Sunday, 29 January 2012

7 ways Brazil will ruin your children

I love Brazil!
Brazil fan in Paranapiacaba
Although I was born in Canada, I only spent the first 7 weeks of my life there, plus a few return trips over the last few years.  Generally, Brazil's a great place to be a kid. (São Paulo isn't the best place in Brazil to be a kid, though - no freedom, no space, lots of pollution, and insane traffic.)   But getting back to the good points of life in Brazil:  people are extra-nice to children (and their parents) here, I never get dirty looks for being noisy, and I don't get kicked out of restaurants, concerts, and bars just because I'm underage.
Dancing with Tia Elena, who always takes me to fun places!
The New York Times said to visit this bar in the Barra Funda neighbourhood of São Paulo, so I did!  (Well, to tell the truth, I went there first!)
Bar by the beach in Iguape 
Plus, I've got the best nanny in the whole world, a ton of cousins and aunts and uncles, and at least a dozen neighbourhood kids who regularly knock on the door to play with me.    (No need to get driven around to play dates and sign up for a million organized kids' activities...the fun comes to me!)
The neighbourhood gang celebrating my birthday last year
What more could you want when you're three?
Checking out plants and bugs in an abandoned lot with my biologist buddy, Oliver
But, all this fun comes with a few drawbacks.  So, for my other dual-nationality friends (that's you, Oliver, Sophie, Sophia, Davi and August, plus all my virtual friends from the blogging world), and parents of half-Brazilian kids, prepare yourselves!  Brazil may turn out to be a bad influence on you, too.  Here's why:

1)  I like to sing Luan Santana, Michel Teló and evangelical pop at the top of my lungs.

2)  I think a meal without meat and rice isn't real food ("Mãe, não quero isso, quero comiiiida!")  Plain white rice, however, is delicious!

3)  I regularly stay up until midnight. (This is my parents' fault more than Brazil's, of course.)

4)  I think that putting salt on or in random things, like oranges or milk, is a good idea.  (This may be because I'm three, not because I'm Brazilian...but I think the two are related.)

5)  I speak broken English, or none at all.   (The video below shows me at the height of my English-speaking abilities, on the eve of returning to Brazil after 6 weeks in Canada.)  I refer to cupcakes as "bolinhos" and regularly mix up "oatmeal" and "omelette"  (leading to a crying fit the other day when I discovered that I was being served omelette, when I was expecting oatmeal!)

6)  I am confused by household appliances, demanding long explanations when I see a dishwasher or dryer.

7)  When left alone for a few minutes at my grandma's house, I take advantage of my freedom to eat salty snacks, put on my cousin's high heels, and watch really, really bad television.

Caught!  (Yes, it's Faustão....)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Cousins, second cousins, primos & primas

All I have to say is that I have some darn cute cousins!  After spending the past 30 hours with a gaggle of them, I thought I would share some photos.  In no particular order, here are a few of my Brazilian priminhos and Canadian cousins - with my apologies to the many cousins who are missing from the photos....And yes, some of these photos were stolen off Facebook, from weddings and parties that I didn't even get to go to!

OK, maybe not cousins, but still cute and worthy of posting on the internet: Auntie Lizz making faces on Skype (with Ryan looking amused in the background)