Monday, 28 December 2009

On the road (2)

I am aware that quite some men seem to love making contact in public toilets at train and bus stations yet it eludes me what kind of kick these guys at the bus stations in Lages and Florianópolis expected by trying to get a glimpse of my dick while I was standing at the urinal trying (unsucessfully, of course) to pee ...

When I got to the beach in Bombinhas, I suffered a shock: I had so far seen photos of over-crowded beaches but had never experienced such a scene in reality where one could hardly put one foot in front of the other. I decided to leave the place immediately that however was not an easy task for buses on Christmas day do not run frequently from Bombinhas to Itapema and when they eventually run then they move a few meters every couple of minutes. Once in Itapema I found the hotels considerably more expensive than in Florianópolis and decided to move on to Itajaí which, I was told, was not a tourist place. The first night my room cost 85 Reais, the second 119 Reais. The reason given was "temporada alta".

The next day, I went to see the famous Balneario Camborio. The man in his fifties sitting next to me on the bus introduced himself by saying that he worked as a mechanic at Brinks, a company originally from Chicago, he explained (he was suprised that "Brinkis", as he pronounced it, was unknown to me), and showed me his card to prove it. Where should I get off for the beach? I asked. He would show me where, he said. And so together we got off. He mentioned that he lived around the corner. When we reached his home, a five story apartment block, he asked if I wanted to come up for a juice? Was he gay? I wondered. Was this a trap? I was just about to excuse myself when he rang the bell, stepped back to the pavement and conversed with a woman on the second floor. Your wife? I asked. He nodded. I followed him up to the second floor where I was introduced to Sueli, who hailed from Mato Grosso and told me to be careful in the border region of Paraguay, and their two-year old daughter. João prepared the juice (a tasty carrot-orange-lime mix), I exchanged a few words with Sueli and played with their daughter. When the juice was ready, João turned on the TV, we sipped our drinks and chatted for a while. Did I want another one? No, thank you, I now feel like exploring the beach. "Vai com Deus", he said. The beach was almost as crowded as the one in Bombinhas (I later learned that there are many beaches in Bombinhas but all of them "bem lotadas" during the festive season) and full of colorful umbrellas. Not my idea of a beach.

On Fox news, a passenger of the Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit that a young Nigerian had tried to blow up said that while the whole thing happened (he sat three rows away from the Nigerian) he did not really feel scared but later, at home, it really hit him. It was worse to imagine what happened than actually experiencing it, he said.
A security expert on the same program: we spent billions of dollars and we could not stop this guy. It seemed beyond his imagination that money could not be the solution.

How long do I walk to the beach from here? Ten minutes? Fifteen, the guy from the hotel said. After I had walked for fifteen minutes in the direction indicated, I asked again. Ten minutes? The two guys smiled, twenty are more likely. They were right. In the end, the original fifteen minutes had turned into close to forty-five.

The most used words in Brazil are probably "talvez" (maybe), "pode ser" (can be) and "legal" (cool). Given the fact that when Brazilians are confronted with a law their natural impulse is to find a way around it, it seems rather peculiar to use "legal" for "cool".

2 comments:

Kalina said...

i am having such a good time reading these posts, hans.
so was the orange-carrot-lime juice nice? what do you of this particular way brazilians having of treating strangers so nicely and even inviting them to their houses?
i mean, i am certain the guy knew he could trust you, but i would like to know how these episodes make you feel about brazil and the people.

AcrossCultures said...

Glad to hear that, Kalina.

The orange-carrot-lime juice was really nice.

It made and makes me feel touched and joyful.