January 23rd, 2007

(no subject)

I ended up at a hospadagem in Teresina. That is like a hotel that feeds you three times a day. Fortunately, I had A/C in my room (and with food, a large room, a private bathroom, and A/C was paying less than in almost all of the other places I'd been in Brazil). The A/C was important because it was hot even at night.

Teresina has some charm, but most of it has been paved over. Except for a few nice plaza, from my hotel, I could walk for an hour in any direction and not reach anything except concrete.

One of my favorite parts of Teresina is that, after a few minutes of conversation, people would ask me what state I'm from.

I met a dentist at my hotel. He invited me to go Forro dancing. We drove. I hadn't been in a private car since I arrived in Brazil. I didn't realize at the time, but we were going to a big-name concert, the group was called Aviães de Forro. It cost 20 reais to get in. The vast majority of my interactions in Brazil have been with the lowest economic classes. This was my second big social interaction with the middle or upper classes here. They aren't as free.

My first experience was at a hip club in Salvador. I was ready to leave in less than 30 minutes. The music was good, but people pushed a lot. In the free parties, at least the pick pockets don't push.

This Forro concert was much better than my first experience, but people wanted to be friendly about 50% of the time and at the lower class parties it's closer to 100%. My dentist friend was married, but had one goal at the concert. I don't think he got any play, so he left. I'm not sure when, since I didn't see him leave and never saw him again afterwards. I had to catch a cab home. Pointedly enough, that night I met several women who didn't like to date Brazilian men because they didn't trust them to be loyal.

I tried out the mall in Teresina. There are two malls. One of the malls would fit in in the US (minus the woman running around in the power puff girl costume). The other was different. It was open air and everything was centered around themed plazas. The first plaza I saw was an amusement park. Another was Japanese themed. The result was quite nice.

While at the mall, I watched the new Bond movie (I liked it, but don't think they ever thought about why the bad guys would do many of the things they did). Normally, any blog that has lines like, “I went to see a movie today” is one that I wouldn't read very often. However, this movie experience was different. Bangladesh doesn't really show international movies. In Spanish countries, the movies are dubbed. In Brazil, the movies are in English with Portuguese subtitles. For two hours, I was totally in the world of English. At the end of the movie, in just an instant, I flew back thousands of miles to the world of Portuguese. It made me appreciate how far I've traveled.