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Brazilians Abroad - Genoa

Full Transcript - Episode 23

 

Covid concerns, a lockdown love story, a savvy centenarian, and the top 5 most dangerous cosmetic procedures.


PLUS – Gustavo Duarte shares his experiences of adapting to Italy, surviving lockdown and learning Italian the hard way.

J: Good morning, São Paulo!

G: Alright, good afternoon, everybody! We are back.

J: Good afternoon!

G: This is The Samba Buzz!

J: The Samba Buzz, March 2021.

G: Coming to you all the way from São Paulo!

J: São Paulo, Studio Y. So, how are things today, Gee?

G: Things are, for me, very good. Um, possibly better than for the city as a whole, the way things are going, right now.

J: Yeah. Because, we’ve...recently Doria, the...the governor...er...has said that he’s going to have a state-wide...er...lockdown.

G: Exactly. We’ve got curfew.

J: We got curfew. I think it’s nine o’clock, right? We can’t go outside after nine?

G: I don’t know. I never go out anyway.

J: If you...you can’t... The boogie-man is gonna come and take you away.

G: Exactly.

J: Or give you a fine, at least.

G: He’s not going to take you to the hospital, though.

J: No. And you probably don’t wanna go to the hospital because the chance...of the...the mortality rate in the hospital is much higher than it is out on the street.

G: I am taking extra care with my exercise every day, so I don’t get hit by a car, actually, cos I do not want to go to a hospital.

J: No, yeah. But you do exercise?

G: Well, I try. You wouldn’t believe it if you looked at me, but yes I do.

J: Cos...it’s...it’s.... For some people it is very tempting just to sit at home and order fast food all day but it doesn’t generally help your...your overall health, usually.

G: And it’s nice to get out cos the...the weather’s been good and you see a lot of people walking their dogs, actually. I see a lot of dog-walkers. So, I think a lot of people who own dogs are not actually walking them, right now. Maybe they’re scared or maybe they’re lazy. I’m not quite sure which one it is, actually.

J: Well, in our neighborhood there’s a lot of dog-walkers. In fact, the...the guy who lives above us, that’s his job. That’s all he does is walk other people’s dogs.

G: Wow. Anyhow, what have we got today?

J: Well, today we have an interview with Gustavo from Italy.

G: Huzzah. From Genoa, yes?

J: Yes, from Genoa. He’s a... He’s going to be part of our Brazilians Living Abroad series.

G: Excellent.

J: He’s in Italy.

G: Yes. Sounds interesting.

J: We have some Guru.

G: Good.

J: And what about stories? Do...do you have any stories?

G: I have a story or two. Er...I’m...I’m sure you do.

J: Er, I have a good one.

G: Good!

J: Ok.

G: I’ll look forward to that.

J: So, let’s get cracking!

G: Let’s do it!         


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G: So, Jay, what caught your eye this week?

J: The biggest news out there right now is about the new lockdown and the new coronavirus restrictions. Er, many people are criticizing Bolsonaro right now. There...there...they say he’s not doing a good job of managing the situation. But Bolsonaro, at the moment, he’s...he’s been against the lockdowns basically since Day 1.

G: Yes.

J: Currently, the hospitals are running at about 99%...er...occupancy. So they’re completely full.

G: They are not...they are pretty full, yes.

J: Yes.

G: Even here in São Paulo. Even the best ones.

J: In terms of numbers of...of...Brazil is responsible for about 10% of the global deaths.

G: In total, or just currently?

J: In total. In total.

G: Since the beginning, then, yeah?

J: Since the beginning. So, the leader has to make a decision. Is he going to shut down the entire country? And then how do you pull it out? How do you get Brazil going again if you shut down the entire country, because, I mean, nothing’s for free. So, are they go..going to continue to print money? Or do they let the economy run and just say, “Well, these are casualties of war, basically.”

G: Well, I...I th...

J: Well, there...there... Trump had a similar choice in the United States.

G: I think that’s one of the problems – is there hasn’t been a coordinated federal approach, has there?

J: No.

G: It’s been left to the individual governors and states to decide what they wish to do.

J: Yeah. So, it...it...it’s been a mess.

G: So, I...I can’t see...I can’t see, suddenly, the federal government stepping in and saying, “This is what we’re going to do now.” It’s just probably not going to happen.

J: It’s easy to criticize but, if the choice were mine, what would I have done differently? I mean, you can vaccinate a lot of people but to get everything coordinated, that’s...that’s a big problem in Brazil.

