Friday, 7 January 2011

I'm Hearting 2011

Back from paradise; Two weeks on a farm without internet connection, telephone or television.  Nothing to do but eat, drink, sleep, sing, dance, watch good bad movies and commune with crazy, complex nature.

I find it noisy enough in the city, but it's nothing compared to the auditory assault of Brazil's countryside.  At dusk, the surreal electrical screeching of the cicadas would start up and then, as that subsided into the blackness, the xylophonic tok tok tok of the frogs would take over, with such perfect rhythm that I could use it as a metronome to play the piano badly.  After dinner, we made our own noises: the more talented musicians played the acoustic guitar and the cajon while the rest of us struggled to recall the lyrics for a single singalong song in English, Portuguese or Spanish.  (oh, the things you can't do without the internet).  All night, confused cockerels would doodle-doo.  All day, bickering paraquets, buzzing insects, the canter of a horse pulling a cart, the cows moaning in the dairy.  On top of this my children perpetually screaming, of delight or fury.

Every day we would bear witness to summer's maniacal melodrama of scorching and drenching and scorching.  Skies perfect blue one minute were black with killer clouds the next.  Barely a few heavy warning raindrops pa-plopped before hyperbolic downfalls would beat down upon the palm fronds, turn the pond into a thrashing, spitting cauldron and change the burnt pink earth into muddy streams.  Then, with bi-polar perfection the clouds would dissolve and calm return, all forgiven by the smell of warm wet earth.

In response to all this the garden was perceptibly alive:  Luminous new shoots burst from plants in real time; orchid buds popped open before my eyes; mangoes swelled with sticky juices and thudded to the floor in the hundreds.  All the creatures too, were living their accelerated, purposeful lives.  Worker ants hauling torn leaves, petals and dead beetles across mountain and valley to their queen.  A mother bird feeding her screaming chicks. A fat caterpillar spinning its cocoon.  Two male tortoises fucking in the vegetable patch.  Calves being born in the field.  It made me feel dizzy and still at the same time.   Too much oxygen from all those trees or something.  Gave me an appetite.

And we ate well.  We eat and drink so well there.  Milk fresh from the dairy warmed for breakfast.  Resplendent bunches of pink lychees, unwrapped from the red papery wrappers that encase their slippy succulent fruit.  Food alive with just-picked herbs, the mangoes, the bananas too plentiful to eat before they succumb to the flies, the home-made ice cream and yogurt and yum yum yum yum all the way home...

Only day 6...but so far 2011 is looking, sounding and tasting so good I could die fat, sticky and happy.  Hope you have a good one too.


  1. Mmmmm, Can't wait to eat all that yummy, scrummy, succulent fruit.

  2. Hi Tasha,
    I really love your blog. It's great to learn about Brazil from someone who's living there. Really insightful.

    I'd really like to move to Sao Paulo in the next year but am concerned about how hard it is to get a job there. I work in advertising as well, so thought you'd be the perfect person to ask. As an Australian is it very difficult to get a job in an agency there? At the moment I don't speak much Portuguese at all but I'm going to take classes here.

    All the best

  3. Gostei muito do seu blog. Parabéns! Desejo-lhe um ano repleto de sucessos e felicidades.
    Blog Literatura & Linguagens
    Rio de Janeiro/Brasil

  4. @Nel Obrigada Nel, para voce tambem.

  5. @Alex
    Alex, sorry for late reply..been travelling a lot lately. It's all about can either be so brilliant that a company can sponsor you, or come illegally and hope for the best, or marry a Brazilian or have a Brazilian baby to get residency. Obviously learning Portuguese is a good place to start. If you can speak Portuguese and can get a visa then no reason why you can't get an agency job. Good luck!