Thursday, October 28, 2010

House guests

One thing that is different here then New York and Ohio is the length of time that guests come to visit. In Ohio a person may visit 1 or 2 hours for friends and maybe 5 or 6 for family or real close friends. In New York visits are very short. Friends may visit for an hour...but mostly you meet out in the city and it is only a long visit if you see a movie or go to a cool bar. In South American you may have a guest visit for days. I am serious. Toni's sister is still in town. When she arrived they only bought the arrival ticket so I don't even know when they plan on leaving. They are not spending all their time with us. They have stayed at Toni's brother house. The husband also has family in the favelas. Toni's older brother Manuel came here to visit them last weekend. The visit lasted for 2 days since they ( Manuel and his wife and son ) decided to sleep on our living room floor. Toni's other brother Serverus ( with his wife, daughter and son ) is visiting this weekend so I am assuming it will be a two day visit also. We visited him for Churrasco a couple weeks ago and ended up spending the night and leaving the late afternoon. The visits are also almost like a holiday with the women cooking and making lots of food. Of course there is also lots of beer.

Last week Marcelo was in the neighborhood with two friends. They wanted to stop by so I was thinking they would be here for a couple hours since they all live an hour away. I was wrong. They stayed here all afternoon and we drank a lot of beer. One of the things that attracted me about Brasil was the friendliness of the people. The long visits are just something you have to keep in mind. Especially when it comes to family....because it is not like you have a choice.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Favela














































The other day Me and Toni visited the Favela Rocinha. Rocinha is the largest favela in Rio and is home to around a quarter of a million people. It is located past Ipanema and Leblon and before Barra de Tijuca. The word Favela is the name of a tree that grows on mountains. When the slaves were freed in Brasil there was a time when they could not own land and they could not find work. Because of this they built here temporary communities on the mountain side. As more and more people came to the city and could not afford housing there towns became larger and more permanent. In the 70's the government tried to destroy there favelas but were unsuccessful because the people did not want to leave and the government did not have the money to building affordable housing for them. The Government now more or less accepts Favelas into society and supplies them with water and electricity. The favelas have businesses and stores like any other town. Because of the twisting and turning small alleys and streets most of the houses can only be reached on foot.

The favelas have little to none police pr essence. Because of this the drug trade has flourished there. This of course has led to crime and shootings. The police do raid the favelas now but it is almost impossible with the way the favelas are organized to really police them. As soon as the arrest one drug trafficker there are a line of others that will take there place.

Many people do live and work in the favelas. A lot of the facionistas ( domestic help ) and lesser income workers live in the favelas. The favelas are a fact of life in Rio.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cafe de Manha

Breakfast, like many Americans, is my favorite meal. In brazil we normally have a bread roll, Paozinho, which is basically a french Beget. Some people eat it plain or toasted but we normally have it with cheese and cold cuts. It is also common for us to have a fried egg with it. We also normally have coffee, Juice, Yogurt and fresh fruit.

Since Toni saw Tera eating pancakes on True Blood he has wanted me to make them for him. Since I also enjoy traditional American breakfast I agreed. They have bacon here so that was not a problem. I got a Pancake recipe from online and making them was relatively early. Finding Maple syrup was a little more difficult. They normally use Honey as a sweet topping. They also have Strawberry and Choc late syrup for Ice Cream. I am a traditionalist so I had to find Maple. After a couple weeks I found a small bottle in a Import section of a liquor store. It was Imported from Canada and $30 reais for a tiny bottle but I bought it. A few days later I woke up early and made it. It was a complete success and I am looking forward to making it again ( but next time I will try with fruit...blueberry pancakes are my favorite.

I am also missing macaroni and cheese. I have a recipe and have finally found a place that sells Cheddar cheese in Ipanema. It is $20 for a small piece but I think it will be worth it. They like Cheddar here because they have cheese slice and spread ...just not a block of the cheese itself.

Tomorrow I have class. I have tried to study today. It is coming, not as quick as I would like, but I think I am getting better. Even so I think my first job is still a ways off.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Spring....Goodbye to a friend.

It is now Spring. It is also almost a year that I have been here. I moved here on October 11th. I was back in New York for 3 months during the summer but we will just call that a very long vacation. I am still taking classes with my Professor. She is nice but it is still a little strange. She says " Tranquilo" to me a lot. I don't know if she thinks I am nervous. The fact that she keeps saying "Tranquilo" to me is starting to make me nervous. I am getting the language but I still have a lot of work to do. Especially with pronunciation. I am still practising rolling my Rs. It took me three years of Spanish to remember to pronounce J as a soft guttural sound but now I have to remember in Portuguese to go back to a hard J. Hopefully eventually it will all come together and I will find work. Toni has been speaking more English so hopefully he is finally getting it.

