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And crimes against teamanity
Ok what is this language?
I’m used to Spanishes being different. I get that. But Portuguese isn’t just different from Spanish and other Portuguese. It’s deliberately different. It’s “They’ll never figure this out” different. It’s not-Slavic-not-Spanish-not-French different.
If you speak or read Spanish you’re OK reading signs in Portuguese. It’s once people start speaking you’re in trouble. Once you start speaking, you’re doomed.
Just the letter X has five possibilities of pronunciation, as follows:
“Sheesh,” as in, “Sheesh, this is complicated.”
“Ks,” as in,” for fucKs sake, how can one letter have this many sounds?”
“Sss,” as in, “Ssseriously?”
“Z” as in, “Zero chance I’m being understood trying to speak Portuguese this trip.
And finally “Shhh,” as in, “Shhhhouldn’t I just be the Ugly American and say everything in English assuming everyone else will speak English rather than even trying this language?”
Still, the people here are gracious and polyglottish. The Uber driver from Bangladesh spoke English, Bangla, and Portuguese.
I believe very much in learning languages, even if badly. Of trying to communicate in a country’s rhythm and sounds and song. Of laughing with people as they laugh, usually good-naturedly at the horror show I’ve made of their native tongue.
“Chá preto com leite e açúcar,’ I said to the woman at the counter when I ordered. Then, “Gracias. I mean thanks. I mean obrigada!”
“You speak excellent Portuguese!” she said in English as she handed me my tea.
Damn. That level of graciousness is straight-up lying. Still, I’ll take it.
And it is absolutely beautiful here.
For people who boosted bergamot around the globe, what these people do to tea should be an international war crime.