Not all who wander are lost

Trip Start May 01, 2004
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11
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Trip End May 19, 2005


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Flag of Brazil  ,
Thursday, December 23, 2004

Some quick notes on Brazil:

-I arrived here at about 8pm. The sun was just setting and the clouds were out. One of the first things that struck me was the colors. It was like I had been living in a bleached out photograph and someone took it to Kinkos and put the colors back in. The sky was so incredibly blue. The dirt was so incredibly red. The green was actually green. None of this Boston winter sky, building, and road of the same color. Second thing that struck me: SO MUCH SPACE. Brasilia was built about 50 years ago, in about 5 years. The layout was designed to look like a butterfly. But everyone says that it looks like an airplane. I think it looks like a dragonfly. The center body is where the government, commercial center, etc is. The wings are residential areas. There were two designers and apparently they were a little bit of communists. They designed the city so that a family with five kids (rich or poor) would get a bedroom for each person. But, communism always only works in theory. The poor ended up selling their 6 bedroom homes to the rich. But, the city is so spread out. There are so many open spaces! Another thing about Brasilia that I like so much is you will probably never encounter a capital city in any other country that have almost no tourists. The residents of the city are barely residents. Almost everyone here is imported to work for the government.
I was wondering why I felt so at home. It has come down to four reasons:

1. Everyone is really friendly.
2. I'm not being harassed by tourist traps, so it feels like I'm a local.
3. It's not as posh as Europe. Everyone wears jeans.
4. Since all the embassies are here, they have restaurants representing every country.

That'll be my update for now. But before I go, I'll leave you with some Brazilian-ness I really enjoy:

my favourite words so far:
-cachoeira (pronounced - cash-wera. It means waterfall, doesn't it sound like it?)
-pitanga (pronounced - pee-TANGah. This fruit is the size of a cherry and has the vitamin C equivalent to 20 oranges)

my new favourite soft drink:
Guaranį (It's made from a fruit from the Amazon. I think that they should start exporting this drink to the US. It's so much better than Pepsi or Coke. I will smuggle some in and you'll have to come over to have a taste)

one of the best moments here so far:
Watching a Carnaval troop perform. It was amazing. This whole line of people on all different kinds of drums. You could feel the beat in your ribs. I recorded some of it. I will post pictures as soon as I find a computer I can connect my camera to. In Brazil everyone knows how to Samba. It's a dance where in some magical way girls move their legs so that each individual buttcheek is flying in opposite directions. The best part of that night was seeing a very pregnant woman samba. She could out C-walk Snoop Dogg any day.
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