Tag Archives: portuguese

OFAH fans – please help me with cockney bingo!

Only Fools and Horses fans, I need your help!

I’m a member of the Serra Negra English club here in São Paulo, Brazil. It’s a group of people who meet every two weeks to practice their English and all the membership fees for the club go into helping local charities.

In two weeks I am hosting the club at my house. I wanted to try something linked to the use of some more unusual English words, but to make it fun. So I thought I would try a bingo game with Only Fools and Horses. I’d issue some bingo cards featuring Cockney slang words, we all watch an episode of OFAH and people check off the words as they hear them – hopefully with a winner found before the end of the show.

It will be entirely Brazilian people playing this game, trying to improve their English and learning about some of the unusual Cockney slang used by Del Boy and Rodders. Hopefully it works as a fun way to show them that not everyone speaks English like the Prince of Wales…

What I need from you is a pointer to a particular episode that might work for this game. I need the following:

  • It must be one of the early half-hour shows so the game is not too long, so I expect it will feature Grandad.
  • It must be a fairly simple story setup – I need to brief everyone on what OFAH is all about as they will have never seen the show, so a more complex relationship-based story is probably out (though most of that came later in the show anyway).
  • It must feature a lot of slang I can use for the game.

So, OFAH fans, can you help me to set this up and help a whole group of people in Brazil better understand how to speak if they are ever in Peckham? Leave a comment here on the blog or tweet me on @markhillary – thanks!

The Reliant Regal Supervan used by Delboy and Rodney Trotter

Photo by David licensed under Creative Commons

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Evite este lugar a todo o custo! Avoid this place at all costs!

Português está abaixo:

I’ve been to Camburi and Camburizinho, small villages in the north coast of São Paulo, many times. I’ve stayed in hotels, pousadas, and a campsite. On a visit last year I noticed the Ventos do Camburi pousada when I was looking for breakfast. It looked nice so I joined their Facebook fan page and email mailing list to receive more information.

They recently sent out an offer by email and I replied asking to book a weekend away – a Friday and Saturday night. They responded with the price and I agreed, paid my deposit and then travelled over from São Paulo on Friday evening.

When I arrived the reception manager was friendly and even showed me a couple of different rooms saying that I could choose between them. My husband and I chose our room, then went out for dinner, and had a nice evening.

Things were not perfect in the (very small) room despite the pleasant reception. The room smelled of mould and woodworm or lice were eating the door – all night we could hear something inside the door eating the wood and when I first heard it I thought we had rats in the room!

In the morning we went to breakfast and a man was talking loudly about how he ‘must speak to the people in room 23’… I said to him that we were from room 23. He was the hotel manager Carlos – he said that we have been placed in the wrong room and we were even in the wrong pousada! When I asked him what he meant, he said that Ventos owns two places – one in Camburi and one in Camburizinho.

We had checked into the Ventos that we had first seen, the one on Facebook, and the one we asked to book when we emailed and asked for the prices. However, Carlos said that we were booked into their inferior pousada down the road. He said we could only stay in our room if we paid to upgrade – we should leave immediately and go to the other pousada.

I asked Carlos how this could happen. We had asked for information, made a booking based on that information, and been welcomed and shown to our room by his staff.

Carlos turned out to be a very nasty character. He insisted that we had to pay extra to stay in the pousada – even though we had paid for our weekend in full on arrival.

After a long argument and Carlos refusing to change his mind or give any blame for the situation to his own team we decided to just leave the pousada. We asked for our money back for the Saturday night – it was still early on Saturday morning when we were having this argument.

Carlos refused saying that we had paid for the weekend and the money was not refundable as “a courier picks up the money every night”. This escalated into a further argument about him robbing us and we called the police and explained to them how the pousada was not going to refund us and had sold us a room in a completely different pousada.

The police were helpful, but said that was a civil matter and we would need to register a civil case – which we have now done.

One advantage of bringing the police into the matter was that Carlos’s boss and owner of the pousada, Ricardo, promised he would process a refund for us – however he said that it could not be on Saturday as he had to ‘go fishing with friends’ and was therefore too busy to help us. When I asked what he was going to do to fix the situation, he said that he was going to “pray, light a candle and hope for the best.”

We left the hotel feeling cheated – not only had the hotel owner sold us a completely different hotel to the one we believed we had booked (the one on their website and Facebook), but when we asked for our cash back, he refused.

At the time of this comment we are filing a civil action against the hotel for fraud and the incorrect description of the accommodation. We have still not received the R$250 Carlos promised to refund to our account.

Avoid this place at all costs – there are many nice places to stay in Camburi, but this is possibly the worst. It has made me never want to return to the town again.

Já estive em Camburi e Camburizinho, vilarejos no litoral norte paulista, muitas vezes. Já me hospedei em hotéis, pousadas e campings. Em uma visita no ano passado, descobri a pousada Ventos do Camburi enquanto procurava por um local diferente para tomar meu café da manhã. Me pareceu ser um lugar interessante, então “curti” a página da pousada no Facebook e adicionei meu email à lista de discussão de e-mail deles para receber mais informações.

Eles recentemente me enviaram uma promoção via e-mail e eu respondi pedindo para reservar uma suíte para o final de semana. Eles responderam informando o preço e eu concordei, paguei o depósito para que a reserva fosse confirmada e, em seguida, viajei de São Paulo até Camburizinho na noite de sexta-feira.

