Não temos um professor

July 13, 2009

Our teacher didn’t show up on the first day of Portuguese for Estrangeiros.  Welcome to Brazil.

Scott and I woke up early, excited for our first day of school in Brazil.  We set our alarms for 7am, walked to class to be there early (school started at 8.30am).  We waited.  We watched students come and go from the office (it was closed), sizing up friend potential, waited to find out which classroom would be ours for the next three weeks.  We’re so ready to learn this language!  we said to one another.

We figured out which room to go to (112) and walked through the rain forest foliage, up some stairs and to a classroom.  We sat in the second row and waited more, listening to the getting to know you chatter of the other students.  There was Party Time Ted who was telling a sweet, innocent looking girl that the samba clubs of Lapa, spilling out onto the sidewalks and over to the Arcos, was like Bourbon Street, and Mendoza was like Tucson.  There were the three girls in front of us–one European, another British, blond and mousy with a wedding ring.  We surmised her husband got moved to Rio and she was shading in her life here, and an American hipster who sat quietly with them.  There were the two American guys behind us, one with a nylon computer case, the other in shorts and sneakers, blond buzz cut and Oakleys at the ready, maybe sad that he didn’t have his frat bros with him.  There were a few others as well.

And so we sat and waited, holding our receipts that we had paid in our hands, since our names, inexplicably, were not on the list.  At 9.15 (45 minutes late) a petite Portuguese woman walked in.  Portuguese para estrangeiros? Sim!  We’re ready to learn! The teacher didn’t show up today.  Come back tomorrow, she says.  If you haven’t paid yet, go back to the office.  Damn.  Not an auspicious beginning at PUC-Rio.


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