Friday, May 20, 2011

Whoops, so we're really not done with this culture shock thing yet.

It’s amazing how every time I go to a new place in Brazil, I feel completely incompetent all over again. I don’t know anyone’s name and I can’t understand a damn thing anybody says. So I think I really haven’t been getting used to Brazil – I’ve been getting used to specific households in Brazil.

I finally realized what the purpose of the little toilet paper compartment is, though – it keeps the toilet paper from getting wet when you shower. This isn’t such an issue in my Fortaleza homestay, because that shower has a door, but many of them don’t. The bathroom in Cleide’s house doesn’t have either, which is unfortunate.

You know, this is nice and everything, but I am so freaking excited to go home. I can’t even explain how pumped I am for being able to function normally in social situations, for being able to overhear people without trying, for being able to understand people who are actually talking directly to me without trying, for putting my toilet paper into the actual toilet and flushing it, and for showers being separated from the rest of bathrooms by a curtain or something. And for bathrooms to reliably have doors! And to be able to greet people I’m meeting for the first time with mutually expected handshakes! Oh my God. This is going to be incredible.

I was realizing today, thinking about the person that I know myself to be, that it seems impossible for me to be actually doing this. But it’s actually not through any personal abilities that this is happening. It’s actually because you just have no other choice. You’re here, people are talking to you, and it’s just happening. It’s not really a choice at this point.

I am also desperately looking forward to there being fewer biting insects. Good Lord.

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