Monday, September 22, 2008

Quiet, then loud

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One day couple weeks ago I was in a shoe store trying on some sandals mid-afternoon. It was sunny when I entered the shop, and I noticed as I glanced out the window about 15 minutes later that it had become dusky dark not long after lunch. Uh-oh. Wearing my strappy new mules out of the shop wasn’t one of my better-thought-out decisions, but neither was leaving the umbrella at home. And anyway, attempting to stay dry in the sudden monsoon would have been futile with Wellies and a parachute.

No matter. The rainy weeks lent themselves perfectly to my blues. I would apologize for my long absence, but I’m trying not to apologize so much.
They say Porto Alegre sometimes has four seasons in a day. I’d amend that to three, but otherwise the ubiquitous "they" are spot on. So I’m glad my club has an indoor and an outdoor pool. Oh, did I just jump over something? (ha!) Yes, I joined my first country-club-ish place, Grêmio Nautico Gaúcho. I went there last week to inquire about swimming a couple times a week as a non-member, and walked out with a carteira social (membership card). I'm such a sucker! They have weights and aerobics and handball and a dining facility, blah blah blah, all of which I’ll probably never use. But they offer a convincing two pools: a 25m indoor pool and an Olympic size outdoor pool (currently under a giant bubble until summer), which I have already frequented three times this week.
I am relieved knowing that when the summertime mass exodus happens—when Porto Alegrenses head for their beach houses in January and February—and my class schedule gets cut in two, I will have a place to retreat, swim, relax, read, maybe even get a little color. Oh, there’s even a Recanto do Chimarrão (tea corner) where the club provides tea and hot water to fill my cuia. Love that.



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Semana Farroupilha is an annual celebration of gaúcho traditions which culminated yesterday, Dia da Farroupilha, with a big parade. The day marks the anniversary of a civil war predominantly fought in Rio Grande do Sul from 1835 to 1845—though it seems to me that the day has come to be more significant as a time to honor one’s southern heritage through the rituals of song and dance, churrasco and chimarrão. I wasn’t able to watch the horses on parade Saturday morning because I had some classes. I did attend two barbeques in the afternoon and evening. Mmmm, meat.
A Saturday Summary Equation:







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Gauchinhas felizes… yours truly, Fifi, and Victoria
(Hot tip: If you click on any picture, and this is a good one for it, you can see a larger version.)

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Aventuras na Cozinha: Recently in Kitchen Adventures, I dropped a glass bottle of grape juice this week. Great. Ants for life. In other food items, would someone kindly show this photo to my favorite boss, Denny? I purchased this overpriced snack item (low demand I guess, har har har) just to take this photo for him. We shared an affinity for baby carrots and I was simply bowled-over to find carrot balls.



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Carrot balls! Ideais para pratos sofisticados” – yes, ideal for sophisticated dishes.
Stay tuned, I have another entry about today. Vamo vamo Inteeer!
The Loquinha-est Gauchinha