This week and next I find myself in the northeastern part of Brazil in the coastal city of Recife. My oldest son’s engagement to a wonderful woman from this part of the world sparked my interest in coming here. She does plan to move to the United States once she completes the immigration process. However, my wife and I wanted to better understand her background and culture of Brazil. To do so, we came to Brazil to visit her. Having now stayed here about a week, here are my TOP 5 general observations so far from my current trip to Recife, Brazil.
Observation #1: A total absence of seagulls on the beach.
I have lived on both the East and West coasts and visited both Canada to the north and Mexico to the south of the United States. I also currently live in the Midwest and have visited (aka fished) multiple lakes and rivers in this area of the country.
In every instance, I have seen seagulls on the bodies of water in these different regions. Yet as I stay in Recife, a city on the Atlantic Ocean, I have yet to see a single seagull. Perhaps it is the time of year I am here or the location where I am staying. However, I found it unexpected not to see any seagulls.
Observation #2: A similar absence of any flying insects.
In the Midwest, every summer one gets inundated with mosquitos and all types of flies. Yet as I write this blog entry from Recife in my AirBnB overlooking the ocean, I do so with the doors and windows wide open. Further, no window or door has a screen on it so any flying insect can easily get in.
Thus far, I have not seen any evidence of them. While wonderful, it strikes me as odd. Then again, as one who has primarily lived in the middle of the United States and never on the beach, maybe no flying insects is normal. I just never knew what I was missing.
Observation #3: Horses, fisherman, and bodybuilders can peacefully co-exist on the beach.
Usually when one stays in a resort area with a beach, one only sees people swimming, sunbathing, and involved in water sports, which may include sailing, a fishing pier, or water skiing.
Yet at the beach where I am staying south of Recife, I constantly see commercial fisherman, or at least men in fishing boats, anchored just a few dozen yards off the beach. I also daily encounter bodybuilders working out at the exercise equipment and weightlifting stations spread out along the beach front.
Then one night when I was out for a walk, three individuals came by on horseback going up and down the beach. Ironically, I have not seen many or even any individuals swimming in the water.
However, I guess warning about sharks in the water does temper everyone’s enthusiasm for going for a swim. I also suppose the fact that the fisherman fish so close to shore also may mean sharks also hover close by looking to munch on some fish.
Observation #4: Rain rolls in from the east.
Rain almost always rolls in from the west when living in the Midwestern and Northern United States. Whether it comes in from the southwest, west, or northwest, I cannot think of once in my life ever seeing a storm come in from the east.
Here in Recife, the rain moves in from the east. While I realize individuals in the US who live on the East Coast may be more accustomed to the eastward movement of storms, this is a relatively new experience for me.
Observation #5: It has rained (almost) every morning in the morning.
Now in my sixth day here, this morning is the first morning it has not rained before 8 am. I cannot say for sure yet whether a morning shower is normal most days. My soon-to-be daughter-in-law tells me that Recife is currently in its rainy season.
Regardless, a daily shower seems normal for Recife in September. I’ll see how my remaining time here plays out.
That said, once the rain passes, usually by 9 am, the rest of the day is clear, beautiful, and with an east breeze and temps in the lower 80’s. No complaints on that front.
Another blog entry about my experiences in Brazil coming soon about stray horses and the Omaha Hamburgueria!