It’s Thursday, the day that I usually return when I take these one-week trips to my home in Brasil. We have bus tickets to Rio and will depart just before four. We bought the tickets yesterday because we were afraid that getting tickets on a holiday weekend might be difficult. Before I owned a car, I would rent a car from Budget at the airport. That was a little easier, I think. Now that we have the Tipo, we take the bus to the airport because my lovely Monica won’t drive in Rio (and who would want to?). When one considers the toll on the Dutra, gas and such, the bus is probably cheaper anyway.
Páscoa (Easter) is pretty important in this Catholic country. Yesterday, we went to Sendas (a supermarket) downtown to buy some fish. Of course, it was on sale, and everyone else seemed to be buying it as well. Sendas is a bit out of the way, so we don’t go there often. It looks much like a supermarket back home. The produce is displayed much the same way and the wide aisles compared favorably to the supermarkets that I am familiar with. Of course, food is not as expensive here as at home. Monica says that Sendas is usually a bit more expensive than the other ones in the area. However, shrimp was on sale, too. Here’s Monica getting some shrimp. Earlier in the week, we purchased some traditional Páscoa chocolate eggs for the children. They are hollow chocolate eggs, filled with candy and stuff. The picture shows them on display, hanging overhead. Most places do that. I bumped my head on some of them, being a bit taller than the average guy around here. They’re wrapped in brightly-colored cellophane, and I suppose that they’re the local equivalent to the Easter baskets that our children get. I’m bringing a few home with me for the kids.
The weather has been perfect the last couple of days. It’s been sunny and dry, with puffy white clouds being blown across the sky by the gentle breezes. In the afternoon, it might be a bit too warm to stay out in the sun, but the evenings are delightful and the mornings have been great as well. Of course, this is the tropics, so my first few days here were accompanied by rain. The last couple of days, I have seen some little lizards warming themselves in the sun. They are shy creatures, and skitter away as I approach. I saw one this morning that ran across the walkway, his head and body remaining almost perfectly level and still as his legs propelled his body to a place of safety. They’re neat – something that you won’t see on a rainy day.
Late yesterday afternoon, after the sun had began to go down, Monica and I walked to Floresta, a supermarket in Retiro, to purchase a few things that she needed to prepare lunch today. Vagabond dog accompanied us. It’s a little weird to see people on the sidewalks shy away from the big, goofy dog. He may look dangerous, but he’s a big baby, and enjoys nothing more than following us on a walk. He generally walks with us, staying just a step or two ahead or behind – almost if he was on a leash. When we arrived at the supermarket, we left him at the side door. He waited for us there. Hundreds of people walked by, there were all sorts of things going on, and this silly dog stayed there near that door, waiting for us to finish our business inside. I have never seen a dog so determined. It’s a shame that he’s so darned big, because he’s a wonderful pet.
When we left with our purchases for the walk home, the dog was so happy to see us, he jumped around and danced like a puppy before he was able to settle down for the walk home. Last night was a beautiful night for a walk. We slept with the window open and the ceiling fan on low.
This morning, we awoke with a small problem, although we didn’t realize it right away. Our plumbing here is a little different than at my home in the US. In my neighborhood, our water company supplies water to our house all of the time, with plenty of water pressure. Here, we have a tank in the attic – it is filled by the water company’s pipes whenever they happen to send pressure into the pipe. We are at the top of a hill, so it seems that we get our water after everyone else does. When our tank fills, you can hear the noise of the water rushing through the pipes into the tank in the attic. I didn’t hear that noise yesterday. I also didn’t hear it today. It usually happens around 7am – a free wake-up service, compliments of our local water company. As I was taking a shower this morning, the water stopped – indicating that our tank was empty. I was able to get enough water to rinse myself off, but I emptied the remainder of the tank and what was in the pipes.
In order for Monica to prepare lunch, she purchased a plastic bottle of water (20 liter bottle – much like the 5 gallon plastic ones we have). She is preparing lunch, likely the last homemade meal that I will have for three weeks. I tried to talk her into going out for lunch, but she insisted on cooking. By the way, she’s an awesome cook – we’re having bachalau (cod). I’m not sure how she’s preparing it, but I know that it’ll be great.
Oh, I interrupted my writing to have lunch. Yes, the cod was awesome, prepared in a casserole with veggies and other yummy stuff. Salad, beans and Monica’s really good rice rounded out the meal. I’m stuffed.
Monica used every drop of the drinking water to wash the lunch dishes. We did try calling the water company, S.A.A.E, this afternoon for some information, but we were not able to get through on the phone. I’m guessing that the water won’t come back until tomorrow am. Hope that I’m wrong.
I’m about to leave for the trip back home that’ll get me there in about 24 hours – just in time for work.
All for now,