Archive for June 2007

Brazil in Pictures

28 June 2007 | 1

Today is only my second day with an actual Internet connection in Brazil, but I’m well overdue for a post. Things are going pretty well: we’re settled in now, I’ve had my full experience of culture shock (yesterday was “I want to go home!” day), and I’m getting more Portuguese thrown at me than my Pimsleur tapes could have ever prepared me for. I promised to post some pics for the folks back home, so here we go:

Tanya crazy and wild-eyed after no sleep and a successful landing in São Paulo.

Me crazy and wild-eyed after no sleep and a successful landing in São Paulo. And Ali, totally oblivious to the excitement.

Apparently, we were lucky enough to land in Brazil during an air traffic controller strike…

After waiting in line for 2 hours, the news and camera crews decided to show up.

But we still managed to make it! Salvador here we come!

Salvador is one of the oldest modern cities in the Western Hemisphere, and its expansiveness shows it.

Welcome to Bahia, where all our signage and t-shirts are in English (and here I thought I’d be reading sooo much Portuguese).


I almost thought I was in Florida… those sneaky palm trees are everywhere!

First day at the hotel, and already Ali has snuggled up in the hammock with her buddy, Lil.

The Barra Guest House, a great hotel in the Barra neighborhood of Salvador. This is where we spent our first four days in the city, waiting for our host family to get back from vacation. We happened to come down during the big festival season of Brazil, called São João.

All of the hotels, guest houses, and residences are walled and covered in spikes. If good fences make good neighbors, then spikes on your fences must be the reason Brazilians are so touchy-feely.

And for our first Brazilian meal… PIZZA! There is a saying in Brazil “tudo acaba em pizza”, meaning “everything ends in pizza”, implying that when people don’t make decisions, people end up just ordering pizza by default. Truer words were never spoken.

The restaurant we ate at. I’m not really sure if the pizza was as good as I remember it to be, or if I was just that sick of airplane food.

Ah, the Barra Shopping mall, where during São João they flood and freeze the central area of the lower level and let Brazilians ice skate. Hilarity ensues…

In Brazil, they start teaching them how to put on skimpy bikinis at a young age. These were basically giant magnetic colorforms covering a shop they were remodeling in the mall.

Ah, the beach. I was the whitest dude there… I almost blended into the sand.

Ali had fun though, except for when she tried wiping sand off of her popsicle… using her sand-covered hands.

Totally the perfect beach day.

Ah, we’ve finally made it to the host family’s house! Here’s the kitchen (PS: their fridges open on the wrong side).

On the 20th floor, we have an amazing view.

Priscila, the lady housing us, has a little open terrarium in the house. There’s a turtle in there somewhere.

More amazing views.

And more.

Invest in duct tape, because that is the only thing holding this country together.

More awesome views.

You learn rather quickly that 20 floors up is very, very high up.

I think they installed this gating over the windows more for my benefit than for the children’s. Luckily, this is the closest I’ve gotten to the windows since I’ve been here.

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We’re here!

23 June 2007 | 0

We made it to Brazil. Yesterday, and only about 2 hours late! Getting through Sao Paulo was a nightmare (2 hours waiting in lines — apparently having air traffic controllers go on strike can do that), but we finally made it to Salvador. I don’t have much time to chat now, or post pictures yet, but it’s very nice here. The buildings all seem quite run down, and it’s very “historic”, but I’m liking it so far. It helps that we’re in Barra, one of the nicest areas of Salvador.

Okay, I’m out — more to come later. Tchau!

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I’m leaving… on a jetplane

21 June 2007 | 0

Pretty soon now the big trip begins. My bags our packed, I slept horrible last night, and I’ve been up for an hour already working on client work. Typical pre-trip routine.

My big hope for this first adventure of just getting down there is keeping Ali entertained during the plane ride. We basically have a day’s worth of travel, since we head out this morning and arrive tomorrow around noon. The bulk of that is layovers (something like 5 hours in Dallas and 4 hours in São Paulo), but we do have about 9 hours of flying just to get into Brazil. It’s an overnight flight, so hopefully she’ll sleep and not be too crabby. Hopefully we can all get some sleep, or we’re going to be completely dead come arrival time.

I’m sure Ali will be good though. She’s been looking forward to this trip since… well, since she made her map of South America in school and realized what Brazil was (to her, a big pink blob of construction paper). I’m hoping the excitement of finally getting there keeps her in a good mood, because no one likes to spend a day in a plane with an irritated 3 year old.

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Our money is dumb

19 June 2007 | 0

For those unaware, I leave for Brazil in TWO DAYS! I’m super excited (obviously), and while I’m not there yet, I can already tell that I’m going to love the country. I mean, honestly, where are the FERAL PREDATORY ANIMALS on our money?

Brazil’s money… with jaguars!

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Saudades “Heart Shaped Box”

12 June 2007 | 0

Saudades “Heart Shaped Box”


Saudades “Scars”

10 June 2007 | 0

Saudades “Scars”


Johnny Storm was a LIAR LIAR!

10 June 2007 | 0

Being both a comic book geek and a father, it is my duty to teach my daughter about all the nuanced characters of the Marvel, DC, and independent multi-verses. She’s already pretty well informed concerning the classics: Superman, Batman, Spiderman. All of them having had major movies since her birth helps my job, that’s for sure.

The Fantastic Four is all new to her, though. Granted, there was the first movie, but she doesn’t remember that (probably for the better). And now that the marketing for the 2nd movie is in full swing, she squeals with joy whenever the trailers come on. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to give her the low down on all the characters and their names yet, so being the observant and creative child she is, upon seeing this Human Torch toy at Burger King:

Burger King: Human Torch toy

she named him the only obvious thing an almost-4-year-old child would: Fire Pants.

Saudades: A Test of Commitment

10 June 2007 | 0

Saudades starts after I wake up. What is Saudades, you ask? Well, check back soon for the first installment…


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