Quando cheguei na pousada, o recepcionista foi simpático e até me mostrou dois quartos diferentes, dizendo que eu poderia escolher o que mais me agradasse. Meu marido e eu escolhemos nosso quarto e em seguida, saímos para jantar e tivemos uma ótima noite.

As coisas não eram tão boas assim no (pequeno) quarto, apesar da recepção ser bem bonita e moderna. O quarto cheirava a mofo e cupins estavam comendo a porta – durante a noite toda, ouvimos algo dentro do porta comendo a madeira e, quando ouvimos esse ruído pela primeira vez pensamos que haviam ratos na sala!

No dia seguinte, na sala de café da manhã um homem estava falando em voz alta sobre como ele deve falar com “os caras do quarto 23″… Eu disse a ele que estávamos no quarto 23. Esse homem, que se chama Carlos e é gerente do hotel, disse que fomos colocados no quarto errado e estávamos no hotel errado! Quando eu perguntei o que ele quis dizer, ele disse que a Ventos do Camburi possui duas pousadas, uma em Camburi e uma em Camburizinho.

Tínhamos reservado um quarto na Ventos do Camburi, a pousada que tínhamos visto pela primeira vez, a do Facebook, a que tínhamos em mente quando perguntamos os preços, pagamos o depósito e fizemos a reserva. No entanto, Carlos disse que tinhamos reservado um quarto numa pousada inferior ali perto. Ele disse que só poderiamos ficar no nosso quarto, se pagássemos mais por isso – deveríamos sair imediatamente e ir para o outro hotel.

Perguntei ao Carlos como isso era possível. Tínhamos pedido informações, feito uma reserva com base nessas informações, fomos bem acolhidos e sua equipe nos mostrou opções de quartos.

Carlos acabou mostrando ser uma pessoa muito desagradável. Ele insistiu que tínhamos de pagar mais para ficar no hotel – apesar do fato que já haviamos pago adiantado pela nossa estadia no momento que chegamos.

Após uma longa discussão e após o Carlos ter se recusado a mudar de idéia ou dar qualquer explicação sobre os erros de sua própria equipe, decidimos deixar o hotel. Pedimos nosso dinheiro de volta para uma das duas diárias que pagamos- ainda era de manhã no sábado quando esta discussão teve início.

Carlos recusou, dizendo que tinhamos pago as diárias para o final de semana e que nosso dinheiro não poderia ser devolvido, pois o mesmo “não estava mais na pousada, um motoboy levla o dinheiro embora toda noite”. Este se transformou em uma briga pior ainda – desta vez por estarmos sendo roubados. Chamamos a polícia e explicamos como a pousada não nos reembolsaria e como eles nos venderam alhos e recebemos bugalhos.

Os policiais foram prestativos, mas nos disseram que esta era uma questão civil e não penal, e que precisaríamos registrar um boletim de ocorrência – o que estamos fazendo agora.

Uma vantagem de envolver a polícia nisso foi o Carlos ter entrado em contato com o proprietário da pousada, Ricardo, que prometeu que iria nos reembolsar – no entanto, ele disse que não poderia ser no sábado, pois ele iria “ir pescar com os amigos” e estava, portanto, muito ocupado para nos ajudar. Quando perguntei o que ele ia fazer para remediar a situação, ele disse que iria “orar, acender uma vela e esperar o melhor.”

Saímos do hotel nos sentindo ludibriados – o proprietário do hotel nos vendeu um hotel completamente diferente do que acreditávamos que tínhamos reservado (aquele mencionado em seu site e no Facebook) e quando pedimos nosso dinheiro de volta, a administração se recusou a fazê-lo.

Iniciaremos um processo civil contra o hotel por fraude e descrição incorreta de seus serviços. Ainda não recebemos os R$ 250,00 que o Carlos prometeu depositar em nossa conta.

Evite este lugar a todo o custo – existem muitos bons lugares para se hospedar em Camburi, mas este é, possivelmente, o pior. Esta experiência me fez nunca mais querer retornar a esse lugar novamente.

Thieves

Photo by Andrew Becraft licensed under Creative Commons

Bus rides in São Paulo

Moving to a new country can be a confusing experience. It’s even more so when the country is on a different time zone, in a different continent, and the people use a completely different language. It has been quite an experience coming to Brazil.

But all these new experiences also can make small achievements feel significant.

Back home in London, I would never have considered it an achievement to go out for a meeting, and then to come home again. But drop yourself in an unfamiliar city of 20m people where very few can use English, and then try the same thing.

Yesterday I went out alone, got a bus and metro into town, went and charged up my metro card, ordered a few beers and some snacks, and managed to get two buses to come home again.

It’s simple stuff, but when I got back I felt happy that I can now feel fairly confident negotiating my way around the city and ordering some basic food and drinks and all without anyone speaking English. And with over 1,000 bus routes and no simple spider maps, São Paulo can be a challenge by bus even for the locals – you just have to learn which buses go where because there is no information at the bus stops.

All this makes me feel so much more enthusiastic about improving my Portuguese.

And just as I start getting more enthusiastic, my university course at PUC-SP is about to start on the 15th… will I be able to join in the football chants at Palmeiras soon?
Our carts are cleaned every day but if you prefer to use the alcohol gel