Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Trying to Shop

I love it here. I am having a great time and a lot of fun and learning a lot every day. I think you´ve gotten that impression via the blog. But because this blog practices honesty in writing, you should also know that it´s not always easy and that there are almost daily cultural things that frustrate me. Here´s one example.

For the choral concerts this weekend our uniform will be black pants/skirt and a colorful top. A solid colorful top. Problem is I didn´t bring one of those with me! So I had to go shopping this morning.

On the one hand, shopping isn´t too bad here because things are generally really cheap. And it´s not impossible to find my size without going to a store for the morbidly obsese (cough cough, Japan, cough cough).

On the other hand... Brazilian women don´t wear clothes like American women. I have to buy clothes two sizes too big just so they fit the way I want them to. I know this is a generalization, but women here usually wear clothes really tight and really revealing. And after a few experiences shopping here, I can understand why.

Because that type of clothing is pretty much the only type available to buy! I went to about 5 stores today trying to find a simple blouse that wouldn´t make me look like a prostitute (pretty much all of them were super low cut or super tight fitting or designed to accent certain parts of a woman´s anatomy) and wouldn´t cost a fortune.

Isn´t that a great irony? Only the wealthy can afford to dress non-suggestively? To a degree this is true in the states, too. If you are a young woman who has tried to shop in the juniors´ sections you know it´s a nightmare.

I´ll admit that I was pretty tempted to just buy one of the plentiful suggestive blouses and blame any inflamed lusts on overstimulated males. But the higher sense of good won out, and I finally found a really nice blouse for not a fortune.

That was just today´s experience. Lord have mercy, I still laugh when I think about the first time I tried on a pair of jeans here. I found a really cute pair of pink jeans that I thought looked like they´d work, but when I tried them on I was mortified at the thought of going into public with half of my butt hanging out of the back of my pants. They fit, but Lord, they didn´t fit. At that point I pretty well decided that Brazilian women are anatomically different than American women. I guess we have all the same parts, but they´re definitely arranged differently. :)

So there you go. Shopping in Brazil.


Alissa said...

I think you have to find a mall that has chain stores. I got a nice skirt when I was in Brazil, but it was at a store that's also in the States.

Misty said...

I think you should have skanked it up, because really, if 'scarlet woman' is the Brazilian norm, then wouldn't you be calling calling less attention to yourself by going ho?

Just a thought. I like to think I'm helpful. Also, I'm glad to hear the choir has done away with the black/white uniform which got you guys mistaken for Jehovah's Witnesses.

Leah said...

Oh, I remember shopping in Brazil. It was almost depressing how tight the clothes were--made me feel like a big cow! I do have a few sweaters and a shirt I bought there, but overall most of the clothes were way too tight!

Roxanna said...

Ann! You look beautiful!!!