Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Too Much Free Time

Classes are not going well. I'm down to only about 15 hours per week, and only 3.5 of those hours are private classes at home. The big money engineers flaked out. Frustration! Apparently, in the teaching industry of Brazil, you not only can't put all your eggs in one basket, you can't even put the eggs in a few different baskets and start counting them only after they hatch. It's best just to not count them at all and constantly go searching for new eggs.

Now that I've overextended that metaphor, I'll tell you a bit of good news, and also how we've been spending the rest of the week.

I went into The Old Job and was honest with the boss (what a refreshing concept)-- I just told her that the private classes weren't panning out like I thought they would, and I was unsatisfied with the schedule at my other job. I told her I was offering myself to teach any classes that needed teachers. I was worried she'd be annoyed, but that other teacher had buttered her up for me (see previous entry), so she was happy that I wanted to come back (phew!). She was only able to give me one of the classes, but it's still an extra 3 hours a week until I go home for Christmas. (When I come back in January, it'll be a new semester at both schools, so my schedule will change completely, hopefully for the better.)

I've also started teaching English classes for the teachers at Primary Job. It was my boss's idea-- he wants me to focus on cultural things and common problems that the students have (directions were kind of vague, of course). Today was the first class (and, of course, the boss didn't show up). I was worried that the other teachers would be a bit offended by the idea, but they actually really liked it, and the class went well. We had nice discussions about false cognates and when swear words are and aren't appropriate.

In other news, we're on quite the vegetable kick right now. Alexandre's dad has been sending us home with ice chests full of frozen meat the last few times we've visited, since there's a really cheap carniceria by his house. That means that when we go to the grocery store, we usually don't buy any meat. Yesterday, Alexandre was annoyed with the middle-aged and apathetic cashier, who wasn't doing anything and was completely ignoring us. When she finally decided to give us the time of day, he decided to mess with her. In English, he muttered to me, "just play along. I'm gonna tell her I'm allergic to meat." The conversation went something like this (paraphrased and translated):

Alexandre: Yeah, we're buying so many vegetables... you see, I'm allergic to meat.
Cashier: [incredulous] Is that so? Wow, how terrible!
Alexandre: Yeah, it's a big problem in my life. I have to have a special diet and find protien in eggs and beans.
Cashier: That's awful. I've heard about meat allergies before. They usually only happen to adults, right? (hahahahaha)
Alexandre: Yeah, it's a late-onset allergy.
Cahsier: [waving her head in my direction] And her? Is she allergic to meat, too?
Alexandre: No, no.
Me: But I don't eat it at home. You know, for support.
Alexandre: Yeah, sometimes if we go out to eat, she'll order meat, but she doesn't want me to feel bad.
Cashier: Can you eat fish?
Alexandre: Well, I can, but she doesn't like it. So fish, yes, but no chicken, no pork, no beef...
Cashier: Wow... I would be so sad if I couldn't eat meat.
Alexandre: Yeah, it was hard at first. But, you know, vegetables are healthier anyway...
Cashier: Well, good luck! Have a good day! etc etc.

Hahahaha. Alexandre will write ranting emails to Brazilian TV channels that give incorrect medical information, but he doesn't think twice about confusing the poor cashier. Pretty funny, though.

I'd also like to share a commercial with you all that's on TV here. We call it "the misplaced UNICEF or WWF commercial." It's slogan is "The forest is inside of you." You'll see that it's totally dramatic and serious and... selling overpriced hippie bodywash. Enjoy:

That's it for now. All this free time obligates me to responsibilities of housewifery... I have clothes to iron. ;oP


  1. I guess things go in full circle. You started out at the secondary job, and now you're back there again. Hey, as long as you're making some money, I guess it doesn't matter. Besides, the boss at the primary job is a jerk. (I vaguely remember this one was a jerk too though). That's so funny at your first class with the teachers you talk about swear words. You know me. I'd be like they're ALWAYS appropriate to use. F'ing this and F'ing that. I am sooo sorry about Alex's meat allergies. (Ha ha) You should have told her gullile isn't in the dictionary as well.
    Love you both,

  2. mmm... I'd love to spread creamy Brazil Nuts all over my body. (After reading that sentence aloud, it sounded much grosser than the first time I thought of it).

  3. 15 hours? That's horrendous.

    The song in that commercial is so catchy, especially the part at the very end that sounds like someone's flicking their bottom lip with their finger, haha. The deep voice that's dubbed though creeps me out.

    Well I'll ttyl. I'm busy, gotta go take care of my river.


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