This Newsletter is a Cry for Help

Max Minogue Come to Brazil!

This is my for real pre-Brazil email (post?) and it is for sure gonna be a rough and tough tumble, provavelmente just like my trip. I like the idea of lists even though I’ve never really been a list-person (you know who you are) so I’ll just make a list re: expectations, thots, etc…?

I. Roommate Rivalry

According to the Facebook group, there seems to be only one other male person going on this trip—also Midwestern, also proudly wearing my name. Is his name also Maxwell? Or is he Maximilian? If he’s Maximilian I’ll be super jealous and probably inferior?

Assuming that the Facebook group contains everybody venturing to Brazil, and assuming that everybody will have a roommate, will I be rooming with second Max? As two Midwestern Maxes, don’t the Laws of Nature dictate that we must be enemies? Will we both survive? Will our Host Family vote one Max off the island after the first month? Which brings us to point 2.

II. Orphan

I allegedly will be having a Host Family while abroad… but I have received NO information regarding the subject. Are they real? Is this all a prank? Is Brazil a real country? Will they hate me after they learn I don’t speak Portuguese?

III. Help! I’m Illiterate!

I don’t speak Portuguese! The evil that is the Duolingo owl knows it, too! Knowing the word bum bum does not mean I’ll be able to have a dinner-table conversation with my family! Also should I buy a Brazilian bum bum cream before going to make sure my butt looks good?

IV. My Face Might Fall Off (Sponsored by Kiehl’s)

I have an absurd skincare routine and I just cannot transport that to Brazil. full stop. That means my face might fall off?

V. Language Partner

I’ll be assigned a language partner (read: given a friend), and we’ll have planned times to…hang out several times a week. I’m obviously worried that this language partner might hate the gays or I might just be awkward, but more importantly:

the trip guidebook states “No student is allowed to go and spend a night at language partner’s residence. Agreeing to a language partner’s invitation to his/ her house may imply romantic intentions.”

I find that profound.

VI. Orphan p. 2

My home father (some might refer to him as “my dad”) asked me if I was going to do laundry before going abroad for 2 months. I said, Hello? Yes I like to not be naked! he then asked if I was going to ship bags of clothes to Brazil. I said, Hello??? A small box via USPS to Brazil would cost over $100. Is my home father aware where Brazil is? Help!

VII. Tea Time

Basically, title.

The sample schedule we received, while terrifying in its own right (class/activities from 8:30 a.m. -> 4 p.m., 2-3 hours of homework per night), is most interesting to me because of the allotted thirty minutes, from 10 - 10:30 every day, “Group Tea Break”. I find that fascinating.

VIII. Witches

Above is Cuca, the famous Brazilian alligator witch. As you may know, I am going to an island famous for its witch ancestry, and am supposed to ask a witch for permission before living there.

I have been unsuccessful at finding a witch.

I did buy a protection crystal that I plan on wearing around, but is that enough? How powerful are Brazilian witches? And how do I become one?

IX. Is this a humble brag? I honestly can’t tell.

Got a letter from President Donald J. Trump thanking me for representing America abroad. Honestly so true—the world needs more American twink representation.

X. Naked and Ugly and Afraid

The packing guide recommends two (2) pairs of shoes, one dress pair and one casual. I cycle roughly 8 pairs of shoes, excluding boots.

The packing guide recommends four bottoms and four tops. I wear like, twelve (12) plain (read: stained) white shirts on the regular.

The guidebook ALSO remarks at how the Brazilian people are very fashionable and how appearance is important. That means, not only will my clothing be entirely insufficient, I will also drop at LEAST two (2) points on the hotness scale. We all know I only went to W&M to raise my relative hotness! Help!

Also it’s like winter in Brazil but like fake-half winter and I just DON’T know what that entails.


Fear aside, I am soy excited to fling my corpse into this adventure.


anyways I’ll be in DC this Tuesday and officially in Brazil a WEEK FROM TODAY!

(i have so many flights Chicago -> DC -> Miami -> Sao Paulo -> Florianopolis)

xx, Max

Bonus Weekly Dose of ~Brazilian Culture~:

“As muito feias que me perdoem / Mas beleza é fundamental.”

Let the very ugly ones forgive me, but beauty is fundamental.

- Vinicius do Moraes, 1959