2 years she met an incredible person who she is engaged now. The same reaction that she got from the family of the guy but this time the guy protected and defended her.
I really cannot fathom the fact that until now discrimination and racism still exists, it’s the 21st century the age of digital revolution and all other things, isn’t that we are supposed to be more accepting by now? old and new? there should be no exception.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a community that love prevails and that color didn’t matter because either we like it or not feelings are feelings and we should look beyond what we see outside, look through a person.
This is why I think that going out of your box is really important or knowing what is outside of your box is vital because going out and seeing through is really liberating and humbling experience.
I can live without my peanut butter for sure but I can’t stand people judging each other because we look different and that society expects you to follow the norm. Let’s break the norm, let’s create wonderful beautiful and colorful stories.