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Nosy Joe

Nosy Joe had to know, so he asked his foreign neighbor, “What can you tell me about your Brazilian life? Do you like it here?"

The neighbor, Mark gave it to him straight, “I love Brazil because generally speaking the people are very nice and friendly. The weather is more likely to be sunny which helps keep a good and positive mood. Brazil has many wonderful places to visit either in the countryside or at the beach. Fresh food such as fruit and vegetables offer a wide range of options while Brazilian meats are on the upper edge of excellence. As a foreigner I feel there are more prospects and potential to succeed in business as a self-employed person.”

Nosy Joe couldn’t control his excitement. He perked up and asked, “What are your complaints about living here?”

The middle-aged man, seemed pensative for a moment, and then laid it on Nosy Joe!

“On the other hand, Brazilians are loud. They seem to be shouting a lot of the time. It can be irritating; not sure if it boils down to their theatrical soap series, but it wouldn’t surprise me. These TV programs are very emotional and I would get gobsmacked from such tripe, so I quit watching. Nowadays, I stick to online research and Netflix.”

“Additionally, I’ve noticed many if not most people tend to not admit their mistake. It is as if they daren’t tell the truth. An example was the car accidents I’ve had in Brazil. If the driver who evidently caused the accident is approached, he’ll deny it, and even turn the guilt around to blame me. You couldn’t make it up if you wanted.”

Joe then asked, "Is there anything else, you'd like to add?"

“Yes, there is. Change in a till when you purchase goods in a supermarket or other store… Cashiers never seem to have change when cash purchases are made…. I mean nowadays credit or debit (pix) cards are the norm, but honestly it seems a bit much not having sufficient coin or notes variation which should be standard practice. It’s a business for Christ’s sake!”

He paused for a moment, and then went on, “When it runs low the cashier should inform the supervisor, and then there should be an adequate supply to replace missing coins and notes. In other words, there seems to be a lack of preparation, and bad organization to make operational flow. I often spend several minutes waiting to receive change. If it were my firm, I’d make sure a basic issue like this was dealt with to leave customers happy!”

"That's interesting. Is there anything more to say?"

“Plenty of other things actually, but at the end of the day, Brazil has more positives than negatives. Yes, there’s plenty of corruption coming from the government, but that is the same in other countries…. Maybe less, maybe more."

Nosy Joe couldn’t help himself from asking, “But there must have been something else that would take you out of your comfort zone?”

Mark stood in silence thinking back, and then like a school boy raised his arm, and said, “Yes, now I remember! Actually, the time I was pickpocketed downtown made me feel rather intimidated, and even until today I don’t feel completely comfortable when anyone is walking behind me.”

He thought about it, and then continued, “Sure, it was a minor trauma which lingers on, but it isn’t the end of the world!”

Take Care!

Prof. Carl Boniface  


Vocabulary builder:

Nosy (adj) = inquisitive, curious, interfering, prying, meddlesome, intrusive

Perked up (phrasal verb) = enliven, brighten, cheer up, awaken, pep up, spice up 

Gobsmacked (adj) = means “astounded” or “astonished,” often to the point of being speechless. But you don't say gobsmacked just any time you want to mean “shocked.” It's a slang term that really calls attention to the fact that you were completely not expecting what happened—a lot like flabbergasted.

Tripe (n) = rubbish, nonsense, garbage, drivel, trash, rot

Quit (v) = to stop doing something. "He suffered from beathing problems, so quit smoking."

Daren’t (v) = dare chiefly British. used as a contraction of dare not or dared not. I daren't tell her what really happened.

Pickpocketed (adj) = steal from the pockets of someone.

Lingers (v) = remains, loiters, stays, delays, dawdles, stay behind, hang on, hang around, stick around, delay leaving

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