Today was Helena's funeral. Her stomach cancer ended up being to much for her. She was not in very good health to begin with so it was not a complete surprise but still very sad. I put on my Etro suit for the viewing and was the best dressed there. Brazilians also dress casual for funeral. Most people were in Jeans and sneakers...including her family. The funeral home was large and modern. It was in the middle of a cemetery. When you entered there was a coffee shop on the left and them 7 or 8 chapels. Helena was in Chapel 5. Most of the people were in the common hall that had a lot of seats. The room with the coffin was small. The coffin was covered with flowers with just a small window to look in and see her face. I did not look in. Since I have no idea what to say to her friends and family I kept quite and just followed Toni around. Some men came and took her coffin at the end of the viewing time. We all got into cars and went to a little building in the back of the cemetery. This was the crematorium. We all waited in the lobby as they took her in. After half and hour more time it was over and we all just left. Me and Toni came home with Marcelo. We had a churrasco last night and we still had meat here so we had lunch. Toni is sad but he is dealing with it. We both know how short life is. We will miss our evenings drinking wine with Helena. As spring is here we say goodbye to our friend.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Winter







Winter is almost over. Winter ends here on September the 22ND. It has been warm still ...only cool on occasion. Saturday was Gay pride again in Mesquita so Toni wanted to go. We took a taxi there with the dogs on Saturday. A taxi ride there costs 50 reais. We went to Marcelo and Marcos house. There friend Janene was singing in the Plaza in the afternoon. She was at Marcelos house practising with her band which was a girl on keyboards and a guy doing drums. We had Churrasco and drank beers. Later in the night Toni made Caiparinhas. Somehow after the band stopped practising the speaker and microphone were there so the night turned into Karaoke.

The next day we got up, hungover, with more friends in the house. We all showered and had breakfast...and then an hour later started drinking again. We went to the town plaza and listened to a band and drank beer. In the late afternoon there was a parade and then a show that was only a block away from Marcelos' house. At 9pm the taxi came and got us and we all ( us and the dogs ) went back to Rio.

The next day Toni and Marcelo worked in the house. Afterwords we went into Copacabana to visit Helena who is really sick. They have stopped chemotherapy and her health has not improved. Her birthday is this week and the doctors think it will be her last. Afterwords we walked along the beach and then had dinner at a new restaurant along Lagoa that serve food from the northeast of Brasil.

Wednesday I had my second class with a professor in Copacabana. I also have my third class tomorrow. They seem to be pretty good. I had to translate a two page history article that was a challenge. I am glad I am making some progress towards speaking Portuguese and one day finding a job.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

time goes by...











The search for Portuguese are still continuing. I was thinking about going to Puc ( which is a famous Catholic university here ) but it is really expensive. It is $800 to enroll and then 4 payments of $600. That is just for one term of classes. We then were thinking of wizard language school which is cheaper but we found out that you only meet with a teacher for 15 minutes and the rest of the class is listening to tapes. Toni is talking to a lady who says she will teach me for $45 an hour...but she will discount it if we take 30 hours worth of classes. Until then I purchase a workbook and have been doing exercises at home.

Monday we went to centro. We walked around and I took Toni to Catadral Moderno...which has never been in. We took the ferry to Niteroi and went shopping. Niteroi is across the bay and is famous for its Museum of Modern Art. Tuesday we woke up late and went to the supermarket. Toni argued for about 3 hours on the phone with our cable company NET because the bill was wrong again. The last time he argued with them we got HBO and Cinemax for free. This time I don't think we will get anything. In the evening we studied.

Today it is hot. Toni has had two clients in the apartment and tonight is going to Copacabana to do Jinatas hair. We were looking at apartments to move to a different neighborhood but Copacabana and Ipanema are at least double then what we are paying now. It looks like we are here for awhile.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Winter in Brasil.

Winter in brasil has been pretty warm. It has been in the 80s most of the time. Once in awhile it is in the high 70s and people go crazy. My husband is wearing the leather jackets and scarves like the north pole. I miss the beach though. The beach does bring me a certain amount of peace. I have gone a couple times to walk on Atlantica avenue...but I haven't been in the water since my friend Den was here. I thought there might be some rain here...but the rain is actually more in the summer.

