Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Living in a tropical climate gives one a chance to be exposed to lots of creatures not found in North America. It´s still amazing to me to be able to see parakeets flying around wild, and little monkeys climbing around on the telephone wires. I hope one day to visit the Pantanal, in eastern Brazil, which supposedly has some of the most diverse species of wildlife in the world. You can take safari-like jeep excursions to check out all the birds and creatures there. I´ve seen some clips on TV that were filmed there and it looks amazing.

There is one creature here though that I hate. And while they do exist in the US, I don´t think that the US cockroaches have the size that their brethren in South America have. Last night Vilma and I were hanging out in the apartment when suddenly I heard her scream. There is one type of cockroach here that flies, which is how they manage to get into our third floor apartment. So this guy flies in and is the length of my pointer finger, I´m not kidding. Vilma tried to get him with a broom, and after some cornering, was finally able to get him between the broom and dustpan and then into the toilet to be flushed (hopefully) to his death. Yuck. We were both glad to be rid of him.

I find it interesting because in Portuguese, the word for cockroach is "barrata". Now the word for cheap in Portuguese is "barrato". So if you want to talk about an object that has a feminine derivative with this adjective, it´s the same word as cockroach. For example, the word in Portuguese for table is "mesa", which is feminine. So if you want to say cheap table, you say "mesa barrata". Cockroach table. Funny how language works now isn´t it?


myzonez said...

We too have cockroaches. one day i saw cockroaches everywhere i looked. Must be because they dont like the smell of newly painted homes. They came one after one. But my mom was an expert Insect-eliminator. Thanks to her martial arts-like moves, we got rid of 'em in no time.

DRL said...

Having never encountered even a small cockroach before moving here I was not exactly enthralled to find one - a giant one - "amongst my things" one night... EEEKKK! And a flying one flew in my shower the other night too (and we are on the SEVENTH floor!)