Posts tagged South America

MY BRAZILIAN (… and a kombi named Betty)

102 days, 6 countries, 3 girls, x boys & 1 kombi named Betty. So I've mentioned "my book" a million and one times, the travel memoir I've been working on every since my trip to South America some three years ago now. Think Eat Pray Love with a twist. As described in one of my proposals: "Beginning by following others, and chasing love, Juliet finds herself travelling down a long and winding road to Brazil — through Paris, Japan and Christianity — the so-called “first world” that Read more [...]

A human life, one million hours

In the scheme of things when you spend two hours in traffic each work day, or half an hour waiting in line for a coffee, or forty hours a year gathering together your receipts and filling out your tax return, what % of your life are you spending doing things you don't want to be doing? ... [A deleted scene from My Brazilian]: At a restaurant in Argentina, after many-a glasses of Malbec and chocolate fondue, I found myself in an existentially mathematically reflective mood. "How many hours Read more [...]

Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish

I love it when Spanish words resemble their English equivalent. Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish, illustrated by Andy Warhol, is a cheat code for English speakers to learn Spanish. Carried out with a sense of humour too. See if you can guess these words: diferente; conveniente; elefante; producto;  intereste;  nación; universidad; usé... I've been recommending this book to so many people that I figure I should share it on here. Some the cheat code: Words that end in ‘or’ are often Read more [...]

Learning Spanish y Juego con Ninas…

Ok, given my travels, my book, and living with Latinos most of this year, I should know more Spanish than I do. And considering the “peace” and "environmentalist" stereotype it may shock you to find out I’m (A) not a vegetarian (which really has nothing to do with this post), and (B) that in Granada I had my first ever experience with volunteer work. Given volunteering in Granada didn't cost money (in case you didn't know, most volunteering projects do) and the bonus discount it gave for Read more [...]

Returning to mi paradiso

Colour fills the streets: the houses, the clothes, the people, the air. Excitement. A familiar joy. Why did it take so long for me to return? Even the smell is familiar — a raw combination of trees, humidity, food, and dirt. The sound of scooters, olden-day cars, horses trotting, children playing, salsa music and a sea of Spanish words — music to my ears. Every day is the same: the sun rises at 6, sets at 6, 25-30 degrees — mi paradiso. It’s been almost three years. I fell in Read more [...]

Step away from the book…

My sprained ankle had it's benefits - LOTS of time sitting on my arse. And so, one week ago, I finished my first draft of my first novel. A first draft is a big achievement I suppose. The only problem is that it's far too long and, as I decided once I started editing it, it's also far too shit. As I read I crossed half the paragraphs out. Boring boring boring. The whole 690 page manuscript sucks. When I finally allowed one of my friends to have a read I noticed something: he was laughing. Read more [...]

Chapter 28 – Size Does Matter (Rio de Janeiro)

When it comes to Brazilian butts, as you see in the clip below, SIZE DOES NOT MATTER. You got it, you flaunt it baby. But according to a drug dealer Rachel and Lola meet on the streets of Lapa, when it comes to something else size does matter... Here's a funny little snippet from Chapter 28: 'Cool. Ok, so what happened next?’ I ask Rachel, interested in where this story was going. ‘Next we walk up the hill, and meet a young girl in really tiny shorts, a very tiny top and a belly Read more [...]

Chapter 27 – Beauty in Imperfection (Florianapolis)

Brazilian beaches - the best in the world. Coming from an Aussie that's a pretty big call. But seriously, check out the pineapple cachaca cocktail... and the bar tender 😛 Oooo and I discovered the magic ingredient to that cocktail! Lucky I took notes. Inside that pineapple you will find a blend of  pineapple (obviously), cachaca (a spirit made from sugarcane), ice and... sweetened condensed milk. Ok, so I recently discovered cachaca is available (at ten times the cost, but still available) Read more [...]

Chapter 26 – One Big Cliche (Sao Paulo)

The concrete jungle mega-city where I experienced my very first taste of acai (ah-sigh-ee) - the wild Amazonian berry that tastes like frozen chocolate and is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidents that give you an energy hit and allegedly make you lose weight. My friend imports it to Oz in pulp and powder, and I happen to be drinking a mixture of acai, banana and ice right now. Mmmmm mmmm! Check out if you wanna taste the purple goodness... MUSIC CREDITS: Sao Paulo, Read more [...]