My Mom’s stay in the US came to an end last week. One month went by so fast.
When Mom is here I get the Brazilian Channel so she can watch her soap operas. Soap operas in Brazil are huge! They are always on prime time TV and almost everyone watches and talks about them, that includes men and children also. Unlike in the US where a soap opera lasts forever until canceled, in Brazil a soap opera lasts around 6 months. They tend to be a bit melodramatic and overacted.
The best part for me is the scenery. Getting to see my Brazil is always a plus. They are always filmed on location, never on studios. In some cases they introduce Brazilians to new cultures. In the current soap opera, “Salve Jorge”, all things Turkey are introduced, as it is filmed in some turkish cities. It is also filmed in Rio de Janeiro, which because of the landscape makes it one of the most beautiful and recognizable cities in the world in my opinion. The name of the soap opera is a reference to Saint George. I am not sure the complete connection but I know that the main character is devout of Saint George.
All of a sudden Brazilians are doing the Turkish veil dance, drinking raki and wearing turkey inspired fashion. I am sure Brazilians will be choosing Turkey as a travel destination more now. The same thing happened a couple of years ago with the soap opera “Caminho das Indias” when everything Indian became all the rage in Brazil, and with others before that.
Truth is I think Brazilians watch too much TV, and TV has such an incredible power to influence Brazilians. I would say that TV influences every day life in Brazil more then any other country in the world. At least some authors are using this powerful medium to instruct as well as entertain. In Salve Jorge, human trafficking and black market adoptions (specifically stolen babies) are the major theme, so kudos to Gloria Perez, the author, for exposing such atrocities and forcing Brazil to face it instead of sweeping it under the rug.
Normally as soon as Mom leaves I call the cable company and turn it off, but this time I will still have it on until Friday. Friday is the last day of this soap opera, so I may as well finish it.
Another place Mom and I go are the casinos. I used to have a lot luck gambling, but not lately. Perhaps that is why I don’t enjoy them as much, but I still go many times when mom is here since she enjoys them so much. We now have one 20 minutes from home, so we don’t have to go all the way to Connecticut or New Jersey.
We always try to make to one Broadway musical and this time we went to Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. I will not go into a full review here, and will just say that it did not disappoint, we both enjoyed it. The costumes were beautiful and the Prince was charming in a goofy way. The best part for me was Cinderella’s dress changing in front of our eyes and I still cannot explained how they did it. Mom says it is magic, I say it is Broadway.
Cinderella always have a way to make me both sad and happy. Sad because I realize that I have no Prince Charming next to me and happy because it makes anything seem possible.
My freezer is stocked up with soups, rices, meats, cakes, in sum, an assortment of cooked meals and desserts to last a couple of months. Mom enjoys feeling she is taking care of her little baby. Pão de Queijo, cheese bread, well it is more like a cheese puff, is one of those treats. It is made with tapioca flour. Growing up I didn’t care for them, now they taste like Brazil to me.
Mom turned 78 while she was here and she likes to say that not knowing how long she has left she needs to hurry up and leave her kids with memories of her. That to her means leaving us with some of her crafts. Mom is amazingly talented with her hands. Some of her crafts are hand stitched dish towels, macrame bath towels, crochet vests and tablecloths, knit scarves, paintings, etc.
This time she left me with 2 oil paintings:
A fun renditions of a Brazilian Favela located in Rio de Janeiro, as you can tell by the Christ the Redeemer atop the Corcovado Mountain.
A young shy couple from the Brazilian northeastern region, as you can tell by the foot and hat wear and by the cacti.
I am blessed with the energetic, talented, full of life mother that I have. May I be able to be less critical and open to fully learn all she has to teach.