After two weeks of straight travel through the state of Bahia, I am back in my friend Rodrigo’s house in Niteroi, and am enjoying the comforts of my Brazilian home. I think I can only travel (site see) for so long before I want a break in the action. I’m planning on taking it easy for a few weeks here, before heading back to Salvador for Carnaval. This trip is about more than sightseeing, and I plan on doing some thinking about my life when I return to the United States. I’m also looking into volunteering at a cancer hospital for children in Rio.
Meanwhile, the last few days haven’t been without excitement. Port Seguro was neat in its own way, but after the tranquil style of Icaraiva, it was a bit too busy and touristy for me. I met another North American on my way there, a guy from Vancouver, and he was quite eager to talk in English, as he didn’t speak Portuguese. I obliged, of course, but after a few moments I immediately felt out of place. It was as if the Brazilian veil I hide under was taken off and I could feel people looking at me as I carried on in my foreign tongue. Now, I’m the first to admit that people know I’m American with my heavy accent in Portuguese, but without speaking, I pass as Brazilian very easily, and it’s been a fantastic help when trying to blend in. Speaking in English immediately took me out of it and I really felt more like a foreigner.
The bus ride home was my first time alone in a while, as my friends had booked a flight earlier. I was happy to meet some other Brazilians who I could understand, more or less, and I made friends quickly. However, after paying extra for the bus with air conditioning, I woke up at 6am (it was an overnight trip) to find myself alot hotter and stickier than one might expect with air conditioning. I soon learned that the air conditioner had broken, and to make matters worse, on buses with air conditioning, only the small windows in the front and back of the bus open. So the next few hours were highly uncomfortable, as the sun came up and turned our vehicle into a nice little oven. It was over 90 degrees when I arrived in Niteroi, and as you could guess, even hotter on the bus. Oof.
Anyhow, yesterday night I was happy to be back in an air conditioned room for the first time in a few weeks… It’s a good thing I arrived in the morning, because without much warning, there was a torrential downpour for an hour or so, and by 10pm last night, the city of Niteroi (and Rio too, I presume) had flooded with about 3 ft of water. The photo above is from Rodrigo’s 10th floor apartment, for your amusement. Thankfully, Niteroi is on the beach, so it drained after a few hours, but we had our own little Katrina situation, as cars and belongings were floating down the street. The excitement never ends… 🙂
Buses and Weather