It has been pretty slow here. Toni worked during the week and I spent two days playing Bioshock on Playstation 3. I am becoming a little addicted which probably is not a good thing. I went through the game infamous in a week and a half...but in my defense they are both great games. Today we went to Copacabana. Toni worked with his client Apracida. I walked around for an hour. Afterwords we paid bills and went shopping.We just got new sheets and a blanket for our bed. we also went to visit a new language school which I probably will go to. Before I said I wanted a tutor. But in normal Brazilian fashion that was not happening how I had imagined. Toni knew of some teacher he had worked with a few years ago. He did not have a number for this guy so we went to his corner and asked the guy that works at the newspaper Kiosk where he lives. We found his building and went up to talk to him. He seemed nice but a little dubious. His house was a little studio cluttered with things. He had some strange American lying on his couch. He was old, bald and fat. He was in shorts and a tank. I quickly got my mental image of a sophisticated professor blown apart. I could see Toni not wanting me to study with a hot brazilian stud...but how about a nice educated woman? I think a school with books and computers will be better for me. That and the school is only one block from the beach so it will not ruin my beach time ( if it does come again next summer ). The classes start in August and will last for 18 months if I do the whole program. Everything ( books included would cost 5000 reais ( That is only if I do the whole Program ). I definitely need to get started learning.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rainy saturday....

It has been raining all day today. It seems like the rainy season has come at last. Toni worked in Barra de Tijuca all day. His sister-in -law cleaned that house and left this morning. I spent the day bonding with the dogs and playing Playstation 3....I am obsessed with Infamous....it is a great game. We called a teacher for me and he is suppose to call us back soon. We are going to a party tonight in Lapa. As I write this me and Toni are drinking our first whiskey and Red bull.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

another week....

This week has kind of been slow. Since the paperwork in the visa is done, I don't have that to worry about. This week I wanted to find a language teacher. Toni is suppose to call an old teacher of his that teaches Portuguese as well as English. Toni has worked the past two days in the favellas. He doesn't like to..because he is terrified of favellas...but i guess work is work. For those who don't know the favellas are the slums. In Rio they are usually on the mountain side but he is going to one by the airport today. I went to the grocery store and then made lasagna for tonight. It has been cool today and lightly raining. We are maybe going to the beach tomorrow but it depends on the weather.

I have been playing a lot of video games. I finished the game SAW and am now playing Infamous. Both games have been a lot of fun. Toni's sister in law has been coming on Saturdays to clean our house for us ( for a charge of course ). She sometimes brings her son Peo and spends the night. Toni is happy that the house is clean but it usually only last a few days with our two dogs. I would rather we didn't because we aren't exactly rich right now. I can't complain though since I am such a bad house keeper myself.

The other night we saw Eclipse at the theater. I liked it but it isn't for everyone. It is more of a teen romance...so if you go into thinking it is a horror or action film you will be disappointed. I read all four books in Spanish when I was studing that language. I think we are going to Knight and day...the new Tom Cruise and Cameron Diez film....here it is called Encontro Explosivo ( explosive date ). It is weird to find out what movies and shows are named here...Tru Blood is called Gosto por Sangue ( Taste for blood ).

I talked to Toni today and I think we might go to Sao Paulo soon. That should be a fun trip.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Into the groove


Den visited this week. Den is a friend from New York. We worked together in the late 90's at Emporio Armani. I have seen him on and off at the bars and clubs in New York ( Splash and the Roxy ). He called me and said he was staying in an apartment in Ipanema. I took a bus the next day and went to the gay beach. He wasn't there so I walked to the apartment. I told the door guy my name but the owner of the apartment did not accept me. I started walking back down the side walk and Den came out yelling my name. He hadn't recognized my name through the doorman's accent. He went back up and got some of this things and we went to the beach. Toni was working but came to meet us afterwords. The sun was out. Winter in Rio has not been very cold or rainy so far. We then all went to lunch at our favorite Ipanema restaurant.



Monday night me and Toni met Samuel and went to a party that was held in a hotel on Copacabana beach. We stayed until four in the morning. It was funny because at the end of the night they served a breakfast upstairs so everybody just left the dance floor, went upstairs and ate and then left. They had tea, coffee and Juice. Portuguese bread with cheese and ham. And bowls of fruits, apples, pairs and bananas.



