Travel Journal

Still In Ilha Solteira

(Thursday 4 June 2009) by Brennan-adventures
Boa Tarde… Boa Targes ( good afternoon) Folks,
How were things with you all last week?? I see on the weather forecast that in Southampton… not sure about the rest of the U.K….. You are to be a few degrees hotter that Sao Paulo, I bet that’s good news for you!!

Well things here are back to hot again…. 27c with comfortable temperatures in the evening--- well for us anyway, the Brazilians can find it a little chilly!!

My week was spent mostly in the hairdressers; I never knew things could be so drawn out…… I had already been about 2 weeks ago to get some blonde streaks put through my hair… This getting old and grey is a bloody pain when you are dark haired, have decided to try the blonder route to see if it will be easier to disguise the grey!!
Day 1 ( Monday)
In the salon at 2pm, product put on my hair to straighten it. I then was subjected to 3 hours of torture… It started with Blow drying my hair with the product on… I had to sit with my nose covered with a towel while the hairdresser had a heavy duty facemask… like the men wear when dealing with radiation fallout!! The heat was hell.
It was then onto hair straighteners and she was not satisfied until it was poker straight. I left the salon at 6pm.

Day 2 (Tuesday)
With a slightly tender bottom, from sitting so long the previous day; I was back to get the stuff washed off my hair and then a haircut. Starting at 2-30pm I got out at 5pm. The hair was now poker straight with a few blond streaks.

Day 3 (Wednesday)
Back this time to get more streaks put through, Starting at 2pm and out of the salon at 6pm…. Could hardly walk by now, but looked good !!
Mike is slowly getting used to the new me… I have a real surprise when I pass a mirror. All the people here say it looks nice and suits me… not sure if they are just being kind.

Well by now most of the week had passed, so I decided on Thursday to do some cooking, I really fancied Mince and Tatties….. Good Scottish meal. ;-)
I then found out we had no telephone when I got an irate text from Mike asking why I was ignoring him… Honestly nothing had rung either mobile or home phone. I was then rushing around trying to get the kitchen cleaned up and was scrubbing a cake tin when suddenly the sink dropped down by 2 inches at one end!! Luckily everything was still attached and working. I was really concerned about the gap and what could crawl though the hole… The cockroaches here you could ride on, so a good spray of the kill- everything spray helped ease my mind.:-\

Mike had booked in to have a foot manicure (well they kindly call it podiatry here for men). He was a little concerned about it, but didn’t bother washing his feet before his visit!!!!!! :-?
He then found himself lying on a couch - (like the massage ones), with the girl sitting 2 inches from his feet. Poor thing….. she didn’t flinch though, but I bet you the mask that had been used earlier for my hair could have come in handy now!!
Well Mike thoroughly enjoyed the experience until she asked if he wanted his toenails painted with clear varnish… I teased him and said red would be better… he was very worried now.
Monise kept telling him it was a special polish just for men…he wouldn’t be tempted though!!
I think however he will go back for another pedicure to take off the hard skin on his feet, let’s hope he will give them a good scrub first. He told Vicence and all he did was raise his eyebrows… I explained it was well away from the women and not the same technique.. maybe I will buy him a voucher to have one done as a laugh, as he is such a macho man!!

Now the other strange thing we saw this week that completely made me speechless was false teeth for a 6 year old !! His 2 front teeth fell out 1 year ago and nothing has grown back yet, this false plate seemingly does two things.
The first is aesthetic so he smiles; the second is it will stop his teeth moving until the new teeth grow in. This is seemingly a normal thing to do here; I have never heard or seen anything like it… Have any of you??

