I'm travelling a lot around Brazil now, spending many hours in buses and planes every weekend. Sometimes I like to spend this time reading a book, listening to music or just looking out of the window.
The problem I experience especially here is that a lot is Brazilians are very friendly people and they love to talk to me, especially when after they find out I'm a foreigner, which is quite clear looking at my face. I don't mind few minutes of small talk and I often really enjoy the conversations, but sometimes it's too much and I'd like to spend this time alone without being rude.
I tried so far, with varying degrees of success:
- wearing headphones
- pretending I don't speak Portuguese, but the reaction I was mostly getting was "oh that's cool, I can practice my English then"
- trying to fall asleep but after I couldn't and got bored, I started reading a book, then the conversation started again, even though I was wearing headphones
- trying to make the conversation die by not continuing topics
Is there a good, gentle way of saying straight that you'd rather be left alone without offending a person who is just friendly and wants to talk to you?