Falo Portugese muito bem

Two months before leaving I bought a Portuguese for beginners’ book. I figured that with a little Portuguese and the fact that I speak French, English and Spanish I would be able to get around the language barriers.

Fact is, there were three people in Cabo Frio that spoke English. The first was Luiz, second is a man named Igor and the other was out of town. There was only one bank machine that offered English instructions. It was a “Banko 24h” at the gas station. But even with that machine you had to press “refuse the transaction” to get your money.

My prior effort to learn Portuguese paid major proved very useful since apart from Marco Resendes and Chris Ananiadis, none of the non Brazilian competitors spoke a word of Portuguese. Marco is an American who grew up in the Acores and Chris Ananiadis is a South African that married a Brazilian.

Some teams had more difficulties than others. For instance I did quite a bit of translating for the Ukrainian team. The divers spoke only Ukrainian or Russian but fortunately they had one French speaker accompanying them.

Trying to speak Portugese was as much fun as it was a nightmare. Sitting at dinner with Macaco or trying to hold a conversation with a good looking carioca after my sixth caipirinha sometimes proved difficult if you like understatements.

Next : Macaco Express