Fala português? I am keeping busy with Portuguese classes and think I am making good progress at making and understanding simple sentences. Not least because I am spending hours on homework which I admit I enjoy doing once I've started (procrastination is strongest in the mornings).
Que? Why am I not learning the more obvious languages? For example Spanish? Or German? We will be relocating to Brazil next year and I've learned from experience (being here) that not having any knowledge of the local language sucks and I am super keen NOT to repeat this experience.
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Idle chatter with strangers: E and I were invited to a party not too long ago. We only knew the hosts and to be sociable, split up while mingling. I found an interesting conversation: two men were talking about cool bars and best places for champagne brunches^1. I was excited (E has only introduced me to dives).
So, there's me going: "Wow, really? In the city centre? Where exactly?" The reply I received went something like this: "Yeah, hmm, well, maybe they are not for you...it's better if you spoke to our wives - they know some nice cafes that women like to go to..."
Perceptions and Identity: I know I am pregnant. And they probably sussed out I was not working. Did this influence their reply? Argh. Can't non-working pregnant women know more about cool bars? I felt mislabeled, frustrated too about their likely perception of me vs. the way I see myself.
Debriefing to feel better: I discussed this issue at great length with a few good friends recently while in Amsterdam. They provided thoughtful responses and I will take up on the suggestion to deliver a tight introductory script to avoid feeling crap.
My question to you: Has this happened to you? How did you/would you react?
Note ^1: That was not the only conversation I joined in. I did have enjoyable conversations with a number of women regarding pregnancy, giving birth and raising children.