Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tersa-feira ( Tuesday )

Today we woke up reasonable early. We went to Copacabana. Toni paid some bills. We also looked into getting married. Our lawyer had advised us to wait. Toni is getting anxious and so am I. It does not really make that much sense to wait till the end of our year together to marry. We went to the government office and they said all I need is a passport and my CPF card. We also need to pay $350 reis. We might get married next week. We could get married tomorrow but Toni is thinking about us having a church wedding.

For dinner we went to a little chicken restaurant. The chicken came with tomatoes and onions in a olive oil. We also ordered rice with broccoli and French fries. Afterwords we went to the beach. We sat at a restaurant on the beach. I went in the water for about a half an hour. When I got out Toni said Helena called. So he went to do her make-up. Afterwords he had English classes. I took the train home. It takes about 45 minutes to get home. Toni has to work a lot the rest of the week.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rainy days and sundays.....

Well I have to say ...in many ways this whole thing is discouraging. I have been here for almost four months. I am not married. I am not really too much closer to the visa then I was when I got here. I do have a lawyer and a CPF card. That is about it. We are looking for a University so I can get a student visa...and I need to get my medical insurance. There is a lot to do. Toni is not one for organization like I am. He spent most of today trying to log into globo so he can ask them for help. Globo is there TV station...maybe he wants to get us on a talk show. Maybe the Brazilian Oprah can get my visa.

This weekend was a blur of booze. Saturday night we stayed up late drinking. When we woke ups Sunday we went to Copacabana. I walked around and Toni did Helena's hair. Afterwords we all went to the Sushi place in Logoa. The food was good. I had shrimp. Cheese and meat empanands ( pastels ). Then steak with French fries. We also had wine and Caparinhas. We stayed up late again. Tomorrow we are going to get up early and try to get somethings acomplished. Afterwords we are going to the beach though...so it is not all work. For now it is raining. Heavily. And Toni is watching from the windows. It rains a lot in Rio sometimes.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Me Rouba!

Yesterday I got a email from my friend at Etro. Am Ex had called the cashier there. Seta is a little crazy. If you ever shop in Etro in New York you will soon see what I mean. She is a rather plump women that is the cashier, even though she thinks she runs the store. I had done my best to keep my distance from her but I think that just drew her to me. Well it was nice the Brenda, the women's manager there, emailed me. I thought it was because I never use my Am Ex but I used it when Gol Airlines would not take my MasterCard. Today I went online and there was three charges in a city that is about an hour away from me. Someone used my number at a gas station, a restaurant and a drug store. They also tried to buy grocers with it but were turned down. I spent 20 minutes on the phone working things out with Am Ex. I am sure I will not have to pay but now I don't have a card. They sent it to my sister in Ohio.

Today I stayed home. Toni worked in Copa. It was kind of good because I was needing some time alone. I watched a movie in house. Went online and looked for Universities. I did not go to the pool because it has been so crowded with kids from the Condo playing Marco Polo that is hard to relax. Toni was cute. He calls because he misses me. I don't think he understand "Me" time. I don't think I will be able to explain it to him so it is best to say nothing. Tomorrow he works in Barra de Tijuca so I will probably go with him. We saw Sherlock Holmes on Monday but maybe there is something else I can see. They have the a great theater there. Well January is all most over and I think next month will be very busy!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ipanema beach

Terca Feira ( Wednesday ) was really hot and sunny. We woke up around 11am. Toni wanted to make a complaint over Ponto Frio. They had just finaly delivered our drawer. If you remember, when we bought our entertainment stand three months ago there was three pieces missing. Now we are waiting for someone to come put the drawer together. That and Toni is still angry that they messed up our billing. I thought it was all taken care of but I guess not. We found the place in Ipanama where you can make complaints against companies but it was closed for the holidays. We also went to this college but they don't offer classes for foreigners.

We Finaly went to the beach. There is a large gay area. You can't miss it because there are gay pride flags everywhere. Ipanema is a great beach. The apartment that line the beach are a bit more Chic then Copacabana. The water is a little calmer and definitly cleaner then parts of Copacabana. It is also more expensive. The chairs and the umbrella were each a dollar more....as were the beers which really adds up. It is nice that we can hug or kiss here in public. We spent the day drinking and swimming. Toni's friend Mauricio came over and hung out with us. There was lots of eye candy on the beach to watch.

Around 5pm we saw big black scary storm clouds approaching. We grabbed our stuff but only made it a few blocks before the rain. Instead of running to the subway we stopped at Toni's favorite restaurant. We shared steak with rice and french fries. We ended up taking the metro home.

