The most brazilian mexican to ever live
Last week I had a business meeting with a chilean executive . We talked about possibilities and partnerships for about an hour, before hanging out the call in Google Meet. The whole conversation was kept in spanish during the event. It doesn’t sound remarkable. Actually, maybe the obvious thought should go in this direction: “yeah, of course you were talking in spanish with a spanish speaker, moron”. Yet, four months ago, I wasn’t able to simply communicate in that ‘caliente’ language without mumbling and sounding utterly ridiculous.
Do I sound less ridiculous now? Probably not.
Nevertheless, words come to my head easily and it’s not a struggle to maintain a dialogue, even in complicated topics. Like business. Or philosophy. Or life. Or even love.
Well, in the end, it’s always about love, right?
Ok, but where comes the sudden confidence in addressing my peculiar way of thinking to the most spoken Latin language around the world? Am I a prodigy? My mother would certainly disagree, but I’m far away from being one.
It started with Jaime.
He was the first person I met in this amazing Israeli experience. Not in the best circumstances, though, since we were pretty much obliged to spend quarantine together for two weeks. This witty, overly sarcastic, smoking addicted Mexican. A guy that wore long-sleeved button shirts to do everything — even sleep. Always with some acid (yet brilliant) comment to get out of his hat whenever necessary.
Whoever knows me just a tiny bit, already understood that Jaime and I were connected due to a fairly similar sense of humor. That sharp self-deprecating type: that screams “jewish”, per se. In the first night we were already sharing stories, perceptions, and experiences. It started in english, but developed to “portuñol” in few days. Being a Mexico City born and raised, Jaime has the most neutral accent ever, so it was easier to understand him compared to the fellow argentinians that quickly joined us in our apartment/prison.
Two weeks of deep conversations, abstractions, ponderations, speculations and a huge amount of nonsense bullshit are key ingredients to start building up a friendship. Suddenly, I realized we were joking about each other in social media and teaching curse words in both portuguese and spanish. I’m kind of proud about the fact that he religiously adopted ‘arrombado’ as his go-to ‘tupiniquim’ adjective.
The time went by and Jaime, effortlessly, became a little bit more brazilian everyday. To a point that he started representing Brazil more than football and samba (if you meet him somewhere, please ask for his samba choreography, it’s embarrassingly funny). At some point, other people in our program started actually believing that he was born in the biggest country of South America.
In fact, Jaime became more brazilian than me.
After quarantine, we were placed in different apartments. All the imprisoned brazilians that were together during those two weeks made a huge goodbye appeal, while Jaime adopted his characteristic “I don’t care” pose.
But Jaime cares.
Under that sarcastic veil hides a profoundly empathetic, cosmopolitan and vanguardist man. A peculiar one, of course, whose favorite sports are golf and formula one; that’s always wearing those fucking long-sleeved bottom shirts (even on the beach, for God’s sake!); that screams “Obrigado!” in the funniest accent; and never hesitate to invite people to fuck themselves —especially his friends. Without mentioning the fact that he is a Scottish lord (one square meter of land qualifies him as Queen Elizabeth’s court).
Over time we traveled, laughed, shared secrets, drank (sometimes more than necessary), smoked (always more than necessary), and basically lived up to the premise of that cliché “we’re brothers” friendship. Jaime read my texts bringing valuable insights, as a good reader shall do. I hear his ideas and give the best advices I can — even though opinions are as good as what you’re paying for them: in this case, nothing.
Yet, there are reasons on clichés.
Today he’s leaving us. Going back to his country.
Hoy me puedo hablar en español, pero solamente en portugués existe una palabra que realmente transmita los sentimientos que se quedan ahora:
I won’t explain it. Ask the dictionary.
Hasta luego, cabrón, guey! Ay, chihuahua, pendejo!