Saturday, July 19, 2008

Signs of a Good Friendship

My favorite out-of-continent friend came to visit over the 4th of july weekend. Okay, my only out-of-continent friend came to visit. Andrea, who lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil “stopped by” on her way back from New York. Andrea is one of the most intriguing, beautiful, hilarious people I know. I met her 11 years ago when she was a foreign exchange student at my high school. She came into my life at the perfect time. I had so much fun showing her the ways of the United States. Everything from showing her the best glass elevators in the city, to taking her to the perfect spot to try fried okra for the very first time. It was almost the same experience as having a kid…in the sense that everything was new to her (without the diapers and lack of sleep).

She was with me when I met Jeff for the very first time. She coached him on where to propose to me if he felt the time was right….because apparently when I showed her the water wall I told her that my future husband would one day ask me to marry him there. At that point, I still had not met him. Andrea and I would cruise down 1960 in my little red convertible shouting “Come on Ride that Train” (with hand motions and everything) at the top of our lungs. Many of these details were rehashed over the course of the weekend. She remembers every. single. detail. I remember about 1 out of 10. And I blame the rest on the kids.

I have had the privilege of seeing her a couple of different times since high school. Once at my wedding, and another time we met for a ski trip. Each time it seems that we pick up exactly where we left off. She is so different, and I am so different from where we were in high school…but the conversation still flows as if it were yesteryear.

Andrea is now a partner of a law firm in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She has a wonderful boyfriend that she’s been dating for over a year (who for the record, was not off of work for the 4th of July). She’s just moved into a new apartment and seems to have it all together.

But the fun part about hanging out with her is that there is never a dull moment. If there is ever a lull in the conversation (which is very rare), I can just turn to her and say something like,
“hey, do you guys eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in Brazil?” …or…
“do you guys have mail boxes in Brazil?” …or…
“ever heard of myspace?”

Each would spark a 30 minute conversation and I would come away learning something new. Oh, and in case anyone other than me is wondering about the demographics there, they do not have a large African American population there… who knew?

At this point, there is nothing more I can teach her. Andrea has literally been more places in the United States than I have. She knows four languages, and has traveled the world.
Here are some fun Brazil facts…everyone is required to vote or they will get fined…and they don’t have any of this electorial vote nonsense...a pair of Seven jeans costs $1000…they’re equivalent saying for “the straw that broke the camel’s back” is “the drop that made the cup overflow”…which in all honesty makes much more sense. I mean how many camels have actually broken there back in America?

But even though I am self-described as Boring with a capital B…we still make a great friendship. We shopped like nobody’s business. We went to the pool. We ate sushi. We played Wii. We watched fireworks out at the lake. And we swapped stories. Oh, and then we did some more shopping.

HOLY shopping!!! Outlet malls are her friend…and so is Wal-Mart…and so is GNC. Come to think of it, I think stores in general are her friend. She thought everything was so cheap even with the $1.60 conversion rate. Oh, to be a partner.

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