Toni worked a few times during the week. I went shopping and got us a new Coffee maker, frying pan and soap dish. Toni finally starting going to English class again and I helped him study the one night. Next week the big mission will be to find me a language teacher.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red tape....finished.

Today me and Toni went to the airport to finish with our paper work. We went early so we thought we would get in quickly. Instead we waited 4 hours. But they gave out 46 number and we got number 42 so the people that came in the afternoon could't get an appointment. We went to the same agent that we saw that last times. He is very nice and helpfull. We showed him all our documents. Everthing was good. He finaly gave us a slip of paper with my picture. It is basicaly my temporary visa. It is good until my Permanant visa comes in 2 years. I also have to get a stamp every 180 days. The good news Is that I can do everything I need to do until then. I can get a job, bank account and drive in Rio. I did have to apply at the Department of work but they said I would get a card and be able to work in 30 days. I guess It is time to look for a Language school now.

We went and got groceries afterwords. Toni made steak and pasta for dinner. Toni is of course very excited that I don't have to leave tomorrow. SO the adventure continues...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Red tape...red tape...

The last three days have been kind of hellish. I have until next Tuesday to finish all my paperwork for my permanent visa. The last three days we have gone to the immigration department that is run by Polica federeis ( Federal Police ) that is located at the airport. The airport from our house is about $35 reias. There is a bus that goes to and from Copacabana that is $8 reais but it does take awhile because it also stops at the local airport and runs through centro.
When we get there we take a number and it usually takes us about 2 hours to talk to someone.

This is basically what they require for a gay couple wanting a permanent visa ( When one is a estranghero ..or foreigner )

A form with your info...name ..birthdate..parents name...visa info...etc

A letter basically telling your history with the other person...when you met ...how long...basicaly a one page essay...filled our by the Brazilian ( Toni in my case ).

Proof of marriage from another country ( which does not work for Americans...since it is not legal here ) or
Certificate from a judge...which we don't have...or
declaration of civil union....Bingo....that we do have of the following.

and then

Proof that we are dependent on each other...or..
certificate of a religious ceremony...nope..we don't have that either...or
Proof that we purchase or rent and apartment together...which we do have from this group.
or A bank account together...which is impossible because Brazilian banks don't give account to foreigners.

A letter from the Brazilian that he will be responsible for the other person

Proof of work...which Toni had to provide ...that he can provide for us.

Copy of Toni's Identification and a copy of my complete passport.

Proof that the foreign person is not a criminal ( which is the FBI form that I spent the last three months getting...and it has to be within the last 90 days )

You have to pay $102 tax. ( you have to download the form by Internet and pay in a bank )

The foreign person has to write a letter claiming he is not married in his home country.

2 pictures ( passport style ) 0f foreigner and one of the Brazilian.

All copies of forms need to be legalized in a Notary office....Everything. And the notary office is usually a nice hour wait. We have all spent a fair amount of time in Toni's bank and a copy center.

We are close ...but we won't be able to go again till Monday...which is cutting it short when the deadline is Tuesday. I can't of had a little argument with Toni because some of this could of been done while I was in New York. We have basically done everything in the last few days...as well as fill about our health insurance forms and translate my FBI form. This was one of the times when the Brazilian relaxed way of life is really driving me crazy. But if everything goes well I everything will be done....and I just have to wait for my visa to actually come.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

World Cup Fever.







I have been in Brazil for a week now. The city is crazy with World cup fever. The matches are playing all the time on TV. Friday the 25th Brazil played against Portugal. We invited some people over but only a neighbor from across the street was able to come. Both teams played well and no goals were made. We ended up pretty much drinking all day though.



Saturday evening we went to a birthday party for the sister of Rita Ribera. Rita is a pretty popular singer here....check her out on You Tube sometime. We drank a lot this night too. There was also a chef making dishes from the Northeast. I had a bowl with rice and a thick yellow soup with shrimp. A miracle has happened and I actually am understanding a lot more of what people are saying. Maybe the three months away from Brazil let my brain absorb some things. The party was the usual cast of characters. A lot of people were smoking pot in the back room ( not that I had any ). We got home pretty late that night.



Sunday we woke up late and got ready for the next big game. Toni's friend samuel invited us to a churrasco at his apartment a block away from Copacabana beach. We went to the supermarket and got beer and Cachasa right when It was closing. A lot of businesses and supermarket close for the Brazilian matches because EVERYONE is watching the game. There was about fifteen of us watching the game. The match began at about 3:30pm. Everyone dresses in Brazilian colors for the game. You will also see lots of flags and green and yellow decorations all over the place during world cup. Toni made us Caiparinhas and I had three and then switched to beer. Brazil won by three goals over Chile. Every time they scored everyone jumped, danced and screamed. During half time we played dance music and danced the whole time.



