Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas coming. Although it doesn't feel like it, Christmas is on the way in Brazil. Today we are off to Joao Passoa for another Christmas family get together - this time for Rachel's Mothers side of the family, the Gueiros'. At the English Teaching School yesterday there was a Christmas dinner for the support staff and their families - lots of pressies and Chinese takeaway was had by all. And if you walk into any mall you'll be pleased to see Brazilian teenagers dressed up to the hilt in elf costumes being paid to man Santa's Groto. The cheesier the better, seems to be the rule of thumb! And in case you still don't feel Christmassy there are the guys who peddle hi-fi systems around on bicycles or shunt them about in wheelbarrows belting out synthesised version of delights such as "Jingle Bells" and "I´m dreaming of a White Christmas". The only white Christmas you're gonna get round here is going to involve sand in your toes...

Os Dois Filhos de Francisco. Rach insisted I put this on my blog. But, another first happened a couple of weeks back. I cried at the end of a Brazilian film. Disturbingly, Rach was dry eyed throughout! Whats going on? For myself, I put it down to culture shock and something in the water. Anyway, it may not be to everyone's taste but the film "Os Dois Filhos de Francisco" (The Two Sons of Francisco) is based on the real life biographies of two country singers here in Brazil. Its a moving story with the essential ingredients of Brazilian film thrown in - children and youth, rites of passage, rags to riches, rural outback to big city, comedy, tragedy and plenty of tears. Well worth digging out if you're stuck for something to watch on DVD. Read some (generally positive) reviews at

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