Thursday, January 13, 2005

Abbott and Costello have a beer

13 Jan maybe. Definitely Thursday.

Not that much funny stuff happended yesterday until, after the Suzano class I was headed to a roda de samba to try out some of the new stuff I´ve been learning. I stopped off at one of the hot dog vans on the street for a beer. I asked the wrong guy for the beer and he told me that I now had to share with him. After a brief exchange we agreed and he said ``Falou`` which is a way of saying ``cool`` or `´agreed`` but can also mean `´you said``. I couldn´t resist the opportunity of course so I replied `´falei?`` which means `´I said?`` He looked at me funny and said Nao, falou como `´falou``. To which I replied ``I said what?`` At this point he allowed as to how he had noticed my accent and asked where I was from. I explained that because I am Japonese, it´s very difficult for me to speak potuguese without an accent. At this point he took a moment to study the situation and decided that I must be Italian. I finally identified myself as a Texan who didn´t vote for Bush. This was all he needed. He launched into a full blown political diatribe. Interestingly, the Brazilians I have spoken to feel empathy for the troops and their families. Even the uneducated can apparently separate the American people from the American government (atalent which is obviously absent in arab contries). Bush is not a popular guy here and the word on the street is that America will never recover from 8 years of his policies. The folks here see China as a waiting beast. When they ascend to dominance, they will not be nice about it. The average Brazilian here is light years ahead of the avaerage American is knowledge of world events.

Anyhow, after a couple of beers we exchanged names and the guy invited me to pass by and have a beer when I´m in the neighborhood. When was the last time you had a 30 mintue conversation with a perfect stranger shook hands and called each other brother as you parted? This place is fantastic!!

The other funny thing involved crossing the street. Even after years of coming here, I´m still challenged by crossing the street. Brazilians rarely run across the street. They somehow effortlessly walk out into traffic and only get killed once in a while. It´s miraculous.
I thought that I had it timed perfectly. Just let this giant truck full of exposive gases go by and I´ll duck behind just in front of this motorcyle going about 80. It´ll be great. I´ll look good. Suddenly, the truck put on the brakes and pulled up onto the curb. My curb. My spot on my curb. It was then that I spotted the bicycle. Going the wrong way of course. He was only doing about 20 and had about 6 bottles of water in the front. Remember all those word questions you had to do in math class? Different velocities in different directions? This was it baby. Real life application. I quickly analized the situation and decided that this was no time to be thinking too much. I turned and made a run for it and ducked behind the truck and up onto the curb just as the two pursuers passed. I felt like Daffy Duck with his tail feathers burned off but at least I hadn´t somehow caused the gas tank truck toexplode. Big fun.

It´s beer 30 PM. Gotta run. j