Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lost in Translation

The few words I know in Portuguese are the ones that happen to be the same in Spanish. Things like, Si, leche, agua, uno…dos…tres. It’s almost enough to call me bilingual. Anybody from southern California knows enough Spanish to get their point across so I try to do the same out here but sometimes I get stuck and there is simply no way to get on the same page. The Brazilians are relentless too. They will continue to talk, at a rapid speed no less, in Portuguese after it has already been determined we don’t understand each other. Us Americans are no better though. We expect people to understand and speak English, no matter where we are. It’s a sense of entitlement that is at best, annoying. A couple of incidents though, have made me wish I carried around a small translator in my purse.

Through a friend of a friend, we had our own personal driver taking us around the city on a tour of some of the most famous sights in Rio yesterday. We had the privilege of visiting the Christo Redenter, a huge statue of Christ that sits on top of a mountain and looks over the city. The driver spoke no English, we spoke 7 words of Portuguese, but all was good. Until…as we were on our way up the mountain we noticed a huge, scary, frightening grasshopper had found its way into the car and was now precariously perched on the drivers seat right above his shoulder. I hate critters. I’m absolutely terrified of them. And myself along with the other three ladies traveling with me had determined that this was a matter of dire importance that needed to be dealt with immediately. We started frantically trying to warn him but he was none the wiser. So, because we are on our way up this winding road and did not want this creature to start hopping around and truly send the car into an absolute frenzy, we motioned for the driver to stop in the middle of the road, so we could escort Pepe out. He understood stop and did so with a wondering look on his face. Once he stops, the grasshopper makes his way onto the driver and we are trying to convey this information to him through words and the flapping of our arms in what we think is a good rendition of “bug” if we are playing charades, but with no luck. I hopped out of the car in the backseat as Grace does the same on the other side, Becky tries to point out the critter on his shoulder before hopping out of the front seat, and because he doesn’t know what else to do, the driver gets out too. We then motion for him to turn around…once, twice. Somehow Pepe has disappeared off of his shoulder so we inspect the car to make sure he’s no longer occupying it, and then gingerly climb back in, except now Becky and Grace have changed seats. We just did a chinese fire drill in the middle of the road, as well as make our driver spin and shake while we yell and scream at him. As much as we tried to convey the presence of a grasshopper was the reason behind all of this, I’m sure he probably thought we were all just nuts! We continued up the mountain and arrive at our destination chuckling over what the driver must be thinking in his head about these crazy, American tourists.

And just in case you are dying to see what we encountered when we made it up the mountain, here are a few pictures!



That's sugarloaf in the background and the view from the top.



I'm trying to stand out in the crowd.



We asked a stranger to lie on the ground and take this for us.


Christ the Redeemer.

17 comments:

Bianca said...

Bri, I LOVE this post!!! I feel as if I'm there :) Please post more. I know you can do it!

J Buck said...

You know darn well that the guy laying on the ground taking the picture was looking up that very sexy short skirt you had on!

Hopefully you had undies on!

And you wore that very short sexy little dress for what reason? To attract some bohunk brazillian stud to sweep you off your feet? The grass is always greener........

Brianna said...

B...even if you were the only one who read this, I'd still post because you make me feel warm and fuzzy.

J...i had on shorts. seriously, why do you bother.

Grace said...

thank you for allowing me to re-live this hysterical moment.

Brianna said...

Gracie...I was laughing to myself as I was writing it! I hope the humor transferred, but if not...OH WELL. it sure was funny to us!

J Buck said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
brit brat said...

J Buck, you're gonna get BUCKED to the block list you keep up your inappropriate comments...mama Brit doesn't play that!

Brianna said...

maybe you think if you go by another name i won't know who it is? not quite...

Jon Lustig said...

Grasshopper 1, professional athletes 0
'Probably thought we were all nuts' is there really any doubt here?
It's just a thought, but maybe your driver...isn't terrified of critters and knew what was going on the whole time.
The juxtaposition of that story with those pictures is absolutely hilarious. Bri, you're a genius!

J Buck said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daniel said...

Brit_Brat,
WOW! On the "new" pic in your tag! Nice side angle. Now go to the Grocery store like that ... lol.

Brianna said...

Daniel...seeing as how you didn't even bother to comment on the blog I wrote, I'd just like to inform you that Brit has her own blog now, and all direct comments meant for her can most certainly be posted there. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

brit brat....can you change your settings on your blog to be like Bri's so a person can enter their name without having to sign up with google?

thanks
Laura

"Off-Topic" Daniel said...

Ms. Glenn,
That'd feel too much like stalking, lol.
And she's not a Long Jumper/(Part-time) Sprinter Girl.
And besides I like grasshopper's. Chocolate covered ones ...

Marcus said...

Yeah... you don't seem to be wearing enough clothes Bri. I know it's hot in Brazil and all but... SMH (Thanks for telling me what that means Brit)

And good ole J Buck is just letting you know what's going through every man's mind.

brit brat said...

what is this nonsense? yall need to stick on topic or find something else to do forreal!

Laura I will definitely try to figure out how to do that. thank you.

J Buck said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.