The next day was Dia De Sao Sebastiao, the day that commemorates with a procession that carries the image of Sao Sebastiao from igreja de Sao Sebastiao in Tijuca to Catedral Metropolitana where the image is blessed in a special mass.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Le Boy

Sunday. We thought we were going to Santa Teresa but Jean Willis never called. We figured he was sleeping in. Helena called in the late afternoon. She felt better today so she wanted everyone to go out with her. We went to her apartment in Copacabana. I walked around for half and hour then went to her place. The whole group of us went in Taxis to her favorite Sushi restaurant in Lagoa. Me and Toni started drinking wine. The served pastels which are basically Spanish empanadas. I mentioned empadas, which are also similar to empanadas, but hey are small cooked pies. After most of the other people ordered crepes ( not the same as french crepes, they are kind of like pizzas ). After dinner we went to Le Boy bar. Jean Willis met us. He had gone to a Rita Ribera show. Me and Toni drank Whisky and red bulls. It was Karaoke night so Toni sang two or three songs. Jean also sang. I just drank.

Afterwords we went to Le Boy club which is next to Le boy bar. There is also a La Girl for all those lesbians out there. Le Boy Club is where we met. I haven't been there since that night. We acted out our meeting. Jean Willis disappeared to the bathrooms. His favorite meeting ground. There was a drag show at midnight. We danced. We drank. It all is kind of fuzzy now.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Yesterday Toni woke up around 2pm. We were going to the movies. Instead we stayed home and did nothing. I went online and bought our tickets to the Northeast of Brasil. We are flying to Salvador on February 18th. We stay for 5 days and then go to Recife. We stay there 4 days and then we go to Toni's hometown to stay with his parents for 4 days. We booked through Gol airlines which was not fun. It took me over an hour to find all the right flights but then it would not take my MasterCard. Toni called and they only accept MasterCard and Visa over the phone from people living in Brazil. They said if we wanted we could use my MasterCard if I went to there desk at the airport. I don't really understand why an airline would not accept credit cards from tourists....aren't they in the business of Tourism? Don't they want to encourage people to use there flights? They finally did accept my American Express. That card they do accept from foreigners over the phone. The flights are cheaper though then buying from an American company or travel website. For three flights for the both of us was $700.

After Toni was done speaking with our Gol representative we had dinner. He had made chicken in a broth with potatoes and peppers. We also had rice. Helena had called and asked Toni to do her make-up. She wanted to go to dinner and invited us too. We hurried up and got ready. On the way there I argued with Toni because I wasn't very happy that we had done nothing all day. When we got to Helena's we made up. We ended up going out to Bate-Papo with them..There was Antonia, Antonia's sister and niece and the motoristas came. Helena is midway through her Quimo therapy so she did not drink. Me and Toni had three bottles of wine and then a few Chopes ( draft beers ). I was a little hung over when I woke up Sunday. We ended up sleeping in and not doing much Sunday. This time I wasn't angry thought. I was pretty tired. I spent the afternoon looking for hotels. The trip is right after Carnival so February will be a busy month indeed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Last night I had a nightmare. I returned back to New York but I did not have a house. Well I guess if I do return that would kind of be true. Not that the place was perfect. I liked my apartment and the space. The building and the Co-op board was not the best though. The building seemed to drift in and out of debt. The Co-op board was all over the place. Condos are probably the way to go but you have less options in New York. Anyway that was my nightmare. But I woke up and everything was better. Toni had a nightmare but he wouldn't say what it was. He says he forgot but I think it was probably about me leaving.

Anyway, the good news was when I went online the money was there. It was nice to see those nubers in black and white. I am pretty good and saving so I don't think I will be spending it like a rich man anytime soon. I did look at my Chase bank account and noticed I never received my past check. I know I must be kind of stupid for not checking before. Well I think maybe I am just a little true trusting of my work. I emailed the district manager and he found it. He went ahead and deposited it so that is also a nice little boost.

Toni went to Copacabana today to do Apracidas hair. I took the Metro two stops further to Ipanema. Normaly when I have gone to Ipanema it was to the beach or their gay street. This time I walked futher. It was cute. It was a little like Soho in New York because they had a lot of cute butiques. They had the main H Stern store ( and there is a H Stern Museum too!) I saw the Louis Vuitton store. I stopped and bought a little leather zip money bag from Gilson Martins. I also got a Passport cover for myself. If you ever go to Rio you have to go to the shop. When Madonna was here she went shopping there. It is modern little bags, purses, sunglasses cases. key rings and wallets in leather and patten leather. It has modern shapes of Cristo, Sugar load and the Lapa arches in all different colors. It also had a whole section of things with the Brazil flag. They also had large bags, backpacks and even jewelry. It is expensive but not too expensive. I ended up spending 58 reais ( around 30 dollars ). But the things are very Rio so they are perfect for souvenirs. The locals love the things as much as tourist too so you are still Chique ( chic ).

