Brazil, travel

Your English is Very Good!

I am sitting in the icafe right now after having spent two hours at Ipanema beach reading the latest Harry Potter book and observing life around me. Today on my way down the elevator to go to the beach a man getting on the elevator with a lot of luggage accidentally bumped into me. He said “excuse me” which in any other context would make me politely smile and say “no problem” but here in Brazil where hearing random English spoken is like a drop of ice cold water on a hot sunny day I looked at him astonished but simply said “oh no problem” which made him in turn look at me astonished. “Wow” he said “Your English is very good.” I looked at him puzzled and then realized and explained that I was from the US. Then he frowned and said “oh ok visiting your family I suppose?” hahaha I loved it. He thought I was a Brazilian raised in the US visiting my extended family back home. I’m telling you its pretty fun to be mistaken for brazilian, my favorite mistake was when I was at a fair examining a dress and someone in Portugeese approached me and asked if I worked there.

Today I went to the beach by myself and sat on the sand and read my book and watched as the vendors walked all around me selling and cajoling others to purchase their wares. At one time one vendor went to each person and showed his purses, looked at me, skipped over me, and continued on. Its funny because if I sit with other study abroad students I do get approached but on my own I am brazilian and there’s just no use trying to get me to buy a thing!

But one vendor knows. Or so I believe. This man wears a whole Arabian Nights type of outfit. I figure he’s trying to look Arab. He has a huge sign on his back advertising his beer with huge letters saying he is MUSTAFA. Today I looked at him as he walked by and couldnt help but grin at how random his choice in attire was. He paused to look curiously at me then down at his sign and pointed to the name Mustafa and began laughing. He shook his head as though to convey something and then smiling trudged on. I cant help but think he knew. I may have to snap a picture of him next time I see him.

Well off I go now. Hope you all are doing well.

11 thoughts on “Your English is Very Good!”

  1. How funny it is that people assume you’re a native. At least you’re not hounded to death by all the locals, lol.I’m envious of all your time at the beach. Sounds SO great and with a book, heaven.Enjoy….Ciao!

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  2. I often get mistaken for anything but Pakistani. The usual guesses are Spanish, Brazilian, Arab, Persian, and Egyptian. Sometimes Indian, but not always. I taught myself how to say “hello” and “goodbye” in the languages from those countries just to get rid of people.

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  3. Sounds so relaxing in Brazil…your pictures and descriptions remind me of our trip to Costa Rica in March!BTW, Filipinos are also notorious for being mistaken for something else other than Filipino…our features (and last names) are easily taken for Chinese, Hispanic, and even Desi! My father once had a person speak to him in Korean!

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  4. I am never mistaken for anything other than what I am. I guess there’s not much hope in being seen as exotic when I am blonde, green eyed and as pale as they come. Missing you and hoping Brazil is all you dreamed.

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  5. raheel, aw thanks 🙂mommyblogr, the beach is what keeps me going sometimes when things get frustrating 🙂champ, chic mommy, i think with desis we can sometimes pass for many different things because of skin tone and hair etc. its kinda cool isnt itmystic, thanks I am trying :)Make duaa please!Crhis didnt realize you went to Costa Rica Ive heard its great. I dont mean to make this sound like a huge vacation but i guess its what i end up taking pictures. I have a whole thing about what im laerning here but its so emotional and complicated i keep putting it off. I should balance it though… maybe tomorrow.Jane I dont even know what I think of Brazil. Somehow I feel Ive lived here forever. Ive formed a routine and its strange how people are like that. Ofcoure routine is different consisting of mangoes and work outs in gyms that have internets. Its different but its also normal now. Hard to explain but i~m sure you know what i mean..

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  6. I’m jealous! I wish I could move somewhere and blend in so well! This only happened to me once when I went to Italy and I pretended I was Italian and fooled some fellow American tourists. LOL.If you really miss being mistaken for a tourist, walk around taking pictures of everything, with a big swipe of white suntan lotion on your nose and an “I <3 BRAZIL" shirt. roflmao.Hey!!! You’re going to be there for the World Cup! OMG! LUCKY! There have got to be some awesome parties getting started. I mean, it’s in Germany this year – but the bars are going to have to be packed of people watching the games… if they have bars with TV’s there? LOL. I think Brazil’s first game is against Croatia on the 13th. Will you still be there?I love your story about “MUSTAFA” – I think it’s one of my favorite little stories ever!

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  7. ur not the only one, when im around in new york people always mistake me for a latina, because of my olive complexion. and yea they gt very surprised that i can speak englishbt the most outrageous bit is that when i tell them im from dubai, they think its sumwer in malaysia or kuwait

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