Sunday, December 20, 2009

Onde é o banheiro? Blog de Brasileiro, dia 10 (segunda-feira, decembro 14)

Mosquito bite count: (unchanged)
-Hands: 4 / Arms: 5 / Shoulders: 4 / Chest: 1 / Head: 8 / Neck: 2
-Back: 0 / Legs: 0

Sunburn incident count: 1 (first one is completely healed)

Okay, minor change of plans. Berimbau workshop is deferred for another day due to the lack of available mass transportation to move 8 of us at once. Instead, today is chill day.

During breakfast, I am greeted by a slightly panicked Julia. Based on my limited understanding of Portuguese, she’s having problems with memory or the monitor…or something, I’m not sure. After finishing breakfast, I go to the computer to diagnose the problem with Julia in tow. I turn on the PC, and then I turn on the monitor. Julia’s eyes widen in amazement as it’s working just fine. I didn’t even do anything. Other Vince makes it pretty clear that he’s not impressed.

After breakfast, I replenish my money supply, having finally managed to burn through 290 R$ (about $200 CDN) over the course of more than a week (not bad, all things considered). Given that I’m in a resort town, I go against hitting currency exchange (low rates guaranteed) and I hit up the ATM. I bite the 10 R$ “convenience fee” but get enough to last the week. I also restock on water.

The Other Vince has been feeling sick since yesterday, owing to an extremely bumpy car ride to Olinda and breakfast that didn’t go down too well. He’s feeling better today, though. Luckily, we’ve all been doing “okay,” and the medical mishaps have been minimal. I’ve lucked out in terms of injury and gastrointestinal upset, getting only mosquito bites and sunburn and one quick bout of the runs.

But for chill-day, it was exactly as expected. We went straight to the beach, chilled out there, had a few drinks, and then went to lunch. Dragao and Iuna headed to Recife before heading back to Vancouver tomorrow so they wanted to make the most of it. Dragao failed to heed Mestre’s warning about rubbernecking the beautiful women on the beach, which usually results in hitting one’s head on the beach umbrella. I’m not sure if this is due to actual rubbernecking of beauties at the beach, but he has a nice scratch on his forehead as a painful reminder.

Maybe I have been well trained by the girlfriend, or maybe my expectations were way too built up, but I’m having difficulty locating the super-hot Brazilian women. Sure, they’re there, and there is nary a one-piece bathing suit in sight, but the ratio of super-beautiful women to average-fugly looking women isn’t necessarily greater than going to the beach back home in summer. This may also be buffered by the number of bodies that are NOT ready for the beach, which I’m trying really hard not to notice.

Relaxing at the beach is requisite when in Brazil. When here, one must learn the language, or at least enough to tell the vendors to go away. We had a vendor shield in the form of a beach blanket that keeps beach vendors at a distance, but the rising tide makes this impossible. On cue, we have two guitarists come by to harass us, who refuse to leave unless paid. We all pony up 1 R$ each.

Lunch was at Porto Mix, this place that served pretty much everything from pizza to Brazilian barbecue. They also had Japanese food, although it’s not quite like the stuff back home. The Other Vince chanced it on maki tuna rolls while I went for yakisoba. Overall, it’s okay and total I spend is 20 R$, which includes an acai berry smoothie.

We end up back at the pousada where we then head back to the beach for Capoeira training with Instrutore Pisao. The sand makes for better cushioning, although the last move he shows us before sundown is very difficult (somewhat akin to an s-dobrado into an au malandro).

After class, the Other Vince and I check the internet back at the pousada (they gave us off-hours internet access in exchange for fixing their computer). We quickly check Google News to see how things are back home. Some of the negative aspects of the trip had me missing home a little bit, but then I saw the report for 20 cm of snow to dump on Vancouver, followed by freezing rain. That feeling of homesickness immediately subsided, for I remembered that I just came back from the beach. Then that post-beach elation subsided when I realized that I’m only here for four more days after tonight.

Over dinner, Canela, Charme, the Other Vince, and I talked about the trip, what we liked and could’ve had better. Ice cream in just about every flavour available was welcome as desert.

Tomorrow, we should be having our berimbau workshop (for real this time). A day or two after, we’re visiting Natal for an overnight stay.

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