Thursday, December 31, 2009

31 de Decembre

This week has been kind of a slow week. Christmas was a lot for me with Toni's family here for 3 days straight and then going to Mesquita the next day. I am not really learning to much Portuguese since I am not currently taking classes and I have been surrounded by Portuguese people. I am dying to speak english with someone. I haven't even had much of a chance to watch my american shows. We went shopping yesterday. Toni bought white shirts for me and him to wear to Revellon.

Last night Buyu ( real name is Andru, Toni's nephew, and I guess my nephew now ) came. He is staying with us for the holidays. Marcello and Marco arrive today. Last night I played PS3 with Buyu for 2 hours. We played Dead Space. Toni cleaned and made dinner. We had cows legs. It is better then is sounds. We also had rice and beans, of course. We then watched some of Ven Dancer. I forget the title in English but it is Antonia Banderas teaching dance to inner city youth. We went to bed realativly early.

When I woke up today it was raining which is not good for a huge beach party. First it rained for gay pride and now this! The interenet calls for rain tonight ( at a 60% chance ) so we will see. Tomorrow we are suppose to all go to Mesquita for a Churrasco. We will just have to wait to see for that too.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After...

Well Christmas is over. Me and Toni drank to much vodka last night while playing Uno with the kids. Me and Toni got into a little bit of a fight. Three days with two families and two dogs and a lot of drinking has taken a slight tole on my nerves. This morning the two families packed up there things and left. I know Toni was happy to spend the time with them.

His friends Helena has started therapy for her stomach cancer. He usually spends the holidays at her house. Unfortunately some money hungry Drivers ( motoristas ) have been hanging around her hoping to get some money. This has also driven a wedge between Helena and her daughter. Since she has been sick she has also gotten stranger so Toni is spending less time with her.

Today the weather is in the 90s. We both are tired and a little hung over so we are staying in. I talked to my friend Yeidy in New York. There it is freezing cold. Pretty soon 2009 will be at an end.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Feliz Natal

Well this is been my first Christmas in Rio. On the 23rd Toni's' brother came with his wife and three kids. The wife immediately started cooking with Toni. We had gone to the supermarket in the morning and bought a lot of food again. I tried to entertain the kids with Uno, a chess set and my Nintendo DS. Out of the three kids two are teenagers so they are easy to hang out with. The other brother is younger and more of a pest. He is two young for the games but wants to play so it is a little difficult. Me and Toni started drinking beer the first day but for Christmas eve switched to whiskey. Me and the kids still had to go to the supermarket a few times for assorted things. The supermarket on the day before Christmas was a mad house.

On Christmas eve Toni's' other brother visited with his wife and child. We had a big dinner with a turkey and a chicken. There was a lot of music and dancing. Feliz Natal to everybody!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Almost Christmas.

Yesterday was windy so we couldn't go to the beach. Instead we went to the pool for a couple hours. In the evening we went to the sambadomo ( the samba stadium ) to see the samba schools practise. Toni says that they will practise their parade every weekend until Carnival. All the people aren't there because a lot of foreigners come the week before and march in it. There are no costumes but everyone is wearing the T-shirts of their schools. There is a pretty full percussion section playing the schools samba. There are a few people in costume, but not many. There are a few trucks that drive where the floats will be. Even though it is only a rehearsal the grandstands are still full on spectators. I was standing along the parade route on the ground. I managed to get a water mug from Beija-flor. They also gave away programs with lyrics to all the new songs. Outside the grandstand was the usual stalls of beer sellers, hot dog vendors and churrasco vendors. I got the sausage I like and Toni got steak on a stick.
The next day was pretty warm so I made Toni take me to the beach. We haven't been in a couple weeks. The water was cold but enjoyable. We got seats with an umbrella. We also had about three beers each. Around 5pm we went to the Roxy theater to see Avator. If you ever go to Copacabana and want to see a movie the Roxy is a good choice. It is a historic building. It only has three screens but they are pretty good sized. You choose the seats you want when you buy the tickets. I got us two large cokes and popcorn ( Pipoca ) for 15 Reis. The movie was really good. The special effects were amazing. I could appreciate the theme of a man coming to a strange planet and falling in love with the indigenous people. After the movie we went Christmas shopping. The other day we had gone to a grocery store and bought a lot of the food we need. This time we went to some stores ( Lojas ) to buy presents. We went to Citycool to get some clothes for Toni's brothers family. He has some younger nephews and neices so we went to Loja Americana and got some toys ( Brincados ). We also got some other last minute things. What would Christmas be without a CD of Samba Christmas carols?

