Rio de Janeiro
Back in 2010 I was in Rio de Janeiro for a few days on my tiny South America tour and I totally fell in love with the city.
Back in Germany I tried to learn some portuguese with podcasts but next to my draining dual studies programme I did not have the energy to properly learn the language. That’s why after I quit my job I found a course at the Volkshochschule which is comparable to the Learning Annex I guess. I ordered the book and was very eager to go to my first lecture at this intensive course. I even managed to get the unemployment discount and only paid half the price. But then my mom asked my to help her out with my little sister’s birthday party.
As I am trying to be a better sibling and somehow felt that me being able to speak fluent Italian would help me with Portuguese I decided to skip the first lesson and go to the second one instead.
The week after that I went to the nearest big town where the course was to be held and waited in front of the room. When nobody had shown up 5mins before the class started I went to the Info Point and asked them if the course had been canceled. The old man behind the counter looked it up for me and confirmed the room number, I then went back to the room and waited outside as there was still a German course going on. The teacher from the German course suggested I ask the janitors if maybe my course had switched rooms and asked them for keys. I went back to the other side of the Info Point asking the janitors for my course and they looked at me and started laughing. I had managed to get the dates completely messed up. The course was an intensive course and had gone from Monday to Saturday the week before without me. I had looked at the letter of confirmation and there were the dates , when I booked it online the dates must have been there, but somehow I was so incredibly convinced that the course was a weekly one. Oh yeah and of course the billed me.
After drowning my sorrow in a Starbucks coffee from the main station I drove back home and shrugged my shoulders at the irony that the book would arrive the next day…
I think that nice episode sums up perfectly how terribly confused and not well together I was during the period after I had quit my job and before I had the admission for graduate school. Funny thing the school I got accepted at was the one were I sent the application letter without stamps on the envelope because I was again so confused and had so much on my mind.
And at that very school I have been taking a portuguese beginners course for the last 7 weeks and had to change the idea that I am some kind of language genius. Because learning Italian in a year of living there with mostly native speakers around me is just not the same as sitting 4hrs/week in a course and trying to fumble together some sentences in Portuguese.
But hey Mission accomplished I am taking my Portuguese class and if everything goes as planned I will even o on a semester abroad to Brazil!