Edit: This column originally appeared in the Papagaio in June of 2013. Therefore, most of the information in this post is no longer relevant, other than the title, which has ‘Festa Junina’ in it. I’ve also since discovered that Festa Junina dresses can be purchased for a good price at Feira do Guará. Man, I would look great in one of these. I think I’m going to buy one and wear it to pick my husband up from the airport. He hasn’t seen me in three months. I think the look on his face when he sees me in one of these get-ups will be priceless.
It’s that busy time of year when my eye starts twitching from the unfortunate combination of poor time management and too much going on. It’s the end of the school year (goodbye parties, finals, forms to fill out, field day, yearbooks to buy, blahblahblah) and we’re preparing for a move to a different house. At the same time, we’re planning for home leave in a few weeks and I’m trying to make a bunch of appointments in the US (Okay, that’s kind of a lie, I haven’t made a single appointment, but I HAVE mapped out which dentists are closest to Designer Shoe Warehouse, and that’s practically the same thing). And then I just got an email from the school saying our twins need Festa Junina dresses for a program at school. Now, in order for me to plan to go out to a store and find a place to park and speak my cruddy portuguese and just generally be in public, I need at least a few weeks’ notice, not a couple of measly days. Anyway, since my parenting style can best be described as benign neglect, I’m going to pass on the Festa Junina dresses and let the girls pick out something they think is appropriate. I’m pretty sure that means one of my daughters will be wearing her bear costume and the other one will be wearing her pajamas, but since I like to keep the bar low (just ask my portuguese teacher), I am fine with that.
This is my first Festa Junina in Brasilia, so I don’t know what it’s all about, but I hear it’s a pretty big deal around here. I Google Translated it and Google said it meant “Jerk Party”. So basically like a party I would have gone to back in my 20’s? I don’t think Google is right in this case. Fortunately, Luciana will be in the embassy Duck and Cover at 12:15 today talking about the vocabulary, history, and customs of Festa Junina if you are as clueless as me and would like to know more. I might see you there, but it’s also my Ladies Who Lunch day, and if there’s one thing I’m dedicated to, it’s my weekly caipirinha restaurant review, and I may be too exhausted to do both. How exhausted am I?
You guys, I’m so exhausted these days that when my husband invited me to go to Rio with him next weekend and stay in our favorite hotel I said “no thanks”. I felt like I would only be going for the bread and brie and that’s a long way to go for some cheese, especially when I’m preparing to go to the holy grail of ethnic dining, the United Plates of America.
I’m so exhausted that when I met Joe Biden last week and he asked me my name and where I was from, I replied, “Uh, um. Kate. Washington. The awesome Washington, not the one you live in. Blerk.” I actually said that to the Vice President of the United States.
As exhausted as I am right now, I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and in a few weeks’ time I will be back with My People in the land of organic milk and artisanal honey (What? Pretention is part of the Pacific Northwest experience). Being home always recharges my soul, and seeing my kids playing with their cousins makes my toes curl with happiness…and a tiny bit of Foreign Service regret, but my motto for 2013 is going to be NO REGRETS. I actually considered tattooing that to my forehead, but I thought I would probably….wait for it…… regret it. Maybe if I just write it in lipstick on my bathroom mirror, the effect will be the same. One thing’s for sure, I won’t regret not buying those Festa Junina dresses.
If you, like me, are feeling a little overwhelmed these days, I’ve got a few ideas on how to reduce stress. I’m not going to give you my massage lady’s info because she’s booked pretty solid, and I’m selfish (besides, she leaves me with fingerprint bruises all over my body, so you probably wouldn’t even like her if you’re a delicate flower like me). Anyway, you can type in “massage” on the search button up in the corner and find some good options. There’s also boot camp at the embassy on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which I hear is great for stress relief. I prefer a glass of wine and a foot rub, but to each his own, you know? You could also try Muay Thai which is Mondays and Wednesdays in the Duck and Cover. It involves boxing gloves, though, so be careful. Type ‘yoga’ in the search box for several options of yoga classes. I actually love yoga. Well, not so much the yoga part, but I’m a big fan of wearing yoga pants. Or you could come walk my dog. His hair is growing back and he’s starting to get cute again. Dog-walking is one of my favorite stress relievers. You could also just take a nap–as long as you don’t live next door to me, where I have four kids playing the drums and electric guitar and piano all day.
Namaste! Or whatever.