No Thanks!

One of my favorite holidays in the United States is Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s because I was born around this time or maybe it just all the yummy food and family; I don’t know but I love it. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is slowly being dissolved by the retail industry and a little thing known as Black Friday.

Black Friday started out as just a day of shopping after Thanksgiving day because people were already off and Christmas was just around the corner. The term “Black” is from the stores turning a profit and being in the black. It wasn’t until the late 2000’s that Black Friday has become what it is today…maddness. And it wasn’t until last year that stores like Walmart were opening at 10pm on Thanksgiving day. This year they are opening at 8pm, so the creeping has begun and soon Thanksgiving day, a day of being “Thankful” (not greedy) will be a distant memory.

Well I thought at least living in Brazil I would get a reprieve from all of the consumer hoopla, but unfortunately Black Friday has followed me here! You may be asking yourself, does Brazil have Thanksgiving? Well no, but because of the retail success of Black Friday in America, there is a movement in Brazil to adopt this day. The date of Black Friday is still based on the landing of the American holiday Thanksgiving or Ação de Graças but without the hassle of having a Thanksgiving holiday. Also Black Friday in Brazil is not called Sexta Preta as literally translated, it’s called Back Friday in English.

I guess there is no getting away from the consumerism of the world. I can’t say that I am surprised though, with Brazil’s booming economy and Brazilian’s love for shopping the malls are already packed. For more information about Black Friday in Brazil (in portuguese) go to www.blackfriday.com.br.

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The Book is on the Table…

“The book is on the table” is a common expression for Brazilian’s when they are planning on or actually starting English classes. And no I am not starting English classes, but I am teaching English!

I finally got my first job in Sao Paulo and no surprise it is teaching English. This is probably the most common job opportunity for foreigners coming to Sao Paulo because you don’t have to be fluent in Portuguese to teach English. And after 7 months of Portuguese classes, I am still not fluent:(

Sao Paulo has about a million (I’m exaggerating a little) language schools in the city. I feel like you see one on every corner. There are major chains like “Wise up”and “CELP” but there are also several privately owned schools all around. That is how I came to teach English; a guy at our church owns a school (Renaissance Idiomas) and needed “Native Speakers” to teach English.

It’s really not hard, I just go to the offices of the students and speak English with then while correcting their grammar and pronunciation. I make okay money for what I do, but right now I only have two students because I don’t want to over do it while pregnant. I met another girl teaching English who works at four different schools and just about works full-time, so if you do need the money you can make it work. Prices range for teaching classes from about R$30/hr to R$80/hr. Or if you are of the entrepreneurial type you can teach classes on your own, although I don’t recommend it for women, this is Brazil afterall.