Cover your mouth wudya

7 May

It may be true that American politeness is only surface deep, that outwardly friendliness is easily traded to treachery within. But I was surprised to find some Brazilians as rude as they were.  It’s a friend of a friend culture and when you’re not you’re a stranger.  So don’t expect to see many locals covering their mouths when they sneeze.  Prepare yourself to offer up beggars some change and never see a thank you. Offer up a cigarette light and you won’t see one there either. I once chased a woman dragging her screaming kid, who was screaming because he had lost his shoe but his mom never stopped, probably taking his screams for something else. I chased them down and gave the mom his shoe. She took it of course, but kept on going, no thank you to speak of.  There are also my doormen, who look at me blankly every time I pass and the prato faito guys, who never seem to recognize me, and a million other cases, like the pushy woman on the crowded bus a few days ago. But the outwardly impoliteness is also matched by a deep friendliness as well. Ronald, the friendliest volleyball coach I have ever met introduces me to everyone he knows, and has called me friend from the first time we shook hands. It reminds me of Russia, where the salesmen and cashieristas are cold and guarded, but where friends are friends for life and not hospitality is unmatched.  At the end of the day, it’s a case by case sort of thing, and generalizations unfortunately, are impossible to make.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t try.


One Response to “Cover your mouth wudya”

  1. godwin May 8, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    enjoyed reading this.

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