G: Well, I think the main thing that could have been done differently was when Pfizer approached at the end of last year offering 70 million vaccines...um...we should have accepted and said, “Thank you very much.”

J: Of course. That...that’s...that’s silly, but we...then again we...

G: And that...that’s lives saved, right there.

J: Well, but again, we do not know the reason that they refused that.

G: Well, we know their explanation for the refusal was.

J: But yeah, yeah, but between the explanation and the reality we don’t really know what...what the deal.

G: No, no, we never know what reality is here.

J: No.

G: I think we’re about 4% vaccinated now, no?

J: Yes, it’s...it’s...it’s almost...it’s almost nothing.

G: Yes.

J: And, let’s say, economically, the...the situation is such that Brazil is predominantly driven by agriculture. And recently Bolsonaro has made some questionable decisions, er...namely to fol...er...to fire the...the director of Petrobras.

G: Yes.

J: Bolsonaro, let’s say, fired the guy because what it sounded like was going to happen was that the truckers were going to strike, just before harvest. And then imagine all of the millions of...of Reais that were going to be lost with that. That...that would be an enormous economic influence.

G: Right. Of course.

J: So, it doesn’t sound like Bolsonaro really had a choice in that.

G: Yes.

J: I mean, of course, he’s rude, and let’s say...

G: Well, I don’t know. I mean, it’s...um...the key thing is that... I mean, the independence of the board of Petrobras is key. Be...and the whole idea is to prevent politicians from putting their hand in the till, basically.

J: Yeah, but he did it anyway.

G: So, and now he’s done it anyway and, of course, the stock market responded by crashing!

J: Yes. So, and that...and that was...that was after our interview with Tales.

G: It was. Yes, we’ll have to get him back again. We’ll have to get him back every week, the way we’re going.

J: Give him...a no...a new...another update on our...our situation.

G: Exactly.

J: Nothing is done in a vacuum. It’s all linked together somehow.

G: Well, I...in an ideal world you’d have a government that actually had a strategy and made their strategy clear and then they implemented their strategy in a coherent way, and, unfortunately we don’t have that, I mean.

J: No.

G: But th..the President doesn’t even have a political party, right now, so he’s...

J: Yeah.

G: He’s kind of isolated at the moment. He’s a one-man band with a one-man agenda, you know?

J: So, we’re kind of all in a vacuum at the moment.

G: It’s all up in the air, yes. Time to move on to something more cheerful, I think.

J: Ok. Here we go.


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G: Well, after all that talk about Coronavirus and death and negative economic news, I thought we’d have a love story. How about that?

J: A love story?

G:  So, this is a love story between a British girl – a Welsh girl actually. She certainly describes herself as a romantic. She’s always liked romantic movies and she’s a bit of a comedienne. She...I don’t know what she does, actually. I think she might be one of those internet comediennes, you know.

J: Ok. So, like a funny romantic.

G: Yes. And her name’s Lorna. And she decided – after a series of romantic relationships that didn’t work out – she was going to take some time off from dating, and she took a whole year where she didn’t actually date anybody.

J: Ok.

G: And when she came back looking to date again, it was March 2020 and, of course, everything went into lockdown and now she discovered she was on her own, at home, and...

J: And she had no-one...

G: And she had no-one...

J: ...except for her gerbil.

G: ...except for, probably, a family pet or something, yes.

J: Ok.

G: So she started with some dating apps and that didn’t really work out very well, these dating apps. I don’t even know what there are on the market these days but, you now, how it goes...

J: Yeah, ok.

G: So after three months of that she gave up, and then, she happened to come across a Brazilian chap, actually.

J: Ok.

G: From Rio. An engineer.

J: From Rio.

Tannoy: “23201901 – you have visits.”     

J: Ok.

G: And she invited him for a Friday drink over Zoom. So, this is how you date, these days. You have a Zoom call...

J: A Zoom drink.

G: ...on a Friday night, and you both have a drink, and...

J: Now...now...now that’s actually...that’s kind of a funny date. I like that idea.

G: Yes. This is how they do it in the lockdown.

J: Now...now I can’t say that because I have a wife. But...er...ok, the idea’s nice.

G: So, they had a...a nice Zoom chat. And he was an hour late, apparently. She couldn’t quite work out why he would be an hour late for a Zoom call but...

J: But that’s a typical Carioca characteristic.

G: Exactly.

J: They are late for everything.

G: But they really hit it off. And they had lots of texts and phone calls and finally they decided they were going to meet up.

