Wednesday, February 17, 2010

OH CARNIVAL ( part 2 )

On the fourth night of carnival we met up with Guilherme in the evening. He showed up in a taxi at our house with a new boyfriend from Sao Paolo. We went to a Italian place called Felice in Ipanema for dinner. Afterwords we went to a club called Posto 8 which was also in Ipanema. It was on the second floor and has windows that face the beach. It was a costume party but we did not know in advance. I was wearing my Beija-flor carnival shirt that I bought the night before. We stared drinking beers. They played a good mix of Samba with regular pop songs thrown in. Jean Wills and Rita Ribera both showed up with some of there friends. We drank till about 3am.

The next day we got up late. Toni arranged a Taxi to Mesquita. We loaded up our things ( and the dogs ) and took the hour trip there. It was in the afternoon and they were have a Churrasco at Penha's house. She has a small pool in the backyard this is about 4 feet high and six feet around. We drank and when it got too hot swam in the pool. In the evening we put on our costumes ( fantasias ) and walked to the town square. There was a band playing. There was two streets of tents for beer and food. Toni was batman and I was Zorro. Batman was very popular and Toni had to shake hands with a lot of kids and take pictures. Zorro was somewhat popular, We drank again. It was fun but more then a little hot. I had it easier then Batman since he has a rubber mask. At the end of the night we went back to Marcelo's to go to sleep. The next day we said goodbye to the dogs and took a bus back to Rio centro. Toni had to work so I started packing. We leave tomorrow for Salvador. The past week went so quickly it is hard to believe we are going on our trip already.

In Rio the city is cleaning up the Carnival mess. The Sambodomo is empty and will be used once next Sunday for the top schools to march one last time. The beaches are still crowded with tourists, but not so many. Today they announce the winning samba school. The city will then take a very short break and then begin planning for next years carnival. Oh carnival!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Well it is carnival once again in Brasil. For five days the city is filled with Tourists and everybody parties. There are street parties ( bandas ) all over the city. The Samba schools are parading at the Sambadomo. The beaches are filled during the day.

My Carnival is a little more tame. We avoid the big bandas ...they are more for drunk tourists. Plus carnival is a busy time for Toni so he has had to work most of the days. Buyu was staying with us but after a few days he disappeared with his friends. Me and Toni went out Friday but got into a fight at the bar. It was over something really dumb ...a bit of miscommunication. Sometimes I get a little frustrated with things here...and sometimes Toni needs to learn when to leave things alone. We made up Saturday morning and things were better Saturday night. We went to Ipanema beach during the day but it was horrible. A banda was going on so there were too many people. The gay beach was so crowded you could not even make it to the water. We settled for a little space further away. The price for a umbrella or chair was like double what it is normaly so we settled for our beach towels. Amy Winehouse ( Not the real Amy ...but the brazilian version ) met us. I went to the water which was freezing code. I seriously think it is a current right from the Antarctica. The waves were really strong too. The people beside us were singing and really loud. I said we should just go to Copacabana and everyone agreed. We walked there through the banda. Helena called to have her make up done so Toni left us. I spent two hours with Amy who just complained the whole time. Amy is kind of skinny and a mess ( like the real Amy W ) so she is not lucky in love. Atlantic avenue was closed for Carnival so we watched everyone walking and drinking while we waited for Toni. When he came we went to the store quick and then home. Marcelo and Marco met us there and then we went to dinner with Helena. After we ate and I had two drinks we went to the Sambadomo. We did not have seats but you can see everyone getting ready and all the floats before they enter the stadium. I really want to march in the parade or at least gets seats but right now all my money is for our trip this week to Salvador. We drank and had street food. We then went home and watched the parade on TV.
The next day we went to the beach all day. The water was really cold again but at least the seats on the beach were better.
Tonight we are going to a party and tomorrow we are going to a Churrasco in Mesquita. Well we have to take the dogs to Marcelos so i guess we are making a day of the whole thing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Almost Carnaval

The last two days I have gone to the beach. I hear the weather in New York and Ohio has been really terrible. Here it has been in the 90s. Buyu is here. Both days we went to Copacabana beach. Buyu's friend Hugo ( nephew of Antonia ) has been hanging out playing volleyball with Buyu during the day. The last two night me and Toni have had a couple drinks at night. I am a little worried about the Student Visa. I think it will be a pretty complicated process. Nothing is ever easy with immigration. I need to get a letter of acceptance from a school that is certified from the Ministry of Education, bank records that prove that I have money enough to support myself in Brazil, passport, 2 photos, copy of plane ticket and FBI clearance. FBI clearance is basically my rap sheet...Brazil does not want our criminals. Toni called some schools but so far no luck. Puc ( a private catholic university ) is probably my best bet but it is expensive and the classes do not start for awhile. Our biggest problem is finding a school that will have classes in April or May. Most start in August or February so that means I would not be in Brazil for like six months.

I am excited that the trip to Salvador is coming up. Toni has a friend who owns an apartment in Recife so we can stay there for free. We still have to book our hotel in Salvador. Carnival will be this weekend. Only a few days. I still don't know what we will do. Since we are spending so much money on our vacation I don't think we will be doing anything too expensive for Carnival. It will be nice just to spend all day at the beach with everybody.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fim de Semana ( week end )

Saturday night Helena wanted to go somewhere different for dinner. I was at home waiting for Buyu ( His name is really Andru but Buyu is his nick name. He is Toni's nephew that stayed with us for Christmas. He is now staying with us for Carnival. ) When Buyu came we got ready and took a Taxi to Lapa. The restaurant was called Gaucho Churrascaria. Gaucho is the south American work for cowboy. In front of the restaurant was a huge 10 foot statue of a south American cowboy. The place is a restaurant/ club. It is pretty big with a stage and a dance floor. When we arrived there was a band already on stage. They played a mix of samba and popular Brazilian and American songs. A large pale filled with beer and ice came to the table. Helena also ordered wine for me, her and Toni. A plate of cooked meat came. Later there was a large platter of cold cuts and cheeses. We started drinking. I danced a little bit with Antonia. There was also some teenagers for Buyu to hang out with. We ended up leaving pretty late.

