Finalmente, uma conversa limpa com um brasileiro

Trip Start Oct 01, 2009
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Trip End Nov 30, 2010


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Where I stayed
Albergue da Costa

Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio Grande do Norte,
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

After my last entry becoming a bit of a rant about the men of Brazil all being massive sleazeballs, it seems they set about trying to prove me wrong.  From Jericoacoara I decided to power straight through the nearby (5 bus hours) big city of Fortaleza, and head a little (8 more bus hours) south to the city of Natal where I planned to spend one or two nights.  I arrived to Fortaleza bus station at around 9pm and found a bus that left at 11pm which would go overnight to Natal - perfect.  I sat down in a quiet corner to wait for the departure.  Near to where I sat was a man.  He was also alone, and (like me) was wearing a wedding ring, only his wasn't fake.

He called over to me, and for the first time the conversation started a little differently... he actually asked me whether I speak Portuguese.  Surely my experience and wisdom should've made me respond with "não", but stupidly I said "sim, um pouco" - what a moron!  Although, this at last seemed the chance for someone to redeem the Brasileiros and have a normal conversation with me.  Plus he had the most amazing blue eyes, so I doubted he would be pulling out the usual line on me about mine! 

Anyway, long story short(ish): we talked for a little while and it turned out he was married to a English girl and they have an 8 month old son.  He lives in a city I am planning to visit and said I would be welcome to go and stay at their place, and he could show me around etc etc.  So I took his number and figured I could speak to his wife in English on the phone as he spoke no English, and my Portuguese still isn't up to phonecall standard.  After a little while I noticed it was almost time for me to go to my bus, so I made my excuses... it turned out that of all the buses leaving that night, and of all the seats available on those buses, he was in the seat next to me on my bus!  So we continued talking and then the inevitable happened... he starts with the smooth Brazilian moves.  It just so happened that his wife and son are away in England at the moment, and he was hoping I could come and stay in Olinda with just him.  All the same merda was being spouted out as usual, only this time instead of my eyes he was going on about how beautiful my nose is!!!  Was this guy for real?!!  Anyway after me explaining that I was not interested in staying with him in that way at all as I love my 'husband' :s and that I was ok to sleep on the bus without resting on his shoulder, he finally got the message!  These guys are unbelievable.

In the morning I arrived at my destination in Natal after having to sleep with one eye open on the bus.  I had some breakfast in the bus station then headed out to Praia Ponta Negra, which is the nice safe area of Natal.  I took the bus and had to ask pretty much every passenger if they knew where my intended hostel was so that I knew when to get off.  Eventually I found someone who could explain to the conductor where to tell me to get off.  When I arrived at the hostel I had a couple of hours' sleep and then went for a wander around town.  That evening I had a bit of a dodgy stomach, so I went to bed early.  I felt fine the next day though so I went on a buggy tour heading North up the coast from Natal.

On my buggy tour I was with a guide/driver who did not speak English, a Brazilian couple from Rio, and a Brazilian guy who was on his own (but had a wife... not that it makes a difference).  The guy that was in the couple spoke a little English, so he was able to help out when I didn't quite understand things, which was helpful.  It is good to spend a whole day being forced to try to speak Portuguese though.  On the buggy trip we saw many different beaches, lakes and drove around the dunes.  I was looking for a little more adventure with the dune driving, but maybe I expected too much as the Brazilian girl was screaming her head off as we were going around!  Of course, the guy who was on his own tried his moves and was hankering after a kiss, but wasn't too pushy with it as we were in a group.  Although I'm starting to get used to the way they behave, it's still pretty shocking!

The dunes are beautiful, and there are fresh water rivers that run from the dunes into the sea which are a great place to go swimming.  There was a really big lake here, with a seated zip slide from the top of one of the dunes.  Even this did not provide the adrenaline fix that I was seeking, as it went really slow and was just a coasty scenic ride!  The whole coast line near Natal is absolutely gorgeous, with each beach as beautiful as the last.  I think that this continues south too, which means that I will have a very good couple of weeks ahead of me!

The beach at Ponta Negra is very nice, and a great place to spend the day.  At the beach there are many people selling things such as jewellery, food, drink and clothes.  One such vendor even tried to get me to kiss him despite me being on the beach with another guy and me saying he was my boyfriend... although he did at least have the decency to wait until his back was turned!  I have done a lot of relaxing in the sun with my book, working on the tan.  It seems to be doing the trick, as a Brazilian woman who arrived at the hostel a few days ago asked me whether I was Brazilian.  Of course this was before she had heard my amazingly English accented Portuguese!  Not quite sure what made her think I might be... upon hearing this, Amanda offered my Brazilian as a potential explanation.  Erm, sister dearest, even if I had one it is not something I show to women when I first meet them!!  Also, something interesting is that no Brazilians are familiar with the fact that we call a Brazilian a Brazilian... if that makes sense :s

I have been out to a samba night in Ponta Negra which was good fun.  They have various different entry prices depending on how touristy you appear.  After a bit of negotiation, and drinking beer in the streets to delay our entrance until later, we managed to get in for free!  Maybe I am starting to look Brazilian afterall?!  This night brought about the advance of a creepy silver fox who works as a buggy driver and I have seen around our hostel.  It is unbelievable to think that a man in his 50s who is really not that attractive considers it a possibility that I might be interested.  I think the philosophy here is 'it's always worth a try'.

Last night a big group of people from our hostel went out with a girl who works here.  When she was in a shop asking for directions to the club, she stepped right into the middle of a robbery.  They took everything from the customers, and from the till so she lost her phone.  All of us tourists were stood outside and had no idea what was going on inside.  Nobody was hurt.  Shortly afterwards a policeman came by on a motorcycle, but was not willing to help as he was not the right kind of police for this work!  Despite this, we managed to have a good night out.  We ended up at a bar with a band playing Beatles covers, with the odd Pink Floyd and Radiohead track mixed in too.  All the Brazilians were in the bar were just sitting around listening to the band and talking, but we were up near the stage having a good old dance and general making a show of ourselves!  God bless the tourists :D

The hostel here is really nice, and definitely somewhere I would recommend people to stay.  I only planned to stay a couple of nights, but ended up being here for almost a week.  On my second night here they had a big BBQ for the 30th birthday of a girl who used to work here.  A typical crazy Brazilain party was had, which was very interesting to be part of.  They sing three different songs in a row to wish someone happy birthday, but I did not understand a word of any of them except 'feliz'!  I spent a lot of the night talking with a Brazilian guy who is also staying here.  He was teaching me some good phrases to say to the sleazy guys to get rid of them.  These are definitely the most useful things to know in Portuguese.  It was so nice to finally have a clean conversation with Brazilian guy.  Although I think the main reason for this was because he's gay!  One day I'll find a straight guy who just wants to talk...
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Comments

vickismum on

nice blog..........look forward to more news

mayands
mayands on

Still on your quest to find a non-sleazy Brazillian then?!!
When you told me about the blue eye man on the phone, you didn't tell me that he complimented your nose!! That bit of your blog made me laugh out loud - sorry!!

Love you
xxxx

coopenc
coopenc on

When I saw your mail, i thought what's Vicki doing in South Africa?!
Maybe because you are in Natal that you have found somewhere nice to stay.
If all the hetero men are sleazy, what are the women like?

vickicooper
vickicooper on

The women are just as bad with the European men... everybody has a story to tell. Although as far as I am aware I don't think anyone else has received the nose compliment - it was hard for me to keep from laughing when he said it too!!

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