I love morro de sao paulo. It´s the perfect waiting place for the missing bag. Palm trees, lush vegetation, great beaches (there are about 5 I think), hardly any sidewalks or concrete, only sand. I don´t have to wear shoes ever. Not to eat in a restaurant, not to go to the grocery store or walk around. I don´t have to wear a shirt either. Each beach has it´s own little scene. I stayed in the second beach last night (only $10!) but I like the feel of the third beach so I moved. It only takes maybe 20 minutes to walk from one end of town to another. By 10 AM the heat is so stifling and the sun is so bright that it hurts to walk through the hot sand and everything moves kind of slow. Dogs pass out in the shade and look like they are dead. Tonight I have a TV! I actually forgot all about TV. I can definitely live without it but I may find something good. I guess here they watch these cheesy, overly dramatic novellas every evening. My guidebook says that there is even sexually suggestive children´s programming in Brazil! I also have my own little balcony with a hammock.
Last night I met up with my old college friend Michiel and his girlfriend Vishalini. I have not seen him since 1992, we figured. He lives in Nairobi and works in Africa doing UN things. He and V. have travelled all over, they are well educated people who have great stories and interesting jobs. It was really great to hang out with them, it really brought me out of my pissed off state. He´s the same old Michiel as college, same sense of humor, etc. But he lost his american accent entirely! V. disagrees and razzes him about it but I thought it was gone. That´s actually good for him because we really do have the most annoying accent to other people. (Especially in the Midwest, IMO. just ask anyone to say the words " yeah", "ranch dressing" or anything with the letter "a" - see what I mean? we are really nasally, like it or not! I also find Boston accents annoying and deep, deep south accents. sorry. I always have people say to me "you´re american, aren´t you" with the slightest little eye roll and laugh) So we started with caiparinas and they were the best ones I´ve ever had. I don´t even like them at home but here I LOVE them! The night quicky spiraled into alcohol, we pretty much drank our dinner. (well, we did have some pizza - and it was GOOD! who thought pizza would be good here?) M & V made me laugh so hard that once or twice I spit my drink out. They bought me dinner and drinks and had presents for me. That was so nice!! On the beach they have these crazy fruit display stands here, maybe 10 of them, all in a square, and you pick out what fruit you like with which alcohol you want and they make you a drink. we had several. If you make a bad drink, like I did, it´s your own fault because you picked out the flavors. It´s like the mongolian BBQ for drinks. As a culinary student it´s embarrasing to match flavors so terribly but I have never been able to mix drinks properly. Vishalini finally steered me right with watermelon, lime and some other mystery fruit. I can´t identify half the fruits or vegetables here. So everyone just sits outside and gets bombed on these homeade fruit drinks. If you make a bad one, or if your friend makes a good one, it only encourages you to go up and try again...and again and again.... I can´t wait for Kathy to get here so I can show her this phenomenon.
This morning I was slightly hungover so I laid in my new hammock, watched birds, drank my favorite new pop guarana and listened to my designated hangover CD, cafe del mar #5. It always works for me. I´m so glad I got the little ipod nano before I left. It´s the one little piece of luxury I have left. I´ve been listening to Bebel gilberto, the brazilian pop singer, and some other compilations of latin jazzy house stuff. It fits the scenery. I´m also obsessed with "seven days in sunny june" by Jamiroquai, the dance version. And George Michael´s "flawless/let´s go to the city"And "this must be the place" by Talking heads. I just rediscovered that song, I love the lyrics - great travelling song. (home.. that´s where I want to be, but I guess I´m already there..) And when I was super pissed off the other day, some guns & roses was nice to have. (Mr Brownstone!) I´m all about having a soundtrack to my vacations.
Oh, i forgot about this funny story. Yesterday I decided to wash the purple shirt (that I wore for three days straight), the black pants (for leaving and entering chicago) and socks. They were just too big to do in the sink. So I went to the first place I saw, the corner bar (called "funny bar" by the way) to ask the guy there where I could find a place to do laundry. He, for some reason, thought I was asking HIM to do my laundry. (I´m not surprised, I can´t speak portuguese for shit) He took me down the path - I still thought he was showing me where the laundry place was. But we stopped at a house and went inside. And he gave my filthy stinking laundry to his mother. And told me to pick it up later at the bar. I went there today and there it was, next to the liquor bottles, folded and clean. Isn´t that funny? Next to the funny bar they also have funny massage and as much as it pains me to pass a massage place and not have one, especially if they are calling it funny, I really shouldn´t. I still can´t take money out of any ATM here. That may be a problem in a few days. I´ve been charging way too much stuff. Other people have been complaining about the ATMs so I know it isn´t my card. And I know there´s plenty of money in there.
This morning I met M and V at the fourth beach and we spent a few hours there napping under a tree. I love that guys walk around selling empanadas, mangoes and coconuts to drink out of. They left to go back to Salvador today and continue on with their Amazon trip. I´ll miss hanging out with them, they really saved the day for me.
So tonight I´m going to try to find some crab to have for dinner. I´m feeling like a big seafood dinner. Funny, I don´t LOOK like a big seafood dinner. hahahahahaha