Brazil is incredible! An awful lot has happened in the past couple weeks, and then again in the past couple days. I've been making a whirlygig tour of this immense country. Briefly, that consisted of:
Sao Paulo, where the hostel I stayed at had a pile of musical instruments that came out every night as people sat around beers and sang Brazilian tunes. Brazilians love to sing, and they'll use any excuse.
Rio, in which I wound up with a working girl wrapped around each arm, and a previously-unknown relative across a table littered in beers, whose indigenous-Brazilian girlfriend was telling me that all her 16 year old cousins were pregnant, but she had one 15 year old cousin who would be perfect for me.
Belo Horizonte, with its impeccable design, and the cobblestone-clad grandmother city Ouro Preto. The latter wasn't on my schedule, but my bus was full by the time I got to the bus station. So I bought a ticket for the next day, and decided to spend the wait exploring.
Salvador, a haven of Afro-Brazilian everything. In Salvador, I attended a beer-filled birthday bash, with more singing and some of the prettiest women in Brazil. I missed my bus out, and it couldn't have turned out better-- I got a ticket on a better bus at no cost, followed by better pizza than I ordered, followed by a free seat to sleep on.
Recife and art-packed Olinda. The woman of my dreams probably lives in Olinda, where every color-framed window reveals another artist's workshop. My Portuguese is getting better, but I was so confused by the buses in Recife and so inept at understanding the answers people gave that it took a bus-full of people to help me out. But Brazil is filled with such good-will.
And Belém, where I'm going to stay a while. Belém is about a degree south of the equator, on the mouth of the colossal Amazon River. It's beautiful, busy, filled with fairs, and has an artsy underscene. Within day of posting about rooms for rent on the Belem couchsurfing group, I had a pile of new friends; a room almost secured with an gregarious, entrepreneurial pothead; and lunch, beach, exploring, and shopping plans. Now I'm staying in the lavish apartment of a fun, kind, and hot lawyer/traveler, a block from ground-zero of Belém's biggest festival.
I sort of bused myself into a corner, with the south of Brazil still unseen. But I figure I can get a plane ticket in about a month from top to bottom and go from there.
All told, the past two weeks involved over 100 hours of long-distance busing, spending time in 4 hostels and 9 individuals' houses, and uncountable new foods and musics. And I don't have pictures from any of it. My camera has been without power since Boston, and I left my charger in the "moving bag" I have stashed away in Sao Paulo.
Can you help fill-in my photo gap? Do you have pictures from the past few weeks of Boston? I want to see my friends, and how you're all getting along! And I haven't read a word of LJ recently, but I'm crawling back out of my hole.