Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Brazilian Chronicles: Halfway Through Copa Del Mundo

Bom Dia!

Tudo Bem?

That's about all the Portuguese I've got for now. ;)

Alright, alright! It's been - what - 2 weeks since the kick off of the World Cup here in Brazil, and the energy hasn't died down one bit! If anything, I think things are actually getting even more exciting!


I can't lie. It's pretty spectacular. And I'm not even a football fan! I mean I can only speak for myself and my experiences in Sao Paulo, and I can't say much about the other places in Brazil... But here in Sao Paulo, it's like the entire world stops for football. Hardly anybody works!

I teach  English classes and in these past 2 weeks, about 50% of my students cancelled because of the games. I honestly don't mind - I'm happy to have the time to watch the games myself, but it's gotten to the point where my friends don't think I have a job at all!
For example - If Brazil plays at 4pm, everyone only works half a day, to give people time to brave the Metro to get home or to get to various locations where they can watch the match. Automatically, all my classes scheduled from 12noon onward that day is cancelled! (Yippeee!)

Then you walk down the streets to *try* and take the Metro or the Bus, and EVERYONE is wearing green and yellow, or wigs, or crazy sunglasses or hats, green and yellow scarves, and green and yellow face paint. EVERYONE is thrilled and just HAPPY and EXCITED... both locals and foreigners alike, I gotta say.

I can't afford to watch any games at the stadiums, but you can practically watch the games anywhere over here. There's an open area in the center called the Fifa Fan Fest which is a lot of fun... But mostly we just see it on the streets of this neighborhood called, Vila Madalena. They basically just shut down a few blocks, set up a huge monitor, and hundreds or even thousands of people gather around to watch the game together on the streets. It's SO much fun... I LOVE it.

Sometimes, being a gringo has its perks, because once the Brazilians hear me talk and realize I'm a foreigner, the free drinks start pouring in. :) I LOOOVE Brazilians! :)


Then all the foreigners from all the other countries roam the streets to support their own teams. It's basically the same thing, only instead of seeing Green and Yellow everywhere, you see different colors. :)
At The Fifa Fan Fest


Is really expensive. Everyone hikes up the prices when there is an opportunity to, and with all the foreigners being here, well... Taking advantage is an understatement. But that's just the way business goes! And Sao Paulo is already expensive to begin with, even without the World Cup, so we can clearly deduce that I'm pretty much broke --- but happy!

Food is expensive... Like, a large pizza at a random diner could cost about 30 USD... Shopping? Well... let's just say I've been having my family send over some clothes because I'd rather wait than spend money over here. It's kind of insane. The Metro - you pay 3 Reais every time you enter (about 1.50 USD), same for the bus... And because of all the commuting I do everyday, I usually spend at least 10 Reais per day on transportation. It adds up.

What's cheap? Err... Havaiana's and cigarettes? Hahaha


With the whole crew, being featured at Globo 1

Incidentally, while I've been here, I've managed to be on TV twice! It's just the local news, but still. Pretty cool. They love interviewing foreigners, asking us the same questions over and over... "Who are you supporting"... "What's it like being in Brazil"... "Will you support Brazil"... blah blah blah.
It's really silly, and sometimes stupid... but it's FUN! :)

2 Weeks In, 2 More To Go

Brazil is playing against Chile on Saturday... And this is a Do or Die match. It determines whether Brazil moves forward or not, so it's probably the MOST important game to date. I'm not a soccer fan, but MAN the suspense is killing me! I have NO idea what will happen if Brazil doesn't win.

Right now, things in the country are good. No protests, no Metro strikes, everyone is just happy and excited to be here, and the Brazilians are SO open and friendly towards the foreigners.

But if things go badly for the team on Saturday, I can't guarantee that things will remain the same. Brazil HAS to win. They HAVE to. Because if they don't...

Shoot, can you guys IMAGINE what it would be like over here? I can't. And I don't want to. So we'll just have to see.

I'll let you guys know for sure. I'll keep you all posted.

In the meantime - VAI BRASIL!!!!