Brazil Trip Day 4 continued

Anna and I were completely unprepared for the Brazilian beach.  The taxi pulled up in front of a building and we got out.  We walked down a stone path toward another building which appeared to be a place where food was prepared.  There were large trees shading the area and tables and chairs.  We continued down the path to the sand where there were rows and rows of rectangular tables with six chairs each.  Once the trees stopped the tables were shaded by huge thatched umbrellas.  The thatching appeared to be made from palm fronds, but I am not completely certain of that.

We sat down at one of the tables.  There were Brazilians everywhere all dressed in swimwear, the women in bikinis and the men in speedos or shorts.  Vendors continually walked down the sand between the rows of tables hawking their wares.  There were sunglasses, flip flops, bikinis, baskets of lobster, baskets of shrimp, plates of fruit, trinkets, tableclothes and hammocks, and some type of drink as well as bottled water.  We only had bottled water.  The food was uncovered for the most part and there were flies, and bugs lighting on it and it just did not seem safe to eat.  Our translator kept telling us how good the crab was, although I did not see baskets of crab.  I am guessing there were some, but I did not see them.

Apparently going to the beach is a really big deal.  It had been on our itinerary, but was a different beach than the one we went to.  We stayed there for quite a while.  Almost no one went into the ocean and some parts of the sand were being continually raked to keep it smooth.  I could not figure that out either.

Eventually we had to leave as Jamille had to go to the school where she taught.  We dropped her at the hotel where she got a ride to work and then we went with the translator to a restaurant to have lunch.  We chose to eat outside where we could see the ocean.  It was very nice and even though it was a very warm day, there was enough shade that we weren’t in the boiling sun.  Marina thought we should try her favorite dish which was a type of potato, cheese and sun-dried beef dish made in a small ramekin and heated.  It was delicious.

After we ate, we waited for the taxi to come pick us up and then we went to the Shopping Mall.  This was its name and it was huge with four floors.  The only thing sold here were souvenirs.  Marina said Brazilians came here to buy souvenirs to send to their families.  Most of the things sold were similar to the things at the beach although there were places to eat, lots of bottled water, candy, wooden spoons and all types of keychains with a few other assorted items as well.  It was very interesting and everyone tried to get us to buy something.  Anna and I chose a few things, but not many.

Once we were through, we were there about thirty minutes, we went back to the hotel.  I had originally thought thirty minutes would be too short when Marina told us how long we would be there, but once we did arrive I realized she was right and thirty minutes was plenty of time for this place.

We went to our room and lay down to cool off with the air conditioning.  Eventually we decided to walk to the restaurant on the corner.  This was an interesting experience too.  The men were dressed in white coats and hats and stood outside the entrance.  They greeted us and ushered us inside.  A man who was dressed in pants and a polo shirt came up to us and asked if we spoke English when he heard us talking to each other.  Then he told us about his parentage and how he came to speak English.  He gave us menus in English and we chose smoething we thought would be good, but he left and then came back and told us to choose the dish he pointed out.  We agreed and off her went.  Eventually he returned with our bottled water and then the meal.  It was a type of fish, fried potatoes, broccoli (a dab), a piece of lettuce and a slice of tomato (we did not eat the salad).  There was a lot of food and it was very good.  At the end of the meal, they asked if we wanted the leftovers and we said no, but they presented them to us anyway so we took them.

They had trouble with our credit card, but eventually got it to work.

We went back to the hotel, showered and then went to bed.

It was a very interesting day, full of surprises and lots of interesting experiences.  I was thankful for more time to spend with Jamille and she seemed very happy to be with us.   We had a lot of fun together.



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