Mosquito bite count:
-Hands: 4 / Arms: 5 (+4) / Shoulders: 4 (+2) / Chest: 1 / Head: 8 (+2) / Neck: 2
-Back: 0 / Legs: 0
Sunburn incident count: 1 (completely healed, waiting for it to peel)
It’s like my computer has been with a Brazilian prostitute, as my computer is now up cybercreek without a paddle. I’m now unable to connect to the internet, so this post will have to be put up retroactively. For whatever reasons, nothing is working properly on my computer, the antivirus programs have been disabled, and I can’t even install any new programs. Microsoft Word is only usable program right now.
They’re asking me to compile all of the photos onto DVD, but now that’s looking impossible, as doing so would produce a DVD more virus ridden than Paris Hilton. I don’t know where it came from, whether it was from the two people that viewed files on my computer or the internet connection key. I strongly suspect that it was Dragão.
Today started out pretty well, all things considered. Class was held out in Riberão, where we went to what looked like what used to be an airplane hangar. Bathroom facilities were non-existent, so I ended up using the great outdoors as the urinal (at least I’ve long since gotten over my fear of that). Class was taught by Contra Mestre Jean, who previously operated an independent Capoeira grupo, but joined Aché Brasil.
We saw a lot of students that we met in the previous week and I’m slowly learning everyone’s names, although it’s really tough. I like that they’re making an honest effort to make us feel welcome (attempts at English are always fun), although the use of the interpreter (read: Camara) is always important.
The class in Riberão was pretty good, although relatively short compared to the roda that followed. Despite the disparity in skill levels, I feel like I can hold my own, although it’s still intimidating when you got some guys who are really skilled and some guys who are really strong. Maculele was especially great to watch as they actually broke out the real machetes for that. I mimed slicing off a hand to Contra Mestre Pequeno, much to his amusement.
Regardless, it’s an incredibly energetic roda, probably one of the biggest ones we’ve been to so far. Some incredible acrobatics, strong games, and I’m liking meeting all of the people. My Portuguese is slowly improving bit by bit, although it’ll be a while until I’m considered fluent.
A highlight was hanging out with our favourite resident Capoeira man-whore, Superhomem. Attempting to explain him to an outsider is kind of tough, as he’s someone who’s extremely obnoxious and abrasive, speaks broken English, is not someone you’d bring to a proper function (like a funeral), and yet somehow, he has incredible luck with women. Basically, if you gave Borat incredible martial arts skills, tattoos, and rogue-ish charm, you’d have Superhomem. I haven’t decided if we’re actually laughing “at” or laughing “with” him, as just about everything he says provokes a reaction.
With his broken English, Superhomem told us about the problems he’s had with the language. “When I first learn English, I had someone ask me if I wanted to go for coffee, but I only heard ‘Go fo’ coff.’” Why does he want me to go f*** off?" Always a good time with Superhomem.
Then I spontaneously had my first off-day of this vacation. We ended up at this one restaurant with some really good food, but much to the disappointment of the eight of us who shown up first, we realized that the table filled up by another eight people (native Brazilians) who ordered more food, and left us with the bill. I bring this to the attention of Camara, who shrugs and merely says “That’s probably going to happen.”
The drive back to the Pousada also involved a stop off at a sugar cane plantation. This is where I received some extra bites on my arms and face. Just about everyone got bitten, and the ones I have are several times larger than the ones I received earlier in the week. Two on my arm have swollen to the size of dollar coins. We later end up at a public market, but hey guess what. We spent all of our money at dinner treating the Brazilians to lunch.
And then I come back to the Pousada only to find that my computer no longer works properly. I can’t even open Control Panel. Getting stuck with a bill and getting my computer screwed up have actually managed to get me mildly upset and now I’m starting to miss home. And unfortunately, there’s absolutely jack all I can do about it because I can’t even get on the internet to diagnose the problem, although I’m attempting to run Windows Defender and scan in safe mode. But, at least the sugar cane was nice.
Icing on the cake comes when the Other Vince and I head out into town to grab some snackage. We run into our travel companions to find a few of them drunk and our young adoptee getting pretty angry at them for being completely drunk. Babysitting drunks has never been my idea of a good time and sometimes it really sucks being the responsible adult. Given that this is one of three things that have gotten me ticked off today, I’m feeling particularly antisocial. However, I did get an apology from Dragao, and I did make a pre-emptive strike apology if it turns out that my computer doesn’t have a virus.
Tomorrow is our day off from training. The only thing this computer is being used for is as a paper weight and a word processor.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Mosquito bite count: