Tuesday, December 27, 2005

BRAZIL: The long bus ride through nowhere

So I believe I last left you before we went out Christmas night in Morro de sao paulo. We started with our usual crawl through town (the one sandy path), starting with fruit drinks from my 13 year old fruit girl, to bar 87 , dinner at beach 1, back to bar 87.. During dinner we revisited one of our old favorite games that Kathy and I invented on another vacation a few years ago. It´s called German, American, Israli or Australian. We watch people walk by and guess where they are from. It´s kind of a lame game but it entertains us when we need it. We ran into another English guy named Jude from the night before and asked him where he was going next, because everyone we recognize seems to be leaving town at the same time. He proudly told us that he was going to "an 8 day psychedelic trance". OK, who can do that for 8 days! What happens at an 8 day psychedelic trance in Brazil? I can see, maybe a 2 day psy trance. But 8 days? Then we saw an italian guy wearing a t shirt that said "100% negro". Lots of good people watching on Christmas night. At bar 87, we were laughing so hard that we had to explain to the people at the next table. That´s how we met Claudio and Fernando, two Brazilian guys on vacation - they live in Southern Brazil somewhere, I forget where. Unlike some of the other local guys we have met in town (the guy who rubbed up against Kathy and the waiter), we got a good feeling about them right away. Claudio is a psychiatrist and Fernando works with computers, I think he said. They were smart and really fun to hang out with. It was nice to hang out with some actual Brazilian people. Usually the Americans, Brits, Irish and Aussies hang out together out of general laziness for not speaking the local language and getting eachother´s jokes. They spoke english so we got to learn some things about Brazil and life in general, that kind of thing. I still feel like a dumbass for not knowing how to speak portuguese better. The bar was set on fire and we had a beer with the other English neighbors who were also there.

We decided to go swimming in the little hotel pool at 3AM. The night shift worker tried to get us to come out and pretended that he had to clean the pool (at 3AM on Christmas!?). We were a little drunky drunk and Kathy tried to get him to come in with us and said "come on, last one in is a rotten ovo!". Ovo = egg, one of the few portuguese words we know, from breakfast every day. He laughed at us and made us go to bed. I really loved that pousada and everyone who worked there.

now for the overnight bus ride! woo hoo!

We knew we had to start working our way south to meet Kate in Buzios in a few days. So our only option, besides an expensive plane ticket, was an overnight bus ride. Brazil is an enormous country and to go just a little ways on the map it´s sometimes a 24 hour bus ride or something ridiculous. So we took a boat and a bus to the next town, then waited in the bus station for over 4 hours, got on our 9:20P bus, which was really late, and rode for the next 8.5 hours (then got on another boat to get here). We thought it might get on some super highway and we could all just sleep or watch a video. Oh, no no no no. The bus driver closed some curtains in the front and it was dark so we had no idea what direction the bus was going to hurl next. The first hour was like being on an amusement park ride. Huge drops, sharp turns, all in the dark, each minute a surprise. Then the road got bumpy and the next 6 hours was constant bang bang bang bump bump, lurch, swerve, bang bang bang. Maybe the bus had bad shocks because our seats would all bounce up and down too, in unison. Then, for no reason, every hour or so someone would run up to the front of the bus, bang on the front door and the bus driver would mysteriously let them off in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, not at a bus stop. All you could see were big jungle plants lit up by the headlights. What were they doing? In the middle of the night, who just runs off a bus in the middle of f-ing nowhere? Oh, I recognize that dark palm tree silhouette, I want to get off!? Every two hours or so we would pull into a little tiny town, paved with cobblestones so we would all wake up to a new kind of bumping and lurching down little streets. We would wait at a tiny, deserted bus station for 5 minutes and get on the road again.

So now we are about halfway back to Buzios/Rio in a new town called Arrial dájuda. This means another overnight bus ride in a few days or we may try to find an affordable flight. Arrial dájuda is cute but I like the beach at Morro better. After 6 nights I got so attached to Morro de sao paulo. I do like that they play music at the beaches here, though. And the restaurants look really good. We have a nice little hotel with a lot of birds and animals around. There is a water park here too, somewhere outside of town. Supposedly it´s the biggest water park in Latin America. So that´s what we may do tomorrow.

OK, Im in the internet cafe and my FAVORITE brazilian song is on again and Kathy still hasn´t heard it yet because she always walks away right before it comes on at the beach and now here. I´m going to ask the guy who works here what the name of it is. I think she´s getting sick of hearing me hum it, and I know she´s sick of me making my favorite bird call. Every morning, no matter what town I am, I hear this jungle bird squawking and I love his little bird call. REEEEEEK! REEEEEK! I keep catching myself doing it randomly throughout the day, I´m really going to have to stop. Yeah, I´m just a pleasure to travel with!

I think I fixed the post feature so it´s easier to post. If you read this, let me know you are reading! Hope you all had a great Christmas. Send me an e-mail if you get bored at work!

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