Things I miss about England #34: People know how to park (mostly). I've been wanting to post a picture of some of the abysmal Brazilian parking I've come across but I never really have my camera handy when I'm pulling up at a supermarket. Fortunately, today, I did. See above and take note of the direction of the painted car parking spaces and then laugh at the way the car is parked perpendicular to the spaces in question. I think I've quoted Prince Philip's infamous and unpolitically correct quip elsewhere on this blog: "That box looks like its been wired by an Indian" but I frequently find myself saying, "That car looks like its been parked by a Brazilian!". Altogether now, to the tune of "walk like an Egyptian" lets all "park like a Brazilian!". But then again, who said the English could park a car.
Things I miss about England #45: Breakfast. I just can't seem to find a quick, tasty and filling way to have breakfast here in Natal. When I ask my students in class about what they ate for breakfast most return blank stares and say coffee, water, milk or maybe bread and cheese. Breakfast just isn't done here like it is back home.
So, things I miss about England #s 46, 47, 48, 49, 50 and 52 are: fresh mushrooms (not available in Natal - surely, a crime!), baked beans, fresh milk (for tea and cereal), good quality cereal (the best cereal here is extortionately priced, doesn't even taste too good, especially with non-fresh milk), fresh bread (Brazilian bread is OK, but it still doesn't beat a loaf of Tesco no frills white) and lastly sausages (Brazilian sausages are in the Vauxhall Conference compared to English Premier League sausages). Like Mev used to say when he was here, the first thing I'm doing when I get home is having a real fry-up with real bread and a cup of freshly brewed tea...
Things I love about Brazil #46: Breakfast. OK, OK, somethings about Brazilian breakfasts are OK. In fact, I contradict myself if I say I dislike Brazilian breakfasts as I positively sang their praises back in November 2006. The main problem for me is that they it's usually accompanied by an inordinate amount of faff in order to get things ready and also fresh fruit, although nice, often goes off quickly. However, if one has the time one can make juice from frozen pulps (Things I love about Brazil #85: frozen fruit pulps) then you're onto a scrumptious start to the day, especially if the fruit in question is Açerola (Things I love about Brazil #30: Açerola) which, according to old Brazilian fishwives packs more vitamin C into one small cherry-sized portion than is present in a bag of oranges.
On the subject of food and drink but not breakfast, where would be without cachaça, the alcoholic spirit made from sugar cane, (Things I love about Brazil #67: Cachaça) to make caipirinha (Things I love about Brazil #29: Caipirinha), the national cocktail? A bottle of Pitú brand cachaça only costs R4 - about 1 UK quid. This filled me with glee when I discovered that such a famous drink could be assembled so cheaply (just add chopped limes and sugar for caipirinha) but as my father-in-law points out when spirits with 40% alcohol content are sold for less than milk, something is wrong and someone, somewhere is going to get hurt. Fair enough. As for caipirinha itself, I'm slowly discovering that this drink is somewhat viewed here the same way Guiness may be viewed in Ireland. Yes, we're famous for it but no we don't drink it ourselves - it's for the tourists.
Things I love about Brazil #88: Bolo de rolo. Quality traditional Brazilian treat of rolled pastry filled with guava jam. Good for breakfast, thank goodness.
Things I love about Brazil #98: Baton chocolate. So, it's not Cadbury's, but it will do.