my host's name is cornelius. he and his nephew, elias, wander around casa aurea all day, smoking cigarettes and, when the time dictates, drinking beer to feed their age-appropriate beer bellies, speaking an anglo-saxon-intoned portuguese. their german-by-birth, baritone voices fill the air with an audible expression of the city's strangeness. rio is beautiful. it's ugly. it's awkward and dirty and so awesome. and i really haven't seen much of it at all. what i have seen is grafitti and favelas that are more beautiful than the civic buildings.
what i've heard are gunshots from the neighboring police shooting range. or was it the favela?
what i've smelled is big city smells. exhaust. garbage. urine.
and what i've felt is a breeze so cool and sweet i thought i'd float away on my guesthouse hammock...
i don't think there's another country in the world that could affect me like brazil. i hear the language somewhere other than my brain. i understand it somehow, even though i struggle to speak.
i'm struggling to do a lot. but this is where i'm supposed to be. this is where i chose to be. and this is what i knew was coming. moving to another country is "exciting" and "glamorous" and really uncomfortable.
i'll continue asking my roommate how his day was until he looks me in the eye and smiles. i'll keep thinking up questions to ask leida and rose until the words actually come out of my mouth in portuguese. and i'll keep trying something new every day until i know which bus takes me to work, which shop has the best salgadinhos and which corner to avoid. this is my city.
thank god i have six months...