Travel Journal

Back in Ilha

(Monday 25 May 2009) by Brennan-adventures
Hello again folks, another week over. It is scary how quickly the weeks fly by…still we are trying to make the most of the break.
Our journey to Bauru was good; it made such a difference having been before, so no trouble finding the hotel.
I had been tasked with sourcing items for the party, so off to check out the local supermarkets I went. I had to get a lot of different nuts and dried fruit to mix together. I also had to get crackers for canapés. Mike was at the conference on the Monday, and had some interesting talks with people… I know because when he returned and I was speaking and he was in a dream thinking of a problem he had been talking about earlier…. I feel like having a bell and ringing it to get his attention before I speak sometimes!!*_*

Well on returning to Ilha we got top marks for getting everything. Marilene had organised the singer, hall and food arrangements. The chef did not buy the food but prepared and cooked it also helped clear up. Marilene had also organised two waiters who set up the hall and tables, served drinks and food, again they also helped clear up at the end. There was another two people behind the bar serving drinks, their wages were paid from the cost of hiring the hall. The chef and waiters got roughly £2.20 an hour.
The singer who sang for 6 hours got £50.

Well the day of the party I was detailed off to collect the ice-cream, cake and canapés. I also helped get the cutlery, plates and glasses organised…. These were not supplied so Marilene had begged borrowed and cajoled them from friends.
At 6pm the waiters arrived to set up and the chef had been there from 5pm preparing… all I could smell was huge amounts of garlic..yum yum!!

The menu was a selection of canapés, nuts and cocktails.
Main course of Fillet mignon covered with cheese!! Chicken with garlic and mixed veg stuffing. Hot Rice.
Green mixed salad. Cold cooked potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, endives and olives. Coleslaw with fruit.

Sweet was Birthday gateaux and Ice-cream.

The cocktails were Pimms and two differing types of fruit cocktails…..Coconut with vodka and condensed milk mixed together…. About half a bottle of vodka is used for 2 glasses so its strong stuff!!
The other cocktail was a huge slug of vodka, ice, and a mixture of strawberries, kiwi and passion fruit mixed in….. again caution needed drinking this one!!

At 8pm we arrived back at the hall, I had bought Mike a tee shirt in U.K. that had a music equaliser on the front. This is attached with a cable to a battery pack hidden on the inside of the tee shirt. When it is switched on and the music plays the equaliser flashes, this went down a treat. Infact some people thought it was his heart beat and that it changed with his emotions… great debate then about should you wear it to the beach with the girls and their dental floss bikinis as your wife would see the effect it was having!! 8-O

The evening started well and eventually there were around 60 people there, Mike has never had so many birthday presents!!
The singer was doing a mixture of English and Brazilian songs, eventually it got too much for some of us and we got up to help him!! I of course, with the voice of an angel was handed the microphone for the English songs… I do hope I did not sound like a cat being scalded with boiling water!!! :-\
Mike assures me there were worse sounding people singing, I have not decided what that actually means yet!!… Still we all had a good laugh.

The canapés were brought out around 9pm and the main course was served at 11pm!! The menu for the Brazilians seemed to be a success, not sure it would have been so successful in the U.K.

I was pulled up again to help sing Happy Birthday to Mike and Vicente in English and Portuguese. Mike had then to make a speech in Portuguese, one of the ladies standing next to him obviously thought he wasn’t saying enough so was prompting him in what to say… God know what was actually said, but people were pleased with it.
After the sweet, people started to drift home, it was around 1am by this stage, I think people were pacing themselves for Winey/cheesy the next evening. Marilene decided it was a good idea just to wait for the guys to clear up and then take everything away with us…
Mike and Vicente decided they would serenade us while we sorted things out… Mike singing this is unheard of !!!! He actually was pretty good with help from others; but like me when forced to sing alone the squalling cat has a tendency to appear!! 1 hour later they were still singing Pretty woman; I’ll do it my way and a Pink Floyd number. Again if you know Mike he is an old soul man, I was the rocker and he hates rock.. so to hear him singing the rock number was very funny!!:-)

It was nearly 3-30 am before we got home. My feet were so sore and I was so tired… god knows how I will manage the winey/cheesy!!
Well it is now midday on the day of the winey/cheesy. Mike is still in bed, I’ve been up since 10-30am. The headache was too much to cope with; I will be joining him in a while for another nap. Marilene appeared with her daughter, both bright eyed and bushy tailed; they were bringing some of the left over food to go into the fridge. She had been up since 9am, and already taken her son to some event before arriving here. I really do not know how the Brazilians cope with so little sleep!!
Well will go now and report on the winey/cheesy tomorrow. You will be glad?? to know I have some photos for you this week.

