Monday, August 19, 2013

Brazil, 1985 Part 2: Thumbs Up

January 21
I have absolutely no idea what time it is. It's dark, that's all I can say, and we're hurling into the night . . .one more night, one more night, and I'll never want to get on a bus again. The highway we're on is full of ruts and I swear it's as narrow a one-laner. But no, it's two lanes and vehicles just slow down as they meet one another in opposing directions. We go slow, we go fast, we stop at a bus station in little roadside hamlets full of flies and it gets hotter the farther we go. A rolling dream of sleepless dreams and lobbing along this highway that seems to be going nowhere.

I like it here. One funny thing: I have a habit of flashing the OK hand signal when asked if I like something or it's the thing I'm asking for (which happens countless times each day). I've gotten a lot of strange looks and wondered what that was about. Until I learned that the OK sign in the U.S. means "fuck you up your ass" in Brazil. Not too good when you flash the sign to a merchant. I slap my hands a lot, now, and cover a grin and say, "no, no, I meant this." Here, it's thumbs up, that's the sign for "right on."

Another truck stop, here we are again. Everyone pile out, 15 minutes to get something to drink or to use the bathroom or inspect the wares of the local artisans: sandals, hats, t-shirts, dolls, etc. I'm looking for a new pair of sandals but haven't found the right ones yet.

January 22 - Recife
I'm here I'm here!! I'm in my very own hotel room and I took a shower and changed my clothes and put on lipstick and painted my fingernails. I'm gonna go to the bank and buy my return ticket for late Friday or Saturday morning. That gives me four days. I can take a bus to the beach or to town. My room is great, with a bathroom and a fridge stocked with guarana and beer and coke and a big fan and a window on the street. It's what I've always dreamed of!! My feet and ankles are all swollen from the bus ride. I'm here! In Recife by the ocean listening to Michael Franks on my headphones!! Oh long-awaited ecstasy!!

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