Yesterday, we officially launched the „What’s up, UW?” project and published the first part of an interview with Thiago Rangel, who comes from Brazil and is currently studying at the University of Warsaw. Today we present you the second part of his conversation with our reporter, Maja Maciejska.

If you missed the first part, just head over to:

M.M: Did you have any expectations before you got here?

T.R: Honestly, not really. The one place that I knew about was Auschwitz. And there is one more thing – all these ?Zakopane clothes?… I rather thought that you wear traditional, local outfits.

M.M: That?s really funny! I would never think of it. Speaking of differences, what about food?

T.R: Oh? That is the thing that I miss the most! It is a problem that you can?t really find the substitute. I had one funny story connected with that. When I was traveling with my sister, we wanted to order something at the restaurant.  We both chose different meals, I don?t remember the names, but for sure they were with meat. They turned out to be delicious. We even wanted to say ?thank you? to the chef. So, he came up, and it turned out that he was from Brazil. That explains everything!

M.M: And I thought that our Polish cuisine is so good, you know -?home-made?…

T.R: I mean, it is good, but?

M.M: Not the same. But there must be something that you really really like.

T.R: Yes, there is? Szarlotka! The one that Ms. Bożenka did. I met her in the Podlasie region, she always gave me something delicious. She was working at our camp, really nice lady. Even though she didn?t speak English so well, almost every time when she saw me, she said: ?Thiago, I have something for you. Come and try?.

M.M: Polish hospitality!

T.R: Let?s call it that. And, you know,  I don?t cook. So when I went out, especially when I was doing it in the beginning, it was so hard to get used to one thing.

M.M: What was it?

T.R: That in Brazil, we have rice, beans and pasta all together! Here you have to decide – you either take rice or pasta. It took me a while to discover what I indeed like. And everything was written in Polish. Now it is not a problem for me to translate it. After one and a half year, you get used to it.

M.M: On the other hand, that?s the beauty of our countries: different habits, manners and way of life. In your opinion, what?s the main disadvantage of Polish culture?

T.R: I?ve had pretty bad experience sometimes. I am not sure if I can call it like that: racism. I don?t get it, but it happens. People laugh, don?t want to help, turn their back on you.

M.M: Unfortunately, that happens everywhere. Let me ask you another question: what about the weather?

T.R: Well, you do have beautiful four seasons, but winter? Well, it?s not because of the coldness, but it gets dark so quickly! And you get lazy, sleepy, the energy is gone. I remember my first winter in Poland. A friend of mine asked me: do you have winter shoes? I was like, what? After that, I realized that I may seriously need them. And you need some extra time before you get out, to get ready etc.

M.M: So do you miss sunny days?

T.R: You know, during the winter it?s around 27 degrees in Brazil?

M.M: Are you kidding me? I wish I was there! Let?s break one more stereotype: what do you think about Polish girls?

T.R: Honestly, they are really pretty and delicate. In comparison with Brazilian girls, they have more temper, they are more sexual.

M.M: I think that?s the difference between our mentalities in general.  Speaking of stereotypes, is it true that you are so much into samba?

T.R: No way! I don?t even know samba! I am not really into carnivals. Rio de Janeiro is famous for that, but for me it?s just a fabulous city that you have to visit. I love it, seriously. Lovely beaches, sunny days, good time with your friends?

M.M: Don?t make me jealous!

T.R: Do you know what people told me when they got to know that I am from Brazil? They said: ?Oh, we know this Brazilian soap opera, <<Escrava Isaura>>?. I wasn?t even born when it was on. That?s interesting how people tend to generalize everything.

M.M: Good point well made! We even have this saying in Poland: ?Brazilian soap operas?, even though they are actually not from Brazil. And the very last question, what do you think about the prices over here?

T.R: It?s way cheaper here! Besides the fact that when I finally find something, for example a Brazilian juice, it?s usually more expensive than the one that I used to buy in Brazil. However, in general, food, traveling are relatively cheap. By the way, I still would like to visit Gdańsk, those three main cities by the Baltic Sea, and maybe the Masurian region.

M.M: Get ready for mosquitoes over there.

T.R: I will.

M.M: Thiago, I wish you all the best in 2013, may all your wishes come true! Obrigada! (port. ?Thank you?)

T.R: De nada! (port. ?You are welcome!?)