Stories with humor, finding the light in the little things in life.

Bureaucrazy and Bank Accounts – Part 2

(This story is a continuation of a bureaucratic miracle whose history started months ago.  Part 1 started last week.) As instructed, I called the Federal Police back in April.  My vacation-loving contact told me that my paperwork had been submitted to an office in Belo Horizonte with so many initials in its acronym that he […]

Bureaucrazy and Bank Accounts

Today a miracle happened. A miracle of monumental proportions, the kind you write home to mom about, the kind that changes lives. To understand the miracle this story has to go back a ways. But don’t all the best stories? We were married in March of last year. At my Federal Police residency interview a kind […]

Fotocrônica: Lost in Translation

My husband once quipped that he’s yet to see a t-shirt in Brazil that has decorative words in Portuguese on it. Everything is in English. Y’know what? I spend a lot of time people-watching as I work the market every Saturday and he’s right. There’s church t-shirts and marketing for local businesses–those are all in Portuguese–but […]

4 Lessons from Tuning into the Other Side of the World

We are without satellite TV. This is a big deal because in this small town there’s really there’s not much else to do most nights. We used to have a pirated satellite box which decoded over 100 channels for us. When we got it the guy explained that some day, he couldn’t predict when, the […]

Fotocrônica: Oh the Shame

Lots of larger Brazilian supermarkets have started the policy of not providing plastic shopping bags. The customer is expected to bring their own reusable bag. The populace is still adjusting, especially since it varies from store to store. I occasionally shop at a large supermarket in larger Theófilo Otoni to buy the items we crave […]

Fotocrônica: Pattern Mixing

I don’t know about you, but I love me the occasional fashion blog.  It’s the girly-girl in me.  I like them even more than fashion magazines because they’re the voices of normal women, not style editors.  In any case, they’ve all–fashion blogs and magazines–been in a tizzy for the last year or two about the […]

5 Sweet Little Brazilian Lies

An important thing to know is that Brazilians have a flexible definition of the truth. White lies are social necessities; everyone knows that’s not true, everyone says it anyhow. This extends from the street corner all the way up to the highest levels of government.  So it’s got all sorts of implications, both good and […]


See this lovely flower? Her name is Cansanção. Her name is lyrical—like canção (song) or cansaço (weariness). She lives right next to and her flowers look just like those of the delicious-smelling marsh plant (shown in the forefront of the above picture). Trust her not. There is no end to the number of stinging plants […]

Almost an Oreo

I am generally disappointed with most things chocolate in Brazil. Cue the violins and sad clowns because I am a devotee of Chocolate Church, the darker the better. You would think that in a country where cocoa grows wild, for chrissakes, that the chocolate here would be fabulous. So far, not so much. I crave […]