I've been waiting for my new bank card for weeks and I'm stir crazy. But I think it will arrive tomorrow, and I'll be off to friends in Brasilia, late Christmas in Rio, huge rave in Bahia, the French in São Luis, and the World Social Forum in Belém.
Hey! The World Social Forum! You should come!
The WSF is the international left's answer to the World Economic Forum, and this year it's in Belém, my old haunt in northern Brazil! It's at the end of January, and you totally have enough time to get a visa, or to just fly to French Guiana and get a temporary visa there! Come on: It's the perfect time to get out of the snow. The list of attending groups and events is dauntingly incredible. If you want help with the details or finding a place to stay, we'll work it out!
Check out the site: http://www.fsm2009amazonia.org.br/
Anyway, this last night in PoA, there was a fairly droopy storm, but it caused a huge electrical outage in my neighborhood. I *love* outages, so I went out into the now-serene night to watch Brazilians.
My apartment is on a big artery, where the street lights still gleamed out of place. Here, people stood outside in hushed circles. I walked three dark blocks to an artist's street, where open doors showed artists talking around candles.
On the next street, a full restaurant bustled with comradery, with people talking loudly in the dim light. I also passed kids, lit by their cellphones in doorways, and the homeless, archetypically taking no notice as they lay on their cardboard.
I returned home and walked up a dark staircase to my door. As I squinted to see if I'd gotten to the right door, someone inside turned on the lights.