- You have made a long list of things that you want your mother to bring in her suitcase when she visits in May.
- You are no longer shocked or scandalized when your friends start requesting that your mom bring things for them when she visits in May.
- You send beijos to and receive beijos from people you haven’t even met yet.
- You congratulate people on everything.
- Dinner is at 10 pm at the bar next to your apartment.
- You don’t worry about large things, like obtaining a work visa, because (1) you’ve put out the word to your Network and (2) anyway, it’s out of your hands, you’ll stay here se Deus quiser, and there’s always a jeitinho for these things.
- Speaking of the Network: Your friend talks about needing to go to Porto Alegre for business but having no place to stay, and you realize that you have 3 or 4 people down there that you could put him in touch with. You have never been to Porto Alegre.
- It’s 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’re in your apartment wearing a sweater and clutching a mug of tea because you have the chills.
- Portuguese is the language you speak in your free time and with your friends, and you consider English to be a job.
However, in a bid to introduce one of the more delightful American customs to Brazil, I made brunch on Sunday. It’s funny how some things that I never really even like in the US are the things I crave here. French toast, for example–which is what I made for brunch. It’s simple to make and somehow much more delicious than I remember it being. The only tricky thing is that cream as we know it apparently doesn’t exist here in Brazil. Instead, there is nata, which is like a solidified SuperCream, somewhere in between butter and milk, and then there is creme de leite (cream of milk?), which is a liquid. I had no idea which to get, so I threw caution to the wind and used both.* At any rate, Rino and Gera liked it. I am secretly harboring the ambition to make Sunday Brunch a standing-appointment-type, come-as-you-are event. Anyway, here are some pictures of the brunch.
*But wait, this gets even better: I just checked the label of the nata in the fridge, and it says that’s it’s pasteurized creme de leite. I give up trying to understand. (Another sign of assimilation, I think….)