Thursday, August 21, 2008

More supermarket stories. I did the family shop today and Nordestao. Honestly, I've not come across a better supermarket anywhere. (Rachel calls me a big girl when I talk like this, but it's true!). The other day, for Father's day, they put on free live music (a man on an electric keyboard) and provided free breakfast. And that was at 8am on a Sunday morning! Today, I chuckled to myself at the checkout when the lady behind the counter suggested I use the toblerone-shaped devider-y thing between my pile of shopping and the lady's in front of me on the conveyor belt. Every supermarket in Brazil has them, but I've never seen anyone use one... until today. I wiped away a small tear. It was just like being back in Tesco.

All that glitters isn't gold. The nation mourns that neither the men nor women footballers will take gold away from the Beijing Olympics. The women's final was extraordinary. Brazil did everything but score and then they let one in to the Americans in extra time and lost it 1-0. Now, I hold an American passport but I can tell you I was cheering for the yellow and greens. The men's team went out under a cloud after a lacklustre display against Argentina in the semis, but the women showed real fighting spirit for 120 minutes. When they lost most of them collapsed on the field in tears. The cameras panned to the crowd to show their mothers weeping too. As the commentator said afterwords: "There has never been a more beautiful silver medal won by Brazil!".

Rachel's cousin Ren and her family have been in Beijing catching the Olympics. She's written some interesting entries on her blog about her experiences there if anyone's interested. Click here for those.

Maclure blog banned in China. OK, this was a weird story coming out of the blogosphere this week. MADDOGS&ENGLISH, just one of my many random blogs, has been blocked by the Chinese authorities. Even more surreal was that the person who notified me about it was a Mr.Thor May. Thor May is quite a name in the world of English Teaching and somebody I read and cited in a recent ET seminar I gave: I was astonished! I'm not sure what the point of this story is - it's just another yarn on how the internet is making the world a smaller place.

Learning from my students. I have a good set of students this semester and I'm excited about teaching 2 guys who are working towards the test to join the Brazilian diplomat service. One of the guys, a Mr. Daniel Dantas - a lawyer, wrote such an exceptionally good piece of writing about the problem of internet piracy that he not only convinced me my views were wrong, he used practically flawless academic English to say so.

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