When people ask how I am liking living in Brazil so far, I struggle to come up with an answer.
Long story short: I love it.
Long story long: I love it, but it’s 100% different from the life I’m used to – which isn’t a bad thing!
I really didn’t have many expectations about what our life here would be like. It was simply too hard to picture. And even now, one week in, I never really know what I’m going to get each day. Unlike life in the states, I often have absolutely no idea what I’m doing (okay maybe that’s a little like life in the states) and every day is a true adventure.
The one thing that has surprised me the most has been the heat. Yes, it’s Brazil. The Southern Hemisphere. It’s hot. But everyone kept telling us how we were coming in the Fall/Winter and it would probably be “cold”. I knew that the temperatures had been in the high 80’s prior to our arrival, but didn’t really understand what those 80’s would feel like. Constant heat and humidity. Constant sweat. Many showers.
Ashton isn’t all the way impressed with the weather, although he always finds ways to keep cool and relax.
But I’m a warm weather girl, and aside from the buckets of sweat, I really don’t mind the heat. I’ll probably even miss it when it “gets cold”, meaning lows in the – gasp! – 50’s.
As far as how we spend our days, it varies. We walk a lot. A LOT. We’ll probably get a car eventually (and we’re renting one this weekend to do a bit of exploring – woo!) but until then we do about everything on foot. So far, a big priority has been finding grocery stores and cafes near our apartment so that we can stay caffeinated (sleep has been a tad lacking) and stocked up on water, snacks and of course – cerveja.
Not all our coffees are dessert, but the best ones are.
It’s also a bit of a production planning our meals. We haven’t sourced any pots and pans yet, so we eat out most of the time. Restaurants in Bauru open at very specific times: some only for lunch, some only for dinner, some only for the period of time between lunch and dinner. It certainly keeps one on one’s toes.
A typical day of food involves a light breakfast, usually fruit and/or bread with coffee, a bigger lunch, a late afternoon snack (twist my arm) and a late dinner, or at least late by my standards. Lunches tend to be buffet style (or per kilo) and earlier than I am used to eating back in the states, but the food is always delicious consisting of salads, pastas, different kinds of meat and chicken and always rice and beans. For an afternoon snack, or a casual dinner, sandwiches are very popular. One of my favorites is the Bauru Original sandwich, with roast beef, pickles and cheese on crusty french bread.
Some nights, dinner is more of an affair and usually involves steak. And it is delicious. My poor cholesterol. We’re lucky that we have such great people here to show us around and make sure we stay entertained. On Saturday night, we went with friends to a Brazilian concert. I didn’t know a word of the music, but it didn’t matter. We danced (and sweat some more) and had a great time.
Sundays in Bauru are very quiet, and a lot of restaurants and shops are closed. But we happened upon an adorable restaurant called Turquez Bistro a few blocks from our apartment this past Sunday, and I immediately fell in love.
Above is a shot of the garden in front of the restaurant. Inside is just as beautiful, with ornate chandeliers hanging all over the ceiling and whimsical nicknacks placed all over. It actually reminded me quite a bit of a DC restaurant. Something on H Street perhaps.
The food was great as well, which is good, since we’ll likely go back many times. They offer lighter fare, like this poached fish dish with coconut rice and stewed peppers. I usually don’t like fish enough to have more than a few bites, but I devoured this.
Because I am a pale Americana, I’ve already caught my first sunburn, and have begun to layer extra sunscreen on in the morning and afternoon. And when the pain gets you down? Have some cachaca! Not really, I can’t do straight liquor, but it was worth tasting.
It’s still hard for me to believe I live here, so far away from friends and family, but it certainly feels like we made the right decision in coming. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!