Friday, December 18, 2009


Toni decided I should make lunch today. I went to the grocery store in the morning. There are some amusing differences. There is a little less choices in the USA. They do not have fresh milk at's all boxes of Parmalat or powder. Forget Hamburger helper or macaroni and cheese. They don't eat baked beans. They don't have many items for foreign foods. There is no Mexican foods. They don't have peanut butter ( I did find some in Mundo Verde..which means Green World and they sell teas, candles, incense..that kind of thing ) They have a lot of good meat but a lot of it is pick out what you want and have it weighed. The same with fruit. The collection of fruits is really good and fruit juices. It is a little hard to find orange is more pineapple, passion fruit and peach. They have a lot of fresh cold cuts. They sell alcohol which is nice. I know they do in some parts of the USA but not all.

I bought pork chops as well as pasta. I also got two bags of other assorted things we needed. When I got home Toni was making rice with beans. I made my things we had lunch around 2pm. Afterwords Toni went back to work with Marcelo and there client. It is Friday so I am not sure what we are doing this weekend.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Today Toni had to work in Leblon and since I have never gone I decided to tag along. Marcelo showed up for breakfast. We had the normal. Eggs with a traditional Portuguese roll. Marcelo had bought a bread with ham and a soft cheese inside. We had coffee and peach juice. We took the taxi to Leblon. It isn't two far from our house. It is just south of Ipanema. It is on the far side of the lake that we drive around when we leave the tunnel. If you look at a map Ipaneman and Leblon both stretch along the beach from two different rock cropping. Behind them is the lake. The neighborhood surrounding the lake is called Lagoa ( which means lake ) On the the southwest side of the lake you can see the mountains of Cordova with the Christ statue on top. On the northwest is two more mountains. To get to Rio Compride you have to take two tunnels through two mountains.
Lagoa is a small neighborhood but very cute. It is very much like Ipanema. It is much smaller then Copacabana and cleaner too. It is a lot more residential and less touristy. The beach is the same though. I went two Lagoa Shopping which was a pretty modern mall. It was four stories. It had a movie theater. It had a pretty good food court. I walked around the neighborhood. I felt safe even though like every part of Rio you have to keep alert. I mailed my Christmas cards.
I met Toni and Marcelo after four hours. We did some errands ( went to the bank and went to the Loteria, or lottery, where strangely enough you can pay your bills ) We went to a restaurant and had a very Brazilian lunch. Fried pork, french fries and rice and beans with Chope ( draft beer ). We took another taxi home. Toni was tired. I watched TV and had a caparinha.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Last week

Last week was a slow week. Toni worked most of the time. It also rained a lot. I spent most of the week home with the dogs. Kakao has had an eye infection. About four months ago she had trouble with her liver and almost died. Unfortunately she went blind in one eye. Because she doesn't blink or close her eye she is prone to infections. Monday we took her to the veterinarian. It was a small office off the Plaza de Rio Comprido. The doctor prescribed two different pills and three different eye drops. She only gets the pills once a day but the eye drops are given every four hours. I was hoping it would go away but it has been a week now. Her eye has swelled and it needs to be cleaned out daily.

Saturday we took the car and visited Tonis' father and his family. There was also another relative and his family. We had churrasco. Me and Toni also picked up three six packs. When we got there we started drinking of course. You probably think I am an alcoholic by now but when you are in a situation where you are the only American surrounded by foreign speaking people a little alcohol does not hurt. We drank a lot. Of course Toni took over the stereo and we listen to a lot of Vanessa de Mata. I went to bed before Toni and took a sleeping pill and an Aspirin. I was sharing a large bed with my Tonis nephew. It was a little hot because the town they live in his pretty far from the ocean. In land it is pretty warm.

