When moving to a foreign country like Brazil everything seems to be exciting at first. But you will settle into a daily routine after a while and after my first summer here it happened to me too. You know, the daily life of working, going shopping, watching tv. Boring stuff. But sometimes even in your boring life, you will have one of those crazily ordinary Brazilian days, and my day today is worth telling about.
Our crazy neighbours
My agenda was go to the doctor. I had spread my ankle some weeks ago and since I keep having pain from time to time, I wanted a doctor to have a look at it. I left my house around noon to go to the appointment. On the way out I talked to our porteiro (the doorman) about our neighbors, because two days ago the woman and her teenager daughter who live next door had started their usual yelling and shouting and making loud noises at 6am in the morning, which was a little outside the things I can take easily. I find the mother and her daughter yelling and shouting making strange noises like slamming the doors very sad, but usually I don’t mind it. But 6am was too much and so I talked to the porteiro what to do. He shrugged and said “nothing we can do, really”. People in the house have already gotten used to the noise and the shouting. I told him that I found this strange and not very satisfying. But he shrugged his shoulders again and added: “Some time ago the girl threw a cooking pot out of the window. You know, she is really crazy.” Just to makes this clear – he was talking about a metal cooking pot for pressurized cooking of about 4 kg, thrown from the 9th story onto a street. This could’ve killed someone. But since we are in Brazil: “tudo tranquilo” (take it easy). That was an interesting way to start the day, but it would get stranger.
A visit to a special doctor
I arrived at the office building in which the orthopedist my health insurance had suggested had his office. There was a note on the office door saying “please use the door-bell and not the handle, the handle is broken”. Ok. So I rang and the door was opened to a very nice, and kind of cozy waiting area, with even some tasteful pictures on the walls. I did the paperwork and sat down to wait. Two older women were working behind the counter and I was waiting with some other patients for our call, watching the TV. No waiting area in Brazil without a TV! Germany is so old-fashioned when it comes to this, because in Germany you still find dozens of magazines in the waiting room and people actually reading them. Suddenly the TV showed this video of a boy being thrown out of a second story building down to a man waiting to catch him. Since the women were working and could not see the TV, they asked with a calm voice: “did he catch?” And a waiting person answered as it would be the most normal thing in the world. “He did”.After this followed silence again. Surreal, but it got more funny soon.
When I entered the doctor’s room the first thing I realized was the small cupboard with a few bottles of whisky and some colorful glasses at the wall. The doctor turned out to be about 60 years old and he started a bit grumpy, but soon opened up when he realized after a short examination of my foot that I was German and we could talk about the football. We shared our opinion about the World Cup (he thinks Croatia might be very strong, I don’t) and then he told me about the time, when he was doctor for FC Santos (home team of Pelé and Neymar back in the time). He told me about a tour of FC Santos through Spain and Italy and that he was watching the game against Bayern in Munich and that it was snowing. During all the time I could not help but wonder, if my doctor already had a couple of sips from the bottles behind me. But I loved this experience and when he told me I should have a CAT scan made “next door” and handed me a transfer paper, I thought the day could not get any better. But I was wrong.
The crazy taxi driver
To top off this day of awesomeness, I have to tell you about how I got home again. Since it was already late in the afternoon and raining, I chose to take a cab. But my cabdriver was obviously not very interested or bored, but most of all he was busy playing a game on his smartphone. For the whole 12 minute ride back to my house (where luckily no pots were thrown anymore) he was playing on his mobile phone. And while this is not only very disrespectful towards his customer, it is also quite dangerous (his eyes were longer on the phone than on the street on our ride). I admired his relaxedness and the fact, that what started out as a boring day full of waiting to see a doctor had become another day full of surreal experiences and a day, where I almost got killed because of “Diamond Dash”.Or: Just another ordinary Brazilian day.