The first real day in Brazil, by which I mean to say: I went outside.

30 07 2007

Yesterday went exactly as I said it would: sleeping, chowing down on popcorn and whatever else I had sitting in my cupboards, and watching a movie. I didn’t go outside except twice to open my porch windows and exclaim, “Sweet Baby Jesus! It’s freezing!” and then promptly return to the comfort of my sleeping bagged bed. I knew yesterday’s activities couldn’t last long, though, because around 11:30 last night, my stomach began to nag me for something of substance, so I compromised: if it could let me sleep through the night, I would go out first thing in the morning and buy it all the food it would ever want.

It, my stomach, that is, let me sleep through the night. My imagination, on the other hand, did not. I lay in bed somewhere in the early hours of the day, just before sunrise, listening to all the sounds outside and some inside that could maybe be a robber roaming through my house stealing my new clothes and my Mac. All I’d be left with would be my freshly ground bag of Starbucks that I’d stowed in the refrigerator. My heart leapt up into my ears, pounding so loudly I couldn’t hear anything else. And really, if there were a robber in my house, I would have to hear where he was so I could defend myself, which is to say squeeze myself under the bed, and ewww. I looked under there yesterday and I would really need to be scared to get under there. Talk about dust bunnies. More like dust rhinos. So I did some deep breathing like my yoga instructor and massage guy told me a few weeks ago, and before I knew it, I was waking up again to the bright light of a Campinas Monday morning. All my belongings were exactly where I’d placed them on the floor or splayed across the orange couch, so I knew despite my midnight panicking, there had been no robber. There had been a rowdy clicking refrigerator, which I learned this morning was the source of my fear last night, so now I can file that in “night sounds” and get over it.

I did go grocery shopping. In fact, the bags are still sitting here on the floor next to me. My compulsion for writing trumped that of unpacking any kind of bag, including my suitcase and backpack from the trip, so I’ll just have to deal with any kind of spoiled food. I don’t think anything except for the chicken nuggets are in danger. Oh wait. And the cheese. And yogurt. One moment, please, while I go take care of things…

While I was in the States, Dennis’ mom got me hooked on Greek yogurt. They’re kind of sour but they come with honey or strawberry or something sweet on the side in a separate compartment to mix in. Having it on the side is important, not only because it’s yet another reference to “When Harry Met Sally,” but because you can adjust with each and every bite the sweet-to-sour ratio. How many times have I tossed away a perfectly good container of yogurt because it was like scooping up pure granulated white sugar and choking it down my gullet? Not many, I can assure you because I am somewhat of a sugar whore, but the point is very clear: on the side sweeteners are the key to making yogurt taste good. Anyhow, I thought maybe I could find those yogurts here in Brazil, so at the grocery store today I went searching. It was all in vain. It’s Greek yogurt. Of course I knew it wouldn’t be here. In Brazil, if the product isn’t Brazilian, it doesn’t exit. Ergo, I am now eating Brazilian yogurt with honey already mixed in. I can’t tell you how sweet it is because the sugar in it has worn holes in my teeth and tongue rendering my mouth virtually useless.

Did I mention yet how beautiful it is today? Scanning, scanning…no, I did not. It is beautiful here today. It’s on the chilly side but I forgot about the walking. Five weeks in the States with the luxury of driving a car and my legs are useless for longer than it takes to walk from the car in the Starbucks parking lot and back outside again. This morning I bundled up in jeans, a shirt, a sweater, a jacket, a scarf, and gloves. I was prepared to face the elements–which included a beautiful bright sun and a cloudless sky. Bold, I tell you. Fearless. And so about half a block up from my apartment, I realized I looked and felt ridiculous, along with sweaty, so I unwrapped myself from my winter accessories and told myself to get over it because it was probably seventy degrees.

So now I’m back, and preparing to finish the book I started last night. I don’t mean that in a bragging way, really. I mean it in the way I would refer to a book as one that I couldn’t put down. I could put it down last night but only because my eyes were crossing and blurring as I tried to keep myself awake. (Ever wonder what you look like when you’re reading and falling asleep at the same time?) But now, after my stint outside I’m going to hunker down and finish it. I’ll be surprised if I can, seeing that once all this sugar in the yogurt gets into my bloodstream, I’ll probably be convulsing my way around the apartment, foaming at the mouth, and biting my tongue til it bleeds. One last hurrah before the new school year begins tomorrow.

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One response

31 07 2007
Jennie

I hate it when my heart pounds so loudly. Not only does it physically hurt, but it also gets in the way when I’m trying to listen to the weird and scary night sounds! I am such a scaredy-cat, and I guess I always will be.

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