Yep, I'm moving to Brazil.
Because the older I get, the more resolutely I believe in owning my choices.
A more literal translation would be "joyous port," but I prefer to call it "Port Happy". (Check the place out using the links on the left.)
What will I do there?
First things first: Nothing.
Then, I will attend to some personal goals which can be summarized thusly; well-being, fluency, creative development, travel, and experience. I have already found some pools where I might swim and some yoga studios I might try, in the event that I feel energized by all the fresh fruit and vegetable juice.
I will study Portuguese and counteract the brain-strain with writing my travel stories and submitting them to publishers. (Hey, why not?)
I will find (in no particular order) someone to help me refine my "Gaúches" (local dialect), someone to help me learn the culture via its nightlife, someone that knows the top three coffee spots in the city, and someone that likes to talk about life in metaphysical terms.
In what I will try to make the last exhibition of my all-too-American tendency to hyper-plan, I already booked accommodation during the international hot air balloon festival in Torres at the end of April. (In my defense, it's a big event and a holiday weekend, so I figured erring on the side of caution one last time was forgivable.)
I'd like to work in a few budget-conscious day/weekend trips around the gaúcho countryside, and, in a few months, I'd love to meet up with friends Lucas, Platini, Carol, Michele and Eliseu in Rio.
Hopefully in about six months I'll manage to cook up some sort of employment, even better if it's something I enjoy.
In a year... who knows, really.
A few (of many) things I know I won't miss are carpal tunnel, my alarm clock, and harsh winters.
A few (of many) things I know I will miss are wine-chats with my friends, my grandmother, and The Dunes.
There will be things I will love, for a while at least, like walking for miles with no destination and no deadline; greens, citrus, "a la minuta," and agua de coco; and watching futebol (soccer) all the time.
There, too, will be things that I'll find more difficult to adapt to, like a higher crime rate, bureaucracy, and adjusting to a more macho culture.
I have a place to stay while I try to obtain an apartment and a bank account, neither of which will be as easy and clear-cut as I am accustomed to. And although I initially plan to spend a little time alone, finding my new self, I have preemptively opened some channels that should make communication easier (and cheaper) down the road. One is this site, which will not only serve to increase my readership potential, but will also allow you to visit at will or create email alerts when new material is posted (instructions will follow at a later date). Another is a SkypeIn number for the United States. That means you can dial 867-5309 (see footnote***) from your landline or cell phone and reach me on my laptop or on my mobile (eventually) for the same tolls you would normally pay to dial a 312 area code. My Skype account also provides free voice or video chat with one or more people via the internet. To set yourself up for this service, visit the link below and create a free account, then add "LoquinhaGauchinha" as a contact. Incidentally, my 773 number has been disconnected effective today. My trusty hotmail remains, faithfully checked, while messages sent to my newer gmail account will find me too (I created the latter because of its capability to manage my "subscriber list" ).
Ok. Deep breath. I've got a plane to catch.
In closing (or shall I say opening), I will leave you with this. While searching for accomodation in Torres, I caught an ad for a pousada (inn) that invites the reader to "Venha fazer NADA!!!" It means, "come do nothing!" Ahhhh, sounds perfect.
wishing good dreams for all,
* Although there were some entertaining suggestions in naming the next edition of my newsletter (including "Project Brazil Nut" [Deb] and "Yank Gone Wild: Brasil 2008" [Beth]), ultimately I had to invent my own. To receive an email alert when new content is posted about My Life In Havaianas, go to http://www.bloglines.com. Click on "Register", enter preferred email address and create a password. Click on "Subscribe" and enter the url (in this case, mylifeinhavaianas.blogspot.com). Done.
** It would be a pity if I didn't give thanks to my Uncle Greg in this introductory post. Greg has been so supportive of me in this particular journey, as he has been toward many of my ambitions (or diversions) the last handful of years. He has taken me out for many dinners--generously lending his advice and patience, his humor and experience--and I am very grateful. And I repay him by bailing on his birthday. What a schmoe I am! Hey Greggo: "Parabéns pra você, Parabéns pra você, Nessa data querido, Muitos felicidades, Muitos anos de vida." Thank you!
*** 3/31/08: I have replaced my real phone number with the false one above so as to maintain my privacy. (Thank you, Tommy Tutone.) If you need it, drop me a line and I'll send it on.