So last Friday, we went to the local theatre/arts center because they were having a north eastern music festival. Some parts of the north east are desert, so all of the marketing for the festival had little drawings of deserts and coyotes. Comforting!
The band on Friday night was a quasi-famous group that Alexandre really likes. They're called Cordel do Fogo Encantado, and Elena and Michelle would both really enjoy them. It's a crazy mix of traditional Brazilian music, African music (since most slaves in Brazil were originally taken to the north east), and reggae. It was fun to see Alexandre so excited about something. He knew all the words to their politically-charged songs, and he sang and danced around the whole time. I danced, too... but just a little. You can take the girl out of lower-middle-class white America, but you can't take lower-middle-class white America out of the girl.
There were a lot of people smoking various substances inside the basketball-court-turned-concert-hall, which I think allowed for me to be more susceptible to the throat-based cold that I picked up this week. I lost my voice, which is a bit difficult for an English teacher. I also learned how to say "estou rouca," which technically means "I'm hoarse," but is what people use for "I lost my voice."
The week has also been a bit scattered because poor Alexandre is right smack in the middle of his finals session (spread out over three weeks, and a combination of written tests, oral tests, and tests with real patients). His eating and sleeping schedule has been erratic at best, which makes it a bit difficult for me... since we share a one-bedroom apartment at all. But despite his busy-ness, he was entirely enthusiastic about using his stethoscope to check my lungs and choose the perfect cough syrup for me. His reward? Catching the same cold. Haha. Love is a funny thing.
Speaking of love, Thursday was the Brazilian Valentine's Day, which is called "dia dos namorados" (Couple's Day). I bought Alexandre a book (some of you have heard the story), and he made me a fancy chicken parmesan lunch and cut the chicken in the shape of a heart. Adorable. (He made me promise not to put a picture on the blog.)
Admittedly, it's my first time having someone to celebrate a Valentine's Day with (moving on up from "Singles Awareness Day"), and I thought I'd be more excited about it. But when it finally came down to it-- when I finally had the chance--I didn't care so much. It just kinda felt really contrived and commercialized, and it also caused a crazy wait at our favorite sushi restaurant. We ended up eating Chinese takeout at home while watching Brazilian sitcoms, and I couldn't have been happier. It really is true, after all, that you don't need a day to remind you that you're in love awwwwww mush mush cheese mush--
I had a nice talk with one of the other teachers at Job #2, after the boss gave me yet another pressuring lecture about how I need to quit Job #1. The other teacher told me to ignore her. She said she's just doing her job, but doesn't actually expect me to quit. She told me that every English teacher in the area has 2 jobs-- that it's the only way to make a living as a teacher here. She also reminded me that the boss isn't going to fire me just because I can't teach one class. It was helpful to get her perspective. Between the two jobs and all of the translation work that boss #1 is giving me, I'm almost at a point where I wouldn't really want to accept any new classes. I mean, I probably still would, because I'm me, but.
So yes. That's where I'm at.