The Other is Gold

Google strikes again

 

I like to watch TV. In fact, I would really like to be watching something now. But I can sink my eyes into that endless tube of telly anytime–in fact I already watched part of a movie earlier today. I'm trying to be more disciplined here. And I have things to say–things that won't just write themselves on their own. I could just let them go unsaid…but that wouldn't be so much fun now, would it? And remember, IM4FUN.

It will look like this when we return

 

So, the big news around here is that in about a month, we are moving back to the good ol' US of A. Some of you that read already know, and some do not. Now you all know. It's been a good ride here in Belo Horizonte, but it's time. Time for what? For new adventure, of course! For roads untravelled! For discomfort, and new places, and … colder weather!

 

I do love it here, though. I love you, Brasil. What's that, you say? You couldn't really tell???

Yes, I understand. My love is not that groovy kind of love we all sang and dreampt about in the 80s. No, my love has always ebbed to the truthier side of things. If I love you, I'll tell you EXACTLY what I think in curt direct sentences. Just ask my wife. Actually, don't ask her, just trust me on this one.

So as we leave, I'll be truthing it up here. And the truth is, I'm going to miss you, Brasil.

I promise, I'll write!

I'm gonna miss all your crazy monkey-ass laws that no one knows but everyone has to follow at certain times that will be revealed only when it is time. I'm gonna miss all the beautiful people who have laid their lives down for us, and the raucous drivers who have tried on many occaisions to take our lives. I'm gonna miss the coldest beer I never would have drank, and some of the best beers I have ever tasted. I'll miss your children who greet me with a kiss on the cheek, and all of the plentifully unhelpful and snarky clerks that fill the ailes and counters of each and every retail establishment. I will miss your rolling hills, your samba, and your Verdi-esque anthems. Your pão de queijo, your goopy bowls of desserts, your mangos, your meat.

I'm serious too–I really will miss all these things. Heck, I'll probably even miss my inarticulate ramblings in Portuguese. Not so much for the actual inarticulate awkwardness of it all, but because I DID IT. WE DID IT. We have adapted to life here, and while Brasil may not have always completely accepted us (which is a completely “normal” feeling for an immigrant–not meant negatively in ANY way), we have accepted Brasil. The good and the bad. And we are sad to leave.

It's the beginning of the end, but I'll never forget you. Let's become old friends; those are the best kind.

 

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Wandering thoughts…

Just returned from a short orchestra tour to Diamantina (one of the historic cities here in Minas Gerais)–twas a nice city, but there really wasn't enough time to enjoy it. Here are some of my reflections from the tour:

I took a taxi from my house to where we all met to catch the bus–I love that taxis here are cheap and generally very easy to come by. I called, and this one came right to my door, and took me to my destination for about 5 bucks. But when I was paying, the taxi driver got a little upset with me because the only bill I had to pay him with was a R$50. This is common: people whine and complain here when you ask them to give you change. But please, people, really? Get over it.

People from Minas really love their own food. I mean REALLY. And I like it too, for the most part, but it's just one type of food among many that I consider good to eat. We stopped for Churrasco (Brasilian barbeque) on the way to Diamantina, and one of the people in charge of our tour was ranting loudly and approvingly of the food, and going around to say “Hey! This is great food, isn't it???!!! Wow, REAL authentic Mineiro food!!! soo wonderful, eh?” It's hard for me to understand how someone can get so excited about something that they eat everyday, but I certainly appreciate the enthusiasm.

I love my job. Sure I complain about certain aspects of it, but I am well aware of how lucky I am to have a job in an orchestra. I especially love to play for people in small towns who don't often get to hear a symphony orchestra–I love hearing their sincere cheers and seeing their happy faces. Diamantina was no different–there was probably about three thousand people at the concert, and they were all so enthusiastic and thankful to have us playing in their town. This concert was in celebration of Brazilian Independence (September 7th), and for the first time, I heard everyone singing all the words to the National Anthem–a difficult task considering it is a strange Verdi-esque march with lots of vocal twists and turns. Go Diamantina!

On the long bus ride home, I had the chance to watch the scenery as we rolled through the interior of Minas Gerais. Not particularly exciting stuff, but as we passed by the small towns, I couldn't help but think: What would it be like to live here? And my mind wanders to buying a small plot of land, building a house, having a garden, chatting with neighbors, playing the cello and receiving students from all over the world that can't resist coming all the way to Brasil just to study with me for a week or two.

Hey, it's fun to let your mind wander every once in a while.