Finding the ‘e’ in parking

No parking brazil sign

Travel both stretches the mind and the patience.

Travel suffuses the spirit with all sorts of possibilities, possibilities that seem effortless and reachable.  Creativity catches a ride in your suitcase to your far flung destination and ideas float as freely there as the lizard that my son mistakenly dropped in the pousada pool the other day.

Travel can also make the most trivial details of daily living sorely trying.  Brain cells fire incessantly trying to figure out how to make change in a foreign currency, whether or not to worry about that particular, unfathomable highway sign you just drove by at 120 km/hr or how to order something from a restaurant menu that’s written in a language that may well be Greek.

In this case it’s Portuguese.

I’m in Brazil for work and for play.  After a shocking number of false starts, missteps and false steps things are flowing smoother.

While Portuguese sounds like a melodic mix of Italian and French, I find if I merge my French with a little Spanish I can get the basics.

Like parking.

Parking in French is estationnement. With an ‘e’.  Parking in Portuguese is something similar.  Hence the big circles with crossed ‘E’ mean no parking.

If you mix it up a bit, success follows.  Like with travel.  Like many things in life.

What have you mixed up lately?

P.S. if you’re fluent in French you’ll know that parking is stationnement, which I only found out when I was checking my spelling.  Lucky me that I got it mixed up.  Helped with the translation.


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