Friday, December 5, 2008

I pray for peace and self control

the ability to keep up with blog posts is one that I do not have. But, I do my best. I really do. And I also want to prove to one and all that people have more fun in Brazil, with out even trying. So, I will tell you a tale that is meant to educate as well as entertain. It is about a city called Vicosa. This city lies in the State of Minas Gerais, where I live. It was to there that a volunteer named Jessica and I ventured last week. It all started on a Thursday (As LR shrewdly observed, there are no weekdays in Brazil, all the days are grouped together into a very long and continuous weekend, which I feel merits at least one fun point in and of itself). Moving on.
We hitched a ride with Marcelo to Rosario da Limeira, a place readers are already familiar with. As it happened a young volunteer named Dan had an accident the day before involving a pull up bar and some stone stairs coming into contact with his head a little harder than desired. As a result he had to be driven into town to have his stitches looked at, or something. Along the way we picked up an aged farmer who smelled of old sweat and spoke in an accent I strained to understand. However, he gave off a positive enough vibe, and thus did not inhibit fun in any way. Upon arriving at the little town square, Jess and I debarked and went straight to the corner bar. We had 2 hours to wait for our bus, and decided to spend the time drinking beer and playing cards, which we did. The bus eventually came and we eventually got on, and eventually arrived in Vicosa.
We were under the impression that a past volunteer was going to pick us up from the station and babysit us for the weekend, but there appeared to have been some sort of miscommunication, because there was no one waiting for us. Nor did anyone show up throughout the hour we waited outside. So, we shrugged our shoulders and got into a cab and asked him to take us to a hotel. He drove 2 blocks, charged us R$4 and let us out in front of The Palace Hotel. Upon discovering that they charged R$80 a night for a room we turned around and walked straight back out. We wandered around the city until we found a place that only charged R$40.
After settling into our new home, the events of the weekend progressed as follows:
-Dinner and Caparinhas at pizzaria torre (I must remind you that caparinhas are fun in liquid form, much more so than whiskey, which is insanity in liquid form)
-wandering around downtown looking for a bar and ending up getting beers at a tiny cantina where the 7 employees who were closing up for the night were wearing matching blue tracksuits with the name of the cantina written down the leg on a wide yellow stripe, as if they were competing in some sort of ridiculous sports event, instead of selling beer and cigarettes on the sidewalk to drunk american girls, at midnight. We tried to make friends with them, but they were hesitant to comply. So.. we entertained our selves for a time, until a kind passer by (who will come up again later) informed us that all of the cool kids, having real fun, were at a bar about 10 minutes down the road. We thanked him for the tip and arranged to meet him later, at the bar.
Upon arrival at the bar, we discovered that, indeed, this was where the fun was hidden and partook in the revelry until morning. Unfortunately, we saw no more of the handsome stranger that night.
-the next day greeted us with a horrible hangover and we booked it straight back to the pizzaria to console our minds in a mountain of carbs, then returned to the hotel to sleep the day away.
- after dark, we made our way back to the place of fun for round 2. Highlights:
Alisson, the boy.
His drunk friend who fell in love with Jess and yelled about Barack obama, then stole her pen... but gave it back.
Alisson the boy, again.
His other drunk friend who fell in love with Jess. but didn't steal her pen, or yell about barack obama. He yelled about something, but I wasn't paying attention.

So, that night... at some point, I made the mistake of sort of, but not really, but sort of, telling Alisson the boy, that I would go to some party, or something, with him the next day. I wasn't really sure if I wanted to or not, even though, day drinking is extra points in the fun off. But I said I might go, and if I did, I might meet him at 3 or something. I never showed up. I also made the mistake of letting Alisson the boy walk us back to the hotel that night, which enabled him to come inquiring after me when I failed to appear at the designated time and place.
Jess and I were comfortably watching 3 Men and a Baby dubbed into Portuguese and eating take-out, when there was a knock on the door, and the hotel man said that some dude was waiting for me in the lobby. I felt I had no choice but to go out and see what all the commotion was about. Indeed, it was Alisson the boy. We went through the awkward "why didn't you come?" "I said I might" conversation in which he convinced me to go get a drink with him to talk things over. I discovered that I did, in fact, enjoy his company and we spent the rest of the evening having fun, oh and witnessing an energetic gang fight, with arrests and all.
At some point in the middle of the weekend we ran into the same handsome stranger that suggested we go to lion bar (for that is what the place of fun is called). He asked why we never went, we said "but we did" he said "I didn't see you" we said "we didn't see you." After this intellectual and stimulating conversation, he invited us to another party, gave us his card and told us to call. This we did, on Sunday. For having checked out of the hotel after an exhausting and fun filled weekend, we arrived at the bus station only to find that the next bus home was at 6:00 the following morning. So, it was back to the hotel for another day.
"Why didn't you call last night about the party?" was his first question when he picked up the phone. The truth was, because I was with Alisson, the boy. "sorry, we had other plans" is how I responded, wondering why people in Visoca, that I barely knew kept calling me out on my flakiness. It was arranged for us to meet up that afternoon for coffee, which we did. Then he took us around the university. The University of Vicosa, is the 3rd best university in the country and the the only beautiful part of the city. The poorly kept-up roads, low cement buildings with cracked paint, dirty walls and sliding garage doors reminds one distinctly of a favela. But, the people, we had by this time discovered, more than make up lack of aesthetic beauty, and the University campus is really quite lovely.
Then we got beers, and after that at some point we got dinner and more beer. And soon it was 2am.
we changed our bus tickets to a later time on Monday, as nilo (the handsome stranger) offered to introduce us to some professors at the university that could help Jess with her research (which was really the initial point of the trip, before fun took precedence... She was to interview, and I was to translate). The tree of us managed to speak to 4 professors, so the weekend was successful in terms business as well as pleasure. Take that mother fuckers.


Spagett! said...

Minus 20 fun points for writing a blog post so long that I have absolutely no desire to read it.

KDHL said...

..."I responded, wondering why people in Visoca, that I barely knew kept calling me out on my flakiness."


Werd said...

Agreed with Cory, even though I read the whole thing.

Also, your flakiness is legendary. It transcends space and time. It's a good thing you surround yourself with the best enablers this planet has ever seen.

kritaliation said...

This is but a short excerpt. I could write a fun book.

Spagett! said...

I would judge your book by its cover, and ultimately decide not to read it.

kritaliation said...

how do you know what cover art I would use?

GrrlMonstrr said...

Kri, my dear. I wholeheartedly disagree with the attention challenged malcontents who criticize the length of this post. This could be at least in part attributable to the fact that I have consumed enough methamphetamine salt in the past 48 hours to focus one of those hyperactive 8 year old boys featured on the likes of 20/20 but that does not change the fact that your prose is as lovely as it is riveting.

-Allison, the girl

JNB said...

The cover art should definitely be a picture of the track-suit wearing, yellow leg stripe advertising bartenders. Yes, that would be the most appropriate for this novel.

How is it, even in a different country you are still a magnet for awkward situations, i.e., being called on your flakiness numerous times? I love it.