We woke up late the next morning and drove back. The dogs were of course pretty upset that we left them alone all night. Toni had to go to Copacabana to do Helenias' hair. I was tired and stayed home. His two hours of work turned into all day. Rita Ribera called and wanted her make up done that night. I had nothing to eat so in the late afternoon I walked to the super marked in the plaza. During the week the plaza is pretty busy but on Sunday it is pretty dead. The supermarket was closing so I just grabbed some hot dogs ( Cachorros quente ) and bread ( pao ) for breakfast. I also got some soda ( Refrigerente ) and Ice cream ( Servete ). I got strawberry ( Morango ) because Toni is alergic to choclate. I got home and started ate. The I took the dogs for a walk because they were going crazy. When Toni got home we ate again. He had bought some things for the house. I watched The Mentaslist and Gossip girl on Warner Chanel. Afterwords Toni wanted to watch Flightplane ( Plano de Voo ) on Globo.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Desfile de gays no Mesquita.

Sunday we were attending the first annual gay pride parade in Mesquita. We got up around noon and got everything ready. Since Toni was definitely drinking we were driving and taking the dogs with us. That way we could spent the night at Marcelos and Marcos house. We got there and no one was there to let us in. Toni jumped over the gate. The house itself was open. In Rio most all building have a gate of some kind guarding the building from the street. In Mesquita most houses had a court yard in the front that is protected by a wall. Marco did finally come when we were about to leave. There was a big party for the local soccer team in the town square. Everywhere people were dressed in Flamengo colors of red and black. All the bars were filled with guys drinking beer watching the game. We met everyone and started drinking beers. After a little over an hour Toni had to go to the bathroom so we walked back home. We also were hungry we had some rice and beans. The parade was starting soon and it was going right down Marcelo's street. We all walked down about seven blocks to where it was starting. The parade was basically four really big trucks with a lot of drag queens and go go boys. We continued drinking. The parade started and we walked down the street with everyone. The parade stopped outside of Marcelos house where there was a big stage. Everyone was drinking and eating Churrasco. I started with a sausage on a stick and then also had chicken and steak. We walked through the crowds several time. It was actually like gay pride anywhere in the world. Drag queens, guys with out shirts and Madonna and Brittany playing. There was lots of venders selling beer which is different then dry New York. Me and Toni ended up passing out around 4am. The next morning I had a pretty bad headache. Marco gave me some medicine and I finally felt better. Since we had the car we decided to go to the Supermarcado before we went home. Marco came with us. We got a cart full of food. Plus two bottle of wine, vodka and a bottle of casacha to make Caparinhas. We then loaded up the car and left.

Sabado na boda

Saturday we woke up late again. We had to rush to get over to Helena's house. Toni was doing the make-up for Heleni ( Heleni is Helena's granddaughter and is also named Helena so Heleni is a nickname so we don't get confused. ) A couple that work for Helena were getting married and had kindly invited us to the wedding. The only bad thing was that is was being held an our outside of Rio. Thus Toni was driving the four of us. We got there and Toni started on her hair. I don't think she loved it because she was screaming in Portuguese at her. He but it up and curled it. She said she looked like Amy whinehouse. I would not go that far.
The place was not easy to find. It took Toni four or five calls and we had to ask directions from people on the street until we found it. The place was not to bad. It had a patio and trees with lights. We had not eaten so I was starving. After waiting an hour they served baskets of Salgados. Salgados is the generic work for salty snacks. In this case it was empadas, ( small round empanadas ) cheese balls, shrimp balls and a breaded cheese banana snack. There was also a lot of people serving pitchers of different sodas. I found out the couple were strict Christians. This was my first Brazilian party were the place wasn't filled with beer. The snacks were great except they served us like 8 more baskets. There was also a table of chocolates, three tortes and of course a huge wedding cake.
The place filled up with people. They had a orchestra of high school kids who started playing. Heleni was a bride grooms so she left to walk in with her date. We took pictures as the bride came in and then sat down. The bride and groom were at a gazebo in the back area. There wasn't room for everyone so I sat at the table. The micro-phone went in and out so I didn't get the whole sermon but he seemed to like to yell. When it was done we took photos. At his wedding everyone got to take a photo of the bride and groom. Me and Heleni got chocolates. Toni was ready to leave so we didn't wait for them to cut the cakes.

