Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Week 2 with Gringo Nate

Monday morning we sent Nathan back home, where I understand he immediately went through the Wendy's drive-thru and ordered a double cheeseburger. (Note to my baby brother: Thanks a lot for not helping my case against the all-Americans-ever-eat-is-fast-food-hamburgers preconception held by most of the Brasilians I encounter! GEEZ!)

We let him rest up and chill a bit more during his second week of vacation in Brasil but made sure to toss in some cultural experiences as well.

Tuesday night Eric and a friend took Nathan out to see a sertaneja band. I stayed home with Gabriela, but I hear they had a good time. And for some reason everyone kept coming up and asking Nathan if he was American. (Was it the cap, the plaid shirt, or the cowboy boots that tipped them off? Or maybe the blue eyes and 6'+ height. Or possibly they just heard him using his extensive [<--insert sarcastic tone here] Portuguese vocabulary.) And then someone asked Eric if he was English. hehehahaho

Thursday night we hosted a Fiesta Mexicana at our apartment. We have been saying for a long time that we were going to make Mexican food some night for our Brasilian friends to try (very few of them have ever had it). So with Nate here, it gave us a good excuse to throw a party. We also invited some of our American and Canadian friends who miss Mexican food as much as we do and ended up with over 30 people here.

Nathan got to see how much work is involved in putting together a simple taco bar in Brasil - 100 flour tortillas from scratch, refried beans that take 2 days to make, having to fry my own chips (I had Nathan bring down a bunch of corn tortillas for me), making my own sour cream, taco seasoning which involves pulling out 9 spice jars, homemade salsa, margaritas that start by juicing 50 limes and 15 oranges . . .

I sort of forgot to warn Nathan about Brasilian's adversion to eating/touching food with their hands though and I'm afraid it may be a while before some of our friends will return to our house now. Being unfamiliar with tacos and the sort, the Brasilians needed a little guidance on what to do with the tortillas and toppings. I looked over at the taco bar at one point and Nathan was trying to instruct one couple on what to do. "First off, you gotta smear some refried beans all o'er it. Whoa, not too much now. A'ight, then throw on a lil' bit a tha meat." Understandably, they were having some difficulties understanding his directions and so he said, "Here ya go, I'll just do it for ya." My brother then proceeded to grab their plate and start tossing on lettuce and shredded cheese . . . with his hands. (I had put out lots of serving pieces because I knew it would throw people off if they had to build a taco using their hands! But Nathan disregarded the flatware and just went the traditional route.) The poor couple looked slightly appalled.

Unfortunately, none of us remembered to take any pictures of the evening's festivities. :(

Friday morning Gabriela, Nate, and I drove down to Rio for the weekend. (Eric flew down after work on Friday night to join us.) We stayed in Leblon, took in a little beach time, walked down the beach in Ipanema and Copacabana, and visited Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf Mountain), Corcovado (The Cristo), Jardim Botânico (Botanical Gardens), and the Copacabana Feira.

View of Pão de Açucar from Parque Nacional de Tijuca

Nathan in front of The Cristo

His kindergarden report card was always slacking in the "Follows directions well" category.

View from Pão de Açucar at sunset

View towards The Cristo from Pão de Açucar

Gabriela's "um, Mom, could you please save me" look. She gave me that one a lot whenever her Uncle Nate had her.

A special hairdo compliments of the Uncle . . . poor kid.

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