J: Ok. But where? In Brazil or in...in Wales?

G: In Bristol, actually, which is close to Wales. It’s quite close to where I grew up actually. It’s close to The Shire.

J: Ah, that’s close to the airport, isn’t it?

G: Er, no, not particularly, no. It’s very close to The Shire.

J: Why would anybody want to meet up in Bristol?

G: Bristol is a lovely city.

J: Oh, ok. Is it on...is it on the sea?

G: It’s the British Silicon Valley, actually. That’s where all the tech companies are.

J: Oh.

G: And a lot of the, sort of, incubator companies. It...it’s sort of a...

J: Yeah, but it doesn’t sound very dating friendly.

G: No, it’s...it’s...er...nice.

J: Oh.

G: It didn’t use to be dating friendly because the pubs used to close at 10.30 but I think they open till 11 these days.

J: Ok, so...so then they went out and had a real drink?

G: So, they actually finally met up, in Bristol, and that went quite well. So, they arranged to meet again the second day and they went for a picnic by the river and suddenly he turned to her and he said – “Lorna, will you marry me?”

J: On the second date?!

G: On the second date, yes. She’d only met him the day before. And she says...

J: This...this is very Carioca.

G: She says, “Definitely.” And he says, “Oh, thank you. Let’s go for another swim.” And that was their romantic moment. And, a few days later, within that week, he...he moved in to her f...her apartment, her flat.

J: Was the guy unemployed?

G: Erm, I don’t know. It...it just describes him as an engineer.

J: I...I mean, it’s just...it’s just this...engineer of what? Come on.

G: Exactly. And they’re still together and they’re planning to get married but, of course, with the lockdown, they don’t know when they are going to get married.

J: Ok.

G: So, um, they are waiting to see how things are going to pan out. And, so, obviously, it would be nice for his family to be able to come over from Brazil to England...

J: Right.

G: ...for the wedding but, of course, at the moment the only place you can fly is about Africa, I think.

J: Ok.

G: Because all flights from Brazil are not being accepted right now.

J: Yeah, that’s at...that’s actually not a good place to leave from right now. So, his family is in lockdown.

G: So, we’ll have to wait and see how this pans out. But that...that’s my story today.

J: Well, that’s a very interesting love story.

G: A little love story, yes.

J: So...so how...but just a silly question. How long have they actually known each other?

G: Well, they...

J: About 4 weeks?

G: They first had their Zoom date, probably about nine months ago.

J: Ah, so it...it’s been a little while.

G: And then they met in... They actually met in November, I think.

J: So, it...it’s been more than one month, at least?

G: Yes.

J: Oh, ok, that’s...

G: They’ve known each other on and off, but he actually proposed to her the second day after they met. And she accepted.

J: Wow.

G: So think of all that material that she’s got for her stand-up routine.

J: Boy, I tell you, that’s gonna give her a lot of material.

G: Yes.

J: Even for us!

G: Exactly. So, we’ll have to wait and see how that goes. I will keep you informed...

J: Ok.

G: ...whether they get married and what happened next.

J: Nice story. Like it.

G: So, what else do you have for us today?

J: Ok, my next story is actually kind of...a...a continuation of the previous pod, where I was discussing the most dangerous plastic surgery in the world.

G: Ok.

J: And wha...what I’ve done is...that...that was the Brazilian butt-lift if you remember.

G: The butt-lift! Yes.

J: Yes, the BBL.

G: Yes, the butt-lift.

J: I’ve done these in order that I think were interesting, so not necessarily in severity or danger but just things that I thought were...were...er...interesting. Erm, my top five. The tummy tuck. Number two is the cheek fat removal.

G: Hang on. The tummy tuck sounds like one of those...um...diving events, doesn’t it? Where you do a double tummy tuck and plunge into the water!

J: A double tummy tuck. It sounds like that but it is actually to...to remove the excess skin that sometimes people have either by being obese or because of pregnancy or something like that.

G: Or drinking too much beer, like me.

J: Or just drinking too much beer.

G: May...maybe...that’s...I might investigate that one, actually.

J: Yeah, the tummy tuck, anyway... Remember, I’m telling you not to do this!

G: Oh, ok.

J: Number one, the tummy tuck. Two, the cheek fat removal. Number three, butt implants. This is different than the Brazilian butt lift.

G: Ok.

J: It’s not...it’s not the same.

G: This is where you want to spy on your neighbor. You put a butt implant, and you’ve got a microphone!

