s we grow older, our bodies get shorter and our anecdotes longer. -Robert Quillen

So, time plays tricks on all of us.
Recife, two years later, I left it, much the same as I found it. Perhaps it was me that was more affected by time and space in the North East of Brazil. So many miraculous things have happened, that they might have to come out in anecdotal form little by little, as it should have earlier.

I have arrived in Europe, and am facing the challenge of reverse culture shock, of settling back into a community (communities) that I was missing from for a good amount of time, and thought that perhaps I could continue with the blogging, and in fact be better at it on a continent when there is roaming WiFi in most places, and a cup of coffee comes with free internet.

I haven't been hit hard yet with anything in particular. I find it a little funny that I can't get away with making up facts and statistics because everyone has an iphone or the android equivalent, or perhaps the hybrid of the two, and a whole world of facts and figures are available. So far, christmas might have been a difficult time to come back, where the excess of consumerism is acceptable, as that is what christmas has become, so although a little shocking, I think that this is just what I generally feel at christmas. Having said that, since coming back all I have felt the generosity of friends and my community, more than I remembered. Christmas spirit has descended upon me!

In one weeks time I start a tour of the UK and some bits and bobs with Tomas, and I'll keep myself, and those who would like to know, up to date on what we see, and maybe a little bit of Europe through the eyes of a first timer.

Today I was reading Bill Bryson (the hero of cultural anthropology) and came across this, a great place to start:

"Sometimes a nation's little contrivances are so singular and clever that we associate them with that country alone - double-decker buses in Britain, windmills in Holland (what an inspired addition to a flat landscape:think how they would transform Nebraska), sidewalk caf├ęs in Paris. And yet there are some things that most countries do without difficulty that others cannot get a grasp of at all.
The French, for instance, cannot get the hang of queuing. They try and try, but it's beyond them. Wherever you go in Paris, you see orderly lines waiting at bus stops, but as soon as the bus pulls up the line instantly disintegrates into something like a fire drill at a lunatic asylum as everyone scrambles to be the first aboard, quite unaware that this defeats the whole purpose of queuing.
The British, on the other hand, do not understand certain of the fundamentals of eating, as evidenced by their instinct to consume hamburgers with a knife and fork. To my continuing amazement, many of them also turn their fork upside-down and balance the food on the back of it. I've lived in England for a decade and a half and I still have to quell an impulse to go up to strangers in pubs and restaurants and say, 'excuse me, can I give you a tip that'll help stop those peas bouncing all over the table?'
Germans are flummoxed by humour, the Swiss have no concept of fun, the Spanish think there is nothing at all ridiculous about eating dinner at midnight, and the Italians should never, ever have been let in on the invention of the motor car."


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