Bombeiros and Vibrams

September 22, 2009

We’ve started taking private Portuguese lessons with a woman named Angelica.  Perhaps it’s because I’m super excited to see Julie & Julia whenever it happens to get here, but I think she looks a bit like Julia Child, and has a big, loud, motherly personality.  She’s wonderful.  And today she cleared up the bombeiro question.  Apparently bombeiro is sort of a generic word, and bombeiro hidrolico is plumber, there’s also one who fixes issues with stoves and ovens, etc.  Phew.

Additionally, I know no one really cares about this like I do, but on Marshall’s suggestion, I bought a pair of Vibram Five Finger shoes and I’ve been running in them for the last few days.  They’re supposed to simulate running barefoot, and miraculously, they sort of do.  They look totally ridiculous, but I’m loving them so far.

It was wonderful to be home for a few days and to see my family, but it’s also really nice to be back in Rio.

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Nosso Banheiro

August 19, 2009

When we came home from Sao Paulo last week, our guest bathroom was as leaky and drenched as a rainforest.  Our fantastic mustachioed doorman helped take care of the dripping, and after a while the tiles dried, everything was cleaned and the banheiro was ready for the Saturday arrival of our guests.

The next day the landlady and her husband came to take a look.  Then a workman came to look.  Now, today, the workman (who I thought was just coming to look again) has stripped our bathroom, fixing the water damage.

Right now, it looks like this:

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I woke up this morning to the doorman calling upstairs, asking if the bombeiro could come up.  I told him that it would be great if the bombeiro could come around 11 or 11.30am, since I was going out running and Chris and Jaime were sleeping in the room with the bathroom that needed work.  All along I’ve thought that bombeiro means fireman (that’s what the dictionary in my phone says), because near our subway stop there’s a cool-looking firehouse that says Bombeiros.  Now, I’m not sure what bombeiro means, since it’s clear that the bombeiro is just a happy fellow who’s covered in paint and stripping down our bathroom.  Definitely something lost.