Mini observations

Being in Belém now means observing daily life and noting the differences with other cities in Brazil and with where I come from. Here’s a few I’ve noticed in the last week.

Ègua – In a post I did on common phrases here (in the Language section), I mentioned égua as a way to say something is really good or surprising. What I didn’t realize is how much it would be used once I got here. Perhaps at some point I may tire of it, but at this point, it’s quite nice to hear and I’m waiting until I catch myself saying it on the regular. Recently, I asked a friend what it actually meant and it seems to be the word for a female horse, or mare. Let’s translate that real quickly. “That book is (the father of) a female horse!”

Rain – After a week here, it seems the chuva das 2 means every 2 weeks, not at 2PM. You see, it has only rained once so far. They tell me to just be patient and in the coming months I will wish I never wished to see more rain.

Buses – As opposed to Rio buses, the buses here go by name, not number…but either way, it doesn’t really help me at this point as I don’t even know all the names. Perhaps a repeat of a Rio bus ride is in order (getting on and praying I go in the right direction).

Doca – No, I’m not talking about the Estação das Docas but rather the unofficial neighborhood (that some call a street) called Doca, which houses countless bars and clubs. There’s a little something for everyone there. It’s opposite the avenue where the extra large Líder supermarket is (the one with a huge Z on the side and front) and then one street beyond.

Well, that’s it for now. Hope you learned a little!


2 thoughts on “Mini observations

  1. Dizem que em Belém chove todo dia no mesmo horario. Então as pessoas marcam pra fazer algo antes ou depois da chuva. Não sei até onde isso é verdade.

  2. “That book is a female horse!”? Não, isso seria “Aquele livro é uma égua!”, o que não é dito por aqui. Talvez estejas misturando “égua” com “pai-d’égua” (=”mare’s father”), o que é usado para descrever algo “legal”, “bacana”, “interessante”, “bom” etc.: “Aquele livro é pai-d’égua!”. Também se usa ironicamente.

    Quanto a “égua” (=”mare”), isoladamente, é uma interjeição de “propósito geral”. Pode indicar surpresa, espanto, irritação, raiva, deleite, zombaria, “estalo” (quando te dás conta de alguma coisa [“realization”]) etc.

    E ainda tem as variações no modo de proferir. Quando a pessoa está com raiva, pode falar “ééé-guuu-ááá!”, ressaltando cada sílaba e levando cerca de um segundo e meio para terminar a palavra. Quando se vê algo engraçado é comum se falar “ééééééééééégua!” (e assim também serve à zombaria).

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