J: The Brazilian butt lift is when you...you...you extract and inject.

G: Ok.

J: And this is just when you implant. Ok? So, this is different. Er, then we have gastric balloons.

G: Yes.

J: That’s number four. And the last one is the donut breast lift. And that made my list because I like donuts and I like breasts. But I’ve never thought about a donut breast lift.

G: So, explain to the uninitiated what a donut breast lift is please because...

J: Well, ok, let’s start with that. So, with a donut breast lift, basically excess skin is cut out by lifting the nipple up and...

G: Alright. No, let’s move onto the next one! I’ve heard enough. That’s enough thank you.

J: Ok.

G: I...I assume it is only the women that get these done, is it? Or do men get some of these done as well?

J: No, there...there’s no gender involved in this. So, you’re free at your own...you know...

G: What was the second one?

J: Er...er..that was actually number five.

G: Oh, ok.

J: Er, I’ll go...I’ll go back to the tummy tuck, and that’s dangerous because...er, let’s say, some of those tummy tucks involve liposuction, and most surgeons stopped that years ago because of the risks associated with liposuction around your stomach walls. Er, the second one was the cheek fat removal. And if you go to Instagram right now, that’s a little bit more popular. Basically people with fatter cheeks or bigger cheeks, they want to reduce their cheek size.

G: Ok.

J: And they go to the insides of their cheek and they have fat sucked out, through that.

G: Ooh. Horrible!

J:  And...the danger here is... actually, it...it’s quite a safe procedure, but the danger is that if you already don’t have a lot of cheeks, later you appear hollow, like a...like a ghost, or something like that. They suck out too much.

G:  Well, yes. Also, I mean, it generally tends to reflect your overall weight ratio, doesn’t it? I mean, if you’re overweight, then your cheeks will fill out.

J: Yeah.

G: So, if you lose weight, then your cheeks will slim down again.

J: Yeah. But some pe...

G: Without all the goo and mess.

J: Right. But some people just have chunky cheeks. You know.

G: And without the risk of going hollow, too!

J: Ok, so, er...butt implants. ‘Why is that dangerous?’ you might ask. Because there’s a very high risk of infection with butt implants. In addition, the implants are not really fixed to anything. So, it’s possible that your butt kind of shifts around from time to time.

G: Yes. Especially, yes, when you are cycling, or something, yes.

J: What a terror it would be if your butt, let’s say, shifted to your abdominal region, because...

G: Or to your groin. That would be very painful, wouldn’t it?

J: Oh, I don’t wanna think about that! Eesh!

G: Yes.

J: The, after...

G: You don’t want your butt back to front, that’s for sure. Would be very embarrassing.

J: So, after the butt implants, then we have the gastric balloons.

G: That...that sounds the nastiest of the lot, actually. A gastric balloon I definitely do not want.

J: So, a gastric balloon th...the idea is to make you feel less hungry.

G: Ok.

J: So, instead of, let’s say, controlling your urge to eat, they just stuff something inside of your stomach so that you just basically can’t eat. Er, and the danger here is that balloons can er...slowly erode through the stomach wall.

G: Ok.

J: And the only way to...to remove that is with an en...endoscopy. So, they go in through your mouth and then they suck out that...that balloon.

G: Have you ever heard of the expression – ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it’?

J: Yeah. But a lot of people don’t feel like that.

G: Cor, dear. It sounds horrible.

J: So, anyway, and then...then the last one was the donut breast lift, which you don’t want to hear about.

G: No, no, I don’t wanna hear about the donut breast lift. Definitely not. So, which one is the most lethal, then? That is the donut breast lift, is it?

J: Well, actually...

G: Or the most dangerous?

J: Well, actually, the most dangerous are the butt implants. And remember, this...this goes for both genders.

G: This takes us back to the...the last pod, doesn’t it, with the...?

J: It does, so, I mean, you...you can be...

G:  That’s when the lady had a problem, right?

J: Yep.

G: Yes. I imagine some of those procedures are quite expensive too. You could actually spend it on something more enjoyable, really, couldn’t you?

J: Like donuts!

G: Like donuts.

J: There you go.

G: Excellent. Thank you for sharing that with us. I feel fully enlightened on the world of plastic surgery. Yet my next story is about a Brazilian lady, actually, who goes by the name of...

J: Is she romantic?

G: She is romantic, I think that’s fair to say.

J: Ok.

G: I’m on...I’m on positive news stories this week!

J: Ok, good.

