On Monday we went to a place called “blue shopping,” which is basically a swap meet / street fair setup with lots of pirated treasures and copyright infringements:
“It's just not a game anymore!” hahahaha. Adverbs sure are tricky.
The busy-ness and the being sick has also
caused us given us an excuse to eat out a lot. I've felt so American this week. We actually went in 2 drive-thrus! Boy, does this country know how to take an efficiency model and run with hit. Drive-thrus here feel like Disneyland. The McDonald's here has this elaborate system of runner employees that take your order while you're in line, then stick a little plastic number on the top of your car so the other runners can keep track of you. Another guy comes to take your money or credit card, and another runner brings the drinks (or sundaes, in our case! Ha). By the time you get to the window, you've already done everything you need to do, and the food is all ready. They just give it to you and take the little number off of your roof. Insanity.
The other drive-thru experience was an incredibly un-PC place called Habeeb's. Can you guess? Middle Eastern fast food. I tried to get a picture of the equally long and elaborate drive-thru /waiting line for The Jungle Cruise, but it didn't come out very well:
And we decided to jazz it up a bit once we got home (just for Natasha!):
At one of the jobs on Friday, we had a training from the Cambridge publishing company, the people who make our textbooks. Kristin, what a world of difference a training makes! We use the same book series that I used at my US job (Interchange), but now I actually know what the publishers had in mind when they made it. Also, I decided that the publishing rep has the best job ever. I want that job. Seriously. She gets to travel around Brazil and talk about textbooks, teaching theories, and classroom strategies with other teachers. I could do that in any Latin American country, and the US, for that matter. I'm going to look into it.
The other job has been pretty meh. My students are much older at this school (30s and 40s), and they have terrible attendance. I took some pictures of my empty classroom the other day, because no one came and I was bored:
I think part of it is me-- they're the introductory classes (think: “My name is ___. I am ___ years old. I live in ___”). I don't think they understand my effed-up Portuguese, and they probably think I'm a bit crazy. There's also the factor that they're busy adults with families and jobs; since the school is expensive, they're people with important, time-consuming jobs like lawyers and bank owners. Then, of course, there's the problem that the material sucks, and I'm not allowed to change it in any way. Blah. It keeps me from really being motivated.
This week, both jobs asked me what they could do (aside from a raise, because neither can do that) to convince me to quit the second job and be exclusively available for them. Heh. I'm being non-committal because I don't know who can actually offer me more hours...plus, I'm just indecisive. I prefer the students and the boss at EnglishSchool, and I never have to teach before 11:00am. However, the other school is within walking distance, and doesn't require any prep work because they have the crazy-strict lesson plans. I'd really like to just keep working at both until one fires me for not being available enough. Opinions?
Things are going better on the friendship front: I give private tutoring to a 28-year-old psychologist, and she wants to go out for drinks next weekend with the boyfriends. (Alexandre's so excited: “our first couple-friends!”) I also met another teacher at EnglishSchool who's super nice but whose name is impossible to pronounce. We had that casual “oh, we should hang out some time!” conversation, which I suppose is the first step.
I'll leave you with a nice picture of the sunset that I saw after work today. I hope you all are well. Congrats to the graduates: Elena, Andrew!