Travel Journal

Our first week in Ilha Solteira

(Sunday 8 February 2009) by Brennan-adventures
Hello Folks, well it is now the 8th Feb 2009 and I cannot believe where the time has gone. I still hear you are having awful weather so it must be a pain to hear about me melting here!!:-\

Let’s start from where I finished last time, we were going to the hairdressers. Mike for a cut and me for a hair colour and manicure of both feet and hands. I presented myself an hour before Mike and sat down. The girl started colouring my hair while the manicurist started on my hands.
Now I’m not entirely sure how but…the colour I chose should have been light brown and I’ve ended up gypsy black…. It is an ok colour for olive skin but I feel I should be telling fortunes!! Still it will very quickly lighten up with the sunshine. 8-O

Lunch here is the only time people arrive promptly for anything…
In Brasil if asked to arrive for dinner at 8pm it is normal to be arriving around 9ish. Appointments with dentists, doctors and hairdressers are a little more formal, even so being late is not a hanging offence like the U.K.

Back to Lunch, all the offices and University close from 12 until 2pm. The shops and supermarkets do stay open though. Most people go home where either the lady of the house or the maid has prepared lunch.
Now our maid LOVES GARLIC and cannot prepare anything without it, so whatever she cooks is inedible for me.
We tend to eat at a restaurant that provides a lunch menu. There is 1 huge serving area filled with a great array of salad and cold vegetables. Then 2 large hot serving areas with rice(hot), Kidney beans in sauce, hot vegetables, potatoes, fish, chicken and meat.
What you do is collect a plate and fill it with what you want to eat then take it to a weighing scale. There you are told what a piggie you are or have you been an angel???!!! 0:-) The cost of a plate of salad and vegetables with a dollop of potato salad topped with a chicken thigh is around #4.00.
While in there you have to keep looking for people you have met before… to miss saying hello is a huge snub to them… I tell you most of the time is spent spotting who you know even when you are driving!!! At the moment we are incognito as most of the folk do not know what car we drive yet, so we are safe for a while!!
Last week a typical day was.
Up around 7-30, some days walking for about 40mins, others brushing the damned leaves up from the tree!!
We sit outside with a fan blowing some air on us to eat our breakfast of tropical fruit prepared by Mike, it is washed down with coffee and fruit juice. Then Marilene one of our friends here arrives to give us Portuguese conversation lessons for an hour. I then drop Mike off at the Uni while I organise something…eg… 5 gallon water bottle to be delivered, birthday pressie or sourcing plastic containers.
It will be nearing 12-30pm when I meet Mike at the restaurant; we have lunch sometimes by ourselves or joined by an acquaintance who speaks Portuguese smattered with a few English words.
At 2 pm Mike disappears back to the Uni. I go to the supermarket or get to sit in the car with the air-con on; Laptop on knee and headphones on to have a SKYPE conversation with Mum Or Em…. I must look a little odd, Em’s reckons I must look like MI5 on a raid !!!
Still it does the trick, I get a signal there; at the house we get a strong enough signal for e-mail but not for speaking.

Now I have a quiz for you all…. answers at the end of the blog…

Guess what is meant by these words, spoken in English but not as we know it !! It may be easier to guess if you speak them out.
1. Downieloajie

2. Goodchyerie

3. Fireystaunie

4. Majinowlia

Now all these words were thrown into conversations with us and it did confuse us for a second or two…

Friday evening we went out to a restaurant with Marilene, Vicente and their family to thank them for organising everything for us here…. It is the most wonderful experience to do. It is called churrascuria (BBQ) restaurant.
Inside there is a huge salad counter to choose from. Then when sat at the table outside under cover, waiters appear with a huge long metal stick with meat pushed onto it; cooked to differing degrees. (rare or well done). You point to the piece of meat you would like then the man cuts a slice off.

It then starts to feel like a race as you barely have finished this slice when the next man appears with a different type/cut of meat. This carries on until you tell them to stop… you can refuse as much as you like, the smell is wonderful (if you are a meat eater), and the taste is fandabbydozey!!

Sat morning was spent getting two new tyres on the car…… took 1 hour 30 mins!!!!!! This included changing the position of the front ones, also tracking and balancing. The price was #200.00 for 2 tyres. We could have gone for the cheaper option of re-treading them but we thought it didn’t seem so safe. We will be glad when Mike gets his first pay check here !!

Sat night was the birthday party of Washington, another friend here. He has just been made head of the local council, his family own a couple of garages inthis city and another nearby, and he also is the guy we are buying our land from.
He and his wife Ana Alice are fun, gregarious and very welcoming. We arrived late, as we got lost. The first thing we heard was the music…. Neighbours are very tolerant here. When entering the garden we saw a singer and two huge speakers blasting out the music…. The guy singing was excellent, even when singing the English songs.
Once into the garden we were surrounded by people saying hello and introducing other to us…..Whew…. our brains hurt bombarded with the noise of the music and all the voices it was hard to hear.
We meet one of our neighbours from our street there, she is the headmistress of the high school, not sure what her husband did. Everyone we meet tell us….. If you have any problems; here is my house number, you can call and we will help you…. This is the first time of meeting them, it is so nice.
The food at the party was all Japanese style which is very popular here.

Now to give you some background Sat had been very hot and sticky. The daytime temp was around 37c; at 9pm the temp was still 29c and very sticky. It must have been bad as all the people at the party were complaining about the heat and being so humid.
Suddenly the lightening started flashing… it was fantastic sheet lightening which travels across the sky….then for a couple of hours we had rumbles of thunder with the lightening until the heavens opened and the rain cascaded down… We were sitting under cover but the sides were open, the rain was so strong we all had to move 5 feet away from the edge of the roof.
The rain did not stop falling like a waterfall for at least 4 hours. Did this bring the party to an end???…..No the wartime spirit took over, we hunkered down and huddled together singing along with the singer…. Who appeared to have loads of 60-70-and 80’s English songs that everyone seemed to know. The birthday cake was brought out (as usual in these evening events) after midnight.
What a great night it was. The lightening was still flashing across the whole sky and the rain hurtling down when we left around 1-30am…… thank goodness for Air-con!!!

This morning (Sunday) it is much fresher and comfortable, although I do still have the fan blowing a breeze while I am writing this.

Next week we are to visit another city called Maringa for 3 days. More suitcases to pack!! Will let you all know what it’s like and our journey there.

Now I’ve not forgotten…. The quiz results.

I. Down load

2. Goodyear tyre

3. Firestone tyre

4. Magnolia...... One of the ladies we met.

Well, love to you all *_*
Laur xx

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