The next morning ( Saturday ) Buyu woke us up early. We had to catch a bus to Mesquita. Today was Marcos birthday and he is having a Churrasco / party. We caught a bus downtown from the plaza here. We then had to walk through a banda for Carnival. If you don't know a banda is a large street party. People were jumping up and down to the music. One guy was dressed as wonder women and there was five guys dressed as pink ferries. Other people just wore flowers in there hair. In a plaza by the parade was a large water truck and as the people came they started spraying water into the crowd. Since it was in the mid nighties everyone stated screaming and jumping in the water. We avoided the worst of the crowd and got to the bus platform. After about half and hour is arrived and we were on our way.

When we got to Mesquita we walked to Marcelos and Marcos house. The food had already started. About twenty people arrived. There was lots of cold beer. It was really hot so all the men took off there shirts. Marcelo also has a shower on the corner of the patio so during the day people would take showers. Women would take a shower with all there clothes on. It seems strange but the weather is really hot. The day was the usual mix of beer and meat that I have come to associate with Churrasco. The dogs were at home so we could not spend the night. At 11:20 pm we caught the bus back to Rio. I was pretty glad to get back home.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

First week of Febuary

Monday wasn't that great. We stayed in all day. We were on the computer for awhile looking for Hotels for our vacation. Toni has also been calling Universities to see if they have classes in Portuguese for me. Tuesday Toni had off again so we went to the beach in the afternoon. I came back in the evening and Toni went to his English class. We went to bed early because Toni worked early the next morning. I did not sleep well and woke up around 7:30am. Toni got up at 8:am and left to Tijuca for work an hour later. I stayed home. It was a nice day so I went to the pool in the afternoon. I am half way through the book I am reading.

I am still a little worried about the whole student visa thing. Since the whole gay marriage law is new here there are not that many lawyers that work with the law. There seems to be confusion about what I do or do not have to do. It being South America Toni is very alert that they are not trying to get extra money from us. I try to keep in the present and not worry to much in the future. I am looking forward to going back to New York in the April. It will be interesting to see how I feel about everything here when I have some distance from everything. If I can't come back to Rio in a short time I might try and visit somewhere else too. There is a lot in my future I don't know so I guess I will have to wait and see.

Monday, February 1, 2010

fim da semana/ Unidos da Tijuca

Friday Toni worked in Barra de Tijuca. I could of gone to the mall there but I was there last week. Instead I stayed home. I basically do what I do when I am home alone. I took the dogs out. I read my book, The Host which is actually really good. I played a little PS3...I am now playing a police game called Condemned 2 Bloodshot. It is pretty violent but interesting. When Toni came home we drank and watched TV.

Saturday Toni worked at home. I decided to get out so I went to the pool. Most of my social interaction lately has been with the kids from the Condominium. They now yell my name when I come to the pool. I am a regular now. At first they sensed that I was a gringo so they did not really talk to me. Gringo is a little different then in other latin countries. In other countries Gringo is a white person. In Brazil Gringo is anyone who is not Brazilian. In this case a Clumbian or a Mexican would be considered Gringos. After time the kids have grow more brave and now they ask me lots of questions. Brazilians are very interested in New York. There was about 10 kids in the pool. There were also adults but they stayed my the Churrascario ( the BBQ ). There are also two picnic tables and lots of chairs. Beer is not permitted in the pool area. So the adults were all drinking beer and would occasionally take a quick shower. There is two showers outside by the pool. You are also suppose to shower before getting into the pool. The condos rules are a little strict. After about two hours I went back to the apartment. I was a nice shape of red. Guilherme called and invited us to a samba school practise. The school is Unidos da Tijuca. There are kind of famous for being the most " gay " samba school. The school is also really close to our house. Unlike Beija flor which is an hour away. Guilherme showed up in the evening with a quarter bottle of whiskey and four beers.Toni made whiskey and red bulls. He started cutting Guilherme hair. I got ready for the evening. Guilheme was already a little drunk by the time the hair cut was finished. Toni ordered us a Pizza and we started drinking beers. Toni tried to teach Guilherme to dance to shakira. Guilherme also tried to teach me to samba. The samba is harder then it looks to learn. Toni has since taught me that it is more in the hips. Guilherme does not dance as well as he thinks he does. We got a taxi to the school. The school is not really a school at all but a large community center. We could buy Cintra beer there for $3 reais a can. We started drinking. It is easy to see that Unidos da Tijuca is in fact very gay. The crowd was mostly men with a few fag hags thrown in. There was also a few drag queens in full Carnival attire. Guilherme ran into a group of people he knew. Either that or he just wanted to hook up with a cute boy. Unfortunately Guiherme was a little too drunk because the boy was afraid of him. We went to the middle of the dance floor and sambad. Well, I tried at least. It is a pracitise because the whole drum band is there with the singers and they sing classic samba songs from there school and also others. I have been here long enough that I actually recognize some of them. We ended up getting home kind of late. We took a Taxi outside the school which of course cheated us by charging us $10 extra Reais because it was so late. What else could we do. Toni complained but in the end we had to pay.