Sunday, 19 August 2012


My weekend: A night of curry and scottish celidh dancing sandwiched by 2 long lazy Brazilian lunches.

Yes, this is a picture of Brazilians playing bagpipes and showing off their Scottish dancing skills!  Hearing bagpipes always makes me a little emotional - they remind me of special events, weddings, etc   - I want to say I felt homesick but I've only been to Scotland 3 times in my life... The night was hosted at the Brazilian British Center in Pinheiros and it was all about the dancing. I eventually got the hang of it- holding hands running around in circles, clapping and feet stomping though I think I was much too sober for my liking. The Scottish Society also host a Burns Night and the Caledonian Ball during the calendar year which is more about the whisky drinking than the cross legged dancing.

And then the long lazy Brazilian lunches... today's lunch came about as follows. Received a phone call at noon inviting us to lunch at 1pm, made a real effort not to turn up on time so managed 10 minutes late, kissed everyone hello including children and dogs, drank out of a communal glass*, sprinkled some farofa (it's growing on me) on my delicious moqueca and then tried to add something intelligent to the conversation in Portuguese. One of the guests was a stand-up comedian and I think this is the true test of learning a new language. When I can go to a stand-up comedy night in Portuguese and actually understand it AND think it's funny, I will be justified in saying that I can speak Portuguese. Just might be a few more decades before I actually get there..

*I like this style, even if it is with people I've never met before. It means you get to taste all the different caipirinhas / sakerinhas!!  Today there was grape+pear, fresh coconut + passionfruit and lime+orange.


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  2. Weird: I commented above, it showed up twice, I deleted one of them and now they are both gone. I hope you can still see it. It was just a throw-away comment about "chimarrao" that's not worth re-posting...

  3. I had to google what a chimarrao was! I've seen it in Argentina but not in Brazilian setting, well not in a Sao Paulo setting. Is it common? Am I missing out on something?!? Afraid this is the first time i've been deemed safe enough to share a drink with..

  4. It's not common at all outside of Rio Grande do Sul and maybe Santa Catarina (the two most southern states). If you ever find yourself at a churrasco hosted by true gauchos, they will probably offer you some. It's prepared in a traditional gourd (cuia) and everyone drinks it boiling hot using a communal silver plated "straw" (bomba). It's similar to green tea but from the same leaves that are used for cha mate. I think it's fun as an unusual (for me) regional experience and it opens my appetite too.