Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Things I miss about England #100: the weather. Most of the time I do not in the slightest bit miss the English weather, the constant threat of drizzle, the slab of gray that covers the sky for most of the months between August and May and the fact that it'ss dark when you go to work and dark when you get home and worst of all that feeling when you're in bed that one inch either side of your already shivering limbs will touch iceberg-like bed sheets. Put it this way, in Brazil I have never had to turn my car headlights on at noon as I once did in York. OK, but sometimes I do miss the variety of the seasons and especially at Christmas I feel the season's festivities aren't quite complete when you can't genuinely sing "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas". Here, the shopping malls are full of fake snow in their Santa's grotos, but the only white Christmas we're getting is a dusting from the nearest sand dune.

Things I love about Brazil #6: the weather. I love tropical weather, I feel better, healthier, fitter, more productice (cit. Radiohead), I see more clearly (seriously, I hardly wear my prescriptions), I get up with a spring in my step and the cold water coming out of the shower first thing in the morning is a refreshing treat, not punishment for sins, as it is in the UK.

Things I miss about England #95: mince pies and mulled wine. For most of the year I wouldn't notice this small luxury, but mince pies and mulled wine are conspiciously absent from my consumable Christmas options and this is a shame.

Things I love about Brazil #25: informal dress codes. I've just come back from the end of semester Christmas do. I was MC-ing the event in English with Amy doing the Portuguese. I was the only man there sporting a tie. Brazilians are relaxed, and from a small town like Natal, even more so. I'm glad I didn't pack a dinner jacket, bow tie or any such regalia when we moved out here. None of that faff would ever see the light of day round here.

1 comment:

Ross said...

Hello from the Wintle-Bates'

I'm still reading and still enjoying your writing. Hope you don't mind. I particularly like your random numbering of "things I miss...things I love..."!!

I was thinking about dress codes the other day. I was in a business meeting with a supplier. The guys from the supplier company were both wearing suits. But us as "supply-ees" were, at best, smart casual. (In amusing contrast, someone had bought along some Chuppa Chupps lollipops, so we were all sat there eating kids' suits...bizzare)

It reminded me that I hate wearing suits. I feel like a fraud in them. It's not who I am. But I am pretty clean-cut, and I find myself frowning at people who dress really scruffily. And yet, that's who they are. They'd feel like a fraud wearing what I wear. I don't wear suits, but I AM a clothing snob!

Brazil sounds like the kind of place where you can just be yourself. Whereas in England we're forced to dress certain ways at certain times. I wonder why that is and what it achieves?