February 13, 2012

On Fitting In

We've spent a good amount of time in Rio, and it's pretty clear to everyone that I am not a local.

Reason #1: My language skills
I know English fairly well and I have a bit of Spanish knowledge. Reading the Portuguese language guide, I figured that Spanish and Portuguese were pretty similar. Boy was I wrong. Instead I'm here trying to talk with a mix of Spanglishuese where I don't even understand what I'm saying.  But even before I open my mouth, hawkers on the beach still ask me in English if I want water or beer.  I can only guess that it is because of one of the next reasons…

Reason #2: My tan
I get here and I am definitely on the ghostly side, so I think that must be a dead giveaway. But then I see all sorts of pale skinned people speaking Portuguese, so I guess that can't be the only reason.

Reason #3: My incredible body
As Katie mentioned earlier, the guys here know to take care of their bodies. I have never considered myself fat, but the guys between the ages of 18 and 35 definitely put me to shame. The all have a six-pack with pecks to match. Seriously, they must have less than 2% body fat! But people still walk up to me talking in English even when I’m wearing shirts, so again, that can't be the only reason, which brings me to number 4…

Reason #4: All my shirts have sleeves
Most of the guys in my age bracket seem to go around shirtless all the time (I guess I would with bodies like that), but nobody seems to own a shirt that has sleeves. It's crazy, I contemplated tearing the sleeves off my shirts but realized that they all cost way too much for that.

Reason #5: Speed-walking Americans
Lastly, Katie and I have noticed that we walk way too fast compared to everyone else. They all meander along at a very slow pace. I don't know if it's because of the heat or if no one really cares how long it takes to get from point A to point B. A Brazilian friend we’ve made told us that "time isn't money" in this country. Either way, we are now slowing down our pace and striving for a saunter.

The two things I definitely have going for me…my tattoo and my Havaianas.

1 comment:

  1. Wow your first post Steve! Good job. I think you will find that most countries don't "rush" like we do. Hope you two are having an amazing time!!