Thursday, April 7, 2011

Culture Shock

Thought i would make a shout out to my amazing wife.  Hope she doesn't mind that i hacked her account, but asking permission just wouldn't have been as fun.

The past year has been a roller coaster ride.  We have been adjusting to a new culture, new language, weird food, living with family, and dealt with all of the other joys that living in a strange place have to offer.  As you can imagine the set up hasn't been ideal, but we have tried to make the best of it.

When we decided to move to Brazil my major concern was with how Lis would handle the culture Shock, and if she would enjoy it. Now that we are almost a year in i have decided that she made the adjustment better than me.  Lis is the ultimate optimist.  She always sees the glass half-full.  This is one of her attributes i admire most.  No matter how negative i tend to be, she is always sees the good.

Melissa has made substantial progress in Portuguese.  She gets along very well.  She understands the majority of things that people say to here and is just working more on responding now. Everyone here adores her and thinks she is the best.  That is saying a lot because if they could talk to her in more detail they would love her even more.

I don't know how Melissa has lived with my family for over a year now without completely wigging out.  If any one has experienced this for an extended period of time you will know exactly what i am talking about. Let just say she knows my family very well.  She has identified what my family does really well and will try to perpetuate that in our own family, and she has identified many of our false traditions as well.  Lis your a trooper.

Thanks for being here with me.  I know it hasn't been easy.

That being said i just wanted to document a little of THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY of our journey so far. 

THE GOOD
1. Pernambucanos- (people from the State we live in) are a warm inviting people.  I will miss talking to random people in grocery store lines, in the street, at the bank or pretty much anywhere you go.  They are a friendly out-going people.
2. Heat Wave- I love the weather here. There is nothing better than 85 degree weather year round. 
3. Driving-  When we first arrived i thougth the drivers were crazy here.  Now that i have adapted to there style, i am pro Brazil when it comes to driving.  It is like Nascar getting to work every morning.
4. Ocean Breeze-There is nothing better that living right on top of the ocean.  I love the feel of the ocean breeze almost as much as laying out on the balcony in the hammock and enjoying the views.
5. Holidays- If you love holidays Brazil is the place for you.  So far during my  stay i have taken the day off for 13 national holidays, world cup game, and a couple of state holidays as well.  When it is a holiday here everything STOPS.

THE BAD
1. Being illegal in the country for over 3 months.  It is a long story but i don't recommend trying it.
2. When your office/home is the same place- For about three months we lived on the second floor of the office.  Let just say that the commute is short and it kind of makes everything feel like work. We had two pieces of furniture, a couch and our bed.
3. Fast food for 3 + months- Don't recommend this one either.  At first glance it looks pretty intriguing, but it gets old quick.  We were kitchenless during this time becasue my parents lived in a hotel and we lived at the office.
4. Allergies- I have no clue why but for the last 3+ months i have had allergies off and on.  We can't quite figure out what it is and why it hits hard sometimes and is dorment other times, but i am tired of itchy eyes, a runny nose, and boogers.
5. Luxary Tax- Any thing that is a luxary here is super expensive.  Electronics, cars, cell phones, they all come with a price.  It is very sad because these people deserve a lot more for less.
6. Running on Mormon Standard Time + Infinity- We consider ourselves very punctual.  It is something we strive to do.  Lets just say that we have given up trying here.  After several experiences of waiting more than an hour for someone or an event to start we just decided it is not worth it.  Any activity we have at church we just plan to show up a half hour late.  We did this a few nights ago and we were still the first people to arrive.

THE UGLY
1. Public Displays of Affection- We have seen it all.  Youngsters on the beach to older folks making out at restaurants. It must not be to out of the norm because we 'gringos" seem to be the only ones that take notice.
2. Public Urination- Yeah, enough said.
3. Old Men in Speedos- This should just be against the rules.  The city needs to implement both a age limit and a weight limit for speedo use.
4. Filth- We feel really blessed to have had a safe and shelter up-bringing.  People are bombarded with all the filth that satan has to offer.  It is every where you go.  You see porography, prostitution, and drug abuse readily available almost every where you go.
5. Modesty- This word doesn't exist in Brazil.  That is the reason we have seen so many of the things listed above. We have spent a fair amount of time looking down at our feet this year.

7 comments:

Abby Rae said...

You guys are having quite the adventure down there...you'll have some pretty awesome stories to tell when you get back!

And Lis is a trooper...pretty sure I wouldn't last 2 days in Brazil with all those speedos and PDA! Ewww. :)

meag said...

Awesome post. i always thought lis was a trooper, but sometimes wondered if it was a face she put on on the blog, good to hear it from someone else that she truly is amazing and optimistic. your pretty awesome sis. and i, with abby agree that i wouldn't make it there. so its perfect for you. love you guys

Macey Jones said...

You said it brother. I do miss the good though. Can't wait to have my big bro back in the states.

So that I can call you whenever I have a hard question:)

Heather Favre said...

Its so nice to "hear" from the one and only Trae! What a cute post. I loooooved that you called the section THE UGLY because it sounds like... it fits the crime.

Ashley said...

I do believe that with this post just scored you some big points Trae... :)

I'm with Abby...wouldn't have lasted 2 days.

The Jones Crew said...

We loved your post on the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thanks for keeping us posted.

McKell Webb said...

I wish my husband would post!! Good work Trae. You definitely scored big.