Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No fim, não tô a fim de Beagá

While bumping along on a city bus this morning, suddenly the guy behind me--who smelled like he slept in an ashtray--coughed. He didn't cover his mouth, so I could feel his stinky, moist breath on the back of my neck. When he did it a second time I turned and shot my evilest glare while demonstrating the simplicity of the polite hand-over-mouth gesture. He snarled, "You sat there."

That vignette summarizes my feelings on Belo Horizonte: I am not charmed.

Porto Alegre is cleaner and more quaint, São Paulo more diverse and alluring, Rio de Janeiro more topographically and culturally interesting. Belo Horizonte (of which, perhaps, I had unrealistically high expectations), and I just didn't connect. Sorry, Beagá.

(Belo Horizonte - a nice skyline nevertheless)

On a positive note, I have met some great people. I couchsurfed with Márcio for a couple nights. He has a warm and considerate demeanor, and he took me out for cheap beers with a gaggle of friends on Friday. If not by the city itself, I was completely charmed by Amilton and Bernardo, who took me on a personalized driving tour of the best sights on Saturday. I spent Sunday night chatting with New Yorker Matthew and Kiwi Stephen at the hostel, and Monday, getting to know George from Surrey on a day-trip. They are great lads, the lot of them.

I also saw a few interesting places like UNESCO World Heritage site, Ouro Preto, and the Museu Giramundo. The latter, which tickled me for its uniqueness, will be a post feature in the near-term, after I get back to POA and sort out the photos. But first...

I left my iPod at home, which I never do during travel. This time, though, I truly didn't expect I would have time to use it. That was an unfortunate assumption, as I am about to board an overnight bus ride to the coastal, capital city of Espírito Santo, Vitória. D'oh.