Monday, January 31, 2011

Settling in

Okay well I just read over my last post..and do not even remember writing that haha! The day I posted it seems like it didn`t even happen because I was sleeping most of the time as I got super sick! So I was firmly out of action for a good 3 days, just resting..I think it was my body telling me slowww the flip down Sarah! Because the first 3 days were really full on, out all day, then going out again at night, not really sleeping properly, then when I was finally going to catch up on missed sleep/jetlag/new time zone (as in comPLETE opposite..13 hours difference with daylight savings) we didn`t get back til 4am and woke up at 7am for the trip to the city!

SO! It was good to have the time to just chill and recharge! I`ve been watching alot of Nickelodeon with my brother in this down time and will absolutely admit it right here loud and proud on the internet that I love that iCarly show. Yes, I know it is aimed at 10-14 year olds, but it`s pretty funny! Especially in Portugese...most American shows here are dubbed in Portugese with completely different character voices/tones everything. From the Simpsons to Spongebob (bob esponge) it`s all in Portugese!

Despite being sick I`ve still done some cool things..we went to this monument in the twin city to Santos called Sao Vicente and it overlooks the coast line of both has the most fantastic view but I forgot my camera so next time I will show you!
The next night we went to a little birthday party for the other Australian in my city. His name is Beau and he`s from South Australia..he only just turned 16 so he is the baby of the group ...yet still the tallest haha. Here I met some of the other exchange students in my city, a frenchie, one from Denmark, a couple from Ecuador and 4 Americans. They are so nice!! And really welcoming. Beau and I are really lucky because there is a whole group of them to show us the ropes because they have been here since the start of their school July/August. In the apartment buildings they have all the individual places upstairs and then down the bottom they have this big room which is there purely for parties =D    they really love their parties!

The next day I went to my rotary club for the first time..and wowowowow is it a fancy rotary club! Mainly because it is in a high rise building right on the beach! It was such a beautiful time I will put photos up. But because this is a new club, it is very small. My host sister Layse, is the first exchange student they will sponsor, and I am the first one they have hosted. So, we have no shoes to fill which is good!

The next night it was my host uncle's birthday, so we went to their house and had lots of food and brigadeiros. I feel this will be one of the top 5 reasons of not wanting to go home to Australia...THERE ARE NO BRIGADEIROS! Okay so it's like a kind of chocolate truffle..a tiny little ball of smooth, sticky condensed milky delight!! Oh just the best! Don't worry, I will still come back to Australia, because I will obviously learn how to make these magical treats.

On another food note, I had my first Churrasco today! Which is a Brazilian barbeque. MAN do these people know how to cook MEAT! Ohhh wowow it was really something. I would be lying if I said I didn't eat 13 chicken drumsticks. This irrational behaviour is not uncommon for me here so this week I am going to buy some joggers and get running again! Otherwise I will come back and my parents will not recognise me/I will not fit through standard doors!

My host sister leaves in a couple of days for her year-long exchange to Australia...she's off to Cambelltown which should be...interesting! I told her to take lots of cosmetics because they are SO much cheaper here! It's unbelievable! Everything is pretty much half the price or less! Also the ALCOHOL is sosoos cheap....1L bottles of vodka for about $12! Just casually sitting there in the supermarket. Good quality beer is like $6 for a 6-pack and when you order it at a restaurant it's like $2-$3. I plan to bring some home just because it feels wrong not to take advantage of this outrageous deal that is their constant lives! One could build some kind of enterprise from it if it weren't so (probably) illegal...

There were lots of little funny things like that which I wanted to share but I can't think of them now so they can wait. As we are all saying here " I do have a WHOLE year" ! But bottom line- I`m incredibly happy and smiling each day. Language is getting better...accent is getting worse...the other Aussie just looked at me, totally betrayed, as he heard me speak the moment I've got this warped west coast US thing going on. Who knows what it will be like after a year! My family, extended family and everyone in and between and gorgeous. My host brother and I get along SO well! We are constantly in fits about something random and stupid...but when the look of confusion comes up, one word will solve all things- traductor? Which is for google translate =D
  Brazilians are such beautiful, welcoming people. They love to socialise and eat. So we do. And that suits me juuuuust fine!

Hope you all are soaking up the last remnants of summer before reality kicks in, whether it be for school, uni, work. Whatever it is, have fun, chew gum and enjoy it!


Monday, January 24, 2011

First 48 hours

Well well well

Here I am, sitting in my new home in Brazil, wondering where to ever start. I don't reallllly know how to what the protocol is....but I guess I will just say what I would be telling you all individually if you asked how is it so far..