It’s now the afternoon of Sunday… I tell you all this partying is killing me, and my poor feet !! Mike is still snoozing, methinks a little too much wine consumed last night, still it was a good night. :-^

We got feedback about our party on Friday night, it seems everyone enjoyed it, and have said they will book “the singing stars” for their next do… check out the photos to see who I mean!!
This winey/cheesy party is an annual Rotary event and is well supported. We had arrived there about 9-30pm.
The venue was a new one for us; it had been built 3 years ago and is in the middle of the industrial estate. A funny place to build it but at least you don’t annoy the neighbours!!
It incorporates a large outdoor area with BBQ and pool, then an inside area incorporating a stage, this has air-conditioning. It is very swish and with all the decorated chairs and tables with flower arrangements on top it looked as good as a posh hotel!!
I am truly amazed that the tables are just fold up ones with large round boards on top; and the chairs are plastic. Once the chairs are covered with material and the tables covered with posh tablecloths you really cannot guess until you sit on the chair… They can suddenly have a splayed leg moment especially when the floors are glossy tiles. I tend to lower myself very slowly onto the chair until I am sure it is stable… always a heart stopping few seconds!! :-,

We had been assigned a table with some of our amigos, then the wine and beer started appearing, the wine was from Chile and both white and red are served cold… a novel experience drinking cold red wine.
There was a band on stage two men and a woman. The music was all differing Brazilian styles; some have a very fast beat and really all you can do is jog forward and backwards waving your arms in the air…. This is carnival music, how they can keep dancing to this rhythm for 8 hours I don’t know, one dance was enough for me!!

The food was differing types of cheese; toastinhes (these look like bread that has been left out for 3 days to get hard), crackers, French bread and some garlic vegetables. I played safe and stuck to crackers, toastinhes and cheese. The cheese was sooo salty though. We had just heard from two of our amigos that they were being treated for hypertension… high blood pressure; It doesn’t surprise me when they consume so much salt!!

Once everyone had eaten some of the cheese and biscuits…. there was so much there I am sure we could have fed the whole of France!! The band started playing popular Brazilian music.
Now in the U.K. you know what it’s like a couple get on the dance floor and have to endure one dance by themselves before anyone else joins them. Guess what happens here?? There is a scrum to get onto the dance floor and then it looks like come dancing, some of them are so graceful.
I think I have mentioned that only married couples dance together holding one another, Disco dancing you can dance with anyone. Well things have now changed a little; it is now acceptable to dance with close friends. One male friend danced with lots of different partners I was calling him a chicken…. A chicken in Brasil means a prostitute, so this caused a lot of laughs.

Later in the evening, around 2pm the tempo changed and the carnival music started. It was then the soup was served… Yes cheese soup was being served just in case you were not hot enough when you were dancing!!
We decided at 2-30am to leave, but the rest of the people were still having a great time.

A couple of times last week we saw some dogs here with their winter coats on fleecy numbers, people were wandering around in tee shirts and shorts but the dogs with their hairy bodies needed coats. It looks so funny, but they do not seem overheated or panting … maybe they do feel the cold!!

I managed to get a hold of Cashew fruit and another fruit called Goiaba. I have taken some pictures of them for you. The cashew fruit is really smelly and once you touch the flesh your fingers feel like they have been covered in acid… not burning but squeaky clean and no fingerprints, most odd. The skin of the nut is tough and the nut a little slimy, I am not sure how they dry the nut or how they even peel it.

The Goiaba fruit is nicer and here mostly is used to make a drink. The flesh is a little gritty and it contains very small seeds that are as hard as stones, so I think to eat normally would be a lot like eating a pomegranate. They seemingly have a very high Vit c content though.
Well I think that’s all I’ve to tell you this week.
Take care and have fun.
Laur xx

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