Thursday, January 31, 2008

An Interesting Road Trip

So we drove to Sao Paulo again yesterday. It was certainly an interesting ride. After sitting in traffic for like a year we arrived at a greasy run down gas station. After locating the bathroom around the back of the building (I didn't realize a building could get more disgusting than the front of that gas station... I was proved wrong when I saw the back of it... yuck!), I determined (thankfully beforehand... I've learned my leason here in Brasil) that there was no toilet paper. Naturally, when I had wandered back around to the convinence store side of the rotting hovel, I attempted to be rather discreet in asking for some toilet paper. Alas, when someone speaks in english quietly, here in Brasil, they feel in their excitement the need to repeat whatever was said, shouting it at the top of their lungs in Potuguese. I haven't quite figured out as to why, yet, I will however let you know if I ever DO determine the cause of such excitement. I mean, honestly, all I wanted was some toilet paper! Well, after the suprising crowds of people at the gas station (probably driven in from the hordes of traffic on the highway) had all acknowleged that I was yes, indeed, an American, and that I yes, indeed, was in desperate need of toilet paper, and that my face had just turned a rather interesting shade of red, I was informed that they were temporarily "out" of toilet paper at this time. How wonderful!
After a frantic scouring of the car for napkins, we were back on the road in no time. I was thrilled to see that the traffic had dispersed (to goodness knows where) and we were one of the few cars on the highway. But as you all might've guessed, all good things must come to an end and no sooner had we hit a patch of pavement that was blessedly clear of cars (and surrounding civilization as well) the car decided that it hadn't had enough of a break at the gas station and promptly jerked to a stop in glorious rebellion of all our cries for mercy. I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but the passengers of this wonderful veihicle were as follows: me, sporting an "attractive" combination of sweats and a tee shirt with my hair in a messy knot upon my head, my host mother and her best friend, Honisey (and it seems that they celebrate haloween quite often here in Brasil, for that day their costumes were much resembling The Spice Girls- Honisey taking "Scary Spice," black nails and all, with my host mom pulling off a rather good impression of "Baby Spice"- not forgetting the "go-go" boots, of course. :) and then there was my host mother's sister, "Chia" (which is portuguese for aunt), who wore something much resembling a chemistry explosion and who liked to take alot of pictures(she was quite a character). So there we were, an ecclectic bunch to be sure, stuck on the side of the road on a lonesome highway in Brasil. And did I mention that we left the house at 5pm, so yeah, it was getting pretty dark by now. Anyway, after the Spice girls decided that the were mechanics and opened the hood of the car to survey the damage, I promptly removed myself to a safe distance. Unfortunatley, that distance was not as safe as I thought it to be. Chia, finding this a prime picture-taking opprotunity, started snapping away with her disposable Kodak. Wanting to get me in a few pictures near the ominously smoking vehicle, they motioned me over. I had, at the time been sitting on a center guardrail surrounded on both sides by corse grass. I trekked through "the wilderness" to the front of the car, quite relieved that the Spice Girls had stopped their tinkering with the car for the "celebrity shot" - it would have been rather horrid to send home a picture of me smiling with a car exploding behind me as a death condolence. Anyway, as were we taking the 100th picture something happened that might be paraphrased by this quote form Cobly Cailat, "It starts in my toes, makes me crinkle my nose, wherever it goes, I always know..." This phenomenon was quite unlike the rest of that song, however, because as horrid burning sensation stretched from my feet to my legs, I looked down to see hundereds of tiny red colored ants covering my feet and ascending my calves. With a mangled yelp and some choice words that shall not be repeated here for the sake of any young audiences, I began to frantically dance about in what must've been a rather amusing fashon. The Spice Girls, seeing my predicament, decided that an impromptu dance party WAS in order and joined me in my flailings while screaching even more choice words in both english and portuguese (this was to be a rap party i think, what with all the language). Chia, completely unfazed, just kept taking more pictures. In retrospect, I think that her rainbow explosion dress might've warded off the little beasts... maybe it glowed so bright because it was some sort of holy garment.... one can only speculate.. ;)
Looking back, I can't honestly say how we escaped from the savage hordes, locked ourselves out of the car (which was, ok, my fault), gained re-entry to the car by means of the trunk (don't ask), and eventually drove the rest of the way to Sao Paulo.... my only consolation is that when we got there I bought some really cute shoes. (they're the ones that the Austrailian girl in Transformers is wearing when she and the fat guy are stuck in the interogation room- they're black sling-backs with pointy toes). Unfortunately, what with all the battle wounds, I just won't be able to wear them for a while....

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