February 18th, 2007

(no subject)

I got in an argument. It was in Portuguese. Making sure arguments are not in Portuguese is probably the best way to be sure I win my arguments. But, I was told, “Love does not exist. I've known many people who say they are in love and they are never loyal.” and figured that I should accept the challenge. I tried to explain that love doesn't come from the outside, but is something you have to grow yourself. And, that love doesn't benefit the person being loved, but the person that is in love. Probably these ideas are difficult to accept from outside sources.

“I know someone who has a casinha da roça.”

“A casinha da arroz?”

“Casinha da roça. It's like a country house made of hay that is a giant truck.”

At this point, I concluded that my Portuguese had failed me and decided that I needed to see this thing to figure out what it was. And besides, they said it was cool. In the quest to get there, we met the secretary of culture for the state. We ended up at the house of somebody important. I hadn't been in such a nice building for a while. I ended up leaving with my own carnaval shirt. It felt like Bangladesh for a little while.

We finally made it to the casinha da roça (pronounced casinya dahosa). It turns out that it is a country house mad of hay on a giant truck. Imagine a thatch roof put around all four edges of a semi-truck. It turned out that I had understood what a casinha is, but had misunderstood that it is a cool thing.

This adventure was led by a sleazy guy. I don't think he quite counts as a thief, but the times he had the opportunity to touch my money, I always came back with less money; I think he knew the secretary of culture entirely to try to land government contracts; and, at the end of the night, he was making out with someone 36 years younger than he was (I think he was 50).

I met the sleazy guy through a mutual friend. The friend let me witness a good story to describe cultural differences. He is honestly a nice guy and cares about people. But, his second girlfriend found out about his first girlfriend (the mother of his child) and called her to talk. He then had zero girlfriends. After this he was really hurt because he cared about these women. I don't think he ever considered being loyal to one woman, it isn't a part of his culture. But, he did truly care about them. I think he would have an easier time in another culture.

Do I have pictures of the casinha? No. I went camera shopping to decide what to do about my camera. Cameras in Brazil are almost 2x what they cost in the US. Nothing in Carnaval seems so amazing that I won't be able to live without pictures (admittedly the giant puppets are pretty cool, but I think I could use someone else's pictures for those). I think the corpse of the current camera will get carried through to São Paulo and then we'll see how the warranty fairs.