Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Anniversary to me

One year ago today I landed in Porto Alegre with a great deal of excitement and curiosity, and a healthy dose of apprehension. I wanted to compose a brilliant, reflective piece to commemorate the day, and I have the ideas...but they are very fragmented. While I compose them, please take a moment to enjoy these less pivotal odds and ends.

First up, watch this video.


The video is of the rabo quente (ha-bow ken-schee, or "hot tail") in action. There's an electrical coil inside a plastic housing which you insert into water before plugging it into the wall. It is very important that you execute the steps in that order, as I learned the first time I used it, circumspectly. (That first, erroneous, use of the device generated a great deal of scary smoke, a horrific and lingering smell of fried plastic, and a string of expletives.) Eventually I shed my negative preconceptions and learned to appreciate the thing. It's rather efficient.

Futebol Arte is still dazzling me. Internacional is doing great and I've attended almost all of their home games this year. But next Wednesday's visit to Beira-Rio will be to watch the Brazilian national team take on Peru for the 2010 World Cup Eliminations.

The signs continue to amuse. It's a good thing few corners in the world are labeled thusly:

I love that just above the "huh?" street signs is an advertisement that reads "THIS IS BRAZIL"!
Unfortunately, so is this:

Wait! What's that logo up there in the corner? Is that...

Yes, that is a sperm in a bow tie.
Ahhh, the machismo. One of the few cultural nuances that I've had trouble adapting to. Luckily, I have super girlfriends to help me along.

Tonight, Eliana, me, and Adri swapped girl talk over beers. (Oh yeah, I drink beer now.)

Lastly, I am still appreciating the sunsets. This photo, captured a few days ago from my bedroom window, might only be a 7--but I've seen dozens of 10s during my year in a place famed for its breathtaking melts from tarde to noite.

Tomorrow is another year.