Category Archives: funny

Pop Quiz

Who doesn't love a post-it cartoon?

The last few weeks I have been busy with testing, so I thought why not continue the trend with a little Brazilian trivia? The questions below are a collection of some random facts I have learned since coming here, so this is a fun way for me to share them. I’ll post the answer key in a day or two. And鈥 did my best to spell-check my Portuguese, but I’m sure there are mistakes. Forgive me, I’m still learning 馃榾

  1. Itacoatiara’s nickname is
    • A – Pedra Pintada (the painted rock)
    • B – Rio Claro (Clear River)
    • C – Grande Anaconda (big anaconda)
  2. Which of the following is not an Amazonian fruit?

    Name that fruit!

    • A – Cupua莽u
    • B – Goiaba
    • C – Pirarucu
    • D – Guaran谩
  3. It is normal to eat your pizza smothered in
    • A – Ketchup
    • B – Mayonnaise
    • C – Chocolate
    • D – Condensed milk
    • E – All of the above
  4. A hand signal that DOESN’T mean sex is:
    • A – Thrusting your fingers downward, like tapping them on a table
    • B – Holding your hand up, palm outward, and closing your fingers into your palm repeatedly
    • C – Smacking the back of one hand into the palm of the other
    • D – Hitting the top of a closed fist with the palm of the other
  5. To summon a waitress/waiter, one should:
    • A – Whistle or “psiu”
    • B – Wave
    • C – Hiss “mossa!” at a great distance
    • D – Any of the above
  6. Which of the following common expressions is a swear word?
    • A – Puta que pariu!
    • B – Nossa!
    • C – Olha-l脿!
  7. What Brazilian league team does Fisk sponsor?
    • A – Flamengo
    • B – Corinthians
    • C – Vasco
    • D – S茫o Paulo
  8. Which of the following is NOT a type of music?
    • A – Forr贸
    • B – Pagode
    • C – Pur茫o Alem茫o
    • D – MPB
  9. To confirm with the Pol铆cia Federal that you are in the country legally with a proper visa, you must:
    • A – Show up to the station one week after arriving and give your name
    • B – Go to the station twice, the first time to show your paperwork and the second to get finger-printed.
    • C – Fill out documentation online and pay two fees. Go to the station at least three times because the online paperwork will not print. On the fourth try, be informed that you are now later than 30 days so you have to pay another fee. Get fingerprinted digitally and in ink. Have a head shot taken. Sign multiple documents. Provide certified copies of other documents. Return for a fifth time to make sure everything is kosher.
    • D – You don’t need to go to the Pol铆cia Federal; you can check in at Customs at the airport.
  10. The event everyone wouldn’t shut up about was:
    • A – Samba Manaus
    • B – Rock in Rio
    • C – Children’s Day

I have more, but I can’t think of them right now! I will post the answers soon, along with explanations for everything I mentioned. Post your answers in the comments section before the results go up!

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Filed under Brazil, funny, immigration, Itacoatiara, pop quiz, red tape

In and Around Manaus: Forr贸 101

This week I have been off of work for the first time since I got here. It has been really nice to sleep in, but mostly it was nice to stay in one city for more than four days at a time. I have been here in Manaus since last Friday, and will stay until Sunday when I go back to Itacoatiara.

Other than sleep, the main benefit of being in one place for so long is that I actually got to do some touristy things, and more importantly, began to gain an understanding of where things in relation to each other. I am the kind of person who needs to be spatially oriented, and I also really like understanding the history and culture of a place. Besides being type A and just liking that stuff generally, it’s also a big part of how I learn; I need to be able to see the big picture to understand and appreciate the finer points at close range. This week, I got the full perspective on geographic, cultural, historical, musical, and natural aspects of Manaus.

As I mentioned before, I had my first real taste of Brazilian dance music last weekend when I went to a Forr贸 party (pronounced foh-HO). I’m going to have to give a bit of a background here, so bear with me. I heard forr贸 music for the first time on my first night here, and I thought it sounded lively and upbeat for dancing, if a little repetitive. Maria asked me if I liked it, and I said sure, because it was my first night and of course I was going to say that, but she just laughed. This became a trend: anytime forr贸 came up, the person would ask me if I liked it, then stare at me intently until I responded. They would then either tell me they hated it, or they would just laugh. So I was never sure if I was allowed to like forr贸, and the style of music isn’t something I am used to, so I decided to reserve my opinion until I’d seen some dancing action. I had also been warned by Paul (the Irishman) to beware the forr贸 party, as they can seem tame enough at first with the vigourous dancing, but then you notice that the dance floor more closely resembles a porno and it’s not so innocent anymore. Of course this was both horrifying and fascinating, and I knew it was an aspect of the culture I had to see to鈥elieve.

