Thursday, 17 October 2013


To get rid of an unwanted guest put a broom behind your front door (sometimes it's said it should be an upside-down broom).

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

It's Tradition!

Traditional foods in Brazil vary greatly from area to area. So much so that you can often tell where one is from by what traditional foods the start naming off.


Okay. Quibe is technically traditionally Lebanese, but in Brazil it is as common as any officially traditional food. Which makes sense, considering there is a larger population of Lebanese in Brazil than in Lebanon itself. 

Quibe is made with a special type of wheat that is soaked in water for hours so it puffs up and is then mixed with meat and spices. It can then be fried (a traditional snack at birthday parties), baked, or eaten raw with olive oil and bread.

Raw quibe (the centerpiece), ready to be enjoyed. 

Fried quibe, a staple food at birthday parties. They can be made to have fillings as well.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Money, Moolah, Cash

Moedas (Coins)

R$ 0,50

The coins on the left are the old version, the one on the right is the new design that you are more likely to encounter.

  On the coroa side: Barão do Rio Branco (Baron of White River), who is responsible for defining Brazil's borders. Behind him is an allegory of his achievement.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Colloquialisms, sayings, & Slang

Cê tá pensando que berimbau é gaita? - Are you thinking that a berimbau is a harmonica?

A somewhat friendlier way of saying "who do you think you are?" or "what do you think I am?". It is usually used when a person makes an exorbitant demand or request. A berimbau is a musical instrument.

Chôvê não, chovê molha! - Not rain[ing], rain[ing] gets [us] wet!
A play on words for the request "Deixa eu ver" (let me see/can I see), which is often shortened to "Chovê" (which in turn sounds exactly like the common shortening of "chover" - to rain). It's usually used by adults to little kids who are trying to grab something off their hands.
Colloquialisms, sayings, & Slang

Churrasquinho de gato – Cat barbecue
Any bbq of questionable origin (it isn't necessarily actually made of cat).

Pastel de ar - Air pastel
A pastel is a kind of popular pastry in Brazil that can be savoury or sweet and has varying flavours (I'll make a post on it in the near future, but for now, think "deep fried pita pocket"). 
An air pastel is a pastel that has very little filling inside (the bigger the pastel, the ore likely this is to be). The idea is that since there's so little filling, the filling for that pastry is "air".

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Money, Moolah, Cash

Notas (Notes)

All bank notes have the statue representation of the Republic shown in the the front.

R$ 50 Onça pintada (Jaguar)

If you look at the two versions you'll note (ha ha) that the word fifty  is spelled a bit differently from one version to the other. That's because the umlaut accent (known in Portuguese as the "trema") was recently removed from the Portuguese language during the orthographic reform. So while the word is still pronounced the same, fifty is now spelled "cinquenta", not "cinqüenta".

The "old" version of the R$50 bill

The new R$ 50 bank note. 

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Colloquialisms, sayings, & Slang

Churrasquinho de gato – Cat barbecue
Any BBQ of questionable origin (it isn't actually made of cat... one hopes).

Véi, véio – Oldie, old
Slang akin to “dude”. It's particularly popular among  those of the 90's generation.

Estar frito – To be fried
A term used similarly to “to be screwed” in English, but isn't considered to be a swear like “screwed” is. Closer to "to be in a jam" swear-wise.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Apologies for My Grand Disappearing Act

I was accepted into a program at my university to go live in Cuba for 4 months. Through said 4 months, my laptop was resuscitated from the blue screen of death twice, before eventually succumbing into a speed coma (that is, it works enough to remove one or two files before freaking out and shutting down). All my documents are (slowly) being retrieved from its hard-drive little by little.
Colloquialisms, sayings, & Slang

Nem aqui nem lá na China! - Neither here nor in China!

A way of saying something is ridiculous or untrue. Eg. Someone offers you a food you've never tried.  You ask them what it tastes like and they say it's kinda sweet, but when you try it it's extremely bitter. Then you would say “isso não é doce nem aqui nem lá na China!” (this isn't sweet neither here nor in China!).

Nem que a vaca tussa (em Alemão)! - Not even if the cow coughs (in German)!
A somewhat equivalent exclamation to “in your dreams”. Can also mean “never ever in a million years” depending on the situation.