Five Faux-Pas…Plus One

Regina made her list of 5 faux-pas (lit. ‘false step’, and yes, it stays the same whether singular or plural) that can occur in Brazil. She encourages you to list your own and join in on the commenting. Another word for ‘faux-pas’ in French, is ‘gaffe‘, which you may recognize as also being used in Portuguese (gafe). I’m learning French now and have been finding quite a few similar words.

My Faux-Pas

I recommend that no one, while in Rio, say no to a petitioning gang of clowns in the Zona Sul, lest you have flashbacks of Clockwork Orange. My American friends and I walked by a female clown near the Nossa Senhora plaza and I politely declined the petition to which she yelled, “gringos desgraçados!!” Then, shortly after, while walking along the beach, a male clown asked us to sign something to which I made the Brazilian sound for “no” (like two clicks) and a quick shake of the head and right upon passing him, he yelled in English, “Fuck you!!” So yeah, beware of clowns, whether on the street or in Congress.

That being said, these were obviously just two people who woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. I wouldn’t particularly enjoy being in a clown suit on a hot day either.


4 thoughts on “Five Faux-Pas…Plus One

  1. I’m from Rio, I had to laugh about your post. Of course for you must not have been funny. I hate any kind of clown: in circus, on the street or in Congress. Surely, clowns are dangerous and impolite people, especially the clowns of the Brazilian Congress. Next time, you must avoid them. sorry for my English.

  2. Adam,

    Just so you know, if someone do what they did to you and you have a witness you can press charges against them, it is actually a punishable crime and they could have gotten in trouble if you called a cop with a witness.


    • I wasn’t aware of that, Ray. At the same time, my friends didn’t know what the first clown said and we couldn’t believe the ‘juevos’ of the second clown, a short guy saying that to three 6ft guys. It was more humorous than threatening.

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