Archive for the 'General Musings' Category
I’ve been back in São Paulo all week and am feeling more and more like I live here. Instead of being able to just go to my hotel room and vegetate, friends invite me to dinner, lunch, to walk in the park, etc. This has subtly changed over the year and I think they are thinking more of me as just “one of the group” instead of “the foreigner visiting our country”.
While I actively participate in conversations when I have something to add, for the most part I listen and absorb new contextual words, slang, thoughts and a general sense of Brazilian cotidian life.
Yesterday three of us went to the Mercadão — an old and very large indoor market in the old downtown area. Not since I went to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York in 1985 have I been in such a large, crowded group of people: Literally bumping elbows and shoulders and hips at every turn and at every step through the masses of people shopping, eating, playing and generally enjoying life.
While I can’t think that I was the only one in this crowd of thousands feeling claustrophobic, I suspect I may have been the only one showing it on my face!
Walking from place to place, we were able to taste different (and for me, exotic) fruits and to see huge swaths of color and feel the vibrancy and sound and ambiance.
I would love to have had my honey here, but suspect that he would have freaked out with the sheer numbers of people and inability to navigate quickly.
Started a little packing today, but nothing serious yet. Tomorrow morning brings on the dash to fit and remember everything for my two weeks in Brazil.
I bought a larger suitcase to take this time, and am having to deliver a replacement laptop to a co-worker there (and bring her old one back to the US), so I wanted to be able to pack it instead of carrying it. I didn’t pay a fortune for a lighter-than-air MacBook for traveling only to have an 8-pound Dell become my ball-and-carry-on-chain.
I’m glad I was able to spend the weekend at home with my honey. We spent a lot of time together and just enjoyed each other’s company.
I just checked out of one hotel and into another. I had a nice, quiet weekend with no travel for a change and was able to sleep, eat, walk, take photos and sleep some more. It’s funny how much ‘me’ time I can get in a city of this size.
Work begins tomorrow and it will be four intense days filled with meetings, problem-solving and trying to impress my boss, who will be here for the first time while I am.
Today is a beautiful fall (at least for 4 more days) day and the skies are blue and the temperature in the 70s F. This could almost be Sydney if it weren’t the for the funny accents.
My honey’s parents spent the night with us and just left to fly to LAX, where they will meet other family members for a cruise to Vancouver, BC. We were invited, but with my travel schedule (or lack of one) lately, it’s been kind of hard to make any plans.
I was in Minneapolis on Thursday and Friday and got to have dinner with my brother and his family. Always fun.
I’m heading back to Brazil this week, arriving Saturday. This will make six trips to/from Brazil since mid-January (in 14 weeks). In sheer distance traveled, I will have done the equivalent of circumnavigating the globe four times.
My boss on Friday suggested that if I wanted to move to Brazil, she suspected that the company would support it. My honey was not thrilled, but logistically, I could probably do it for a year or so. He said, “You need to at least be home for our 25th anniversary” (in March 2013).
I guess we’ll see how serious everyone really is. I suggested that perhaps a week-long trip once a month to Brazil might suffice….
Flying from Chicago to Salt Lake yesterday, I had a nice conversation during the 4-hour heavy snow delay and subsequent 3-hour flight with my seat mate, who I later found out was Daniel Karslake, director of the Sundance-nominated documentary, For The Bible Tells Me So.
He was very unpretentious and simply mentioned that he was a filmmaker and that he lived in Newark, New Jersey, after having moved there a year ago from the city.
He had said early on that he was meeting a friend for dinner in Salt Lake last night and during the course of the conversation mentioned that his friend had a house in Orem, which he pondered aloud after I grimaced, “I wonder why he lives there…”. He then said that his friend was a philanthropist and I said, “Oh, Bruce Bastian?”.
He laughed and asked how I would know that and I said that there are only two philanthropists that I am aware of in Utah and only from Utah County. The other is Jon Huntsman, Sr.
Good guy and a nice conversation.
And so here I sit in the Chicago O’Hare Airport again, waiting for my connecting flight to São Paulo in a couple of hours. This is my fifth trip to Brazil in the last year and I have certainly enjoyed my time there, albeit it 99% being work-related.
I did book a trip from São Paulo to Navegantes for this coming weekend, so that I could visit Blumenau once again. It seems like I was just there, but in reality, it’s been almost a year and a half. I’m sure not much has changed since my two visits in 2010, which is just as well, considering how freaked out I was after seeing it for the first time since 1985.
I spent the first eight months of my mission in Brazil in this city and it has lots of special memories for me. I was assustado to see how much had changed — to the point where I felt disoriented the whole weekend I was there.
When people ask me if I see anyone there, I say, “They’re all dead”. And they gasp, but it’s probably close to the truth. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only soul alive in the city when I’m wandering the streets, even though there are thousands of other people living, shopping, sleeping and walking about. It’s like a ‘memory ghost town’ for me. Really strange — but I keep going back.
Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, 2011.
I read an article in this week’s Torringon Telegram which referred to a Gay-Straight Alliance at Eastern Wyoming College — in my hometown.
Considering this is a small town in Wyoming with a 5,000-person population, I am impressed.
I wish I had had access to the same resources when I was growing up.
Fall has arrived in full force, with almost-freezing temps every morning and jacket weather during the day. We had our first snow on October 7th, which was way too early for my tastes, but nothing since. Many of the trees are still green and fully-leafed, so I’m not sure what that means.
The weather patterns are disturbingly different year after year. We were still having snow in May this year and June was the rainiest month in my recollection. The Snowbird ski resort remained open for skiing until July 4th (probably not the best of skiing that late, but certainly an abundance of snow allowed bragging rights).
“Summer” lasted a scant 2-1/2 months and we reached 100 degrees F exactly once.
Beautiful and dramatic leaf colors changes in the mountains this fall probably stem from the abundance of precipitation.
I’m hoping that snow is scant at least until December, but won’t be surprised at any outcome.