Yes, I did, like a pregnant duck, I waddled home.

As with most arrangements and appointments in Brazil there is an aspect known as hora do Brasíl (Brazilian time). It’s an element of flexibility that suits Brazilians. Brazilians are rarely on time for an appointment, never early.

I had arranged to meet Shirley and the kids at the restaurant at 7pm, at the time of the arrangement I was to arrive about 7:15.

However, as typical for a Monday, my student cancelled for work reasons. I left home in plenty of time to have a wander around the stalls at the bus station to pick up a few trinkets, after all it was a birthday dinner for all.

My timing was perfect, I arrived at 6:59.

I’m known at this particular eatery, so a handle of frothless beer was soon at the table and I started nibbling. Actually, I was famished due to the fact that I had skipped lunch in anticipation. The chips (French fries) we close to cold, then a pizza tray floated past with lovely big shrimps; Oh yum! Had to have. Next were chicken hearts cooked in onion, nibble, nibble. Oh, and more beer.

So the time had advanced to 7:38, no sign of anyone. I rang; they were on Margarça highway in the bus, which meant another half hour at least.

Garlic pizza went past. Had to have. Little pieces of pork fillet, had to have. Another beer, mushroom pizza was on the way past, had to have.

Neymar

Eventually everyone arrived. Kisses, hugs, little presents and a return to eating. I made the observation that Erick, the way he had his hair and wore his cap looked like a suntanned Neymar, the current flavour of the month in the Brazilian soccor team. Actually, Neymar is a brillant player, even Erick’s coy look when I mentioned this was just like the player.

I discovered that at six Emmylee had lost her first tooth, so she is on the way to growing up.

Eating and drinking continued, I discussed social politics of gossiped about where I used to live. The 16 year old neighbour is pregnant, her younger brother is up to no good, etc… and then it was time to go. Shirley and the kids had an hour bus trip home and I had a 5:30am wake up for class.

I didn’t sleep at all well. Thirsty from so much savoury stuff, I was up and down like a yoyo for water. Finally settling about 3am. I did not want the alarm to go off, but it did.

I can’t do these social events like I used to. The body complains. A sure sign that I am past my prime.

Later, my student has cancelled again, which means it’s beer o’clock!