After the game we strayed and went to Le Boy bar with samuel. They had Karaoke night and Toni sang one song. We had just a few beers. At around 11pm we left for home. The next time we went to Copacabana to get our papers ready for immigration. We made copies of a lot of our documents and had to pay to get my visa and entry card copied and then legalized with a notary stamp. Tomorrow we are going to the Federal Police at the airport to see if we can go ahead and apply for my visa. If we can we will apply...or at least see what I am lacking. We are both kind of nervous because I don't have many days left on my tourist visa.

Friday is Brazil's next games. England beat Portugal today by one goal. Hopefully my visa paperwork will be done and I will be able to enjoy the game.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back to Rio...

I made it to Rio ok. I left Sunday morning bright and early. I was a little hung over because I went to dinner and then drinks with Andrew and Yeidy. The fligth was 10 hours and landed directly in Rio. I saw about 4 filmes but none of them were that great. Toni met me at the airport. I had to buy a playstaion 3 for Jinata, our landlady, who was so excited she was waiting for us at home. We took a taxi because Toni had been drinking beer while he was waiting.

After some unpacking me and Toni had dinner. Toni had made a large whole baked chicken with potatoes. We also had rice and beans. We then had some whiskeys and red bulls. We stayed up talking and I played one of the video games I brought.

The next day we woke up late and had lunch. We then went into Copacabana to run errands. Toni had to get a lease that we need for our paperwork legalized at the office of Registry. We also had to drop off my FBI document to the transaltor who is friends with Toni's friend Romulado. We then went to visit Apracida. I had bought a bottle of Pablo Picasso perfume for her at duty free. I met her husband for the first. After our visit it was getting late so we went home and made dinner and watched a horror movie that I had brought from america. It was touristas and is about a doctor who kidnappes toursists and robs their organs. Toni likes horror movies and I figured he would enjoy the Northeast brazilian setting.

The next day we woke up and in the afternoon a lady came to sign us up for a health plan. Medical treatment is free in Brazil..but if you want better care without waiting in lines forever it is a good idea to get a health plan. Also we need it as one of our requirements for my visa. Entering the country I was given 16 days to arrange total to apply for my visa. We are both kind of nervous to get eveything done but we are getting closer to having everything done.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The last day....( again )

Today is my last day in New York ...well again. I said all my Good byes before...but here I am doing it again. I lived at Jenny and Nishas for 2 months so I am sure they are ready to have there spare room back. I enjoyed working at Etro again. The new people were really great...Zack and Jr. And it was great working with Brenda, John, Jacob and Vanessa again. It was really great getting a paycheck again. But it is time to leave.

Toni has obviously been anxious for my return. My short couple weeks trip turned into three months. I have my FBI document so I just need to get in translate in Brazil. We have to get my health insurance and then hopefully we can apply for my permanent visa.

My flight is at 10am in the morning tomorrow on TAM. It is a direct flight and I will arrive in RIO around 9 at night. Toni will be waiting for me. I hope to begin blogging a little more regularly then.

I had some good times with my friends Tony, Yeidy and Andrew. I look forward to seeing them in Brazil or when I visit New York again. Good bye New york....I love you!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

17 days left....

Time is starting to get a little quicker. I have 17 days left until I return to Brazil. I have my document. I have had it legalized by the Brazilian consulate. I have been going out with friends. I went out to dinner with Tony and his boyfriend Chris one night. I went to see a DJ with my friend from work, Jacob. Me and Yeidy saw Prince of Persia last night. I have purchased more video games. I also got some make-up and underwear for Toni and Guilherme.

The 9th of June is Yeidys birthday so I am happy I can share that with her. She was over Saturday while the girls were out and we drank two bottles of wine and sang Abba karaoke on playstation 3.

Toni is patient but he is very glad I am coming. I work full time up until the day I leave. We started our annual sale so that has made things go by a little quicker. If feels strange to leave my life here in New York to get accustomed to a life in Brazil...only to return here and get used to my old life again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy Birthday...

