I’m gonna walk across the bridge border to Argentina in the morning so tonight is my last night in country.
I went out to grab dinner and picked one of Foz’s 20-30 Lebanese restaurants.
FUNFACT: Brazil has the largest population of Lebanese people anywhere outside of Lebanon.
I overheard staff talking and to my ear it sounded a lot more like Farsi than Arabic, so I dusted off my infinitesimally small knowledge of Farsi and greeted them and asked if they were speaking Farsi. This triggered a hilarious round of mixed language confusion. As it turned out the owners are from Iran and most of the staff are from Lebanon or Syria, as well as local staff and Paraguayan staff. We counted 6 languages spoken just among the staff.
I had the nicest conversation I’ve had this week in Brazil with the restaurant staff, they brought me some free baklava and we exchanged stories on why we are all in Brazil currently. A boy of about ten, who looked exactly like me at that age, was running the cash register. he told me he was from Syria and misses it but has been in Brazil “half his life”, he was eager to show off his English skills so we had a lovely time. I mentioned that I have travelled in Lebanon but not Syria. He said “Lebanon to Syria is like Brazil to Paraguay”, which made perfect sense, he was the coolest kid.