Tag Archives: Maceio

Auditive nuisance

A former colleague in Brussels was convinced that an ice wagon with a little, tedious melody was not only following but positively stalking him. It’s a good thing that he is unlikely to ever move to Brazil.

When it comes to auditive nuisances, especially from ice vendors, Brazil just beats everything. The most annoying are push trolleys with their loudspeaker announcing that “Picolé Sorvete Caico” is to be had again. While I don’t mind them passing every once in a while; on weekends, it is not rare to witness dozens passing in front of our place, joining their tones to a chilling cacophony that raises many lusts except the one for ice cream. That they are all but impossible to escape from obviously doesn’t help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqzs7vn_Wd4

In comparison, the ice vendors of a competing enterprise using but a modest bell to announce a sweet and cold treat being on sale are almost a bliss. Regardless, ice cream vendors are not the only ones offering something comestible through persistent and piercing announcements.

Indeed, it is hardly necessary to leave the house to purchase foods of all kinds. It starts at 6:30 in the morning with a loud PJB (Peeee-Juuuu-Beeee) passing by on bicycle, which I’m 95% sure is selling bread. Later in the day, macaxeira (Makacheiiiiraaaa) – a type of mandioca can be purchases; usually just before the shrimps car passes along. In the beginning, I actually thought that this car sold funerals, judging by the tone of voice of the announcer. But no, in the end it’s just camarão, peixe, camaroja, i.e. shrimps, fish and whatever the last one is.

Add to this the inhame – another kind of root vegetable, the sweet potato and the banana, et voilà, a full meal provided by street vendors using the full capacities of their lungs or loud speakers to attract potential buyers who are neither deaf nor inclined to violence.




Unlikely till it happens

While living in Brussels, I never thought I’d say such a thing. But, after eight month in Maceió, I sincerely enjoy a day of rain.

No movement in the rain

Lighthouse Maceio

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Along the coast of Alagoas, there are many reefs. Not only do they have the  advantage of breaking the huge Atlantic waives, but, the shallow waters between the reefs and the beach provide an almost bath-tub-warm swimming ground. During low tide that is. Walking over the reefs is only recommended with good shoes; due to sea urchins and sharp corals. Which, obviously, in Brazil means plastic flip-flops for everybody with the exception of those crazy Germans…


Multilingual Maceió?

Well, not really. Maceió is really more of an unilingual environment which is actually very helpful in terms of learning Portuguese. Nothing motivates as much to study a language as the dire need to make yourself understood.

What I still have trouble getting used to though, are the looks, the heads turning and the whisper whenever talking in French or German in public places. Especially after the time in Brussels where it was nothing unusual to overhear people talking in Russian, Polish, English, Dutch, German, Spanish, Arab, French, you name it, during a single metro ride.

And not one person would even shrug…