One of the most meaningful relationships during my time abroad was with a local Brazilian student named Gabriel Barros. I was introduced to “Gabe” by my Portuguese instructor; for the sole purpose of tutoring. Gabe was an Engineering major and thus, he was fairly busy. In all honesty, I can say that Gabriel was a terrible tutor (of course I am being funny)! I cannot say that I learned very much during our tutor sessions. In accordance to my host university’s policy, Gabriel and I could not socialize off of school grounds. Therefore, Gabriel and I did not “hang out” much, aside from when he went with me to get my first tattoo, went to the movies, and gave me a ride to the airport for my departure. Even though Gabriel was a terrible tutor, he was a great friend. We did not spend a lot of time together in Rio de Janeiro, but our lost time was made up during our reunion in Tokyo Japan!
I feel like I really got to know Gabriel in Tokyo. I brought him several snacks from the U.S. (as his birthday was on my arrival in Japan) and we rented a hostel together. I came to understand his sense of humor and he mine (although, it took us both a while to get accustomed to, ie- he didn’t understand my sarcasm so he became irritated whenever I said something sarcastic. I thought that his reaction was funny so I would deliberately be sarcastic to get him upset)
My time with Gabriel in Tokyo was well spent! Every morning, we planned out our schedule over a cup of Japanese espresso (Gabriel wines a lot if he doesn’t have coffee). On several occasions, we had 100 Yen sushi together (which is very cheap), went people watching in the Shibuya district (cool place to people watch), went Anime shopping in Akihabara (Gabriel likes Anime, I don’t), tried several Ramen dishes at the Yokohama Ramen Museum, visited Mt. Fuji, bathed in a public onsen, had a blast in Roppongi, and we did so much more! Unfortunately, our time together ended after I was scheduled to depart to Osaka and Kyoto, 8 days after our trip to Tokyo. But even though our time in Tokyo is over, our adventures together are not!
Gabriel and I have been actively in contact over the years. Mainly, via Facebook messenger and Facebook video chat. Until next time Gabbi!!