G: And she... Her name is Maria Cardoso, and she is from...

J: Is she a cook?

G: I don’t know. Probably, yes.

J: Ah, ok.

G: And she’s from Promissão, which is a place in São Paulo. I don’t know exactly where it is in São Paulo state, but that’s the name of the town.

J: Promissão?

G: Yes. And she’s a great-grandmother. She was born on the third of November 1919. So, she’s a 101 years old.

J: Holy cats.

G: And, as I say, she’s a great-grandmother and she likes wine and she likes beef and she likes to eat well and drink well and she decided that she would like independence. She doesn’t want to be dependent on somebody else to provide these things for her.

J: The beef and the wine and the beer?

G: Yes, cos, you know, at her time of life, I guess, you know, she’s...financial circumstances, I’m not really sure what they are but she likes the good life, and she decided she was going to apply for a job.

J: Ok.

G: So, she got her grand-daughter to help her with her resume and she sent it off to a wine company, and she applied for the job of Digital Influencer...for the wine company.

J: A hundred and one years old, digital influencer?

G: And they sent...they sent off her resume inside one of those frozen meat trucks apparently, that was leaving the town and that was heading in the direction of...of the big city. And the company – the HR lady who received her...her resume was utterly delighted that she would have written and applied for the job...

J: Right.

G: ...and she said so on the, you know, social media, and that generated a very positive buzz.

J: Right.

G: And less than a month later she got the job.

J: Holy...that’s a fantas...oh, amazing!

G: So, now she is a digital influencer and they send her wines to sample.

J: Right.

G: And then her family video her tasting the wines and giving her opinion. And then they send back the video to the company to...um...to do with what they will. I guess they publish them on social media and dear old Maria’s opinion is now...um...sought after. So, 101 and guzzling wine!

J: Fantastic. So, wh...where can I find her on social media?

G: I...I imagine she wouldn’t be difficult to find. Her name is Maria Cardoso and she’s from Promissão, and she’s a digital influencer.

J: That’s a great...great story.

G: So, yes.

J: Working hard at 101!

G: And apparently she’s received lots of...um...dozens of bottles of wine from well-wishers too. So, she’s...she’s having a right old time with it now!

J: So now she’s basically drunk the entire day!

G: Yes, drunken old sot. 101. But she’s gonna die happy. That’s...

J: Ah, great story man!

G: So that’s it. I’m...I’m not having anybody die in my stories anymore.

J: No. Everybody died in my story!

G: We’re...um...we’re gonna have positive information, positive news stories from now on.

J: Ah, the feel...the feel-good pod!

G: The feel-good pod, yes. Romance and happy hundred-year-olds.

J: And...er...donuts.

G: And donuts. Without the surgery!


End of Part One

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Warning – the interview that follows contains many grammatical errors. We have not indicated them all!

J: So, today we have a special guest all the way from Italy! Italy – woo-hoo!

G: Welcome Gustavo!

J: Welcome Gustavo.

Gus: Hi.

J: So, Gu...Gustavo, where...

Gus: Thanks for having me guys.

J: Where...where are you living at in Italy?

Gus: Right now I’m living in the north. In...er...in the region called Liguria.

J: Liguria?

Gus: It’s a very beautiful place.

J: What’s the region like? A lot of wine? I don’t know.

Gus: Actually, we have everything, right here. You can surf, you can snowboard. You can do whatever you want, like, you have mountains, you have everything...er...in this spot. Because you have the sea, and you have, like, a big city called Genoa. So, it’s a...for me, I really like it.

J: Ah, nice.

G: And how long have you been there now?

Gus: Er...about two years and a half, I would say. Two years and a half.

G: So, what...what made you move to Italy? How did that happen?

Gus: Actually, like, my mom started, like, to do this business to work with citizenship Italian. So, basically it was for my mom’s work.

J: How did your mom start her business then?

Gus: Er...she started because she wanted to, like, do her citizenship, so she did that. And she say (sic), “Oh, there’s no-one that is good doing that, because everybody takes so long to answer everybody, like, scammed you doing that. And she say, “Oh, I mean, I want to help people.” And she started with, like, oh, her company was like a blog to help people with that. And after, like, a little bit, like the people was (sic) trying to, “Oh, can I...can I buy...? Can I buy that? Can you do some service to me?” And she say (sic), “Yeah, I’m going to start doing that.” So, I think, like, six years ago or seven, she started doing that, like, just for helping people, and after it became a business, like – after half a year. It was super-fast. Everybody was trying to ex...scam...scam you and do that. Like, she’s doing, like, everything, like, in...in the rules, not...not doing something, like, jeitinho Brasileiro, and all that, so...

