terça-feira, outubro 02, 2007

Living in a foreign country is supposed to be.... what? What is it that we think will be so great about it? I remember thinking how cool it would be to go live in another country - I think all language majors go through this. I even had one former classmate from SPN 400 and something who had found me on facebook tell me she was "trying not to be jealous of my life." We have some kind ideal in our heads about learning another language, living another culture... And those of us who actually get to do it are left trying to remember why we were so obsessed with it in the first place. When I lived in the States, I couldn't get enough Mexican, then Argentine, and then Brasilian culture - I listened to "native" music with all my windows rolled down in the car at top volume, singing in another language at the top of my lungs. I read things in Spanish and Portuguese as often as I could, I listened to radio stations online, I went to chat-in-fill-in-your-language-of-choice-here groups.

And now the farther I am from my own culture, the more closely I cling to it. I enter my iPod world every day on the way to and from work; the music I listen to is mostly what you'd hear on the radio in the States. I cling to American friends online more than I do to Brasilian friends I see everyday day. I NEVER read Portuguese by choice anymore - I am desperate for things to read in English. I spend hours online each weekend reading up the profiles of people I have not had much contact with since I rowed with them on Crew in 2004, yet somehow this is more interesting to me than watching the weekend specials on our antenna television. I would rather wait for a YouTube video of part of a Simpsons episode to load than watch a full program here.

There is nothing to be jealous of in terms of living in another country. I don't know why I thought it would be so glamorous....

5 comentários:

Anônimo disse...

No shit, sherlock.

A.L.R. disse...

And there in lies the greatest conflict of the explorer. To find pleasure in mystery, in the far flung vicissitudes of the outward horizon.

Different is unknown--somehow more sharp and more real. While the familiar feels stale, the tried and the conquered--lines drawn on a dusty old map left to fade fade away.

This vision, this archetype is...above all else, brave but restless.

As it is only on the next horizon that we explorers ever feel truly happy.

(aka...sigh...I know how you feel)


A.L.R. disse...

Oh, and P.S. If you are hungry for shows, this site pretty much takes the cake.


A.L.R. disse...

Hey Alison, I don’t have your email so I will have to respond here.

Yes indeed, I am moving to Salvador. Despite the inherent truth of your blog post, I am still very excited…haha! I have been able to think of little else ever since I returned to the states. By day I play Capoeira, by night I dance the samba. I miss the poetic way that Portuguese rolls off my tongue. I miss the food. I miss feeling white, and different. ;- )

My plan is to move out there in early January, just after New Years. For how long, I don’t know, it depends on many factors. I will be starting an MBA program at Colorado University Denver in January, and will be completing my classes online. My vocational interest and focus centers on Cultural Heritage Tourism, Eco Tourism, and Adventure Travel. I am interested in historical/cultural guide work in Salvador, and the travel business in Brazil in general. I have taught at museums, worked as a researcher for historical societies, and been involved in the Tourism business for a few years now. With this trip to Brazil, I hope to gain Portuguese fluency and solidify some of these professional aspirations.

So again, the length of my stay depends on many factors. I have two citizenships (American and Swiss) and can use my Tourist visas to stay a year. I am somewhat inclined to stay longer, however, and so may have to look into a work visa or some other option (legal or illegal). I would like to explore the possibility of gaining Brazilian citizenship, as my dad is Brazilian and I still have his original birth certificate (what that makes me I don’t know).

Also, finding work is very important. I will be coming down on a good amount of savings, and will try and live cheaply, but will be hard pressed to find some manner of work to support myself while I study. You mentioned that you need subs at your school. I would be very interested to learn more about this! If you need a resume or professional references so you can get an idea of my background, please let me know.

Also, I need to find cheap housing, close to bus routes (I won’t have a car), with high speed internet connection. I have a Brazilian friend here in Denver who has a brother that lives in Brotas. I haven’t talked to him yet, but there is a chance I can rent a room in his apartment for 350 reais a month. He said getting internet hookup is no problem.

If you happen to know of anyone that needs extra cash, that has an extra room and doesn’t mind a roommate, I would be very interested to get in contact with them. Thought this Brotas thing looks promising, I would like to explore all of the options.

And your offer to let me stay….thank you. That is very gracious. If this thing in Brotas falls through, and I don’t have time to find another place, staying at your place for a short time would really help me out. How nice it would be to have a home base while I apartment hunt in the city.

Anyway, that’s the story. Any advice you have on the subject would be most appreciated. I have really enjoyed your blogs over the months and would in the least love to see you guys when I finally come down.



P.S. My email: thelionsdenn@gmail.com and digits – 240.899.2958

pamo disse...

well, i will stop dreaming of moving to Europe then.