Tag Archive: carnaval


A Strange Day

First, I didn’t get round to posting yesterday. Oh, I am so easily sidetracked.

Today was almost destined to be the same. A number of things were planned.

Firstly, lunch. I decided to go out for lunch. After the rude shock I got from my favourite restaurant yesterday when I saw the bill, they’d raised the price of the rodizo and the beer. I informed the owner that he had reached the limit of consumer tolerance, and not to expect me back any time soon.

From the first floor, pretty swank

From the first floor, pretty swank

A new mall has opened near home, ten minutes away by taxi, so I thought it was a good chance to explore. I am not really a ‘mall’ person, but I heard that that have a good food court. Proved correct, I found a place that does a mixture of Chinese and simple sushi.

I arrived home in time to see the Brazil vs South Africa game. The last of the ‘friendlies’ involving Brazil, the result 5-0 to Brazil.

Following that, there was the televised results from the Special Group from the carnaval parades. That’s another couple of hours wasted. The result was no great surprise, as we had all assumed that it would be between two schools; and indeed, it was – one decimal point separated the first and second place getters.

That was the day gone.

Then the local kids got all excited in the praça, so I wandered over to have a look. They’d found an infestation of strange white bugs on some of the benches, ground and on a big tree.

So, I had to do, what ones has to do… I went home and got the camera.

Strange white bugs on parade. Now I have never seen anything like this, if you have, or if you know please leave a comment.

Andrew, I know you’ll find this, and I know they’re not birds; but you seem to know people who can identify things…

That’s my offering for this evening. I have just missed the news. Time to switch the TV off.

Later.

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I lost my Underpants

The Evening Post

No, it’s not the newspaper one. Just me running late.

That was yesterday’s post, at least that’s as far as I got. Apart from running late, I got sidetracked, then it became bedtime.

You see a few years ago I was very involved with IRC (International Relay Chat) and had several rooms to monitor and participate in. For those of you not in the know, IRC was one of the earliest forms of chat, after TelNet, then came ICQ, and much later other forms like Skype, GoogleTalk, etc.

icechatI saw the mIRC logo yesterday while googling around, and it piqued my interest as to what was happening these days. So I downloaded a copy only to find out that I now had to pay, it gave me a 30 day trial. I felt like a real newbie, I even had to think about what nickname I used to use. Eventually I connected, and found a couple of rooms that I recognised, and chatted with the occupants, both of whom remembered me from 2009 days. One reminded me that I didn’t use mIRC as a client, and eventually I remembered IceChat, downloaded, and started chatting about old times, before I realised, it was bedtime and I was nodding off at the keyboard.

I started with 3, I had 7 and then 10

I started with 3, I had 7 and then 10

Today, I have been struggling with another problem; how to get CorelDraw 10 loaded on my revamped PC, because yesterday’s failure bugged me. My CD ROM didn’t want to read the CD, but my laptop did and I installed CorelDraw successfully on it.

Later versions of the programme (today’s version is x6 – 16) simply had too many whistles and bells  that I would never use, so after looking at x3, I never upgraded 10.

This morning I copied the CD onto my external memory and used that to install it, but it gets hung up on the final stages and doesn’t install. There are more ways than one to skin a cat; I will win!

But in the meantime, my blogging has gone by the board. This is my first post of the day at 1+pm.

Only thing I have done today apart from drinking coffee, is water the plants.

My neighbour above the botequim has invited me to burn meat (BBQ) with them today, so my time is limited, and I could’nt leave you lovely people wanton.

There is the smell of a meat burning ceremony wafting through my window now, but it is my other neighbours between my house and the botequim, and they never invite anybody. They’re not very social, I mean, we talk and such, but they don’t get ‘socially’ involved, and both are teetotal, and I suspect evangelicals,  which is a social barrier. During the week I had a brief chat with them as they sat outside their gate as many Brazilians do in the evening; during which I mentioned that I was an atheist, that created a big lull in the conversation.

During the week I read on a cocktail blog I visit, a recipe for caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink. The recipe calls for lemons, but nearly every blog where I read the recipe makes the mistake of using limes. This cocktail blog, correctly, used lemons. I commented on it, and congratulated the blogger.

Then I saw another on Friday, that used limes! AAArrrggghhh! I left a comment somewhat venting my spleen, after which I felt guilty. However, I received a civilised reply thanking me for the correction, adding that he had heard about our green lemons.

There is a huge difference in the flavour between lemons and limes, lemons are sour whereas limes are almost sweetish.

These are Brazilian lemons, they are NOT limes

These are Brazilian lemons, they are NOT limes

The problem arises with the colour.

Here in Brazil lemons are green, but typically from outside Brazil anyone who sees a Brazilian lemon goes “limes”. and that is totally wrong.

This photo shows the lemons I bought at the supermarket last week.

I know they are lemons, because they are sour, they are so sour that they will invert your nipples and send ripples through your teeth. But they make wonderful caipirinhas.

Carnaval is all on, it’s all you hear about on TV. During carnaval the world outside Brazil ceases to exist.

Now I must blog along, and complete my quota before I go to the dead cow party.

Oh, the title… nearly forgot. On Friday night I took my underpants off for bed as normal; and they have disappeared. Perplexing; it’s Monday and I still haven’t found them.

Later.

OMG!

Where’d my post go?

