8 Jan 2008

Setting up for living in BH

Posted by walterheck

So, coming back to Belo Horizonte meant that it is now time to get a bit more serious after 4 months of fun and traveling. I needed to find a place to stay, find some couchsurfing friends and seriously start learning some portuguese.

Now, since it took me so long to write the Rio story, I am already well on my way of accomplishing things. I found a place to live for 350 reais per month at the apartment of a friend of my host. It is a nice place close to the center and the subway (that is not really sub by the way 😉 ) that i will be alone in during the day to focus on working. I looked at another place which was also close, but it would cost me 500 and have less privacy. I can only move into this place after carnaval, so I will be surfing until then. That is no problem however since I have some people who offered me a place to stay in BH in the mean time. Nice detail is that my roommate to be is learning English but doesn’t speak a word so far, so we’re both gonna face some hardcore language learning 🙂

I also found a place to work out of until i get that apartment and we get soem internet access set up. My current host is an architect (lives in a very nice self designed house in a nice famous neighbourhood) and a professor at the university and he told me he would have a place for me to work there.

Then, I started meetings for couchsurfing here. The first one was very succesful and a lot of fun, although I ran into some European-Brasilian cultural differences. I set the meeting to start at 20.00, and so I as a punctual european was there at 19.45, telling the waitress that I was expecting between 5 and 10 friends. One hour later, I had been moved to another table, the waitress asked me if I was really sure my friends were comign and I was still alone. Luckily peopel started pooring in right after that and instead of teh 5 people i expected, about 17 showed up. A very good turnup for a first meeting of 2008. The next meeting is going to be a picnic this sunday in the park. I’m probably gonna be alone again during the first hour, but my european senses do not allow me to not be there at the time it is supposed to begin ;). I just feel restless when I am late for my own meeting 😉

Then, last but definitely not least, I started learning Portuguese. I started my language audio books (Pimsleur, exists in 38 languages and highly recommendable!). I also started reading a book. I bought Harry Potter in Portuguese. Yes, I finally will read at least one of them (and probably miss half of what is happening 😉 ) since this is simple language and I know approximately what to expect. Furthermore I started reading articles in magazines (with the help of my soon to be roommate) and I am watching the news and movies and tv shows on cable (they are subtitled, so you can listen to the english and read teh Portuguese to enlarge your vocabulary.

The other day I had a very small conversation with a taxi driver when he was driving me somewhere. I was so proud of my self that I could communicate with the guy. It was a really stupid smalltalk conversation, but I was happy 🙂

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4 Responses to “Setting up for living in BH”

  1. Good luck for your new life!!
    Glad to hear you are doing so well!!

    And thanks for adding the link to my blog, although I have the feeling I’m not getting that promised share of the huge amount of traffic.. 😉



  2. “Yes, I finally will read at least one of them (and probably miss half of what is happening)”

    Okay, here are the basics: Harry-good, Hermione-better, Voldemord-bad. There, now you can start your journey into the fabulous world of Harry Potter, have fun.




  3. @ Heydi, if you’re that finnish girl I’ve never met, I visited your weblog today, so don’t call Walter a liar now…




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