This post was inspired by a woman in the elevator in our building, who decided to regale us with a complex tale of woe, even though we didn't know her or begin the conversation.
The American version:
On Saturday morning, I woke up to hear voices. According to Eli, his sister was going to come over, spend the day, and sleep over. What I found when I stumbled out of bed was his sister--as well as his mother, father, brother, and brother's girlfriend. His mom made lunch and we all ate watching the lunchtime Globo News. I sat around with the women while the boys crowded around Eli's computer, playing computer games. I took Eli's sister to a book fair nearby, where we wandered around trying to find something decent, to no avail. We came back, got some delicious street popcorn, and watched Gossip Girl. Eli and his brother got back from their errands, and we went to the supermarket. Later, Eli's mom made hot dogs while his dad played computer games. We all sat around munching and watching the dinnertime Globo News, and in the end, they all wound up going home around 9pm.
The Brazilian version:
Well, it all started in 1912. It was a scorching hot summer day, and she was in labor. Her husband was working and he wouldn't be back until sundown. She began to panic. She sent her son into town to fetch the doctor and slowly lifted herself into bed. She waited for what seemed like hours as the contractions grew increasingly more painful. (Meu deus do ceu, it was just terrible) Finally, her son rushed in, the doctor in tow. She could barely breathe the pain was so intense, but the doctor coaxed her through it and soon she was holding her baby in her arms. He grew up in the company of his siblings, playing hide and seek in the fields. (and trying not to get in trouble, since he was notorious for playing pranks on the neighbors). When he was in his 20s, he met a girl and they married. They moved to a town nearby and started a family. They didn't have much money, but they got by. Tragically, they both died young, before their children were grown. (Poor little things!) Their two sons and daughter left town as young adults and headed south. They ended up in Rio de Janeiro, where they started their own families and settled down. One son married a woman from Minas (do you know Minas? It's a large state that borders Rio de Janeiro with lots of farmland and mineral wealth). They moved to the far south of Brazil, near Argentina, where they lived for several years amongst the gauchos. (It was so cold there, the winters were just brutal). There, they had their first son, and then had two more children after they moved back to Rio. Their two sons were little devils growing up, getting into mischief at every possible opportunity. (Deus que me perdoe, they threw baby chicks off the roof. Don't even get me started). But they grew up and grew out of their old ways. Their oldest son met an American girl and they fell in love. She moved to Brazil and they moved in together. (Though his parents weren't as happy to let him go, if you know what I mean). They lived together for a year, and she went home for awhile while he traveled in Europe. When they came back to their old apartment, they discovered they had to move, and eventually found a new place to live. One day, a rainy Saturday near the end of 2008, the whole family went over to their new home and spent the day together, eating and enjoying each other's company. (Que pena that their new apartment is short on forks, but they managed.) And it was good.