Well on Sat we moved the beds around for our visitors arriving in June. I was then away to a Tea party with Bingo at the Masonic hall.
There are 3 clubs here Masons, Rotary and Lions. The professional people here belong to at least 2 of these clubs, so are kept busy with all the fund raising and meetings. The masons hold this tea party once a year. £2.00 entry fee, this gives you 2 Bingo tickets. You can then buy other Bingo tickets at £2.50 per time. The hall was large, no air-conditioning but fans and lots of windows kept it cool enough to be comfortable. The tables were all round and covered with tablecloths. A rose pot-plant was in the centre of each. There were quite a few people I knew from Rotary, and Marilene and I sat beside some of them. Food was put out on a huge long table at one end of the hall. Chicken tarts; and other savoury dishes…all with the dreaded Garlic. There was also a good choice of cakes and sweet things… guess what I had. Now the tea- well not as we know it. It was orange coloured and cold….. sounds disgusting but was really rather nice. The flavour was orange and passionfriut. Very like fruit juice.
They do not like to drink anything hot when the weather is hot. In the U.K. we think a hot drink cools you down on a hot day, so cold tea is not popular.
The bingo was again a little different, not as many numbers as the U.K. and different way of playing. Luckily for me the numbers when called out were also put onto a big screen or I would have had serious problems.
Some of the prizes were good, I won one ---- now some people had one fruit; hairdressing vouchers; clothes vouchers; jewellery…. What did I win??
Sweetened Pumpkin with coconut. Yum!! It is very sweet paste and eaten with cheese here; there must have been half a litre of the stuff !! Marilene was laughing so much, the other people at the table wondered what was wrong.. Marilene knew Mike and I don’t like this paste a lot, so it was not a great prize for me……. Marilene went home with it.
The top prizes was a pearl and emerald ring, and a 4 day trip to the beach. No I didn’t win either of those.

When I came home Mike was out for a run… first one he has tried for 10 days, what with his knee giving way on him when he is running or not breathing properly because of the cold he has had a bad time of it. He has just arrived in and the knee is not good…. Cannot run 1 mile far less 42. I don’t think he will be running the Rio marathon. Now of course he is hungry while I am stuffed, so I am being pulled away so I can watch him have something to eat.

Sunday saw us being really slothful, infact didn’t leave the house. It started getting a little cold in the afternoon, by evening distinctly chilly. Remember we have no way of heating the houses in this part of Brasil.
The walls are built one brick thick, and flimsy at that… the houses are built for heat so are not draught proof = bleeding cold!! Had a blanket and quilt on the bed, so was cosy in there. The morning was a problem; the shower is a strange affair, heated, but only in the shower head. The pressure of the water flowing through means it is barely warm… so a quick run around for a wash then a brisk dry off needed. I bought a hairdryer so get a quick blast of warm then. I’ve had 2 tee shirts on and a jumper until lunch time. If the sun is out the temp is fine in the sun, but out of it the temp is quite chilly… like our spring days in U.K.
The news has been full of this cold snap…. Really unusual low temperatures for here.. I remember you all in the U.K. and North America had a bad winter last year; so Brasil is coming in for the same.
Further south than us they have had ice overnight -5c and small hailstones that they call snow !! People up at 6 am to collect icicles and frost it is so unusual.
Here in the city they tell us it is normal to get down to 10c overnight and 17c during the day during the winter. This lasts usually around 2-3 days…. This year we have had this twice now… I don’t come to Brasil to freeze!! 7-)

The man came on Tuesday to fix the PIA…sink. I don’t think it’s a nice word for the sink do you??
Anyway when he realised I was really bad at speaking Portuguese I think he panicked, then he realised I could understand him he settled down and realised with some help from him we could communicate.
He was here about 50mins, and the work included a horrid grinder that spread dust everywhere. Still a good job was done and I now have a secure sink.
I also went to get the car filled with gas today; while I was there they checked the oil, water and screen- wash fluid. They also asked if I wanted the car washed. This comes as standard no extra cost, the car is washed and rinsed… not dried though, but I am not complaining.

On Wednesday- I decided to cook, it was one way of getting some heat in the house. Things were going well until the gas started taking 30 mins to bring a small pan of water to the boil. Gosh now a problem for me… to phone and order another gas bottle. I then remembered the water people do the gas, whew! The water man can understand my pigeon Portuguese so all was well…….. 30mins later another gas bottle installed and cooking restored.

Today I am off to get the nails and hair removed, is it because I am getting older or because I am in the sun that all this grows so much each week? Honestly both grow so fast, I don’t remember having to deal quite so often with either in the U.K.

I then have to pack a suitcase… on the move again. Away to Maringa again for a night; then onto Foz do Iguacu … the fantastic waterfalls here.
Mike is visiting the university there, meeting an old student and talking shop…. I will have a day to myself. Sunday will give us time to “do the falls”. Fingers crossed for a helicopter ride again… the only place we can afford it. We are hoping to pop over to Paraguay… well you know how Mikee likes to see new places and say he’s been to different countries. I think I better take some warm stuff in case!!
Well I will go and sort out some dinner for myself…. Sorry no photo’s this week…. Keep forgetting to take the camera.
Have fun in the sun.
Laur xx

  • Not long now by Andy & Babs

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