A new year, already. 2011, Salty is getting old. Have I really already been in Brazil for one month short of a year? I'm going to miss 2010. My celebration this year was not to ring in 2011, but rather to celebrate what was 2010. Moving to Brazil, getting married, starting a different life and navigating though it. 2010 was an amazing year. 2010 was a learning year full of struggles, tears, confusion, laughter, smiles, frustration and love. And we got throught it. So if ever there was a successful year, it was 2010. Can 2011 be as good? Yeah, we think it can. 2011 is going to be the push year. 2010 was the adjustment year, and 2011 will be the push year. We know we will continue to adjust forever as long as we are in Brazil, but after a full year, a full circle around, we are a little more preapred, hardened and ready for the next year in Brazil.
2010 was an adjustment year for Salty as well. When Salty was born in 2007, he was a combination between journalistic food writing and food "discoveries" in Paris and other European cities. During the year in Paris, Salty moved slightly away from food and centered around European adventures and daily life in Paris. In other words, it was an expat and travel blog. After returning to the US, Salty mutated back into a food blog. In 2010, Salty once again altered his tone and slowly has become more personal, more "diary blog like" about my life in Brazil. That is, Salty is your average expat blog that attempts to honestly report the personal trials of life in a foreign country. The difference with Salty this time is that food is used to tell those stories through, and that is the road that Salty will be continuing down for 2011. My life, my triumphs, my hardships. Blogging is not for you, it is for me. If my writing, opinions and feelings are not to your taste, then stuble onto the next blog. There are hundreds of thousands expat and food blogs alone that you can frequent rather than mine. This being said, if you find me to be a complainer about life in Brazil, well, sometimes i am. Rarely, but sometimes. That is our disclaimer. Ninety percent of my posts are positive experiences about life in Brazil, but like life anywhere, there are some things to complain about, some things that are unpleasant and somethings that anger me, sadden me and confuse me. I will write about these things. My Brazilian Christmas was hard for me. And i will repeat the phrase that offended some; Christmas in Brazil sucked for me. What i write about in this blog applies only to me, it does not apply to you and your Brazilian family/experience. That's why you have your blog, and i have mine. So, Salty Cod 2011 is heading for a year of raw ups and downs, and we are not going to sensor it.
Our goals for 2011 are not surprising. Portuguese leads the list. Speaking Portuguese properly is the number one goal. I have improved a lot in one year. Improved meaning going from zero to intermediate level without any lessons or courses. Go me. But i need to push harder. I need to put more effort into the technical Portuguese. After Portuguese is conquering driving. I've finally learned how to drive manual transmission and in the next year will come my drivers license and city driving. After Portuguese and driving are the goals we have for every year; laugh more, smile more, love more and continue to be thankful for the wonderful life i have in Brazil. The final goal is to continue with Salty. Continue to post interesting stories and eye catching photos so that we can keep you all in our life here.
So the new year in Brazil; the second best new year's in my life. For serious. Second because nothing can surpase the bed & breakfast on the San Jaun Islands last year. We planned to go to the beach, but things came up, got in the way, too late in planning and we ended up having the casula new year with the family. But this one was pretty good even though it was nothing special. Big family gathering, but with a little less noise. Good food, good conversations, fireworks and cheap Champagne (sparkling wine) in the street, and a small, quiet New Year's morning breakfast at home with H. Perfect way to start the new years. Apricot clafoutis and lemon scones. All gluten free. My Brazilian Christmas may have been hard, but my New Year's was spectacular. As expats, we have to remind ourselves constantly why we are here. For me, i just have to look at the person next to me and i am reminded. So, 2011, bring it on. Brazil is not for beginners, but one year in, i'm not a beginner any more.
Thank you readers for your support throughout the years. Happy new year to you and your family. As always,