J: So...so, how like, what were some of the scams that people would do? How would people try to...to, like, trick Brazilians?

Gus: Oh, for example, er...people do, like, you can pay, like – I don’t know, like, – ten k to come to Italy. You stay one week and you go back to Brazil, and after they gonna send you the documents. And you go back to Brazil and there’s no documents.

J: And the documents never came!

G: Not good!

Gus: No.

J: You just had a very expensive vacation.

Gus: Yeah. Like, just one week vacation.

J: Yeah, that’s tough.

G: And what about you? What are...what are you doing there? Are you studying? Are you working?

Gus: I’m finishing my high school, right now. Because here, in Italy, we do, like, five years of high school. So, I’m in the 4th year. So, I have just one...one more year. And after that, I’m thinking about doing a university. But I’m working right now. Like, I’m like a student and working, I’m doing, like, social media and stuff, and when (we) have a couple of waves here in Italy I teach surf.

G: Nice.

J: It’s good! Life is good so far.

Gus: Ah, yeah. Pretty good.

J: What’s...what’s your experience with the...the Italian food?

Gus: Er...actually I like it. Er...I like it a lot the food right here. It’s different, like. Er...the pasta is really different. In Brazil, we overcook the pasta. And in Italy, it’s like, for me, is...is not that good but I like it. It’s different. We need...we need to understand, like, the pizza in Brazil is something. In Italy, what, our pizza is not pizza. For them it is different. But I like it. In Brazil I was used to put ketchup on the pizza. If you do that here, they’re gonna...you’re gonna have problems!

G: Wow.

J: You don’t put ketchup on your pizza!

G: My God. I’ve never heard of that before. Pah...Ketchup on pizza?

Gus: Yeah.

G: Wh...what about the street pizza? Because you have that deep fried street pizza in Italy too, don’t you, which is quite different from what we normally know as pizza?

Gus: Er, oh, here in Genoa it’s a...it’s another pizza. It’s not...it’s called focaccia, this one. It’s like straight pizza. Here in Genoa we call that focaccia. It’s not pizza. It’s different. But actually it’s the same thing.

G: Hm. Maybe that’s what I was thinking of. Were...were you fluent in Italian before you went there?

Gus: I didn’t know even how to say, “Hey, I’m Gustavo.”

G: Wow.

Gus: I didn’t know even a word in Italian. Yeah.

G: So, how was that experience? How did you overcome that?

Gus: The beginning was really, really tough, cos, for example, I never traveled to another country. So, my first travel, I went to another country to live in this country. I didn’t know that sometimes you don’t understand because I was every time in Brazil. And in Brazil, it’s a big country and all that but, like, when I see someone speak in English, my mom say, “Ooh, look at that person,” like, “ooh he speak English” because, in Brazil, I’m not...I wasn’t used to listen to a lot of people speak in English. And here they speak in Italian, German, Polish...erm...a lot of languages that I never heard. And I said, “Oh my god, I can’t understand anything.” So, in the beginning I was really shocked, because I don’t know, like... It’s complicated because you want to say something but you can’t. Sometimes you understand. Sometimes you don’t. But you want to say something and you can’t.

G: So, what’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever said?

Gus: Ah, so, that’s...that’s super embarrassing for me! Like, in the first month I was trying to learn Italian and I met a group of guys, and they were trying to help me with Italian and all that. And I didn’t know a lot of words in Italian because I was just like, one month, and we were talking and I said, “Oh, I want to ficar here.” And for them it was super, like, “Wow, that’s strange.” Because ficar in Portuguese means ‘to stay’ and in Italian it means ‘vagina’. So, I was super embarrassed.

G: That’s a good one!

J: Going out or, let’s say, talking to your friends, were...were there other situations that were really, kind of, a little bit difficult, or...or complicated?

Gus: For me, er, for example, here when we go to play soccer or do some sports. (We) go dressed up like normal people, with jeans and all that. And I was, for example, I went one time to play soccer with...er...the soccer shoes and all that, and for they it was super strange because they change when they go to play soccer...when they go to the beach. For example, if you go to the beach, they go, like, with jeans and all that. When they arrive they are gonna change. And after the beach they are going to change. So, for me, that was super...wow! I never did that.

J: What do you miss most about Brazil?

