I figured that I knew how the world worked. In my 24 years, I at least assumed that this was the one thing I knew. And why wouldn't I? I've been through the shit, I've done some bad things. I've known all the hustlers, the drug dealers and drug addicts, the drunk brawlers, the strippers and whores. I've seen what this world can do to you if you let it.
But lately I've been taken aback by all of the things that I don't know. In part, this stems from the women that I've been attracting lately. That blonde who I used to write about, her family was from Germany. I took this... not for granted, I would say, but I would say that I viewed it far more as a negative thing because of how badly she infuriated me constantly. I didn't appreciate the fact that all of these people still have that uniquely American immigrant experience of coming to this land for a change, for a new life.
But now I've been seeing a girl that is straight off of the boat from Brazil, a girl who certainly looks as ethnic as she is, speaks three languages, and has a degree from some place I've never heard of.
When I thought of Brazil before, most times I thought of The Rundown, and maybe those old vale tudo fight clips you find on the internet where there's six hundred crazed little fidgets packed into some low ceilinged dojo and Royce Gracie breaks some guy's arm out his ass.
She told me she was from Londrina.
"It's not that big," she says.
I'm pretty much figuring that it's a village on the Amazon where a bunch of people are wearing shirts that say Buffalo Bills 1990 Super Bowl Champs and they hide in the bushes when they hear a helicopter.
And I was kind of right, in that there appears to be a big body of water there, that might be a river. Other than that, it's a city of 500,000 with three universities and things like "poverty rates" and sports teams and Mayors and councils. And, it appears, the people actually know what helicopters are.
"That's OK," she says. "We think all Americans are tall and blond and love George Bush."
"Yea... well... at least we don't wear loin cloths..."