24 July 2007

this is so brasil

don't get me wrong. i LOVE brasil!! the people are awesome. as long as you have all the time in the world, this is the best place to be. but as soon as you're in a little bit of a hurry, things get difficult. read on.

abridged translation of the conversations i've been having with people regarding my computer:

Location: Mac Bahia Store

Elizabeth: My computer died.
Computer Tech: What happened?
E: I don't know, it keeps going to sleep. It started a week ago.
CT: I think it's the fan. I can repair it, but you need to bring it back tomorrow because I'm leaving now. You need to go the repair office on the fifteenth floor.
(note: the repair place is pretty far from where I live. it's not easy for me to get there.)

Location: Mac Bahia Repair Office on the fifteenth floor

E: I need to drop off my computer to be repaired.
Secretary: What's the problem?
E: I don't know, it keeps going to sleep.
S: When did you buy your computer?
E: January 2006.
S: We can't repair it, you aren't covered by the warranty.
E: Yes I am. I bought the extended care warranty.
S: I need the registration number for your warranty.
E: No you don't.
S: Yes I do.
E: No....you don't. You just need my computer serial number.
E: Don't you think it's funny that you repair Macs but you're using a Dell to input all my information right now?
S: Ok, the tech will repair it. It'll take 72 hours.
(enter computer tech)
CT: Hello, I'm the computer tech, Francisco.
E: Hi, thanks for repairing my computer.
CT: It'll take 72 hours.
E: So I can pick it up on Monday?
CT: Well...tomorrow is Saturday and then it's Sunday, so....
CT: Yes, we'll call you when it's ready.

They didn't call me on Wednesday.

Location: telephone conversation

S: Hello, Mac Bahia. How can I help you?
E: I dropped my computer off about a week ago to get repaired and I'd like to know if it's ready.
S: Let me get the tech.
(really bad hold music)
CT: Hi Elizabeth.
E: Hey Francisco, how's my computer doing?
CT: Well I repaired it and it seems to be fine, but I want to run a few more tests to make sure. I'll call you this afternoon, ok?
E: Great, I look forward to your call.

He didn't call me that afternoon.

Same day, 6:15 p.m.
S: Hello, Mac Bahia. How can I help you?
E: I'm calling to find out if my computer is ready to be picked up.
S: I'm sorry, the tech only works 9-6. You'll have to call back on Monday.
E: I have to write a paper. Is there any way you can find out?
S: No, you have to call on Monday.

Location: telephone conversation

E: Hey Francisco, this is Elizabeth. Remember me?
CT: Yes I do. Your laptop is all ready to do, you can pick it up anytime.
E: When can I pick it up?
CT: Anytime.
E: No but really...when?
CT: Before 6.
E: I have class until 6.
CT: Well then you can come tomorrow after 9.
E: No, I need my laptop to write a paper which I wanted to write over the weekend but couldn't for obvious reasons.
CT: Well, I don't know....
E: Can you leave it at the store and I'll pick it up from there after I get out of class?
CT: Great idea! I'll leave it at the store.
E: Thanks, I'll pick it up tonight.

Location: Mac Bahia Store

E: Hi, I'm here to pick up my laptop. It was being repaired.
Woman working in store: By the computer tech?
E: Yes.
W: He already left, you'll have to come back tomo--
E: No. I talked to him today. He said he'd leave it at the store because I had class until 6.
W: Well, he didn't leave anything here. He forgot his card, but that's it. You'll have to come back tomorrow.
E: No, I'm here to pick up my laptop now.
W: You talked to the computer tech?
E: Yes, I talked to Francisco on the phone today.
W: And he told you he'd leave the laptop here.
E: Yes.
(Woman calls Francisco, talks to him for minute, then hands the phone to me.)
E: Hey Francisco.
CT: Hi Elizabeth, how's it going?
E: Well, I'm here to pick up my laptop, but....
CT: Yeah, about that...I'm reaalllly sorry.
E: You forgot?
CT: I had a lot of things to do today. I was really busy...can you come back tomorrow?
E: Look, this is a big problem, because I have a paper to write for tomorrow but I can't because I don't have a laptop. I wanted to write it over the weekend but I couldn't because I didn't have a laptop. I'm here to pick it up now and I can't come back tomorrow.
CT: Ok let me talk to my colleague.
(I hand the phone back to her. She talks to him, and then hangs up.)
W: Ok Elizabeth, just give me a few minutes and I'm going to get your laptop from the office upstairs.
E: Thanks.
(45 minutes later...)
W: Alright, here's your laptop.
E: Thanks. Have a nice night!

