foreign roommates – part 2 eating habits

I love food, especially pizza. It is the most amazing food ever. I even ate it for 11 meals in a row (excluding breakfasts, so thats 5 1/2 days of pizza meals). And had it each day-ish of a vacation in Chicago… deep dish is where it’s at!! Though I have not tried New York Style yet to be a fair judge.

My roommates this summer were Brazilian. Now what does that mean concerning food you may wonder?? Well my Brazilians ate rice and beans and beef. Everyday. Every meal. Rice, Beans, Beef. How did they cook this you ask? With lots of garlic, oil, and salt. I seriously am going to die a decade earlier because of what I ate with them this fall.

Now don’t get me wrong, it was amazing. It tasted wonderful. I love rice and beans (not nearly as much as pizza), and I tried to make it and copy their cooking. I mean I did watch multiple times. There is more too it than adding garlic and salt to a can of beans.

They also fell in love with french fries while in the United States. We went to very few restaurants one of which was Red Robin. Being a southerner which is a region without Red Robins, I’d not eaten at this particular chain before. They specialize in burgers and have unlimited fries if you order a sandwich, burger, etc. So whenever we went out to eat they wanted Red Robin. Now I found a few things on the menu I liked, the santa fe wrap, a couple different burgers, a chicken sandwich, and a pasta dish. Well similar to their other eating habits Erika, Nene, and Fu wanted the same thing each meal: fancy mac and cheese. It came with olives, onions, tomatoes, sour cream, and like croutons or something. Each Brazilian always wanted different toppings. Oh, did I mention they liked for me to order for them.


I drive to restaurant, Brazilians are babbling all at the same time in the car. We park and walking into the restaurant. Hostess asks “how many?”, I say four. We all sit, get menus. Waitress comes and greets us, making small talk, etc. Brazilians are awkwardly quiet. She asks for drink orders and looks at each of us. Brazilians stare back at her. I order 2 strawberry lemonades (Kika and Nene), one sprite (Fu), and a water (me). She leaves. Brazilians study then menu nonchalantly. They in turn figure out what they should desire (typically it doesn’t change) and tell me their hearts desires. (Note: this is way into the summer when they got really good at reading and speaking English) The very nice waitress brings back drinks and asks for our order. As she looks to each Brazilian they in turn look to me and I place all the orders. The waitress gives me a weird look halfway through.

*the order*

Always at least two of these pasta dishes of fancy mac and cheese with toppings. We had to order this with all the toppings on the side because each Brazilian wanted different things and it was always harder to explain which each person wanted. The table literally had 2 large pasta dishes, 12 cups of toppings, my sandwich, a burger, drinks (usually on the second round of lemonades), and condiments. In addition this place had unlimited baskets of fries… the girls new favorite food. They loved these things. And they especially loved them with ranch dressing and ketchup… mixed. Also, they put ketchup and ranch on  their pasta too… at the same time. Now I love these girls a ton, but man I can’t eat the stuff like that. I know those waitresses thought we were crazy.

a true language barrier – foreign roommates

The most common living situation for adults is having a roommate. Whether it be the form of a spouse, a friend, or seven friends, it keeps costs down. And I have had some unusual situations.


The summer of 2009 I spent in San Jose, California playing soccer with the FC Gold Pride (yes, thats the real name; and no you can’t make fun of it). I had the awesome opportunity to live with 4 girls during preseason in an apartment while trying to make the team. Once the roster was settled our internationals arrived from Brasil and moved into the apartment.


My roommate Erika (Brazilian superstar), rode down to LA with our athletic trainer to visit friends on our off weekend. She was flying back to make it to practice on time Monday morning. I told her verbally and by email that I would pick her up from the airport.


My Portuguese is not so good

I arrived at the airport within 5 minutes of the scheduled arrival of her flight thinking that it would take several minutes to land, deplane, and walk to the terminal. After driving around twice, I asked my friend that was with me to continue looping while I hopped out and looked for Erika. I love Erika, but she is a very independent person and will make stuff happen when it doesn’t go her way. I searched and waited for a solid 20 min, till my friend insisted on parking and coming in to help me. We asked the very nice gentleman at the desk to see if she made her flight, she did. We called teammates at the apartment complex to see if she caught a cab home, no one answered. We asked if they could page her over the intercom at the airport, which they did… in portuguese, not a normal everyday language for San Jose, CA.

*language barrier*

My sweet roommate did not realize she was being sought after so desperately. She walked straight off the plane and went to the public transport and took the tram home.


It is worth it to be a good roommate and pick him/her up from the airport, but make sure everyone understands