So things have gotten a bit busier here, especially with the added facilitation of the online teacher certification course for the Royal Conservatory of Toronto I took on several weeks ago; and look to get even more so when my Portuguese language for foreigners class begins next week. My book proposal is under consideration at Routledge, and my days are not really long enough to allow for a lot of research right now, but this will have to kick in more consistently pretty darn soon. My pedagogy class met last week for the 2nd time, and I’m really hoping we can continue to meet every week until I need to come home. They are so eager, and ask so many tough questions!
I’ve also had the privilege of coaching a chamber class (Haydn Gypsy Trio, the 1st movement of the Franck sonata for piano and violin) and taught a master class of the piano students last Thursday. Talented, accomplished, receptive, respectful, and appreciative. It really doesn’t get any better than that! Plus I got to work on the 1st 2 movements of Schumann’s Kreisleriana with a young woman heading off to grad school in South Dakota for the North American fall semester. I imagine she might have a bit of weather shock, since it was 68˚ Friday morning and everyone was in jackets and shivering. Está frio, está frio!!! they all say, and I just laugh.
I was looking at some pictures on my phone the other day and discovered these from the airport when we went to Rio.
For those of you who don’t speak Portuguese, this one tells you not to stand on the toilet.
One wouldn’t think that this wouldn’t be a problem, although a facebook friend thinks it refers to the tendency of people who do not want to sit on the toilet to want to squat instead, and to stand on the toilet to do so. Apparently the illustrator thought drawing a picture of someone squatting would be indelicate.
And I really appreciate the joyful flair with which this young woman throws her used toilet paper into the garbage can instead of into the toilet. (#MustBeABrazilianThing) I will confess that I have never been, nor do I imagine I will ever be, this happy about having to do this, but may adopt just this pose at home, when I can again resume flushing my used toilet paper.
O Palmito, how I adore thee. Especially that you come in so many wonderful shapes and sizes. Alas.
Yesterday we took an outing to a fejioada buffet with a new friend and colleague here, Paula (a saxophonist; we will perform together on May 24, including some Brazilian and Brazilian-inspired music, so this was research). We ate salad (with hearts of palm, big surprise) and pasta with abobrinha (kind of like a zucchini) and tomato, since all of the fejioada had meat in it, although Only Daughter enjoyed her slab of roasted animal flesh. The restaurant was having live choro music, which was fun.
Afterwards we went to the “Festa do Japão” hoping to sample authentic ramen and buy kitschy hello kitty decorations and origami. An elderly Japanese woman tried very hard to sell me a kimono that was at least 2 feet too long for me; the fact that an elderly Japanese woman was speaking to me in Portuguese caused more than a little cognitive dissonance. In addition, we quickly became quite overstimulated, victimized by the idea that bad Japanese pop music sung by an adolescent girl with a Sanyo keyboard and a poorly developed sense of pitch would be improved by blasting it at 500 decibels, while at the other end of the pavilion little dragsters raced around a tiny track screeching their tires and acid rock blasted from a different set of speakers to give the children playing in the bouncy house PTSD. I was able to stifle my urge to spontaneously combust long enough to buy a lovely pottery dish for $9
and snap a few pictures of some pretty cool sculptural items:
and a succulent “wall” to try to make when I get home (Pinterest fail)
but then we fled.
On the way home the sky looked like this
(the sun is actually behind us, but reflecting off of these two glass buildings)
while it kind of rained.
The light was golden and lovely.
But the combination of the music and sun caused us to return home a bit overstimulated. A caiparinha helped, but then an outdoor concert started at 11 p.m. (not kidding) and went until around 2 a.m. The venue is around 2 miles away, and our apartment building was buzzing and vibrating to the music. Or should I say, “music.” Can’t even imagine how loud it was for the people who were there, although I guess if they went they knew what they were getting into.
We just wanted to sleep, especially after the battle of the night before. One which I clearly lost:
I was awoken two nights ago by someone laughing outside, at around 11:40 p.m. (We were in bed, and sleeping, early, because we’re old.)
Then a mosquite dive-bombed me for two hours, which my husband could not hear, so now he thinks I’m louco. (Don’t say it, Monte, even if you want to.) We did find a tiny little something flying around near the ceiling eventually, which we smushed and felt quite proud of ourselves for, and then, finally, went back to sleep. But I had these on my leg yesterday.
I don’t know if these are mosquito bites, and I just react differently because they’re Brazilian (chikungunya, dengue-carrying) mosquitos, or if it’s something else getting me.
Today I booked our trip to Florianopolis and Iguaçu Foz for a week in June. Maybe there wont’ be mosquitos there. (Ha!)
This time is going too fast. I miss my students, my feather pillow, my Cuisinart and Kitchen Aid, a kitchen two people can work in at the same time without playing bumper butts, my clothes dryer, my dogs, and the rest of my wardrobe. But I feel sometimes this might be the experience of a lifetime, and it’s already well past half over.