Saturday, July 9, 2016

My 6-Week Journey to Becoming a Coxinha Critic

I am nearly concluding my 6th week in Floripa and if there is one thing I can say with definitive certainty it is that the social life here is infectiously joyful, and it takes less than three weeks to start living like a local (as opposed to wandering around like a tourist). On the contrary, lab life is quite typical to what one might expect to find in the United States. I normally arrive to the lab at 9:30 and arrive back to my apartment by 19:00. I believe I speak for my other two MHIRT researchers (and incredible room mates) when I say that it was a little difficult to get used to some of the most basic differences between the US and Brazil, such as having big lunches and snack-like dinners. However, we quickly adjusted, both to the meal differences and the community in general. I think I realized just how comfortable I had become with living here when two medical students, one from Denmark and one from Slovenia, arrived to the pharmacology lab to work with me. They were surprised by things I no longer thought twice about and, perhaps more shockingly, they had been here for a whole week and never tried a coxinha. Coxinha, for those who don't know, is a kind of savory pastry made with dough and chicken. At this point, I think I have had a coxinha from every bakery and independent food stand at the market. Luckily for my two new lab mates, I have acquired the unique ability to look at a coxinha and accurately determine whether or not it has the perfect dough-to-chicken ratio. In all seriousness, I am constantly thankful for this opportunity to experience life in a different country as well as to experience research in a different field.  


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