I don’t know if it’s something about me, that projects trustworthiness, or perhaps everyone is the same way, but people really love sharing their secrets with me. One might say that this is a good thing, but for me it is a heavy burden that I don’t want to carry, unless I really have to. With a memory capacity of an average ant, it’s so difficult for me to remember who told me what and who are the people I am not supposed to share this information. With my frank approach, I have to die inside, every time I face the subject of the secret and have to pretend I know nothing about the situation and just act normal, when I know person x had a whatever plastic or personal surgery, or person y is cheating on their spouse, or person z is unsatisfied with his or her boss. In this particular time, I am talking about office gossip. I know it happens in every country in the world, and it has happened at all of my work places to date, but I find the subjects of the gossip much more personal here. People share very intimate things about their lives with co-workers, that are not necessarily their friends, and the story goes out 5 minutes later to other parties that have nothing to do with it.
Don’t get me wrong, I like to hear a good gossip. Everyone does. But I do have my red lines. I don’t want to know about people’s marital problems, medical problems, or other such things that if I ever found out about, I would NEVER share with the world. I’ve been here only for a month and I already know too much. Need to learn how to block these things out, as my published writer friend told me. It’s hard though..
With respect to apartments, non of the previous ones worked out and I am continuing to look and taking things into my own hands. I started seeing it as a ‘Survival in Brazil’ immersion project. I am already comfortable with going through newspaper ads, calling the listings, and arranging meetings — all in my broken Portuguese and my “I’m a cute little girl that just arrived, can you please help me?” spiel. Next thing you know, I might open my own real-estate company!!
At work, I for the first time in my life, became the ‘native’ English speaker and the authority for English phrasing for the team. Glad something came out of my decade in the land of the free.