sábado, junho 26, 2004

Sao Joao has come and gone. We went to Santo Antonio de Jesus for 3 days, and came back to discover the maid had shut Ona up in the storage room the day that we left. She totally destroyed the room trying to get out, broke some soap bottles, got into the juice cartons, it was a mess. She was extremely dirty and soapy, and I was worried about her consuming soap as she was trying to clean herself, so I took her into the shower for about 10 minutes. She took to it rather well, didn't even claw me up, I think because she realized it was for her own good. Once we were through, she walked around the bathroom dripping, meowing pitifully. It was quite a sight. She has since forgiven me, and now won't leave my side. Lela hissed at her for a few hours, but seems to have figured out that it is in fact Ona, and is now sleeping on my shoes in the "closet" area of the bedroom.

Our festivities over the last three days were common. We drove on the shoulder of BR 325 (I think that is the highway number) for about 25 kilometers, helping turn a 2 lane highway into a 4 lane highway, drank beer on the way, swerved around potholes, and did manage to find our way to the city we were intending to arrive at in the dark without too much trouble. In this process we did, however, loose the rest of the people we were traveling with, so we opted to wander about the main square in the city, and lo and behold, on this walk we found them. So problem solved. It was a rather typical holiday, Forro, caucus, all that good stuff.

We even made a brief trip to Cruz das Armas (I think this is the name of the city...) to see people attack each other with fireworks (a well known event of dangerous idiocy), and run from out of control Espadas (swords - the type of fireworks that shoots a column of fire into the sky, usually set on the ground with people surrounding watching; in this city people hold them and attempt to burn others, or kick them around like cans on the street as they shoot fire every which way). There are several parts of the city where there is "Area Prohibida" where one is not allowed to attack others with flaming material, however, as one woman we met on the street countered "The fireworks don't know that." Case in point, as we were walking up one of these "Areas" we heard the distinctive sound of the espada behind us. Generally, when one hears this sound, you should run because it means you are likely the in the vicinity to be struck by a burning column. So, just to see which way we needed to run, we looked behind us to see one shooting towards us like a rocket, with a nice slight twirl of a decent foot ball (American) throw. Logically, we ran from it, when really, we should have run towards it. In any case, we managed to just outrun it as it crashed to the ground. What fun.

Our lodging was provided by a friend of a friend who knew a nun who allowed us to stay in a guest bedroom area of their home, complete with bathroom and mosquito netting for the bed. Very nice people.

Somehow, with all this activity, and probably due in part to the wood smoke from all the bon fires in the streets, I have caught something else! Basically a cold, but that has manifested itself in my head, mostly the throat and the nose. It is quite aggravating as I can hardly stop sneezing enough to type sometimes. This is my excuse for not having actually done any work, despite staying home all day to do so. Perhaps my argument will be weakened by this long blog entry. Lets just pretend it doesn't exist for the moment, shall we?

sábado, junho 19, 2004

Minor update. Well, not really that minor.

We finally went to the cartorio on Friday with all the documents for us to get married. With all the red tape, which isn't that much when you get down to it (bumps excluded), it was a relatively strait forward process of filling out computer screens and telling the woman there the information that went in them. Some fun irony -
* With all the fuss for the right documents, legalized by the consulate, and translated into Portuguese, the woman more often asked us what information when where and we just told her - we could have told her I came from the moon, as long as she didn't check the birth certificate, which she did once to get the correct spelling of ELIZABETH.
* As soon as we walked into the office, the woman remembered Meuamor's name from when he had been there two months ago, but had to redo the form upon completion because she had filled it out as if he was the gringo and I was the Brasileira.

so mark the calenders - August 19th at 8:30 AM...

quinta-feira, junho 17, 2004

At the constant badgering of my mom, I have decided to put in another entry for those few who actually were reading this on a regular basis - this may only be for the benefit of my mother.

The first month here (hardly can believe one has passed, no?) has been great! The cats are settled in very nicely, right down to catching cockroaches at the back door at night and carrying them around like little wriggling prizes. They make fun toys, and I know not what becomes of them after they leave my sight - I never find the bodies...

After the scary incident of loosing Ona, who we later found hiding under the refridgerator, and a brief bout with some American Round worms that we found puked up on the kitchen floor one morning (who knew with that many trips to the vet that one of these girls would still manage to bring a foreign parasite into Brasil) they became quite taken with this new home that contains stairs. Lela likes when we throw her strings down from the upstairs, so she can bring them back up to us. Ona seems to like the fact that her "trout meow" echos so clearly if she does it in the hallway outside the bedroom at 3 AM. I think the whole condominium complex can hear her. They spend most days sleeping in the back bedroom where there is more sun, on an old smelly mattress left there by Meuamor's old roomate. He says they even have "chero do gato Brasileiro"- they smell like Brasilian cats now. I think however, that they smell sort of musty, and quite a bit like the mattress which smells distinctly like Taco Bell and makes me want to puke.

A few weeks ago now, I broke something on the car when I had my first driving lesson on a stick shift in 8 years. Speed bumps are not my friend. The car made a bad noise for a few weeks, but stopped sometime this week, for an unknown reason. I wrote to my friend Kevyn of this, accusing him of being crazy for some unrelated reasons, when he pointed out that I must be crazy to try to learn to - to quote his brilliant wit here - "learn to drive a stick in Portuguese in the fucked up traffic of Salvador - kind of like trying to learn to ski in Hell." As funny as this sounds, it is rather true. Someday I will find the link to a lovely animation about Italy that was compared to Salvador by some native Bahians - purely coincidental yet uncannily similar... And none of it has to do with the holes in the road that could easily kill your suspetion, a few tires, and lets not even talk about the ones that could swallow your car (one of these appeared not 1/10 of a mile from where I stayed last year the day before I left).

Last week was a nice long weekend, but I was unfortunatly sick with some kind of "flu da cidade" or dengue, we are not sure which. I was sick, writhing in pain in bed with a fever of 39.4 for the entire vacation, which sucked for me, and probably even worse for Meuamor, since he had to take care of me and deal with my constant whining, dengoza, and thoughts of suicide to get away from the pain of whatever I had. He also was sick with it for 1 whole day. We spent all of Valentine's Day sleeping. What a great married couple we are.

So now I just have to finish all my school work, right? I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can...