Some of my friends are tired of hearing about all my traveling. I feel like it's been a long time since I've gone anywhere other than Goiânia! In any case, I´m going to the São Paulo area for the weekend.
I´m flying to the domestic airport in São Paulo tomorrow afternoon. As you may remember from previous journals, I´m going to miss the other part of the trip - the part going to Chicago! Dante´s meeting me at the airport because I´m taking more of his stuff to him, but then I´ll take a bus to Campinas to stay with Lenora for a few days. She has classes and work at the hospital every day, but I´ll find something to do while she´s gone and we can do things together when she gets home.
I don´t think my cell phone will work in Campinas, but if there´s an emergency, Lenora´s cell phone (calling from the US) is 011-55-19-9648-3188 and her home phone is 011-55-19-3289-9391. If you call from inside Brasil, you need to dial 015 before the area code. Lenora speaks fluent English, but she turns off the cell phone when she´s working at the hospital.
If Lenora doesn´t have to work on Saturday, we´re going to the beach. I´m thinking about Ilhabela, an island in the Atlantic. It´s about 2 hours from São Paulo to São Sebastão, and then a 15 minute ferry ride from São Sebastão to the island. But I´ve also heard a lot of other suggestions too, so we´ll play it by ear. I like what I´ve heard about Ilhabela because it has a huge nature preserve with a lot of Atlantic rainforest, but there are other beaches with more action, restaurants, better sand, and other beach-like features. These are much nicer decisions than I was making at the same time last year! I seldom even think of local assessors and politics any more.
Dante is going to school, teaching English in two places, and entertaining friends this week, but he´s going to join us at the beach if he can manage to get away on Saturday and Sunday.
I have continued to explore Goiânia this week. One day I went with Edmo to the Brasilian equivalent of the County Recorder´s office. After that, we stopped at a little restaurant called Sonho Meu. The name means "My Dream," and they specialize in handmade chocolate. Another day, I went to a neighborhood in Goiânia with stores called Camelódromos. We´ve had a lot of discussion about what the name means, but we don´t have a consensus yet. These are markets with individual booths for hawkers of cheap merchandise similar to the old version of Maxwell Street in Chicago. The city developed these areas and charges extremely cheap rent as a way of keeping the hawkers off the streets and confined into a specific area.
I went with Angela one night to see Million Dollar Baby in English with Portuguese subtitles. We went with Edmo later to the Obelisk bar, a buteco that specializes in balcalhão, a codfish rolled with spices into small round cakes and fried. They also have some of the coldest beer in Goiânia.
We´ve spent a lot of time at the hospital with Angela´s father, but he´s coming home to his apartment tomorrow, and they have arranged for home health care for him. After we left the hospital tonight, we went with her mother to Pamonha Pura for a corn-based entree similar to tamales, but unique to this area of Brazil, and then to the Arab Cafe next door for some of the best and strongest coffee in Goiânia. We finished the evening watching Big Brother Brasil, a reality show that may or may not be a good representation of Brasilian culture, depending on what age group you talk to!