In the months leading up to the World Cup, Brazilians became accustomed to muttering “imagina na Copa” or “imagine this happening during the World Cup” in response to every type of annoyance, irritation or problem facing the country, such as bad transportation, crime etc. The idea expressed their horror at how foreigners visiting the country for the World Cup would cope when confronted with the same issues.
In a country which generally loves foreign visitors but in many of whose cities “gringos” – as they are called – are normally not a particularly common sight, this apprehension grew out of proportion. “Imagine”, for example, how the gringos would react when reading a menu and coming across the phrase “against the Brazilian beef”, a literal translation of the Portuguese name of a certain cut of steak, contra filé brasileiro. Continue reading »