Monday, December 19, 2005

BRAZIL: F-ing Am Airlines!

Well, it´s been a day and a half. Still no sign of my bag. I called them a bunch of times and they can´t even tell me what airport it´s at. no sign of it at all. I would be OK if they said It´s in Miami, it will be here tomorrow. Or.. It missed the connection but we are tracking it. Total mystery. I was only supposed to spend a night or two in Salvador and get on with my trip, go to some beach towns, wear my two new bikinis (that it took a month to find good ones that fit - I sure won´t find any here!), do my thing. But no. I have to wait here for the bag. I may meet my old college friend Michiel tomorrow in a nearby town (morro de sao paulo) because he is there for a few nights. I haven´t seen him in forever because he lives in Africa, that would be so fun. But I should really stick around here and wait for the bag with my whole life in it. And it gets worse! My ATM card doesn´t work in any bank in this town! I have enough money to get by, realistically for a week. And I have my credit card. I have been such a good sport. I have tried to have a sense of humor about it - if you travel enough it will happen to you. Every traveller has a story like this, it´s an adventure, I know. blah blah. The other travellers in the hostel are so nice and sympathetic too. I´ve vented to people from Fiji, England and the US.

I really like staying in the hostel. I have a nice room to myself with pretty wooden ceiling beams - bathrooms are shared but they are clean and it´s a nice communal feel, I don´t feel so helpless and lonely. Panicked, yes, but I have people to talk to. Last night a couple of us had some beers in the lobby. It´s one thing to have my bag lost if I was going to Oklahoma to visit my dad for the weekend and another one entirely when I´m in South America, have three people to meet up with on the vacation I have been looking forward to forever when my ATM card doesn´t work. Ok, enough about that. Please send me some good vibes, I really need them right now. I would, I dare say...oh...I can´t believe I´m saying this.... I would almost rather be at work entering added value into ad insights than have my bag lost. yes, so think about that, coworkers . I did have dreams about work last night. I dreamt about added value and those auto annuals. I woke up in a total panic about work. I hope those dreams go away SOON.

So! my random impressions about Brazil - now that I´ve been here for a day.

It´s so lively. There is literally someone playing drums on every street corner. There are bands and singing in churches and public squares. People are happy. They smile, they are polite. they haven´t mugged me yet. I am so grateful that I learned a few phrases - I use them all the time. Hello, thank you, excuse me, goodbye etc. And my spanish really comes in handy. I realize now how much spanish I have learned over the past few years, randomly and how little portuguese I know. I have that "I´m a tourist who doesn´t know the language" feeling all over again. I only got through lesson two on the portuguese CDs. Yes, I was a quitter. I started lesson three and my mouth couldn´t make the sounds. It sounds like a drunk, slurring French person. It´s nice to listen to, it´s a pretty language. Easy on the ears. I need to find a Brazilian man who talks like that all the time. Ok, maybe not. When my bag is delivered to me, I´m going to make out with my bag instead.

It´s so hot here. During the afternoon I found a nice cafe and sat in the shade reading memoirs of a geisha with drum beats coming from a distance. It´s so hot during the day that I sweat buckets. Makes the no clothing problem a little more tragic, doesn´t it! I´ve showered twice today with the shampoo I bought that serves as body soap, shampoo and laundry detergent to wash my one pair of underwear each night. Sorry about the TMI there. But it´s true. One pair of underwear, people! ONE pair, three days.

They have chicken flavored potato chips and a yummy soda called guarana. It tastes like a tropical fruit and comes in a cute green can. It´s so good. And the local beer, skol, doesn´t stink. It´s way smoother than other local beers I´ve had. (like you, Mythos. And you, Imperial) And it´´s the same price as pop. But I don't like to drink during the day. I usually wait for the noche. Oh, I mean the noite.

I swear, I really do - that I saw Jack Kevorkian yesterday in Rio getting on a plane to Porto Seguro.

Last night I wandered to a hidden square by the hostel and saw the best band. This area was settled by Africa, I think? (as opposed to Rio area) so the music is sort of african-sounding. I watched the Brazilians dance with some French people and man, those Brazilians can really shake it down. It was frenetic, crazy dancing and they all have huge smiles while they do it. But yet, they kept it clean. No obnoxious simulated sex grinding like people do in the US in the sports bar, after too many beers. Just good old fashioned, 100 mile an hour booty shakin´. And I loved that the crowd was 99% Brazilian. The brazilians are tourists here too, I don´t feel like they are just putting on a show for me as an american tourist. I hope they are playing again tonight. I met a nice guy name Gizle who looks exactly like the guy we knew in college. I thought it was him at first!

Well, that´s it for now. I´m at my hotmail account too if you want to send your sympathy!

love, Schirmy


kathy said...

ok, i'll add underwear to my list of things to pack for you. i can't promise they won't be tacky days of the week underwear, but at least you'll have multiple pairs.

and don't feel bad Kate, i had the exact same selfish thought..i'm so glad sara's getting all the bad trip issues out of the way so it's smooth sailing for us.

Kate said...

Yeah, let me know if there's anything I can bring you. Don't worry Kathy and Kate to the rescue. We got your back for shizzle. Although I really can't wait to see you in that outfit. We may all have to buy matching ones as a commemorative of the trip.

jaime said...

Oh I'm so sad for Sara...try and remind yourself you have 3 weeks left on a fabulous vacation! This has taught me to carry at least 3 pairs of underwear in my purse. I hope things are getting brighter.

Kate C said...

Sara - I am sending good vibes now and if need be I'll Fed Ex undies...Feel better though - today it was literally 1 degree on the way to work... So at least you'll be tan and hot when you get back!!!