Saturday, October 16, 2010


Last week I made a new friend with an interesting story.

It started because I posted a message in a Couchsurfing social forum looking for new friends--under the guise of needing a tour guide. Great idea but the response was overwhelming. I received so many emails that my head (given my sometimes-committment-phobic nature) nearly imploded. I ended up replying to dozens and blowing off most of them. Nothing personal towards the respondents, of course, I just felt stupid asking for friends and then replying with, "Yeah, I can pencil you in a week from Thursday, k?"

I did, however, meet Polish-American "Nika." Born in Poland, lived in a refugee camp in Greece for over a year when she was 8, moved to Philadelphia, magnet school, college, volunteered abroad, moved back to New York City with new Brazilian boyfriend, Master's Degree, moved to Brazil a couple years ago, to São Paulo a couple months ago. She's my new teacher/translator/writer/whatever-pays-the-bills friend. Last Friday we ate dinner at a chic Morrocan restaurant and drank and mingled at the Casa Club Hostel Bar with owners Sávio, Paulo, and Leo, and countless guests, until 3am. What a blast!

Mari was in Rome last week reporting on the Brazilian teams' bid for the Men's World Volleyball Championship. They won, in case you haven't heard. I haven't been much into futebol lately. I guess I'm in mourning from the distance.

Another weekend night recently, I stopped at Pão de Açucar (the 24-hour supermarket next door). I hadn't been in a very good mood that day, but as I waited in the checkout line, I couldn't help but smile at the odd two-some on the bench in the front. An older man, with a guitar and small amplifier, was crooning out his 6-out-of-10 rendition of Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven," apparently for his weekend night gig at the supermarket. Even more grin-inducing was the even-older woman next to him, not an intentional part of the act, warbling along, eyes alight in her own private moment of glee.

An odd post, admittedly. But it's all I feel like revealing at the moment.