I met Toni and we took the subway home. We found that we can take the subway to the Estacio station and there is an express bus that stops outside our home. Toni had a client waiting for him. Marcelo was there too. Toni then had to go to class. I stayed at home with the dogs and watched the Vampire diaries. It has been in the 90s but tonight it finally rained. The cool wind was appreciated.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

House Sale

Monday they finaly closed on my apartment in queens. It was not an easy wait. It took 5 months from me accepting the buyers bid to closing. It took a couple months to find decent buyers. I totaly endorse owners your apartment. It is a great investment. But it is also a risk. You do find yourself tied down. Thank god the apartment was in a strong market like New York and not Ohio. My parents had to rent out there house because they could not find any buyers.

Now I have a mixed bag of emotions. There is definitely a sense of freedom know you have some money save. I now don't have any ties to New York except the friends I have there. But on the other had I loved my apartment and my neighborhood. I feel sad that I will never be able to go back. To sleep in that bedroom. I had though after I bought the place I would probably die there. I never dreamed I would sell it three years later. It is hard to talk to Toni because he takes me missing New York to mean that I have doubts or regrets about being here in Rio. It is very easy to love the place your at but to miss what you had to give up. I basically gave up my city, my friends, my job and my home for love. Only time will tell if it was all worth it.

Yeidy did the closing for me. I am so thankful that she was able to do it. Especially since in the end they gave me no notice. They basically called her on Friday and told her the closing is on Monday. I will always appreciate her help. So here I am. One step closer to being permanently here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saturday Night.

Today we had planned to go to Mesquita for one of Marcelos brothers birthdays. It was a churrasco so it would be the usual day of beer and music. When we were almost out the door the phone rang and it was Helena. She wanted her hair and make-up done. She also was inviting us to go out with her tonight. Well, frankly, Toni could use the money so we changed our plans.

We went to the pool for a couple hours. It was great, not to many kids and the water was perfect. Toni then made pasta and ground beef for lunch. We then got ready and grabbed a taxi to Copacabana. Toni spent about 2 hours getting her ready. I spent the time in the living room listening to my I-pod and studying Portuguese. When he was finished her friends, the motoristas, came and picked us up and take us to her favorite sushi restaurant on the lake ( lagoa). We started with wine. The motoristas had chope (draft beer which is extremely popular here). We started eating with pastries ( pretty much a empanada ) with beef or shrimp. After the served this mix of steak and vegetables in a brown sauce. Last there were these tortas filled with beef, cheese and vegetables. It tasted a little like a pizza. Marcelo called a few times to see if we were still going but it was getting pretty late so we returned home. We ended up just playing games on PS3 until late.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Here are a few pictures of the Markets of Brazil. There are streets and streets downtown that are filled with venders like this. I have seen Marketplaces in India and Turkey and this is very much like that. The first picture is Centro trainstation. It is no Grand Central Station but it was still pretty big.

Centro more photos

Here is more photos of centro Rio de Janeiro and I also took the tram to Santa Teresa.


I have been in the apartment all week so I told Toni I HAVE to go to Centro today to look around. I haven't posted many picture here except for the beach so I hope you enjoy them!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Slow days

The apartment still is not sold. The insurance is up on the building this month so the buyers bank wants to make sure the rates don't go up. I also paid three hundred dollars for my co-op interview that they waited a month to do. Now I am waiting for them to send the formal letter of approval. The sale is now about 5 months along. I can see why the real estate market and the economy is having problems. I thought I was selling a house in America not starting a new business in India.

It has been pretty warm here. Toni has not had as much work as usual which is bad and good. Good because we get to spend more time together and bad because the money would be good ( since he is now the only bread winner in the couple).

Yesterday we went to the pool for an hour. It was a little obnoxious because there was a lot of kids. Toni made lunch which was rice and beans and steak. We went to the supermarket, sendas, and picket up some things. It is about a 15 minute walk to the plaza where the supermarket is.

Today I am making our usual breakfast. Eggs with cheese. Served with Portuguese bread that is like a french roll. We also have Havanada which is a special bread they have for Christmas. It looks like a roll of italion bread that they then slice, soak in eggs, fry and coat in sugar and cinammon. It is basicaly what we consider french bread in the states. It is good but I am sure it is not helping me loose weight either.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Things I left behind....

