Relax! You already know Brazilian

You already 
know Brazilian

Maybe back home in the U.S. the big boss was rude,
the office boy broke the Xerox machine, your check-up was a bust,
or the babysitter quit. But you’re on vacation now,
so it’s time to release that stress.
By Benjamin Googins

So you want to visit Brazil but you don’t speak Portuguese. No worries, my friend. Your
existing vocabulary will serve you well and ensure that all of your needs are met.

Once you’ve arrived in Brazil you’ll certainly be looking for something to eat. Your
most convenient option would be to stop at a McDonald’s and order a Big Mac and a milkshake
followed by a sundae. But did you travel all this way to eat Mickey D’s? If you’re
really craving fast food try Bob’s, Habib’s or call for delivery
from China in Box. On the street you’ll find plenty of vendors cooking up hotdogs
and x-burgers. (Why the x? In Portuguese the letter x is pronounced
"sheesh." Cheeze-Sheesh…get it?) There are plenty of self-service
restaurants but if you’re looking for something a little more diet maybe you’d
better stick to cream crackers and Coca light.

While you’re in Brazil you’ll definitely want to do some shopping and there’s no better
place than the Shopping. You’ve plenty to choose from: Shopping Ibirapuera,
Shopping Morumbi, Shopping Rio Off-Price, Barra Shopping, and the list goes on. Rest
assured that you’ll be looked upon as very fashion once you buy your tennis
at Puppy, baby look T-shirt at Tubby, and your jeans at Scrap.
Those of you who prefer a look more clubber be sure to check out Hot Buttered.
You’ll leave looking sexy without a doubt.

If it’s electronics you need, check out a showroom. Finding a new mouse
for your computer, a walkman to drown out the voice of your personal trainer,
or a video (cassette recorder) to watch your favorite movies will be a cinch; just
remember to purchase a rack to keep it all organized. Head downtown and
you’ll find lots of items for your kitchen. You may even be surprised with the design
of furnishings for your living room. There is always a sale on sofas.

Brazilians treat their businesses with respect as can be seen by the formality with
which they name them. Take for example Mr. Forno, Mr. Gato, and Mr.
Informática. Oh no, it’s not pizza, it’s Mr. Pizza to you, buddy! You’ll find many
shops while visiting Brazil as well. The most prolific are the sexshops but
you’ll also discover a petshop or two. While at the bookshop pick up the
latest bestseller. It will probably be about some Oscar winning actor who
turns out to be a serial killer and ends up dying from an overdose. What a

Here in Brazil, as in the rest of the world, there has been a boom in
technology. Don’t worry that you’ll feel left out of the conversation. Simply bring up
your favorite site and you’ll have plenty to talk about. Any type of new software
you can download from the Internet is always a welcome topic. If you’re a workaholic
please leave your laptop at home. If, however, you have the know-how to be a
hacker, be sure to delete any incriminating evidence from all of your e-mails.

If you decide to bring the kids on your trip to Brazil they’ll get along just fine as
well. Brazil is in the highest world ranking for watersports. Maybe your son or
daughter will be the next to break a surf record. If they’re into skate
boarding they’ll make plenty of new friends. I’ve noticed that most of these kids not only
break dance well but are also covered with tattoos and piercings. Now
that I think about it, maybe it would be better to just bring your child’s videogame
along for company.

Maybe back home in the U.S. the big boss was rude, the office boy
broke the Xerox machine, your check-up was a bust, or the babysitter
quit. But you’re on vacation now, so it’s time to release that stress. The best way
to do this is to enjoy the night or even take in a show. Before you do this
though you’d better take a shower in the box and remove that excess hair with your Gillette.
To shampoo your hair you should try Pom-pom but I wouldn’t use Skin Pop
to soap up with if I were you. I’ve never tried it but just the name gives me the creeps.
Now that you’re ready to go out you can take a van, hop in your pick-up, or
if you’re a playboy you’ll ride in your limousine, wearing your smoking
(tuxedo) of course.

Heterosexual men will want to enjoy happy hour by having a cocktail at
one of the many American Bars located throughout Brazil. (Just don’t drink too much
and black-out.) If you’re lucky you’ll meet a top model who won’t mind if
you’re interested in more than her book. Homosexuals needn’t fear. Say gay
and you’ll be directed to a club complete with a darkroom, stripper,
and plenty of drag queens with whom you can share a drink. Your choice of
bars is extensive. Check out Le Boy and Loch Ness if you want to party hard
but if you’re looking to relax you’ll much prefer Blue Angel. Whether your
taste in music runs towards Techno, Dance, Pop, or Rock I feel
confident that you’ll enjoy the sounds of U Can Dance, P.O. Box, and Fat
Family. Their remixes are super.

If you meet a lovely Brazilian and feel that an amorous relationship may result you’ll
be happy to know that there are many motels such as Lovers, Stop Time,
and Vanity just a short distance away. One of the most interesting has to be Sinless
Hotel. Their motto: "Love is not a sin." If you prefer love on the go you
can park in a Drive In. It will be cheaper than a hotel but don’t
expect a double-feature (unless you’re feeling up to it of course.)

You may even discover, as I have, that your name has another meaning. Benjamin
in Brazil is what we Americans would call a three-prong plug adapter. Not so glamorous I
know but luckily Brazilians often confuse my name with "beija mim" or "kiss
me." Much more sheik.

So friend, as I’ve mentioned, your existing vocabulary will enable you to acquire all
of the necessities: food, clothing, transportation, entertainment, and even passionate
shelter. You may need to get a move on though to utilize your new-found knowledge of the
Brazilian language. On August 14th Jornal Nacional, one of the leading
news programs here, announced that there is a puritanical movement to abolish the use of
foreign words in signs and announcements. One governmental agency has already passed this
initiative and set a possible fine at $2,200 for those businesses which don’t comply. So,
my friend, what are you waiting for? Come to Brazil and practice your English.

Benjamin Googins is a 26-year-old American who is broadening his
horizons in Rio de Janeiro. Please feel free to contact him at

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comments to


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