Monday, April 1, 2013

The British Man, the Bank, and I

I'm enjoying Brazil.  It is extremely frustrating not understanding Portuguese but we're managing to survive. Rio is absolutely beautiful. The beach and the mountains are fabulous.

True Story

I went to the bank this morning to try to cash my travelers checks which have proven to be worthless.  While standing in line I asked a man, via my portuguese app, if the bank was open. The man was English. After chatting about where we were from, the bank teller comes out yells something in Portuguese. My new English friend turns to me and says "they're not opening...come quick!" So we hurriedly left the bank and proceeded to run, yes run, through the streets of Rio. At this point, all I've managed to understand is that the last bank wasn't going to open and all the people in the lobby would now be going to the other branch two blocks away and me and the Brit needed to be there before the others. So we ran.

The New Bank

Now the Brit and I are standing in line at the other branch. 10 a.m. Comes and goes. 10:01. 10:02. 10:03. Enter stage left angry Brazilian man. The angry Brazilian man walks up to the security glass and starts banging on it yelling in Portuguese and pointing to his phone. Apparently opening at 10:03 is not acceptable.

Meanwhile the Brit and I are chatting. He's a 50-60 year old white man with one eye that doesn't fully open. He's telling me about all of the places in the world that he's lived: Australia, Thailand, China, Singapore and of course Brazil.  While living in Singapore he made a living as a juggler. "sir, did you just say you juggled in Singapore?" "oh, yes, it was the best..." The Brit then went on to tell me how he also lived in San Francisco and Thailand but didn't like Thailand.


Thailand didn't work out so well for the Brit: He had a women - paid for her in full - and she turned out to be a man.

So the Brit and I finally get inside. The number machine wasn't working and there was only one teller. I kept getting pushed aside by old people taking advantage of their old person status and moving to the front of the line. To save me time, the Brit was kind enough to ask one of the bank workers if they could cash my travelers checks.  No.

So that's how my story ends. The one-eyed Brit who once accidentally paid for a man and juggled in Singapore and I parted ways.

Today Candace and I are meeting up with a friend of hers that is also in Rio on vacation. Small world. Crazy world, but beautiful.

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