The International Gang had made plans to go out last weekend, and Albert in particular had requested we try out the forr贸. So against the better judgement and taste of Paul and Vinicius, and with a club recommendation from a teacher and self-proclaimed “forrozeira,” we headed out in search of this club. Now, everything in Manaus is far, even if it’s close. The roads are all twisty and full of boulevards and one ways, so it usually takes 20+ minutes to go anywhere. It takes about half an hour from my house to get to Ponta Negra, the really posh, beautiful area where all the good bars are. Well鈥e drove and drove, we got to Ponta Negra and passed the pre-drink gas station party lined with motorcycles, we passed through the well-lit streets, and we found ourselves on a road to the middle of nowhere. The boys always joke that, if Vinicius’s car runs out of gas, I have to get out and push (it’s frequently on empty) 鈥 but even the boys were hoping we didn’t break down along this road. Nevertheless, we didn’t break down, and we knew we were getting closer to our destination when traffic started picking up. And just after the speed bump the size of a raised boulevard, we turned down a road full of cars and came to our destination: Kabanas!

The parking lot was filling up fast, and we were directed into a spot. When we got inside ($40 cover for the guys, but only $20 for the ladies), some promoters handed us fan-shaped flyers which were actually a life-saver. The club area itself is pretty huge, and I was worried about losing the guys, but fortunately it wasn’t extremely crowded when we arrived and we were able to stake out a spot. Then I was able to make a first impression of the raison d’锚tre, the forr贸! There was a live band playing at the front of the club, with professional dancers onstage.

The end of the night, with the fan

The pros were really impressive, but even more so were the dozens of couples around me dancing just as fast. But it didn’t look like something I couldn’t handle, and I was eager to try 鈥 well, maybe with the exception of the extreme pelvic thrusting that some of the dancers thought was an integral move. So, after grabbing some beers (um, they were R$2.50. Whaaa?), Cristina grabbed me and taught me the basics鈥nd soon we were whirling around, dancing faster and faster, and making our high-heeled feet work overtime! It was great, because I never get to partner dance like that.

My dance partner and me

Cristina was a really good teacher, but I didn’t get the chance to dance with anyone else so I don’t know how I’d fare with one of those guys (they are so good, you don’t actually have to know how to dance if you can follow a lead). I guess that’s an adventure for another day.

The other source of entertainment was Albert. We all waited patiently for him to try out his new skillz (from the forr贸 dance class he’d taken the previous day), and it didn’t take long for him to approach a group of girls nearby. The only problem was, on closer inspection they appeared to be about 16 or 17! Ohh Brazilian clubs. Anyway, it was still funny to see him bobbing around, trying to avoid stepping on their feet, and the girls swooning simply because he has blond hair and blue eyes. After a while the band finished their set, and the club played hip hop during the intermission (which actually got Paul dancing鈥ho knew?). By the time the band returned to the stage, Paul and Vinicius had decided they’d had enough forr贸 for the night and Cristina’s and my feet were pretty sore, so we dragged Albert away from the jailbait and headed back to the car. By the time we got back to the city it was 2am, and I realized I’d been up since 6:30 for work, so I asked to be dropped off. Apparently the boys went out to Por茫o do Alem茫o, a rock club that I’d been to the week before, and stayed out until 5:30. If I missed some hijinks, it was definitely worth it to shuck off the heels and get some sleep.

In fact, I got a lot of sleep for the next couple of days, and my next adventure didn’t happen until Tuesday鈥ut that will be the next post. The final verdict on Forr贸? 聽It’s a lot of fun, but not an every weekend thing. 聽And if you’re going to go, take a nap because it lasts all night, and wear heels you can dance in!

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Filed under friends, funny, Manaus, nights out, something new

You know you’re ESL when…

I love my job.聽 Seriously, most days it doesn鈥檛 even feel like work.聽 My students have also commented that sometimes they forget I鈥檓 getting paid, because we just have so much fun together.

Sometimes, when we get in a silly mood, they share some of their funniest stories with me.聽 I imagine that some days must feel to them like a situational comedy: everything is one big misunderstanding.聽 But these misunderstandings stem from cultural and linguistic differences, rather than he said/she said, like on Friends.

So, without further ado, I鈥檇 like to introduce you to a little joke line I like to call 鈥淵ou know you鈥檙e ESL when.鈥

  1. You know you鈥檙e ESL when you think a Blackberry is a kind of fruit.
  2. You know you鈥檙e ESL when you think cross-country skiing involves a trip to the United States.
  3. You know you鈥檙e ESL when someone tells you they like yogurt and you picture them meditating.
  4. You know you鈥檙e ESL when inviting someone to go to the beach causes offense.
  5. You know you鈥檙e ESL when, at your convenience store job, a customer asks for More cigarettes and you start piling boxes in front of them.
  6. You know you鈥檙e ESL when someone tells you you have a nice smile and you wonder if you even wore perfume that day.
  7. You know you鈥檙e ESL when someone tells you to open Windows and you walk towards the wall.
  8. You know you鈥檙e ESL when you think Lady Gaga is the president of some country.

All inspired by true stories!聽 Enjoy, share, and feel free to add your own in the comments section.

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Filed under funny, student stories