Wow. Hard to believe I have been in Brazil a few days short of one month. I continue to embarrass myself daily, mostly when attempting even the most basic and mundane conversation in Portuguese. Lately, though, facing a lapse in my language skills, I find myself defaulting to French. I consider this a step forward; at least French and Portuguese are both Latin-based languages and share similar traits. More similar than English, anyway. But you know, after my first couple of days here, when I ordered Italian penis (instead of Italian bread) at a nearby bakery/cafe, I figure it can't get much worse unless I mistakenly suggest that someone's mother is interested in ordering and eating an Italian penis.
I won't lie. There were days in the beginning, right after the rose-colored glasses came off and this no longer felt like a vacation, when I just wanted to be back in the States, pulling out my autumn clothing and preparing for Halloween. But I spent so many years looking into dark cracks, focusing on all things negative, and I refuse to linger in those spaces anymore. I'd much rather spend my time with a positive outlook, concentrating on the moment and what makes me happy right now. It's not always easy, but it's always worth it.
Let's talk about routine for a minute. Back in 2007/2008, I studied in southern France for a year. Before then, I had moved a lot in my life, but always within the 48 contiguous states. In each instance, I learned that the quicker I established a routine, the sooner I felt comfortable in my new environment. Falling into a rut isn't always a bad thing.
Part of my routine now is waking up early on Tuesdays and Fridays, when the girl works a half day at the hospital, taking the bus to the metro and the metro into the city. While she tends to sick children, I usually find a quiet corner somewhere to read or write, and around noon we begin to carouse São Paulo for cool and interesting things to do.
This past Tuesday, we began our exploration at the Pinacoteca museum, much of which was, sadly, under construction. The water fountain sculpture (pictured below) made the R$6 entry fee worth it:
Notice that these lovely women, conjoined at their respective hips, are all shooting water from their gigantic multi-colored breasts:
And, as a complete horror nut, I was pleased to find a batch of Lovecraftian drawings of beasts and creatures only seen in those places where the fabric between this dimension and The Other thins:
Okay, so they're not distant relatives of Cthulhu, they're drawings of actual worms and insects found right here in our own dirt. These things are creepier than anything Lovecraft could have come up with (even though Lovecraft rarely came up with anything, his most used phrase something along the lines of, "The thing was so horrendous, no words I employ could describe it").
Be careful how you view this next sculpture. It's not sexual in any way, I swear. It's obviously two naked women training jiu-jitsu. Duh.
We wrapped up the museum visit with a walk through a nearby park, and a stop at the train station across the street. This station is modeled after its sister in London, and acts as a gathering spot for some of the nastiest, manliest hookers this guy has ever seen.
Called an end to this day by drinking coffees and beers at Terraco Italia, a restaurant sitting 41 floors above ground in the center of Sao Paulo. Strange seeing the city from this height, helicopters skirting about carting businessmen from one meeting to another, ten-floor apartment buildings looking like tiny slave quarters, and a horizon of metal and concrete trees that blurred into the distance miles away.
Of course I was writing. Aren't I always? It's part of the routine. Part of what makes things feel normal.
This coming Saturday: Santos, and a much needed visit to the beach. Stay tuned.