So the day I flew out, the 20th, was quite literally the longest day of my life..I left the gold coast at 2am..and then after driving and waiting and flying we left Sydney at 1.30 pm and after a ten hour flight to Argentina the local time was only 3.30 pm..the other exchange students from Australia to Brazil were quite awesome and we all agreed that we chose the best place :D
Finally we got to Sao Paulo airport at 9.30 pm, and we were greeted with all our host families. As all these young Australians anxiously looked out to the sea of strangers, they yelled out to me "Sarah, I think we know who your host family is!" I emerged from customs to find a big screen printed sign held up by my host parents that said "Welcome to Brazil Sarah King" in this bright yellow and green. It was such a beautiful gesture!

The drive from Sao Paulo to Santos, my city, was full of questions to my host parents about anything..everything...! I was just so excited and happy that after all the time spent looking forward to this was actually HAPPENING!

The next day we went to the local shopping centre and I got some yellow and green havaianas with the Brazilian flag..yes I know..the ULTIMATE tourist (for those that don't know, Havi's are from Brazil!) They were about $10..a price to be enjoyed. Then they took me to the beach of Santos, a place that I will be going to frequently this year. Then we went to meet the extended family, like aunties, uncles, grandparents, cousins etc.
It's funny because some speak english, some speak a little and many speak none at all. So, I have been using lots of portugese, a little bit of english and the rest in spanish. Usually I just try to say it in Spanish and see if they understand..many words are the same so that's good. But sometimes that just doesn't work out and there is just this silence coupled with raised eyebrows..quickly followed by a look to my sister or mother who both speak both languages. So, it is a bit of a trial and error system. But it is only day 3 or 4 and already I am not using much english in the house...I just want to throw myself into it because the quicker you can communicate the better the times will be! But yesterday I met some Exchange students from the US and I just spoke in Portugese and they were like errrrm we do speak english...! But I have become so quickly influenced..gone is the Australian I speak english in the way that my host mum and sister do...a little bit jolted and with this weird italian/american accent. So, I AM ALREADY FORGETTING ENGLISH

Which is weird...
Anyway, the next day the family went to the next city called Guaruja which is the only beach in Brazil to be awarded with the blue flag, which is certified by the Foundation for environmental education. To get one, the beach has to have super super high standards  for  water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and generalenvironmental management. On the weekend, everyoneeee from the hustle and bustle of Sao Paulo city come to Santos or Guaruja to have a day at the beach. And man do they enjoy the beach. If you look at the photos on facey you will see how crowded the beaches are...and here they don't just go to the beach to swim and then leave. They spend the whole day here...sitting, sleeping, eating, drinking, swimming, walking, playing and just generally relaxing. There are hundreds and hundreds of umbrellas and chairs for everyone to use and they all stay til the sun goes down...about 8pm. 

Now, if you thought that the Brazilian bikini was just a stereotype, you are SO WRONG. Here, allllllllll the girls wear skimpy, cheeky cut bikinis. Often just straight up g-strings...No matter how young, old or fat you are, you still wear them. The sights aren't always pleasant but here they are just so comfortable with their bodies so it's just kind of like; good for them ! Also, the guys only wear speedos...well..they are more like boyleg cut undies but yeah there are certainly no boardshorts in sight. I felt like the absolutely crazy one in my regular joe swimmers!

I get along reallllly well with my family, and their extended family, even with the language barrier we are always joking and laughing. My host brother is so cute, at first he was shy, but now we are like sister and brother. I showed him you forgot the blueberries on youtube (thanks joanna!) (if you haven't seen it look it up and then fastforward to the's the goods) so that won me a few kudos. We generally just bond over random things like American music and playing football together. Sometimes our conversations have a 2 minute delay because we type what we want to say into google translate and then pass the computer over..then we's a great little system. The first thing he said to me was 'you eat ALOT' haha

That night we left at midnight to go out to a club that was playing samba music, my cousins friend taught me how to do it and we just went wild! It was so much fun. Here, the people don't go out to get drunk, they go out to dance! I loveeeed it! We didn't get home until 4am,,

It's like everything you could ever hope for when you go to Brazil i have already the beaches, the samba, the food (ahhhhh soo good!!!) the welcoming people..everything! Quick note on the food, when you visit people they always offer food and get offended if you don't eat it, so my host mum said that I will be loved because I am always hungry haha

But on a sour note I think I went a bit too hard too fast because today I had a lil vom..and by little I mean ten times...awks..because it's such different food and it's so hot and I was overrrtired. After all the years of bragging about not vomiting since I was 7 ..I think I have made up for it all..hahah

oh sweet jesus

this has been TOO LONG
if you made it this far
congratulations..I am time it will not be this's just because everything is new and exciting that I want to share it :D

I hope you are all doing well in Australia!! Lots of Brazilian love xxxx