Tomorrow is my birthday. Toni sent me flowers at work. I have been working full time at Etro and it has been fine. I did finally get my document...the one I came to Nyc for. It is just a plane light blue sheet of paper that says that I am not in the FBI database. I tried to make copies...in case I loose it...but it can't be copied. Secret words come out that says unauthorized. The FBI is smart. Anyway I have to go to the consulate general of Brasil to get it legalized. I have tomorrow off so I am also doing other errands in the city. I have to go to the DMV. I want to have Indian food at Jackson's' dinner in Jackson Heights. I have a list of things Toni wants me to buy before I leave.

I booked my flight. I fly back to Brazil on June 20th. It is still awhile away but at least I have a date. I know Toni is a little calmer. Tonight I just saw the Spanish movie The secret in there eyes ( El secreto en los ojos ) that won the Academy Awards. It was very good. It reminded me of the old Hollywood classic thrillers that they made forty years ago. It is an hour till my birthday...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

birthdays...

Tomorrow is Tonis' birthday. Guilhermes' birthday was yesterday. My birthday is coming up in a few weeks. We have not been together for our birthdays yet. I have been trying to talk to him every day. Sometimes I call him and other times we talk online.

Work has been fine. It has been a little slow but picking up. The two new men's department guys are nice. Nisha was sick but is getting better. Jenny is still busy working. Me and Yeidy went to see Promises Promises on Broadway. It did not receive great reviews but we enjoyed it. I keep hoping this summer will fly by so I can return home to Brasil.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New york city boy....in New York city.

I have been writing on my blog lately. Number one .. I don't think that many people read it and Number 2 ...I am going to be in New York awhile. I found out that it will take 13 weeks for the FBI to send the form saying that I don't have a criminal record. That means I will be in New York City till mid July. Right now I am staying in friends spare room ( thank you Jenny and Nisha.) I also got my job back ( temporarily ) at Etro and will be working full time in the men's department.

I miss Toni madly...and I know he is very sad without me. We don't have any other options right now but to make the best of it. I can only try to be positive and hopefully save some money.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time goes by so slowly...

Well I returned to Ohio for two weeks. I stayed half the time with my sister in Apple creek and with my father and step-mother in Killbuck. It was a pretty sucessfull visit. Usualy I only go back for a weekend so everyone is kind of hyper and trying to spend as much time with me as possible. Since I was there for two weeks it was a little more calm and relaxed.

I was also there for Easter so I got to do an Easter egg hunt at my Aunt sues' house. I also got to see my dads' family at my Aunt Lynns. Me and my sister saw two movies ( The Bounty Hunter and Date Night ) and went shopping for video games. Since games are a lot cheaper here I went crazy and bought like 12 playstation 3 games.

My dad move out in the middle of the woods so he had lots of projects around his new house. We cut down trees. Mowed the lawn. Picked up sticks. That kind of thing. My father and step-mother like to spends most of there day looking for squirrels, birds, deer and wild turkeys.

Like I said it was a good visit but I am glad to be back. I have been writing or calling Toni about every other day. In Rio they have had massive rains and flooding. Around 200 people have dies there so far. I would guess it is mostly from mudslides in the Favelas. The poor have pretty badly made houses and then they are built on top of one another in the mountains. Toni says around the condo is a mess. I guess are lovely swimming pool is full of mud.

I sent in a second pair of fingerprints to the FBI and am now just waiting for my document. Nisha made dinner at home last night. Today I might go and see Andrew and then Nisha is cooking at home tonight.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Back in the Big Apple

Yesterday was exhausting. We got up hung over. Toni hosted a dinner for our wedding. We invited Marcelo, Marco, Romuldo, Guilherme and Luecia. Toni made steak stroganauf. We drank a lot of beer. I then started drinking mixed drinks. I had a Batido which is a fruit drink ( in this case mashed kiwi ) with vodka or Cachaca. In the morning we went to the office and signed our Civil union papers. We then had lunch. Afterwords Toni went to work. I shopped for gifts for my friends and family in the states. I met Toni and we went to the beach. I swam as Toni drank beer and listened to his ipod.

When we got home Toni took a three hour nap. I could not sleep so I drank wine and revised my suitcases. At three in the morning we took a Taxi for the airport. We had a beer and then waited for the TAM ticket office to open. At 6 the plane boarded and we took off on time. We went to Sao Paolo. I talked to the immigration people so hopefully I will return in May with no problems. The next 10 hours were pretty long since I had not slept. I sat in my seat like a zombie watching movie after movie. I got to New York in the evening and made it to Jenny's house. Toni had called earlier. I went and got dinner and then went to sleep.