Gus: Er, for example, even the fruits, like, here in Italy are different. Like, banana is not from Brazil. It’s from Colombia. No, it’s from Ecuador, I think. I don’t know. But the food is one of the things that I miss most.

G: And how...how have you been received and accepted by the locals. Is it an advantage being Brazilian in an Italian school, or is it just normal that you are from a different country?

Gus: Er, we have a lot of people from another (sic) countries, like. I have one from Albania, one from India, and that, for me, was shocking because I said, “Oh my god, like, it’s a really good school. Erm, I’m like in the better...er...the best school of my course, in the city. And it’s so... It’s not just Italian. There are a lot of people from other countries. So, in the beginning they were a little bit, like, closed...er...closed because they don’t know you but, like, after one year they start to get a little bit easier and soft.

J: So, it took one year before they started to talk to you? That...that’s a long time, huh?

G: And what about with the girls? Did that make it more i... Does it make you more exotic, being from Brazil?

Gus: Well, yes but actually in Italy no. But in another countries (sic), for example, in Russia...er...yeah.

J: So...so, so it makes...so it makes you...so it makes you more difficult to...to meet girls, going out and being from Brazil?

Gus: I’d say hard. More harder. But I say, like, it’s normal. It’s like you’re like a normal Italian. They don’t have, like...they don’t prefer Brazilians.

G: And how’s it been for you during the pandemic, cos Italy was hit really hard by the virus in the initial phases, wasn’t it?

Gus: Actually, in the beginning of the...the Covid stuff here in Italy everybody was out. Everybody was going to the bars and all that, because we didn’t believe that it would be, like, a really, really, hard thing that’s going on. And, like, one month we were in quarantine for, like, until...until now we are in quarantine. So, it’s been a while, like. It’s really hard right now because everybody is trying to...you don’t need... You can’t go to the buses without masks. We need to use the mask every time. And if you don’t, you...you need to pay, like, a really... You need to pay, like, 5000 because you are not using the mask.

J: 5000? That’s a huge fine!

Gus: Yeah.

J: 5000. Really? Do you have good contact in your...with your neighbors in...in Italy or are they a little bit difficult?

Gus: I have, like...er... It’s not that good contact with my neighbors because...my neighbor in this house, but I have, like, right here, like, from our...our house but we just don’t talk. So, it’s not a, like, a relationship, or something like that. They are busy right here. I mean in...in this...erm...in this part of the city where...where I’m living the people are really busy and because of Covid they don’t want to talk a...a lot. They just like to have, like, their space and all that.

J: Right. If somebody were to go out in a bar in Italy, what’s...what’s one thing that they should not say?

Gus: You don’t need to speak louder because one thing that, for example, in a group with Brazilians they don’t like because we speak...er...so loud. And, for them, it is so disrespectful.

J: What are other things that...that people do that might be seen as disrespectful?

Gus: Yeah, and do like the sign with the hands – they gonna...they’re gonna hate you! Like, “I wanna eat that!” They gonna hate that. They don’t like it.

G: But they...they use their hands to speak all the time, no? I mean, is that something you find yourself doing? Do you start talking with your hands too?

Gus: You just start to speak and it get a little bit easier when you are using your hands! So...

J: Now that’s funny!

G: You can forget the language classes. Just...just wave your hands.

J: Just wave your hands around!

G: Erm, were...were you there when the bridge collapsed in Genoa there? Cos that was a big incident, wasn’t it?

Gus: Actually, I was sleeping in this day and...that day. And, like...after, like, 3 or 4 hours someone called me and said, “Ooh, is everything ok, because I saw the bridge...er...er...everything happened.” And I say, “No, is everything ok, but I didn’t even know that.” You need to take this...er...this bridge to go to the...er...to the oldest parts. So, a lot of workers go there. My friend’s dad, he...he should go to...in this day, he should go work but the guy said, “Oh, I’m not gonna work today. Er, you don’t need to work today. So, just stay at home.” And, like, my friend was really, really shocked because he say, “Oh my god. Like, my dad...my dad could be the guy...er...over there.” And after I was, like, seeing everybody, like, really bad. Like, the situation in the city was really bad.

J: If somebody was coming from Brazil to go to Italy what...what tips would you give them?

Gus: Just have fun. You’re gonna love Italy. And if you want...if you came here to live, just try to learn the Italian and don’t be mad because they are really, like... They sounds aggressive but they aren’t.

J: Ah, they...they...they come across as being...er...like, like a little bit direct. They are very direct, huh?