I went to a surprise birthday party for a friend after that, to which I was an hour late. But, I have my laptop now. Phew!

Here's a picture from our Brazilian culinary class yesterday:

L to R: Casey (goes by João), Elizabeth (pronounced Elizabetchi), Marie (pronouced Mahee)
We were trying to make thug faces, but I don't think mine worked out too well.

20 July 2007

brain in a bag

Earlier this week, my Contemporary Brazil class took a field trip to a market here in Salvador. There are a lot of markets around the city, most of which are pretty tourist-aimed. However, this definitely was not a touristy market. When we first got in, the kinds of things being sold seemed pretty usual to me. Clothes, blenders, spices, kitchenware, flip flops and so on. However, there was immediately a plethora of smells, none of which were pleasant, none of which I could identify, coming from every direction penetrating my pores. I knew at that point that this was going to be an experience I would never forget.

Eventually we got into the live animal area. First we saw chickens, ducks, pigeons and other types of birds in overcrowded cages. Then we saw a live chicken being wrapped up in newspaper. Then we saw goats and pigs. Then we saw a barely-alive-goat in a burlap sack be thrown over a man's shoulder and carried away. Another goat was pulled out of the pen screaming like a child as it's four legs were tied together and it was thrown in a wheel-barrow and carted away.

The fruit section was next, full of flies, cockroaches and dead rats. Yes, I saw dead rats next to baskets of fruit.

The meat section was the most disturbing part for me. I saw mean in every fashion: hung up, laid out, in bags, in nets, in newspaper and more. I saw intestines, eyeballs, tongues, testicles and I also saw brain in a plastic bag. Many of them. I saw every organ of every animal I had seen alive just a few minutes earlier. This is where all the smells were coming from.

I'm glad I went. It gave a much better real-life idea of not only where my food comes from, but also the kind of work some people have to do to survive. I don't think I'll ever go back to that market, but I definitely appreciate the food I eat a lot more now.


Some of my favorite foods/drinks since I have been in Brazil:

1. Pão delícia (paong deh-lee-see-ah) literally means "bread delight" and it is.

2. Açaí (ah-sah-ee) a brazilian berry most often made into a smoothie mixed with other fruit. My favorite is açaí with banana.

3. Suco (soo-koo) juice. Brazilians make juice out of every fruit, only it's not the juice we're used to. They just stick the fruit in a blender and add water. Most brazilians also like to sweeten the juice with sugar. Some of my favorite sucos are melância (watermelon), manga (mango), maracujá (passion fruit) and lime-rind, but I can't remember how to say that one in Portuguese.

Até mais! Till next time!

12 July 2007

south american computer saga

PORTUGUESE LESSON #3: Fixing a computer

Meu computador morreu. (meh-oo com-poo-tah-door moh-heh-oo) My computer died.

Você fala inglês? (voh-seh fah-lah een-glays) Do you speak English?

Pode me conectar com alguém que fala inglês? (poh-djee mee coh-neck-tar cong ahl-game key fah-lah een-glays) Can you connect me with someone who speaks English?

02 July 2007

my blogger menu is in portuguse

instead of "new post" is says "novo postagem." i love brazil. sorry to tell all of you i haven't really taken any pictures. i'm afraid to take my camera anywhere for fear of it getting stolen. one of my friends got robbed in broad daylight on her way back from the beach on saturday. the man just came up to her and grabbed her bag right off her shoulder. soon enough i'll figure out when it's safe to take my camera and when it's not. i do have have one good picture i got on camera phone.
i took this picture from the bus on my way to go visit some Baha'i friends who live about an hour north of salvador. maybe it's immature and juvenile of me to have taken it, but whatever. i thought it was funny.


Onde posso comprar um violão?
(on-jee poh-soo com-prahr oom vee-oh-laong) Where can I buy a guitar?

A música brasileira é muita bonita. (ah moo-zee-kah brah-zee-lay-rah eh muytah boh-nee-tah) Brazilian music is very beautiful.

I have about 5 minutes left on this computer, so that's it for today folks. Till next time!