I became a nun when I was five.

6 08 2006

Today, I woke up late. It’s Sunday and I knew I had a lot to do, but it didn’t keep from sleeping in. Kendra got up even earlier today because she’s going biking with other people. I was going to go, also, but I opted not to go because I don’t have any sneakers or bike shorts. They were also leaving at 6:30 this morning and I knew that was NOT going to happen for me. I am also wary of using a bike I haven’t seen yet because I’m so short that it’s really hard just to use a “regular” sized bike because I am not regular sized. I’m pretty sure my mountain bike is for a little kid.

So I’m kind of taking it easy today on my own. I talked to Dennis a little this morning and then I got up and got going to the Hippie Fair. Kendra and I went yesterday, too, when we were a little hungover from the night before. (I had five caipirinhas, well, four and then shared the fifth. It was a fun night, samba and all.)
The Hippie Fair is a craft fair that happens every weekend. It takes place at this big park and all the vendors set up their stands in a huge circle. There’s music and tons of food, and yesterday there were people playing capoeira. There’s the Hippie Fair where the artists sell their work, and then there’s the other hippie fair, which is where the real “hippies,” the ones who look like they smoke a lot and who are pierced eveywhere, and who don’t shower that frequently, sell their stuff. Lots of pipes and incense at that one. It has a very distinct odor. I mostly spent time at the other vendors.
So I wanted to go back today and look for gifts for people. I ate a pastel, which is fried bread and cheese, and couldn’t finish it. I was looking around for used books in Portuguese when an older man asked me what kinds of books I was looking for. Of course, he asked in Portuguese and I didn’t understand, so I replied with my standard: “I speak a little Portuguese,” which I probably butchered in the telling. He asked me which language I do speak, and when I replied “English,” he continued the conversation in English. I was thankful for that, but I also said, in Portuguese, “but I want to speak with you in Portuguese.” So we continued in Portuguese for one more sentence, wherein I did not understand him, and then spent the next hour talking about life and philosophy in English.

His name is Omar and he speaks five languages. He told me about his kids and his family; we talked about philosophy and books. We were sitting in the shade at the Hippie Fair because, at mid-day, it was really warm. No clouds today at all. Bright blue sky.
Omar asked me about my family. I told him about my brothers and sisters, and then he asked if I have neices and nephews. I nodded and said that I was an aunt when I was five because my siblings are older than I. Omar looked confused, so I repeated myself. “I became an aunt when I was five.”
Omar’s brow wrinkled and he said, “oh, so, I was going to ask you about religion.”
It seemed like a big jump in the conversation from siblings to religion, but I went with it. I told him I had been baptized Catholic but that I didn’t care much for the practicing of it.
Omar’s eyebrows raised. “Oh! I thought you said you became a nun when you were five!”
We laughed, and he said, “Sometimes the ears need some fine-tuning.” I kept laughing and agreed with him. Hearing another language is really hard because everyone says the words differently.
I will hopefully begin my language classes this week. I need to call Pierre to arrange for the days. I’m eager to get started, now that I’ve spent a week here and basically speak like a two year-old.




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