A “quinzena” is a period of 15 days (quinze is Portuguese for “fifteen”).
In Brazil, each month can be informally divided into two quinzenas, the first and second set of 15 days. Therefore, the time between the 15th and 16th day (falling on the “Ides”) would be between 6pm and 6am. In homage to the “time between times“, a season in which I currently find myself (this Brazilian Summer of mine), I have decided that I will publish my monthly blog updates during this time period. Today, this translates to the evening of November 15th.
Yes, I could have called this post “The Ides of November,” but I want to avoid associations with a gory namesake of a romaine-hearted salad and spare you the whole Shakespeare speech so you can go ahead and lend me your ears. Besides that, “Ides of Quinzena” just sounds cool. 🙂
This post is mostly an update of what has happened in the past 30 days.
So, without further ado I present to you: “The Last Two Quinzenas in Pictures.”
Last month finished well. One of the highlights was a Sunday trip I took to a small beachside resort in a town called Matinhos.
As you can see, Matinhos is located southeast of Curitiba, my current abode. About two hours away by car, Matinhos is a nice place to visit when the sun is shining and you feel like leaving the city.
I went with a group of people I met through my friend William’s family, and as the Midwest American I was promptly elected the BBQ Chief. Don’t ask me why. Just know that after sampling my work (because cooking IS art) everybody approved. Must’ve done somethin’ right, even if I didn’t have KC Masterpiece on hand.
Now our BBQ was not done on a grill like most people from the States would imagine. A few of the guys and I (had loads of help, and it was appreciated) used a Brazilian BBQ pit. It looked more like this:
Because it was so deep, it confused my Statesian brain (not saying Americans are shallow… just saying their BBQ pits are). But after an hour of playful bantering, we got to know each other and ended up cooking up a masterful batch of meat.
Besides BBQ, there was a lot of sand soccer. Here, you can see the sand soccer field (as well as my candidly captured right arm, haha):
Now, I really enjoy playing soccer. But growing up without having any American friends who also enjoyed it (and having only a few Brazilian friends who can play when I am not conjugating verbs) makes it hard to play a game or two. So you can understand when I played for three hours straight.
You can also understand how I broke five toenails while trying for goals. Mr. Soccer-Noob was using the karate kicking technique he learned as a white and yellow belt (toes curled back) instead of the SOCCER kicking technique he should have used (toes curled in). Fortunately, not all five toenails were on the same foot. Silver lining!
Another highlight in late October was the occasion that I grabbed my first fast food since July. Kissing a temporary goodbye to the South American staples (honestly, I could’t help myself and was back on my knees for rice and beans the next day), I said “Hello!” to Bob’s burgers after a Saturday morning of English class.
I asked for extra Ovalmatine in my shake. After my negative past experiences with Brazilian fast food, I never thought I could enjoy a Curitiban Crispy Chicken sandwich and milkshake so much. I sat at my table full and corrected.
Oh, did I mention I saw a Lamborghini? Actually, two.
According to my research, that baby likely cost $300K (USD) due to Brazil’s infamous vehicle importation policies. Not even gonna try to speculate about the newer Candy Apple Red one I passed by a couple weeks later. No sir, I’d rather take the VW van in the background. Call me silly, and you’d be right.
That is a random piece of paper I bent into a sailor’s hat. Silly, right? 🙂
No matter how silly or absent-minded I can be (I am a professor, now, after all), I do my best to remember and be thankful for people who bless me.
That said, in the first quinzena of November, there were several things that made me grateful. For instance, I am thankful for relatives who make sure they save Coca-Cola for me when I get home from work.
All two and a half swallows of it. (To be fair, I had this one coming… I did this to them not to long before. :))
I am thankful for the tomato soup a fellow American bought me (super hard to come by here and costs a pretty penny, BTW).
Poor food (a mug of tomato soup and a grilled cheese) never was so expensive or tasted so good. 🙂
I am thankful to the student of mine who told me about a decently priced sushi place near work.
Ironically, we had just learned the meaning of the word “fishy” in class before I took this picture.
Also, I am thankful for the way God provides a cool tile floor to lie on in the heat of the day.
Yes’m, I got a lot to be thankful for. How about you, dear reader? What things have you been graced with in the last two quinzenas? Leave a comment: I’d like to know and smile with you.
Should you choose to abstain from commenting, (or even if you do comment), keep in mind that there are other ways to be involved in this blog. Take the gallery below, for example. This gallery show pictures of what was probably the most enjoyable “ecotourism” trip I had during this issue of Brazilian Summer (which, FYI is not BS statement; I really enjoyed it).
Canyon Guartelã, located near Tibagi and Castro, Paraná, Brazil. Wiki it up.
Stay cool (and keep reading!)