Prompted by thoughts about our impending move and what I am going to miss in Brazil, I created a Sao Paulo-themed word search puzzle. It contains many terms known to people living in Sao Paulo, and some specific to the U.S. Consulate. Even if you don’t live here, it might be fun to learn some of the city-specific terms.
A “quebra-mola” is a speed bump. The official name is “lombada,” but “quebra-mole” means “spring breaker,” and the word is quite apropos. These suckers stretch across the road and can be up to eight inches high. You find them all along the “litoral,” the highway leading to the beaches near Sao Paulo, and appearing out of nowhere on city streets. Often, the yellow lines have faded and your only warning about the quebra-mola is the sign warning you…tacked right next to the hump (see photo). That and the crunch on the car’s undercarriage remind you to slow down.
One term I didn’t get in was “paralelepípedos,” or cobblestones…one of my favorite words in Portuguese. It simply rolls off the tongue. Many of the roads in Sao Paulo still have paralelepípedos, though some have been covered in asphalt, which quickly gets eroded by weather and traffic, leaving huge gaping holes of cobblestones.
But I managed to work in many of the site-specific terms that we have come to know and love. “Romeu and Julieta” is a dessert here that features sweet guava jelly and a salty cheese. I like the name more than I like the dessert.
“frango” is chicken, and “carne” is meat, and Kibon is the most popular brand of ice cream here, visible every day after lunch as men and women return to work while munching on these as they saunter.
WORDSEARCH1 (copyright 2015 Ann Aubrey Hanson)