Saturday, January 28, 2006

smorgasbord of life

28jan 2006

It was either the hot dog, pronounced "awchee dawguee" with a total of 4 syllables or the little quail eggs. You haven´t lived fully until you spend 4 hours in a third world bathroom with alternating vomit and diarrhea, all the while being observed by a 150 (or more) pound Mastiff named Hector. Everytime I came up for air old Hector, with his fur coat about 4 sizes too big was just sitting there looking at me with two little strings of drool coming out of either side of his mouth. Way bummer.

Bamba the beer drinking dog was spotted the other day in Catete. He was hanging around a BBQ pit working the crowd.

Samba has been good and is getting serious. The directors all starting to look stressed. I still greatly prefer the Group A and below schools. The Grupo Especial schools are just a mob scene. In the bateria it's a bunch of the same players anyhow. The same guys I play with in Estacio also play in Salgueiro. I´m meeting new people all the time and it all began with blocos. The blocos are your entry point as a foreigner.

In another little slice of life and death, Hilda was walking along Rua das Larangeiras a couple of days ago when she heard a siren (not uncommon). Suddenly, a police car stopped right beside her and out came a big, big automatic weapon with a policeman attached. He was yelling "lay down!" at some kid with a pair of shorts, no shirt, no shoes. (The kid obviously had a gun hidden somewhere. Maybe in his armpit?) Anyhow, all Brazilians and repeat tourists here know that your chances of getting killed by a policeman shooting into the crowd are much higher than that of getting killed by a bandit. Everyone took off running and trying to get behind whatever. Anyhow, the kid was subdued and dragged off to jail and no one got shot ... yet.

Xuxa got here yesterday and the games have begun. Not to be deterred by a torrential downpour, he somehow talked us into walking over to the praca Sao Salvador to have a beer and a snack. Seemed easy enough until we had to cross the street. As you may remember, I'll had a little trouble with the whole crossing the street thing here. Anyhow, there we were. Not a car in site. We darted across the street in ankle deep water. I was being the rabbit. Clever. Quick. That´s when I saw the bus ... and the water, lots of it. The bus looked like a speed boat and it was headed our way. I yelled "Bus!! Make a run for it!!" and away we went, three wet gringos with umbrellas sprinting along a two foot sidewalk just ahead of a bus wake. Pretty exciting actually.

Anyhow we had some carne seca acebolada, fries and more than a few beers. By this time the rain had let up to the point where you could kind of see across the street and so we decided to head out for Badalo in Santa Teressa. We got to ST and promptly got lost. We wandered around for a few minutes without getting robbed and finally found the quadra. You should visit the Badalo quadra (I think the street is Paraiso and it's on the side of ST that is right next to the sambodromo). Very nice people and a kickass bateria headed up by Folia from Santa Marta. Good player and a good director. You see heavy players all over town with Badalo t-shirts on. Anyhow, we spent some time hanging with the president and decided to move Xuxa's party to the quadra because of the continuing threat of rain forcast for Sunday. It's perfect.

The bateria was cancelled due to the rain but samba broke out anyway. Some kids ranging in age from 13-21 lined up and were running through the breaks with Folia leaading/teaching. Some of those kids could play like crazy and all of them were having a great time. Playing a little samba on Saturday at 1AM. j