One of the things I love about Brazilians in general is their friendliness and hospitality. So it was not a surprise to me when I found out that the owner of The Boston Bakery was American. Not that all Americans are rude, but what I find is that in America (despite the saying) the customer is not always right and the employees treat you badly. This was exactly my experience at this particular establishment. I had a friend visiting from the US and she happens to have lived in Boston, so when we say this place we thought it sounded perfect. We had dinner and dessert and spent a considerable amount of money, around R$130,00 ($65.00 dollars) and as we were leaving there was two extra charges on our bill. My infant son had gotten ahold of two pieces of candy and then dropped them on the ground. As responsible parents we told him no and put the candy back unharmed. The manager then went behind our backs and charged us for the candy without saying a word to us. When we questioned the charges (R$12.00) each, the manager said that we let our kid run wild and that we were irresponsible parents. We even showed him that the candy was unharmed but still he would not budge. Finally after an argument at the counter he took the charges off begrudgingly. I have never been treated so badly in my life. I mean come on who hasn’t accidently dropped something on the floor, do we expect to then pay for it? And then to not saying anything but just charge us behind our backs, what a jerk!In contrast, we often go to a little video store near our place called Imagens & Letras (http://imagenseletras.com.br/). It is owned and run by a Brazilian mother and daughter. The are the sweetest ladies on the planet! My son does often reek havoc in that place because all of the videos and candy are at his level, and I follow him around putting things back and telling him no. But instead of telling us that we are bad parents the ladies understand that my kid is only one and that he is learning. The Boston Bakery Bully should take some tips from these ladies and try not to be such a jerk, he does live in Brazil after all.
Celebrating the World Cup in Brazil has been a great experience so far. I’ve really got a chance to see how crazy for soccer Brazilians are and I feel that it has given me a greater understanding of Brazilian culture. My husband, son and I spent the opening game of the World Cup at our neighbors house across the street. It was a typical middle class get together of Brazilians. There was churrasqueira (barbecue), ceveja (beer), and a lot of noise makers. I’ve never in my life been to a sports party where I’ve seen so much enthusiasm and again noise. When Brazil scored a goal the volume of noise in that house was close to breaking the sound barrier. What I love most about the World Cup is that it brings together everyone in the culture, from the young to the very old everyone watches the World Cup. I bet even the small amount of people protesting in the streets are secretly at home watching the World Cup because it is impossible for them to not watch it, it is imprinted on their genes.