Monday, March 22, 2010

1 day left....( back to NYC )

Today we got up early ( easier said then done since we were drinking capirinhas until 3 in the morning ). We met Luecia and Romaldo at the licence office. Today we submitted our request for our civil union. Tomorrow we will return and sign the papers making our civil union official. Not exactly a church wedding but it is one step closer....at least it helps with immigration. We went out for coffee afterwords ( well I had a strawberry milkshake but everyone else had coffee ). We our having a dinner tonight for my civil union / trip to New york. Marcelo and Marco are coming over in the afternoon. Luecia and Romaldo are coming in the evening.

Tomorrow is my last day. My plane leaves at 6am on Wednesday. I will have to do all my packing tomorrow. The good think with us being busy is Toni does not have time to get sad or emotional. I have been contacting all my friend in New York so hopefully it will be a good visit. It is weird of me thinking of going there as a tourist and not a resident.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Back to the big apple.

Yesterday me and Toni went to the Federal Police. It is obvious that we are not going to have my rap sheet from the FBI in time. Every foreigner who wants a visa here has to prove that he does not have a criminal record. Toni has not finished all our paperwork either. In fact we still aren't married. He is arranging health care for us. We are also almost done with changing the lease so that I am on it too.

A person is allowed to be in Brazil for 6 months a year. If I stayed here till my tourist visa was done I could not come back here till next year. I thought that maybe it was a calender year but they let us know the year starts from the first day you entered the country. If I leave March 24th I will have 12 days that I can still be in the country legally. When all our paperwork is done I will return to Brazil and we can finally apply for my visa.

Until then I am going back to New york. I arrive March 24th and stay till the 30th. I am then going to Ohio for a couple weeks. I will then return to New York for a week or two. I am not sure now. It is a strange thing to be here so long and to finally leave. I know Toni will miss me very much as I will him. I have to make the best of everything though because at this point I don't have a choice. New York. I will be in my old home again soon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Domingo ( Sunday )

Sunday Guilherme came over. We all had dinner here at the apartment. Toni made stroganauff which is very popular in Rio. He served it with Rice and also a vegtable. After lunch we went to Ipanema beach. We normally get chairs and a beach umbrella but instead we opted to lie down on our towels. We bought beers from the beach vendors and started drinking. I went into the water three times. Toni rarely goes into the water because he says it is too cold. The day was cloudy. The sun shone a few times but it was mostly overcast. In the evening we walked to Galaria which is a half block from the beach. Galaria is a bar but just for today they were using it as a fair. The place was full of trendy clothes. Toni purchased a yellow v neck t-shirt. Guilherme tried some things on but didn't buy. After this we went to a restaurant and ordered draft beers. Toni called Antonia on the phone and she met us. We ordered deep fried pieces of fish. Guilherme ordered two pastels. Outside it started to rain. We decided to go home. Antonia left in a taxi. It took awhile for us to get another Taxi but eventually we did.

When we got out of the taxi Guilherme noticed a man on the other side of the street. His friend got into our taxi. Guilherme went to talk to the man and we went upstairs. Guilherme basically hooked up with the man. I don't know what they did but Guilherme showed up soaking wet in our apartment after about 15 minutes. We started drinking whiskey and red bull and playing cards. We ended up drinking the whole bottle of Johnny Walker red label and even drinking a Capirinhia each. Guilherme invited this new young boy he is kind of dating. Late at night Guilherme and his boy toy left. We finally went to bed around 3am.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Back to life....

Well we have been back for almost a week. Saturday we were going to go to a costume party in Mesquita but it was pouring rain. Toni was working all night in Copacabana and once it started pouring he could not get a taxi home. He ended up going to Jean Willis and staying there for a couple hours. Our driver to Mesquita also canceled on us.

Sunday we got another Taxi driver to take us. They were having a Churrasco which seems like a weekly thing there. We went to Andrea's house. Andrea is Marcelo's brother. The churrasco was behind his house on a second floor patio. There was music. There was meat. There was a lot of Antartica beer. We drank. Then we drank some more. We drank for six hours. Toward the end of the night someone gave us Cachaca and coke. The taxi came for us. We stopped at Marcelo's house to pick up the dogs. When we got home I stayed up late to watch the Academy Awards on TNT. unfortunatley instead of subtitles they had people speaking portuguese over the real people talking.

