I knew this question would arise at some point….

27 08 2006

Dear DB:
To answer your question, a Brazilian wax is not just called a “wax” when they do it in Brazil. Unlike any Brazilian waxes you may have had in your past, the waxes here are calming and less stressful. Remember how United States Brazilian waxes are painful and tense and caused you anxiety before going in for your appointment? Well, rest assured that if you come to Brazil and you happen to get one of those same waxes, you will feel much more comfortable and be just as happy with the results. AND it will take much less time than in those fancy salons at home.

So…how they do it here is: lots of wax and it just kind of peels off. No ripping, tugging, yanking…none of that. No cloth square, no ointment before or after. No violence involved whatsoever. It took fifteen minutes and that was it. Apparently everyone here does it, so you’ve got to figure they have the least invasive, least painful, and most effective method of getting the desired results. And, you don’t have to book a week in advance. You can walk into the salon and literally fifteen minutes later you’ll be back out. Brazilians in the states are upwards of $60. Here? R$30, which is US $15. No joke. I’ve heard it’s awesome here.

Now Dear Rest of the World Not Interested in Brazilian Waxing,

It’s been a great weekend. I am sitting here at my dining room table with a cup of coffee, American style. I have a thing for drinking coffee on Sundays. When I was little, I drank coffee milk with my mom on Sundays while she drank real coffee, reading the paper and watching CBS Sunday Morning. We would sit out on our little stoop and soak up the bright Vermont morning summer sun. Sundays in general are the day for quiet and sleepiness and relaxation and for slowly drinking a nice big mug of coffee.

The coffee in Brazil is oustanding. Super strong, super finely ground, nice and rich and dark. Everywhere you go there’s great coffee–even at the Shell gas station down the street. At school, we have a pot of coffee constantly full with this dark stuff. It’s awesome. Until last week, I thought everyone just served espresso everywhere, mostly because the coffee was served in tiny cups, even at school. But come to find out, it’s just regular, plain old coffee. It’s just reeeeeaaaaallllllyyyyyy strong. The whole time, I’m asking, “Where’s just regular coffee? Dunkin’ Donuts type of coffee? Where can I just get a big mug of coffee?” Yeah…they don’t have that here. Small cups, strong coffee, everywhere.

So I said forget it. I want to sit down with a big cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and do some writing and reading and thinking. I don’t want to have a shot of espresso and call it quits. Part of what I love about drinking coffee is how much time it takes. So I got up early, stopped by the Feira Hippie. Sundays at the Hippie Fair, especially that early in the morning, are kind of slow and sleepy:
Hippie Fair

And then I went over to the grocery store, Pao de Azucar, to get some goodies to bring back to my famliy and friends. Pao de Azucar actually reminds me a little bit of the Whole Foods grocery stores, so I love it there. I bought a small thing of coffee for myself and a single-cup coffee filter thing, and when I got home, started making coffee immediately.

As much as I like to drink coffee, I’m not very good at making it. Couple that with trying to read directions written in Portuguese and you have a virtual hyper-caffeinated disaster. How much is “1 colher (sopa) bem cheia de po de cafe (20g) para preparar 1 caneca de 200ml ou 4 xicaras de cafe (50 ml)”? (And is there really something about “soup” in there for the preparation of my coffee? and is that an “x”?) Whatever. Point is, I don’t know how much coffee I needed to put in and I’m sure I got it wrong no matter what.

So now I am sitting here at my table with a regular sized mug of coffee and I am suddenly feeling caffiene surging through my wrists and thumbs as I type and my teeth are practically jiggling in their gums to compensate for my desire to drink a big mug of Brazilian coffee.

Moral of the story: Brazilian coffee is served in small cups for a reason.

Aside from my caffeinated morning, the rest of my weekend has been excellent. I managed to go to sleep at normal hours each night but still have loads of fun. Friday night was Kendra’s birthday and so we went out to appetizers (a full dinner was not happening, much to the frustration of my stomach) and plenty of caipirinhas, which did not manage, in the least to get me drunk. We went to Jorge Ben Jor concert, which reminded me of a Dave Matthews with a reggae vibe, and then I went home early from the concert mostly because I couldn’t see anything. Although I did get some pictures of my friend Mandy up on stage with Jorge Ben Jor himself. Way cool.

Jorge Ben Jor

Mandy at JBJ

Saturday was excellent as well, with an underlying theme of “girliness”: a pedicure/manicure followed by a fifteen minute R$30 appointment at another salon (ahem, ahem), a nap, and then a 10 year-old’s birthday party.

And let me tell you about this birthday party. I should only hope my wedding reception looks as fine. Birthday parties are the social events of the year, and so not only did kids show up dressed to the 9’s, their parents did, too. And the party was catered, with a DJ, an unlimited supply of chocolate candies, a table full of necklaces and pins and rings and wigs and all the things kids would want to dress up in.
Inside was the world of children, outside by the pool and tennis court was the world of the adults. It took place at something like a country club, although when my student described where it was going to be, he called it a “farm.”

SO not a farm.

I stayed for only a couple of hours and then had to go to my friend’s photography exhibition, which was beautiful. (His name is Brandon Hatton and he has a website called LenStory, which is a link to the right. The sight is under construction, but he’s got a picture up of his two neices and I have to say I laughed so hard that tears squeezed themselves out of my eyeballs themselves and rolled down my cheeks when I looked at it. I think it may be the funniest picture I have seen in my lifetime. keep clicking on the center picture until you get to it. You’ll know it when you see it.) After three glasses of wine and a lot of talking, it was time for bed and I fell asleep immediately.

The way I see it, if I can start Mondays off on a good foot (meaning well-rested and uncranky) the whole week has GOT to be a good one. Five more days and I will be home!




One response

30 08 2006

xicaras=cucharas=teaspoons hmm…it’s no wonder that you always had Dunkin Donuts coffee in the morning.

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