Não falo Português

It's official.  I am "that" woman.  You know when you meet someone who doesn't speak the same language as you and for some reason you think to yourself, "Hmm.. maybe if I speak reeeeealy sloooowly they will magically understand."?  Then the poor person nods and smiles in agreement and you think VIOLA!  I, am a genius!  News flash:  THEY NOD AND SMILE TO GET YOU TO SHUT UP.  The truth hurts, I know.  Now you're wondering all defensively how I can make such a statement.  Well, let me back up a smidge to help illuminate my amazing 1st hand knowledge in this predicament...

Yesterday morning we arrived (HURRAY!).  We finally made it and are officially in our new home for the next three years here in Sao Paulo, Brazil!  I feel sincerely bad for everyone who didn't get to see our 3 ring family circus making way through the airport with all this garbage - and 3 more kids somewhere underneath it all.. don't worry they're still alive.  I tried to construct my own photo shoot, but alas you can only see Sir L sitting on his luggage thrown.  However, if you google "crazy Americans with 4 kids", you might see one of the snapshots from some of the people who felt so inclined to take out their camera phones so they could post it on Facebook or who knows were.  Truly, SOO awkward to try to pretend like you don't see them when they are trying to sneak a pic.. Just make sure you get me at a good angle please.. Honey, do I have anything in my teeth?  Look naturally happy and at ease kids!  WOWZA.
Well, as today was our first full day here in the new pad, we unpacked like crazy folk then naturally headed out to explore our surroundings (the parks and pools here in our complex of course!).  We all shuffled into the elevator and headed down to "if you tumble, no worries you most likely won't die level" in search for a nice relaxing Brazilian moment.  It turned Brazilian very quickly as we turned the corner of our building into the park and a gorgeous woman and her kids were playing.  She sweetly asked me something.  I'd tell you but, wait, meu Português é MUITO ruim.  That means, my Portuguese is VERY bad!  We tried to communicate in a charades type manner before I lost all pride and slumped into a corner in fetal position.  All I wanted to know was why the pool cover was on and if the main club pool was open or if it's a seasonal thing, which wouldn't make sense because even though it's winter here, it's a perfect 70 something outside! 

I concluded that the Club pool must be open, and we set off to find it.. Our complex is very secure.  You can't walk 50 feet without another security guard greeting you with a smile.  But buyer beware, if you smile and say Hoi!, a question will soon follow and you are bound to start shaking your head in confusion once more.  We walked, and we walked, and we walked for what seemed like forever.  It wasn't THAT far I'll admit, but when you don't know where you're going, every step seems like 10.  So naturally we turned around and went back to our building.  I was desperate.  I told the kids they could swim and they were SO excited!  I approached the receptionist.  Você fala Inglês?  Não. (snap!) Hmm, não falo Português...  then it happened, before I could think about what I looked like I started trying to remeber everything Seniora Swartz taught me in highschool, because although Spanish and Portuguese are different there are quite a few similarities, and she was bound to understand me better that way!  "Agua grande?" (accompanied by ridiculous swimming hand motions).  I then started pointing like a bafoon to the pool directly outside the building trying get her to understand it was covered.  "Aqua.. não".  She smiled, tried to keep herself from laughing and opened the language floodgates.  I have never heard so many words come out so fast as she attempted to explain to me where we should go.  I apparantly looked confused so she tried again.  SLOOOWER.  Nope.  Then once more and I gave in, "AHHH! SIM!  Obrigada!  Tchau!"  What the freak just happened?!  I couldn't look like an idiot so I just started walking again.  Half way there and Sir L biffed it and wanted to be carried, but I was already carrying Princess P.  So naturally we turned back again to go and get the stroller to accompany our journey.  So we walked past the guards, again.  Into the building and past the now very exhausted looking receptionist.. yeah, sorry about that.  She looked very distraught to see me and asked if I got lost (or at least I think she did), I shook my head and made a pushing motion trying to tell her I had to get our stroller.  She looked at me like I had an infectious disease so I waved her off and we went up to get it.  She seemed to understand when I gestured to it as we walked out, again.

Past the guards and the honey-maybe-you-ought-to-stay-inside onlookers we went.  We walked very far and started to curve around the pathway when I saw yet another guard talking on his walkie.  He saw me and stood up, cut off the person he was talking to with a gesture to me and called out "Não fala Português".  It wasn't a question.  It was a statement.  From that point on guard walkied guard to point us all the way down to the pool.  I suppose we weren't hard to miss, and really, I'm sure we made their day so much merrier as they sat during their breaks and reminisced in laughter.  "You'll see a tall blonde American woman pushing a stroller with 4 kids in swimsuits.. they can't talk to you and she has no clue what she's doing, but please get her to the pool before she loses her mind."  Huh, you know, when thinking of the mark I could place on Brazil, this one never really crossed my mind!  But alas, WE MADE IT!  And the water was just lovely :)
Here is a view looking upward from the pool.  There are about 15 of these buildings shaped in a crescent in our complex which give you an idea of its sheer massive size!  With an oasis taking up the middle of it all, you really can't tell we are in the middle of one of the largest cities on the planet.  With so much to do right in our own backyard, I am sure I will have plenty of opportunities to be "that woman"! ;)
**Disclaimer:  if there are typos from here on out it isn't my fault.. according to my computer which now apparantly speaks the laguage I can't seem to grasp, EVERYTHING I write is mispelled!


  1. YEAH....PICTURES!!! So glad you found the pool and everyone got to swim after all. I'm sure all of the guards families enjoyed hearing about the "new Americans who don't speak Portuguese!" No worries, you'll be fluent in no time! :0)

  2. Oh my goodness!!!! What a first day! I think i would be in the middle of a nervous-what-the-heck-did-i-get-myself-into breakdown!! Fetal position for hours. So glad you FINALLY found the pool and got to entertain the gaurds. Im sure you will be picking things up rather quickly. =) The complex seems so huge!!

    Oh, and that was quite the luggage train! You are quite the strong woman. Just the thought of wrangling all that and 4 kids is enough to send me into shutdown mode. =)

  3. Moral of the story...Contrats on a successful move! =)

  4. lol thanks Jen! It really was quite the 24hrs! :) But alas we are still alive and kickin ;)

  5. :O) Erin I LOVED the way you wrote and explained your day: I truly felt like I was watching a picture of it all in my mind! Sorry I was laughing that i had to stop and wipe the tears from my eyes: I can only imagine what the Brazillians laughed about at your expense 9no offoense from me or them: it must have been funny to them too is all....) I look forward to reading about your adventure there. Love ya LOTS, Aunt Lauren

  6. You are hysterical!! Seriously you are a great writer...I feel like I'm there with "the woman!"
    Do you know a way to add me so that I can get an email any time you post? I know I know...I'm so high maintenance! But...my kids have learned to grin and bare me and do this "wee little favor" for me...so if you don't mind. :)
    Have a great time and experience...I am over whelmed with the beauty of the pictures, and the area you live in...sure is a different view from a lot of the areas I remember seeing there. BEAUTIFUL!!!! I'm excited for you.

  7. You are so sweet, THANK YOU! :) We really have been blessed to live in a GREAT area. I am not sure how to add you from my end, but I think if you click on the "followers" link on the right hand side you can become one and select to recieve email updates.. sorry, I suppose I'm a bit challenged on that one! lol :)