Saturday, January 08, 2005

day two

8 Jan 2005

Yesterday was a great day. We took a long walk to the aterro do Flamengo, took a lap and then went to our very favorite Pe Sujo for lunch. Just as everywhere here in Rio, the people in the little place immediately remembered us and treated us like royalty. Grilled beasts, rice, beans and salad for $R 7.

Hung out in the afternoon and then went to Jorge and Jaqueline´s house for a long talk. A very long talk. I mean really long. Like 4 hours. We hads to catch up. So anyhow, we went out at midnight 30 to see if we could scare up someaction. Ran into some of the old crowd from Bambas do Catete and Canarios das Larageiras. Of course samba broke out and we sat at a bar till 2am singing the new sambas de enredo and working out the bossas. Turned into a party when peoplewe didn´t even know showed up and started singing along. One big family.
Today we are meeting up with Xuxa to go to a pagode in the quadra of Portela. All the old guard on stage singing sambas while the Baianas serve feijoada. Tonight we have Bambas do Cateteat 8 followed by Canarios from 2400 till who knows. ~I´ll be the tall white guy playing caixa. Really tall. Really white.

Anyhow, this whole napkins thing. Have I already whined about this? As the guy said to Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, I have just one word to say to you....Plastics. Well, I have just onew ord word to say to you.....Napkins. This countryneeds a good napkin in the worst way. There are two types here. One is made of wax paper and the other is the self destructing type. The former is like a cruelty joke. As it is made of wax, and has no absorbant qualities whatsoever, you tend to chase the food around your face with it. I suppose there is some logic to it. It must be designed to spread the food out into a thinner layer which doesn´t stand out as much. The second type is in some ways crueler. You innocently put it to your face and, particularly if you have facial hair, it explodes and spreads itself around. You wind up looking like you just went through a locally heavy snow shower and have to go to the bathroom to get it off.
You could be the Micheal Dell of napkins here inBrazil. The nakins magnate as it were. Just an idea.

Tomorrow should be really tasty. 10 hours ofsamba always produce some good material. I planto hit the aphrodisiac thing hard today. Fui, j

Friday, January 07, 2005

Jacare no Rio

7 Jan 2005

It´s me again. The guy who reads the newspaper over your shoulder and says,`´Don´t turn the page. I'm not done yet.`` --Lyle Lovett

Anyhow, Jacare here reporting from the streets of the cidade maravilhosa. Arrived with no problem on 5 Jan. The bad news is that our bags didn´t. After a quick shopping trip to the local cheap clothing store, we hit the streets. I was naked but I had great new flip flops so all was good. WE went to an old haunt and ordered the perfect food...frango a passarinho. Little anatomically incorrect unnatural chicken (there are no``natural chickens here`. they only have the ones that peck bateries and eat lizards but they taste good. ) parts fried to a golden brown with about apound of garlic and sprinkled with a pinch of parsley. Add the beer food group and you´re good to go. Primal. It´s like the old hunter-gathererdays when homo sapiens were young and wild chickens roamed the earth.

Here´s a travel tip which I have to re-learn every few years: Never go to the third world without a change of clothes and a toothbrush in your carry on.

The beeronomy report is positive. Despite Shrub´s attempts to single handedly bankrupt the US economy, beer is still only about a buck. When the real was 4 per dollar, lunch was just over a buck. Now it´s about $3. Can´t complain but I still do, mostly at Bushy Boy. Oh well.

The bags arrived last night and we hooked up with Xuxa and went to the CCC to see Teresa Cristina, arguably, the best samba singer in Rio at this time. Great show in a room made for about100 and filled with about 400 adoring, singing fans. It was about 200 degrees in there so we got a free steam bath out of the deal. Since I don´t even know the words to songs in english, I couldn´t sing along. However I could sing along on all the percussion phrasing. As I´ve said before, samba is a language. If you have spent time studying with JOrge or in samba camp or inRio, you speak the language. Certain things make sense. Others don´t. Samba is not spoken in Austin. Sorry but that´s the way it is.

ANYHOW, we were out with a bunch of XUXA´s friends and I saw it as an opportunity to further my research into Brazilian aphrodisiacs. I asked Xuxa´s boyfriend about it and he immediately identified Xuxa as an aphrodisiac. I need to rethink my methodology. This topic is bigger (nopun intended) than I thought. More on that later.

I also have a word or two to say about napkins but that also can wait.

Tonight we´re off to Bambas do Catete to samba the night away with all our old buds from the neighborhood. Samba and culture is on the street corner. The stuff on TV is for show. j