Friday, October 05, 2007

Rugby. England take on Australia in the quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup tomorrow. Surprisingly, as Brazilian sports interest usually stretches no further than football, volleyball and tennis at a push, there's been quite a bit about rugby on the sports channels here. Several students have told me they've watched some televised games recently. Two guys tell me they are even playing a bit of rugby at the university. It seems like a French guy is training them... Brazilian rugby is on a par with Brazilian cricket (which according to my Father in law is on a par with Brazilian wine) as something that Brazilians don't do very well. Don't cross your fingers for Brazil being in the next rugby world cup.

Hugby. The other thing that amuses me about all this talk of Rugby is that there are some words in Portuguese that are directly transported from English but adapted to the Portuguese pronunciation system. In particular, Brazilians pronounce R as H, especially at the start of words. (Incidentally, I'm sure this happens in reverse - the Japanese are probably amused at the British pronunciation of sushi, judo and kimono). Even Brazilians with excellent English pronunciation will still fall back to the Brazilian way of saying these words: Hock n Holl, Poppy Hocky and Hap music. The footballers Wayne Hooney, Thierry Henhy and Tomas Hosicky. And, finally the sports Hally Hacing and Hugby. When it starts with an "h", Hugby sounds a little less masculine than it usually does...

Rear-ended again. You may remember I bumped the back of somebody's car a few weeks back. Rach was taking Nelson to school last week when she was rear-ended in the same car. Again, our vehicle had not a scratch and the other guys was a wreck. It was entirely his fault so, after checking our car was OK, Rach drove on and got on with her day leaving the poor chap to get his car repaired. The car we are using right now is quite a large Ford Echo - they are very popular in Brazil, a sort of mini-SUV for town. Normally, I'd be opposed, on environmental grounds, to having such a big town car but in Natal it pays to have one because the driving is so erratic. A big car = genuinely less damage and more safety to you. On average once a week we notice the traffic is held up because somebody has switched lanes too fast and pranged the car in front of them.

Rach back today (hooray!). I think us boys have survived at home relatively well, but it just isn't the same without Rach around. She gets into night and we'll all be pleased to see her again.

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