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 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.

Perdas de Fogo ( Trip part 2 )

We landed in Recife on Monday ( Segunda-faira ) the 22nd. Toni's cousin Bete came with her boyfriend to pick us up. The journey was an hour and a half to the town Toni where Toni was born and raised. It is called Perdas de Fogo ( Stones on Fire ). His parents still live there. along with his one brother and four sisters. The parents share a house with his brother Zito and his wife and four kids ( one girl and three boys ) Toni's sister Teka also lives with her parents. We were staying with his sister Nia ( Maria Jose ) and her husband and son. Toni other two sisters that live in the town are Loura and Secena. Loura ives with her husband and daughter and her daughters husband and her one grand daughter. Sucena lives with her two youngest daughters. She has had eleven children. She now only takes care of the two youngest, Carol and Luecia. Secena had been married but now is divorced.

When we arrived we had lunch at Nia and then walked a street over to visit with his parents. We quickly started drinking. The town was small with street after street of small colorfull houses that are build next to each other. There are no lawns but large sidewalks that people sit out on. Toni's father constantly sits outside the house in his rocking chair.
The next day we walked across town to the Supermarket. It was not that far but Toni was constantly running into people he knew. Bete also had to go pick up her daughter from school. My wound on my back was getting increasingly worse and Toni was getting worried.

We saw the main plaza of town with a large church. At the supermarket we bought things for a Churrasco for tonight. When we were finished we took everything to his parents house. We went to our room at Nias. I took a shower ( there is no hot water which isn't bad since it is always hot here but the water is freezing cold!) Toni fixed my wound. It was slowly draining. That night we had churrasco. Drank beers and Caipirinhas. All of Tonis family was there.

The next day Nias' husband loaded everybody up in his truck and we drove 45 minutes out of town to where Toni's cousin owns a sugar plantation and also bottles mineral water. A short distance from the main house is a large swimming pool filled with mineral water. We unloaded the food and then everybody spent the day in the pool. Even though my wound was bad we figured the water was good for it. The pool was filled with kids screaming and playing. In the evening we picked mangos from a large mango tree outside the house. We finally all loaded back into the truck and returned to town. That night we stayed at his sister Loura's house.

In the morning I had a fever so they called the hospital. An ambulance came and picked me up. We got the the hospital and the halls were full. Toni says there was a man there with a knife in his side who started screaming about the rich people going first when I got to pass him in line. They took me into a room and took my temperature. I did have a fever so I was allowed to see the Doctor right away. We ( loura, Toni ,me and Bete ) went in. I showed him the wound. He wrote some things down. Next we went to a nurses station where they looked at the form and gave me three shots. One in the arm and two in the buttocks. For those who know of my history of vacations, know that things happening to me on vacation isn't anything new. This was probably one of the worse....this and there was the time I had sudden hearing loss in Germany. Well at least health care is free in Brazil. If you are a foreinger you will probably have to wait awhile but since I knew people this was not an issue.
They took me back to Nias to rest. We would have to stay a day extra here because on Saturday I needed two more shots. The rest of my time here I couldn't drink. The whole family was worried about me and constantly asking me how I was and making sure I was in the shade. Saturday came and I had my shots. We then found a taxi to take us to Recife. The final part of our feriados ( vacation ). Toni's family was great but I was ready for some quality time with just the two of us. Plus it is not easy being sick with a whole family watching.

SALVADOR photos part 2


Here are our photos!