Gus: When you think they are rude, they are not. They are just, like, they are just like that. So you need to... I mean you are in their country so you need to...

J: You need to adapt a little bit. Sure.

Gus: If you are going to do a trip right here, you are going to love it because it’s a really amazing place.

G: Very nice. That was great. Well, thanks very much Gustavo. It’s been great to talk to you and great to meet you. And best of luck with your studies and your time in Italy.

J: Yeah, yeah, thanks Gustavo. Thanks very much for coming to The Samba Buzz.

Gus: Thank you very much.

       

End of part 2   

   

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J: So Gee, er, let me ask you. What do you have for the guru this week?

G: Right, this week I thought we’d do a little pronunciation. Um, I’ve got 4 words here that are a good challenge. I want you to just read each one and explain to everybody what each one means in Portuguese – so what the Portuguese equivalent is.

J: Ah, ok. So, chip...so, you...you want me to say it first and then...

G: Yeah, just say it and say what it actually means in Portuguese.

J: Chip. So, chip is like, I dunno...

G: It’s like a chip, a microchip, no?

J: Yeah, chip.  Chip, I think they’d say.

G: Chip, they’d say, wouldn’t they?

J: Yeah, then we have ship, which is barco.

G: Or navio. Yeah?

J: Or navio, yeah. Then we have cheap, which is barata.

G: Or barato.

J: Or barato, yeah. And then we have sheep, which is ovelha.

G: Ok, good! So, then what we’re gonna do is, I want you to randomly read out each of those in turn, and I will give you the Portuguese to tell which one I think you’re reading.

J: Ah. Ok. Er, cheap.

G: Barato.

J: Good. Sheep.

G: Come again?

J: Sheep.

G: Sheep. Ok...er...ovelha!

J: Good. Er...it’s funny. Chip.

G: That’s the chip.

J: Very good. Cheap.

G: That’s barato again.

J: Ship.

G: That’s navio.

J: Good. Shit. No...

G: Merda.

J: I’m sorry, I...I made that one up. Er...sheep!

G: Ok, good. Ovelha. I...I’ll do it back to you now.

J: Ok.

G: Let’s see...see if we can get the same...er...the same result here. Ship.

J: Er, barco ou navio.  

G: Cheap.

J: Barata.

G: Chip.

J: Wh...wha...wha...what was that thing for chip...er...chip yeah.

G: Ship.

J: Barco.

G: Chip.

J: Chip.

G: Sheep.

J: Ovelha.

G: Very good!

J: Er...ok, good! So, at least we understand each other?

G: We...we...we just about managed, being in front of each other in a small space. Um, this is obviously something people...people can practice at home. Um, it’s a fun little game and you can practice with a friend, and see how you do. So, obviously the ‘chip’ sound is a short sound like the number six. And with cheap and sheep it’s like the letter ‘e’ – a-b-c-d-e – in the middle, and then we need to smile and extend the sound a little bit.

J: Ok. Is it necessary to smile?

G: Ah, you can, kind of, grimace if you insist, but it’s kind of hard.

J: Ok. One...one thing I typically say is that when you have a double...er...vowel, that sound is typically...is going to be a little bit longer than a single vowel. Single vowel sounds are a little bit shorter.

G: That is true.

J: Er...double vowel, you are going to have a little bit longer sound.

G: For sure.

J: That...I don’t know if that helps in this particular case but...

G: Absolutely, yeah, I think that’s a good tip.

J: Ok.

G: Not a good ‘teep’.

J: No. Great!

G: So, that was guru!

J: So, Gee, I think that pretty much wraps up...the...another pod!

G: Pod 23 is in the can, as they say.

J: Is in the can...is in the books. Well, it’s not quite presented yet but it’s done.

G: So, that was all good fun and I guess we will be back again in due course with some more stories, some updates maybe...some more gruesome details about procedures nobody wants to hear about, in your case! Probably.

J: But I had fun with that!

G: So, if you want to contact us, you can get us at mailbox@thesambabuzz.com.

J: Or visit our website, or check out social media.

G: Instagram. We are on Instagram these days.

J: Instagram and LinkedIn as well.

G: I can’t say it but we are on it!

J: Er...LinkedIn is...is actually doing quite well at the moment.

G: Oh good. Good. I’m pleased to hear that.

J: If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to enter in contact and send us a message or whatever!

G: So, I guess we’ll see you next time.

J: Ok, so take care everybody! Bye-bye!

G: Bye-bye!


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