(in the hallway this morning outside my flat)
Me: Good morning, do you know how I can get more towels.
Cleaning lady: yes, you can leave a note on the table for Patricia. (stammers a little through sentence)
We converse about what to do for a few more sentences then…
Me (noticing the accent): What language do you speak?
Cleaning lady: Portugues.
Me: Ahhh, eu tambem!
Cleaning lady: Ah, muito melhor agora.
And, she repeats everything she told me earlier in Portuguese but with much ease. I thanked her and nodded my head in understanding. She asks where I’m from, I reply with a solemn: Estados Unidos. And that I learned at my universidade. She’s from Parana, the northeast of Brazil. I told her that I went to Salvador last year to express that I was familiar with the area. All smiles.
Me: Muito obrigada, vou deixar voce para continuar….Bom dia!
Lady: Brigada, voce tambem!
The power of language.