Steve's Newsletter 1 from Brazil

Welcome to my first newsletter about my move and life in Brazil. I am writing this whilst back in the UK during a trip to apply for a visa. From now on I will try to write a newsletter every 4-6 weeks so please check back.

Having left my longtime job at Imagination in the UK at the end of March 2005, I then packed up my stuff, sold my car and other bits and I left for Brazil in early May. I am not regretting this decision at all as life in Brazil with Eneida is great.

Life in Brazil is needless to say very different to that of London. The pace of life is much more relaxed specially for me as I am not able to work there for the near future or until I get a visa. In fact I am in essence a long term tourist until my I have a permanent visa.

After arriving and settling in, Eneida and I set about sorting out things for the wedding as well as the various documents that were required for the wedding and for me stay. This organisation seemed at times to take up most of our time, but some how we did make time to eat out and have a few Caipirinha's!

The food in Brazil is very very good, particularly the steak. As someone who had largely given up eating steak in Europe, I can not recommend it enough. It is also remarkably inexpensive. A meal for 4 people with drinks, desert and coffee at a nice restaurant is about £30 -£40 total.

The Brazilian people are also very welcoming and hospitable. They have all made me feel extremely welcome including virtually all of the numerous officials I have had dealings with since my arrival there. A welcome change to the typical attitude you find in the UK. It makes me sad to think why the police shot Jean Charles de Menezes on the tube. I am sure they had there reasons at the time even though it now looks like they were very flawed.

Of course there was also the small fact of the language. I took some Portuguese lessons and tried to study in the evenings when Eneida was working. Although I am making progress, it is very slow. I had hoped by now to be able to hold a simple conversation, but unfortunately no! When I return to Brazil I will enroll on a course at the local Federal University designed to teach Portuguese to foreigners. I also hope that I will be able to use these classes to make a few friends.

There was also the small issue of our wedding of course. I am very pleased to say that everything went very well and according to plans. Many thanks to Julian and Eneida's Swedish friends for making the trip all the way across the Atlantic to give us their support.

The experience itself was more than a little strange but I hasten to add very enjoyable. To start with, it was the first Brazilian wedding I had been to and they do differ considerably from those in the UK. Then there was the question of language and hardly being able to say more than a few words to most of our guests. Finally it was also the first civil wedding I had been to in any country.

I would like to thank Eneida's mother, Maria Helena, for all her help in organising the wedding both before and after my arrival in Brazil.

The wedding itself was a small informal affair held at the same venue as the reception. It was followed by cocktails and then a buffet style dinner as per Brazilian customs. We then partied until the small hours before going to our hotel leaving a few family and friends to carry on until 4am. I think everyone had a good night. You can see some photos elsewhere on the site.

The Friday night before the wedding we had a family and friends meal at a local favorite restaurant. Finally to finish the weekends festivities there was a lunch the next day at the wedding venue. After 2 nights of partying, there were a few sore heads there. After this Eneida and I then went home and opened the remaining wedding gifts. Thanks to all those who bought us something. And then it was a quick pack ready to leave for our honeymoon to Aruba and Curacao the next morning.

We had a great time and a very relaxing one whilst away. First we went to Aruba which has many fine beaches to be recommend along with the Buciti hotel where we stayed. The emphasis on this island is to cater to the American tourists that make up around 90% of the visitors. On the other hand Curacao has a more European feel. Curacao however was a strange place. A much more industrial island that also relies heavily on tourists. We were there in low season and most shops shut early unless a cruise ship was docked. This was a bit sad, but our hotel was however excellent.

After getting back from our honeymoon I had a few short days at home before flying to the UK to apply for my visa. The visa application appears to have gone ok and I just have to wait now for a few more weeks to hear back as to whether it has been accepted. I fly back to Brazil shortly to await the news on my visa. It has been a strange trip back to the UK being separated from Eneida for so long so soon after our wedding. I am looking forward to seeing here again.

So that concludes my news so fay. Please get in touch if you want to know more. I'd like to hear from you.

Steve

 



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