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A Gringo in Brazil

Brazil is different in so many ways that I struggle when I want to describe things to family and friends back home. The first year I lived in Rio, I was stunned by the sheer size of the city and all the crazy stuff I observed daily. It could be a man balancing on a rope above a hectic intersection in a thunderstorm and doing it to collect some petty reals. Petty for me but for him, it just needed to be done to get money for food. And the colors, oh man, the colors of the city still blow me away when I visit the city. Last weekend when we were driving from Santos and experienced a car in a tunnel that had just exploded, and we could not see anything in the tunnel because of the thick smoke and then later on arrival in Rio in the morning, I discovered that my Ipad was stolen, probably by the man sitting next to me on the bus. But still, I relaxed when I gazed at the morning sun. I react very differently to crazy things that would stress me out in Norway, but here in Brazil, I respond. I have been to jungles, on top of mountains, seen plenty of traffic accidents, dead people on the road, and much more. All of this makes me feel alive in a way I never thought possible. The drinks are usually strong as rocket fuel, and the food is interesting. I have never heard about an entire world of wines here, and to my defense, I indeed have tasted quite a bit in my life. The beaches are breathtaking, and the weather is hot as fuck. I like it. I enjoy not freezing my ass off in Europe in Norway's boring, overpriced capital. I am endlessly inspired by the people and things I see and experience here. My Portuguese is improving, too, and it is fantastic to get closer to the soul of events happening all around me. I live in Santos now with my family. My daughter is a fantastic creature; she has just turned three years old. Her energy makes me feel old sometimes, but I do my best to keep up with her never-ending groove. She is pretty, a trait she undoubtedly inherited from her mother, whom I adore. Santos is an excellent place to live in, and I can walk around without worrying about being robbed or hassled all the time. I just attended a breathtaking wedding last weekend in Rio. The beautiful words of the priest still resonate in my head. It was the way he said the words. For the first time, I thought Portuguese was lovely to listen to. Yes, I have changed since I moved here. More open, more filled with life, and happier in all kinds of ways. Xmas here is more fun in some ways, but of course, I miss family and friends. It can't be helped. And any day, the first physical copy of my new book will arrive at my door—one and a half years of work done. I am satisfied with the result and have already started on the next book. I know what to do and how to do it. It feels terrific. I guess I am a writer. Finally!

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