There’s nothing worse than a nasty caïpirinha. You sit there stirring the drink, hoping the sugar at the bottom will swirl upwards giving you the right explosion of sweet lime-flavored cachaça. When this fails, you insert your straw into the mound of sugar at the bottom, and try to sip the rum through that, hoping that this way, you will be able to balance out the blend of citrus and strong alcohol with a few sugar crystals. To no avail. I spent 7€ on this crap this evening, hoping to get a light, fuzzy Brazilian buzz. I was with a group of other language assistants at a bar after our first orientation today. The orientation went well, I met lots of new friendly people. But it was raining and cold out, I don’t have a proper jacket because I couldn’t fit one in my suitcase, and it’s day 4, and I’m still homeless. I thought, Why waste money on beer when I don’t even like that? I’ll get a caipirinha.
Tell me, why is it that establishments have drinks on their menus that their bartenders can’t make? Do they think people will respect them more because they have a wider variety on their menu? No. No, we don’t. If we get something off your menu that tastes like crap, we’re going to think everything else tastes like crap. And it’s less likely that we’ll buy another 10€ cocktail. Or any drink other than a $2 glass of wine. Come on people, think. Give your employees a longer, more comprehensive training. Take the things that you can’t actually make off the menu. MUDDLE the drinks that have sugar in them.
A lot of the people at this hotel are really sketch. When coming inside last night, a guy with an 11-month large pregnant belly asked me if I wanted to go out for a drink with him. Really? Are you serious? Can he not see that 1) I am 15 years younger than him 2) he is extremely fat and 3) That is the most tacky, desperate pickup line ever?? Go to the Netherlands if you want to have legal fun with women half your age, thank you very much. Apparently there’s supposed to be some sort of security in the hotel after hours, i.e. the girl who’s at the front desk roams through the halls randomly, but clearly that’s not enough. To be on the safe side, when I declined, I went to a random floor so the guy wouldn’t know where I actually was staying, waited a few minutes, and then went to my room. I think I’ll take some karate lessons while here. I did kickboxing about 5 years ago, and my self-defense skills are mighty rusty. The only thing I hate about being a woman is that you always have to double-think what you’re doing, when, with who, and how you’re going to get back home and will it be too late. I enjoy being single, but it really would be convenient to have a boyfriend, if only to have him walk me home at nights haha.
Orientation today was lengthy, comprehensive, informative, at times boring and at other times funny…The process for being a legal alien resident has changed enormously since the last time I was here two years ago. Instead of getting a carte de séjour (green card equivalent), you get a stamp in your passport. After filling out mountains of paperwork and waiting weeks, that is. We went on a tour of the town, but I didn’t really pay attention much to where we were going because I was too busy meeting and chatting with other language assistants and getting to know everyone. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from study abroad, it’s to get to know everyone. Because if you don’t, then you’re trapped in your little group that you made in the beginning and it’s hard to branch out and meet new people because everyone has already formed their little cliques. You have to just keep putting yourself out there. And I guess that’s true not only for making friends, but with life in general. The tour itself was kind of tiring because everyone was hungry and cranky because it was so windy and cold, and the morning part of the orientation had gone overtime (meaning that lunch would have to be shortened). But I do remember seeing a few statues of Jeanne d’Arc (she’s everywhere in this town) and the old and new l’Hôtel de Ville.
Well, I’ll write more tomorrow. Quite tired as today was my first day without a jetlagged-induced afternoon nap, and I have an apartment to view tomorrow. Wish me luck!