When we got home Toni was starving. We went to the sushi restaurant by Lagoa lake that we had been to several times with Helena. In fact, when we got there Helena was there with her friends the motoristas ( drivers...they drive cars for a living.) We had two draft beers with them and then they left. Me and Toni stayed and ordered a steak with a fried egg on top. It also came with rice and french fries. Jean Willis called while we were eating and wanted us to meet him in Lapa. Lapa is the neighborhood close to Centro, or downtown. It is famous for the arches that carry a train at the top that goes from Centro to the other neighborhood Santa Teresa. We went to this gay club called Estrella club ( star club ). When we arrived the street was filled with young cute guys smoking. We had to pay 50 reias to get in, but then it was all you could drink soda and beer. The club had three floors. The first floor had TV's playing videos. The second floor had Karaoke and the top floor was the dance floor. We drank beer until Jean came. Then we went upstairs. I was already tired from the long day so I was getting pretty tired. I was also getting pretty drunk. We stayed for a little over an hour. We went upstairs and danced a bit. The Jean and Toni sang a song each in the Karaoke floor. We Finaly left for home around 4am.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Chuvia no sexta ( Rain on Friday )

Last night our friend Luecia came over. We open wine and put on a Brazilian video of samba and bassa nova singers. Toni made sliced sausages and cheese for a snack. I don't know how long we stayed up but there was 4 empty wine bottles and we went through 4 videos ...the last one being of last years carnival. Toni call Luecia a taxi.
Friday Toni got up before me and got ready for his client. She arrived with Marcelo while I was still in bed. Around 11 I got up and made breakfast for myself. It was raining. No beach or pool for me. The dogs were also unhappy because there was no walk outside today. Toni went to Copacabana to do Apracidas hair. He also had a English test. Afterwords he was doing dreds for this singer, Dylon Filipe. It was a pretty slow day for me. I watched some tv and then spent the rest of the afternoon playing Playstation 3. Chris, and old friend from NY but who is married in lives in Germany, called in the afternoon. It was nice to talk to him. It was very nice to speak English again. Afterwords I studied Portuguese. I really need to sell my apartment so I have money to get a tutor.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Monday Toni had a client in Barra de Tijuca. I had never been so I went with him. Barra has a great beach but I get bored in the beach alone. Since Barra has one of the biggest malls in South America I went there. It was a huge two floor mall. I felt like I was in North America. I had lunch at McDonald's ( I have not had fast food in two months!) I found a great store for Cd's, movies and video games. I spent over five hours there so I now know the mall quite well. When Toni got off work he came and met me. We had three beers and then had dinner at an Italian restaurant. They have a great modern cinema with 18 screens. We saw a Trilha ( which means the past, but i think the movie is called the getaway in English. ) The movie was just OK but it is nice to have a date night. After works we took a taxi back which cost around 4o reais.

Tuesday me and Toni went to Copacabana. Toni did not have to work. Since I finally had a cpf number he wanted to go to the bank to arrange our joint account. He wanted to just add me to his account. They had told us that with a cpf and a passport it would not be a problem. When we got there we found out that I could only be added if I was a citizen. It makes perfect sense that to be a citizen they want me to live here for a year and have a joint account with Toni, but then non of the banks will give me an account. We went to HSBC which is where I have an account. Since my account is in the US if does not help me open an account in Brasil. They said to contact my branch in New York and have them contact Brasil. This sounds like a huge run around to me. Toni was a little depressed after that. We though it would be simple but like everything else it is not. Toni talked on the phone at the beach and I went into the water. Today the water was dirty. Not only was there some trash but the water was green with kelp. We also drank some beers. Down the cityscape by Ipanema I noticed black billowing smoke. The man that sold us beers said that there are a lot of banditos ( thieves )in copacabana today and that we should be careful. We went home. We cleaned the house a little and drank Whiskey and red bull. Amy Whinehouse came over for a little bit.

The next day Toni had to work early in Ipanema. I went online, walked the dogs and cleaned the house. When Toni came home for lunch he told me that yesterday the smoke was from a bus burning. The drug lords in the two favelas in Copacabana were angry about the police presence in their neighborhood so they had some kid run on an empty bus and leave a bomb. Now there are police all over Copacabana. Me and Toni went to the pool for about an hour. It was a little obnoxious because there was like nine kids from the neighborhood splashing and screaming. Afterwords we went upstairs and I helped Toni study. He has an English test on Friday.