What I like about Brasil

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  • I like that that the country is spelled with an s in Portuguese and not a z. I’m not fond of the letter z.  And I love the sound of Brazilian Portuguese. It has a pleasing rhythm, cadence and intonation that I find musical and linguistically interesting.  I like that the t in a word is pronounced as sh – Argenshina, for example, although that might not be the best example, especially if Argentina wins the World Cup in Rio. I wonder if Brasilian fans will be rooting for Germany or Argentina?
  • Free and low cost museums.  We will be going to the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center (BBCC) to see a major and free exhibition of Salvador Dali and then to the Museu Da Imagem E Do Som (Museum of Image and Sound).
  • The beaches.  We’ve been mostly going to Copacabana near where we are staying, but we’ve seen Leblon, Ipanema and several others.  We are here during the World Cup, so there are a lot of soccer fans from all over the globe kicking the ball around on the beaches and drinking beer and caipirinhas.  The sand is brown and thick very much like the sand on Cape Cod.  The ocean waves from the Atlantic are dramatic and ferocious at times. On a clear day, the contrast of the pastel and white buildings and hills against the blue skies is breathtaking.  And the blend of blue/green ocean, white foam caps and brown beach reminds me of an exotic lime tapioca parfait with cashews.

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  • Caipirinhas.  It’s made with Cachaga, a Brazilian rum from sugarcane juice.  The Cachaga is mixed with sugar and fresh limes and served on the rocks. It’s super sweet, tangy and refreshing. These are sold everywhere, even by mobile vendors on the beach. They range in price from 5 Brazilian reais on the beach ($2.25 U.S.) to 8 reais at a cafe/bar for a well-made (strong) one ($3.6 U.S.)
  • The weather in July.  It’s winter here and it’s 75 on average, 80’s in the day (perfect beach weather) with a slight ocean breeze on most days, and 70’s at night for great sleeping weather.  There’s no need for AC’s or even ceiling fans; best to sleep with the windows open.
  • The music.  It’s everywhere from the typical accordion-based music of the Northeast a la Luiz LuisGonzagaGonzaga to the guitar chords of Bossa Nova and the rhythmic beats of Samba.  It’s all here, home to some of the best music, musicians and dancers in the world.
  • A relaxed feel.  While Rio is a big, bustling city of over 6 million people, people do not seem to be as rushed here like they are in NYC or Boston. This may be partly because I am on vacation and am myself relaxed. Be that as it may, folks do walk at a leisurely pace and seem cheerful and pleasant most of the time. Everyone has been willing to give directions or tell us which bus to take when we’ve asked, even though our Portuguese isn’t the best – and mine practically non-existent.  When I do try to talk to people, I speak Spanish slowly and sometimes I am understood and very often not.

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3 Responses

  1. That was grand Brazil tour. :-)

  2. I am trying to stay positive (how could I not be in this tropical paradise) but I do have a What I don’t like about Brasil waiting to blog out.

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