Friday, December 4, 2009


These are (some of) the people in my neighborhood.
[in my neighborhood, in my neigh-bor-ho-od!]

This is Paulo. He (apparently) owns a small parking lot next to my apartment and splits the 24/7 operation with his son. Paulo is from the interior, or countryside, and as such, his accent is so thick and so laden with colloquial speech that I can hardly ever understand more than 25% of what he's telling me. I pretend to get more, and I sometimes go sit on his extra stool, pet his adopted stray dog Pretinha, and try to communicate as best I can. He and his son are very pleasant, and it's nice to know that they are always there--keeping a finger on the pulse of the 'hood and looking out for me like little guardians.

This is the owner of the mini-mercado around the corner. I forgot his name, and feel too silly to ask him again after all this time. We wave to each other every day as I pass, occasionally indulging in a little chat about our team's recent performance. Sometimes when I walk by looking tired or hungover, he teases me about it--in a half-fatherly, half-friendly way.

Marcelo? I am terrible with names! This, though, is 1/2 owner of the little café I frequent most often. His girlfriend is the other half and we are always swapping stories, jokes, cultural insights, etc. He's posing with the special mug they have acquired to accommodate my special needs.

This is just a smattering, but there are lots of people that I enjoy greeting almost daily. I feel like they each look out for me and that feels really nice.