My friend Brenda was asking me what I miss in New York. More specifically what foods.
Well the things I miss in New York is being able to safely go anywhere. There is crime in New York, of course, but it is definitely more present here. It doesn't help that Toni worries a lot and is not as quite as adventuras as me. The United States is a lot cleaner and everything is newer then in Rio. I have found that most third world countries are a little more ragged and worn down. Most of the building here need a good paint job. There are a lot of crumbling sidewalks and bumps in the street. After you live here awhile though you just get use to it. In peoples homes you see wires that are running along the walls... marks on the walls...other minor repairs. It isn't that the things here break down more then the USA...maybe they just take longer in getting around to fix things. We have lived in the apartment for three months and the management is just getting around to fixing a small hole in the kitchen the sometimes leaks water.

As far as food, New york has the best variety of ethnic food. In Rio they love Arabic and Sushi. I have also seen a few Italian and french restaurants. I have yet to find a good Indian, Chinese, Thai or Mexican resturant. I use to love the Indian food at Jackson Dinner in Jackson Heights, Queens. The Sag is unbelievable. I have said before that the Pizza here is good but so far I have only had Pizza with no tomato sauce. I am dying to go to Patsy's Pizza New York. The hamburgers here are also good. The bad thing is that they love Frozen burgers here. I am sure there must be a restaurant out here that have fresh ground beef burgers, but I haven't found it yet. Even when you go to a grocery store they have three different types of frozen burger but no ground beef. If you want ground beef you have to buy a steak and ask someone to grind it up for you.

There is a lot of food here that when or if I ever leave I am sure I will miss. I went to the Airport today to the federal Police station and extended my Visa for three months. I will not be able to extend it another time though so in three months I will have to go back to New York and get a student visa. I am also still waiting for my apartment sale to go through. Toni is still very much excited I am here. Every day is an adventure.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


So New Years Eve Marco and Marcelo came over in the afternoon. They ate and watched TV with Buyu for much of the afternoon. Toni came home after work in the early evening. I had drank one Caparinha and had switched to beer. Marco made us Whiskey and Red bulls while we got ready. I ended up wearing the white cotton short sleeve shirt Toni had bought for me and a pair of linen shorts. Toni wore his white shirt with Jeans. We took a taxi to Helena's house. She was on the outs with her motoristas ( the leaches that are after her money ). The house was all decorated and the dining room table was full of food. We all had beer at first while we talked. The Portuguese love to eat these Arabic deep fried chicken, cheese and beef balls. They are really tasty but I probably ate too many of them. Toni came down from the upstairs with Helena. I thought the party would be lots of old people but there was a lot of teenagers there. Buyu quickly made friends and disappeared. I was on my third whiskey and red bull when I notice it was almost midnight. We all went outside and walked the four blocks to the beach. The beach was full of people but we made it to the water right before midnight. Most people were wearing white and some had flower to put into the ocean. At midnight the fireworks went off. They lasted for a good 10 minutes and it was a pretty good display. I am a little bit tainted from the Macy's 4th of July fireworks in New York.
We had brought some beers with us but soon they were gone. We all headed back to Helena's house. We stayed for another hour or two and then went home.

The next day I felt pretty good. We woke up in the early afternoon and went to Mesquita. Toni had made friends with the Taxi driver the night before and he took us today. He even came in and had three beers with us. We paid him to pick us up in the evening. The day was the usual Churrasco /Mesquita day. Penha ( sister of Marcelo ) but the stereo speakers in the window. There was a Styrofoam cooler of beer and ice. The grill was started for the usual assortment of chicken, steak and sausages. Family and Friends came over. They had set up a three foot pool in the back patio. I didn't go at first but after about seven beers buyu convinced me to go. I then ended up staying there for about three hours. It was a somewhat hot day. Toni joined me after awhile. The fun ended around nine when the Taxi driver came. I was tired but about the time the taxi reached home I woke up. We saw a Pizza man on the way in which made us all hungry so we ordered a Pizza. We ended up drinking more beer and playing video games.

January 2nd we ended up going to the beach in the afternoon. Toni called Helena and her and her friend met us at Copacabana beach. We hadn't gone for awhile so I was ready for the ocean. Buyu had taken off with his friends so he was nowhere in sight. In the evening we went to Helena's but she wasn't feeling well. We ended up just going to the market and home.

Today Toni woke up late. When he did wake up he watched the Spanish movie Rudo y Cursi with me and Buyu. Toni did not like it because it does not have a very happy ending but I think it is pretty good. Well any movie with Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna I think is pretty good. By the time Toni made lunch it was too late for the beach so we cleaned the house instead. Afterwords we went to Lagoa and walked around the lake. I finally got some pictures of the Christmas tree. We ate at an Italian restaurant on the lake. It was pretty good but kind of expensive. On our bill they charged each of us 4 dollars for the live singer. I though that was pretty strange. Toni complained and had it removed. After spaghetti with seafood and a four cheese Pizza the three of us went home.