Wednesday, 30 December 2009

On the road (3)

Where you from? asked the lady in charge of the internet at the bus station in Itajaí. When I told her she said that she was familiar with my accent, she had heard it from missionaries.

How do I get to the Niemeyer museum? The lady at the tourist information in Curitiba made it sound like a long and rather complicated undertaking. I decided to walk into the direction she had indicated. At the Praça Tiradentes (surrounded by quite some signs advertising the services of dentists) I was supposed to find a city sightseeing bus but it had just left and so I asked an elderly man how far the Niemeyer Museum was? On foot about fifteen minutes from here, he said, at a leisurely pace. I knew by then that this probably meant a good thirty minutes at a rather brisk pace - and I was right. Unfortunately, the Niemeyer Museum happened to be closed from 25 December to 31 December!?

Standing in front of the museum, I could see the sightseeing bus speeding by - I have so far never seen a sightseeing bus at such speed, the tourists on the open top deck appeared to desperately cling to their seats, I was glad I had not joined them.

A shopping mall near the Praça Tiradentes had toilets for men, women, and families.

The back pocket buttons of my pants are loose, my shoes are falling apart. I walk into a tailor shop, the lady in there puts herself immediately to work and asks for one real after she´s done ("para um cafezinho", she says). The shoemaker thinks that my shoes were made in Italy. Zimbabwe, I tell him. Good work, he comments. We chat for another couple of minutes. He says they will be ready by two o`clock. He didn´t recognise me when I showed up at twenty past two but the shoes were ready.

Curitiba also meant: a quarter pounder at McDonalds, a Subway sandwich, Chinese food, sushi (twice), mousse de maracuja in the Confeitaria Neuchatel (the waiter said it was a complicated story how the confeitaria got its name; the waitress said, well, the owner had once been to Neuchâtel) and visits to bookstores. Books are expensive in Brazil, in one store they had a table with special offers for 9.90. I leafed through some of them, on the front page of one the original price was mentioned as 5.90. I asked whether it cost 5.90 ot 9.90. Everything on that table is 9.90, the lady said. I did not buy it.

4 comments:

Marcos said...

Hi Hans,

Where are you traveling to? Are you going to Northeast’s beaches on bus? :D

Happy New Year!

Marcos

AcrossCultures said...

Not sure yet, Marcos, but I surely want to see the Foz do Iguaçu and maybe will venture into Mato Grosso ...

Happy New Year to you too!

Hans

Kalina said...

so nice that you now know what people mean when they say things to you. you sound so familiar with brazilian culture now, hans. it's so cool. so you knew when the man told you about the time to the museum that in fact the walk would be sooo much longer. hehehe

Kalina said...

and yes, you have to go to the pantanal. i friend of mine just went and she told it IS fantastic. you're going to eat special and enjoy nature. . .

ah, you had sushi in curitiba!