Once that dream faded, I contemplated being in corporate America - wearing power suits and hose and high heels every day, with my hair pulled back into a tight and classy bun. I would've worn glasses even if they didn't have prescription lenses. I would walk confidently and quickly through the airports as I traveled back and forth from my business meetings carrying an understated, yet expensive, attache case.
Fortunately, I ended up on a career path that has provided me with happiness and success, even if the only business trips I take are to places like Abliene, Victoria and Stephenville, Texas. One thing that I've learned is that traveling can be exhausting. It does a number on your skin and your waistline and isn't as glamorous as it's cracked up to be. However, one of my friends does travel all over the place for her job. I would say that within the past year or so, she has been to Japan, India, Brussels, Italy (twice), Paris (twice) and just got back from Brazil and South America. When I hear her stories, it reminds me of the flighty dreams I once had. So, since I'll never be able to blog about my work/travel adventures, I'm stealing my friend's snippets about her most recent trip:
- The currency is different in every country. Some of the ATMs speak English...others not so much. It's winter here...kind of a strange feeling to dig out warmer clothes to pack for this trip when it's so hot back home.
- Span-glish will get you some funny looks but ultimately gets the job done (even in places that speak Portuguese)
- Brazil was serious about having a national cocktail...every one should try a Caipirinha at some point. You will be advised not to talk to the locals about meat, red wine or soccer in a business mtg...it will get ugly (each believes their country has the best).
- The men have names like Enrique, Pedro & Roberto and dress very well. You should have seen me trying to figure out whether to do the single kiss cheek greeting or two (in case you were wondering, it's 1 cheek if you're from Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Chile and Buenos Aires. If you're in Rio de Janerio, plan for 2). There were some awkward moments... ha!
- In Brazil, they serve this amazing cheese bread with their meals & coffee breaks. It's called pão de queijo and they say it tastes so good because of a special flour (google it to see pictures). You can buy a mix at grocery stores (just have to add water like a brownie mix).
- The people in Argentina prefer their dulche de leche (think thick caramel jam). It's to the locals what peanut butter is to Americans. Buenos Aires has strong European influences (buildings walking around for example remind me of the streets of Europe). Approx 1/2 the population is of Italian descent (we had great Italian food last night). Lots of leather goods here...