Saturday, August 6, 2011

Oh yeah, It's Ladies Nights

I had planned to spend a week in Porto Alegre before leaving Brazil, to have a proper despedida, or going away party(z), but changed my mind because I (rightly) decided that saying 30 goodbyes would just be too depressing.

Instead, last Friday I met Victoria and Lisa at the airport. They had come to me. (Bless them.) What followed was a week of girl fun: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shopping malls, late breakfasts and in-depth chats.
Friday was our nutty night. We went to my staple: Casa Club Hostel Bar to visit friends, meet strangers, and listen to my friend Leo's band. Carol got up to sing with the band--her on-the-spot rendition of the Cranberries' "Zombie"--was a real treat, especially as I'd never heard her sing live before. Good times.

Mari, Carol, e eu
Suddenly we (and the group had multiplied, as they tend to do on the best of nights) found ourselves drinking Belgian beers at Miró. The next thing I know, we're jamming to Interpol, Bowie, and Rage Against the Machine at Matrix. (I grilled my friend Felipe on who's oversight led to me never knowing, over the past year, about this dream-dive-nightspot?! Que loucura cara!) Ok, maybe the beer helped, but I was singing and dancing like the angst-ridden teenager that I sometimes am, in secret, and it was the best! Luckily, me and my antics were in great company.

eu, Victoria, e Lisa

Victoria rocking out to God-knows-what and Lisa, reacting

Mari, eu e Felipe

Don't ask me. At this point, I could not be held accountable.

Eu, Victoria e Mari
I (we) went to bed at 7am. (Yep, still got it.)
Mas, bah!, nota dez, aquela noite!
Except, for the next two days, Victoria and I suffered a stiff neck from our special dancing. (Maybe we don't still have it!)
A couple other highlights from the week:
1) when a friend from Casa Club, whom I shall call Spooney, made the most hilarious remark in regards to the hosteling crowd, dressed in their alpaca jacket-ponchos and hats: "We've all been to Bolivia, and we're going to wear it for three months."
2) eating a delicious-but-$40 cheeseburger at Lanchonete da Cidade at Shopping Cidade Jardim (which, admittedly, was a very neat mall, architecturally speaking), before checking out the million-dollar boats in Tools & Toys. Que chique, gente!
But aside from the fun, I confess there were a few tears when Victoria and I hugged goodbye yesterday. It was silly because we'll see each other soon in Chicago, but there's just this thing: we were really in this together. I share that feeling with everyone in my POA clan. We were totally in it together. Tightly bonded (like whoa). And as necessary as it sometimes is, it hurts to release it, so that it may grow into a different friendship, as we give space for our lives to also grow. Yin and Yang I suppose.
I saw my acupuncturist yesterday afternoon and, noticing that I was less chatty, he asked (simply), "triste?" And I started to cry again. Yes.
Nevertheless, my life is moving forward.
Tonight I had a meeting of the United Nations (of Ladies): a cocktail conference with Nika (Poland/US), Glaucy (Brazil), Gaby (Venezuela), and Sandi (France). After the soup buffet (yes, you read that correctly) at Bella Paulista, we ended up at Drosophyla--another very cool haunt that I wished I'd known before, and our gaúcho waiter only added to our fun.

eu, Glaucy, Nika, Gaby e Sandi
E aí? (And now?) I have arranged some lunches and dinners and beers with some Paulista friends, but I'm packed and ready. And on Tuesday, I'm out.
I have no idea what to expect from my re-acclimation to Chicago life. Well, that's not entirely true: I have some expectations, but I don't know where I'll be living or working a month from now. That fact is both intimidating and brilliant, because it evidences the presence of natural fear and how far I have pushed myself in confronting it.
There will be a proper festa with my Porto Alegre peeps, but it's a few months off yet. I'm looking forward to it, as a celebration of the progress in each of our lives--because, among us, there are new homes to visit and new babies to kiss.