Monday we went to Copacabana to run errands. We paid the rent for the month. We had lunch. We paid the light bill and Toni's bill for school. We were going to see a movie but nothing we wanted to see was at the Roxy. We then bought some whiskey and groceries. We got a taxi home. Monday night we watched the new Sexta-feira 13 ( Friday the 13th ) and drank scotch. Toni likes horror movies. He got a little angry though when he heard a noise in the bedroom and when he went to investigate I snuck up behind him and gave him a good scare. He said he almost had a heart attack. He is a little dramatic.

I have been waiting to get a card to take my fingerprints to send to the FBI. I can't get a visa without getting my police record. It does not look like I will be getting my Visa in the next month so I will probably be returning to the United States for awhile in April. I am not sure how I feel about his but I don't really have a choice.

Friday, March 5, 2010

RECIFE photos part 2
























































RECIFE photos

























































































































RECIFE ( Trip part 3 )

The Taxi arrived back at Recife. Recife is the Capital of this region of Brazil which is Pernambuco. Recife is a group of islands that became Recife when they connected the islands with bridges. The three islands are Santo Antonio, Boa Vista and Recife antigo. We were staying by the main beaches of Boa Viagem. Toni's friend Romulado owns an apartment that his family useses as a vacation place. His relative, Mirian was going to meet us and show us around. The Taxi left us up at a gas station and she quickly came and picked us up. She took us to the apartment and we took showers and changed clothes. She had a car so she drove us up the beach and we stopped for agua de coco ( Coconut milk served in the coconut with a straw ...very popular here ). The beach is lined with new modern apartment building. The beach is set back and is lined with palm trees and a path for running or bicycling. We then went to her apartment for coffee and snacks. We met her two daughters, Sabrina and Kelly. Sabrina is in her early twenties and is studying medicine. Kelly is in her late teens and enjoys reading and her computer. We ( with Kelly included now ) got back in the car and went to a local park that was packed with people enjoying the weekend. We then went along the coast and went to the neighboring town of Olinda. Olinda is similar to historic Salvador. It had old churches and cobblestone streets. Brightly colored colonial homes line the streets. We stopped at a museum with Carnival figures. We went to a few stores and then stopped for another snack in a plaza. I had Churrasco ( chicken on a stick ) and a Tapioca with quejo ( which is a sanwhich with cheese) We then went to Historic Recife to Marco cero. This is a plaza that is the official starting point of the city.

The next day we slept in and then took a walk on the beach. Miriam picked us up in the afternoon and took us to Parque das Esculturas. This is part of the Francisco Brennand institute. This is a large park with two museums and a library. The first museum is full of brazilian art and art from Holland . The second is a castle, Sao Joao, filled with midevil arms. The gardens are filled with Brazilian flora e fauna as well as sculptures.

After the museum we drove around and saw more of the city. We then had dinner at a restaurant with a buffet of typical Brazilian northeastern food.

The next day me and Toni took a taxi to Sao Joa Artisan market where we loaded up on handcrafted items. We got a wooden totem for our living room. A few gifts for Toni's friends in Rio. A painting for our bedroom. That day we went to the beach. The water here is very warm compared to Rio. The bad part is there are also sharks so you can only go into the water to about waist level. The water also had a lot of seaweed.

That night we had all you can eat Sushi in the Galleria by our apartment. My wound was better but I usually needed it cleaned out and a new bandage put on it every four hours. That night we went to the airport but unfortunately did not leave. Toni had misread the time of the departure as being tonight at midnight but our plane actually left at midnight last night. After arguing with the people at Gol! for two hours we called Mirian to come and get us. Gol! had wanted us to not only pay $90 reais for each ticket as a penalty but another penalty for $1000 reais which does not make sense since the tickets cost $400 reais total. We got half of the money refunded as a credit and left.

The next day We woke up late and found a cyber cafe. All the flights in the Brazilian webcites were around $1000 reais for the two of us. I finally found a great flight on Tam from Orbitz for $275 us dollars ( about $500 reais. ) The flight was for the next morning. We went to a restaurant Pitu for lunch. We had steak with rice and beans. That night we walked to the beach and ate at a restaurant that faced the beach. We had chicken in a yellow sauce with fries and rice with Broccoli. Toni had really take to Recife and thinks that maybe we should live there. I have to think about this a lot more.

The next morning we cleaned my wound, Packet everything up again, and waited for Mirian to come pick us up. We got to the airport alright and had no further drama with the plane. In 2 1/2 hours we were back in Rio. Our vacations to the northeast were over. It was great to be home again but I would miss the Northeast.