Saturday, July 23, 2011

Portuguese and domestic matters

Boa noite!  This morning I had my first official Portuguese lesson.  I am already able to speak and understand more Portuguese than Mandarin, which makes me feel hopeful that I can become functional fairly quickly.

In the afternoon, I just took care of domestic stuff - unpacking, getting settled, going to the supermarket all by myself, cooking and so on.  Grabbed a bunch of textbooks from the school's staff library.  It was nice to have a mostly down day after the last few days.

It's cold, but the humidity here is unbelievable - earlier today it was 94%!  I have things that I put in the dish draining rack that just stayed wet for hours.  I will have to buy stock in a vinegar company to combat the inevitable mildew.  Today it got up to 64 F, so I opened all the windows until it got cold again.  This evening I made some congee and now the kitchen walls and ceiling are totally wet.  I've got the kitchen window open and the kitchen door closed to try to dry it out a little.

Last night I got my first taste of urban Brazil - people hang out on the main street along the sidewalk and play their car stereos at window-shaking volumes.  I was so tired I slept despite the noise.  I hope that I'll continue to be able to sleep through it, as my predecessor warned me that this is typical on Thursday through Saturday nights until around 2:00am.  Other than the night life, this cottage is nice and quiet. 

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