I have just woken from a wonderful nap, ready to put the finishing touches to a great post, and I find that it is all a dream…

passistas-mirins-desfilam-pela-beija-flor-na-sapucai-2022012-1329725911551_956x500Meanwhile, back in reality.

Today is the first day of Carnaval.

Not the ‘big-people’s’ Carnaval, but the ‘little-people’s’. Tonight Carnaval stars with the mirins parade; the parade of the ‘little-people’. Seventeen Samba Schools will parade the kids through Sapucai, just like the real thing.

But not just here in Rio, all over the country, kids will be wiggling to the sound of samba.

But let’s back up  a little…

Earlier today I had great plans to catch up on yesterday’s PC drama, I planned to post like a crazy man, but I never got there.

The first problem was that I hadn’t realised what a daunting task it is to start XP from scratch, I became quite despondent.

Secondly, there was that wonderful smell of a churrasco (BBQ) wafting through the window, being driven by my wonderful 50cm fan, engulfing me, offering me relief from my despondency.

The only sensible thing to do was to go and investigate.

I put on my shorts, and poked my head out the gate. Sure enough they were having a BBQ at the botequim (bar) next door.

They saw me. Immediately recognising a possible participant; I was summoned… I obeyed the call. I am so weak.

I had planned grilled rump steak for lunch, it was in the fridge marinating, so a BBQ lunch wasn’t far adrift from my plans.

sauza_tequila_silverSo, I BBQed, I ate and I drank until it was my turn at the BBQ. I cooked, I ate and I drank a little more.

My bottle of Tequila made an appearance, along with the traditional lemon (green ones) and salt.

At 2pm, I decided it was time, and went home for a nap, waking at 5pm. My plans of posting like a crazy man followed me to the bar and stayed there.

Yesterday, I mentioned GMO babies, I said it was an American thing, I was wrong, it was British. I don’t feel too bad about accusing the Americans, because, let’s face it, it’s the type of thing Americans would do, but the British beat them to it this time.

I follow a cheese blog. It’s not at all cheesy, actually it is a great blog. But today a flippant remark by the blogger mentioned cheese and Papua New Guinea in the same sentence.

Now that made me wonder…

How do you equate this…

papua-new-guinea-man-448x298

and penis sheaths…

danses-2

with cheese.

So I googled it and got this…

blankpage

And got a page full of blank.

Given this information, I assumed correctly that cheese and Papua New Guinea don’t mix.

Moving right along, I must make coffee. My head is still a little woozy from the excesses of earlier.

Later.

There’s not a lot to write about…

It’s hot and dry today. Already drunk litres of iced water.

The forecast temp was 38°C. It was hot this morning when I went out to pay the rent and that was about 9am. I haven’t been out the door since.

I have to go to work at 3:30, so I’ll find out how hot it is then. I’m not in a hurry to find out. Even the fan is blowing hot air.

Seven days off work. The benefits of carnival. The winner for this year was announced yesterday, Villa Isabel.

villaisabel2013

Vila Isabel parades on the Sambôdromo

So now it’s all over for another year. Brazilians can go back to work and school.

Me too.

I am sorely tempted to go to Brazeiro (BBQ restaurant) after class and enjoy the airconditioning, the food and the beer while I watch my soap operas.

Later…. not. Only tomorrow.

Don’t like this game…

wave_blog_main_horizontalDon’t like this game anymore, gonna take my toys and go home!

Doesn’t that just sound like a spoiled brat?

What would happen to the world if God decided to do that? Just up and retire.

If you’re God’s representative on Earth, you can’t retire, it’s a lifetime commitment. You retire at the wheel; you can’t just jump out of the car.

And, he still gets to be a cardinal. What tomfoolery is this? He should be ex-communicated for deserting millions of adherents.

Lixo is lying on the living room floor. As I passed through to get my umpteenth coffee of the morning, I spoke to him; Oh da poor puddy tat lying on da floor,” to which he looked up had a big stretch and lay down to sleep again. Life can be so tiring.

Yesterday was Monday. I did warn you. SNAFU was right. About the hour which I was expecting ex & co, I was at the botequim to greet them. That’s a lie, I was there for the beer; my phone rang. Ex – “Had an unexpected visitor, can we make the ‘dead cow’ experience tomorrow?” What could I say, “No, sod off!”? So the ‘dead cow’ experience will be today, I’m such a softie.

SC Chile SauvignonBlancGood reason to have a third beer; and a fourth. Then Lincoln trotted out a bucket of JB whisky. Well, it wasn’t really a bucket, but it was a very big glass.

Fifth beer and joined the crowd at the BBQ.

Then I thought about the cold wine in the fridge…

Chilean Sauvignon-Blanc, actually, the thinking was a split second, the drinking took a little longer.

Crisp and dry, ideal for a scorcher.

Got another bottle in the fridge for today. Ex won’t drink it, she only likes sweet wines. Still got that Italian bubbly that I never opened on New Years Eve in the fridge, that may just meet a similar fate.

Lixo still lying on the living room floor. He has rolled over, that must have taken some effort.

Last night all the TV programmes were stuffed up. Earlier than normal, shorter than normal, so they could show Big Brother Brazil (stupid effin’ unreality show) before televising the Grupo Especial parades at the Sambôdromo. They could have knocked BBB on the head and let us see the normal programmes.

Vila Isabel - image: guiadasemana

Vila Isabel – image: guiadasemana

Lots of people, noise, colour and skin.

bruna-bruno-do-especial

I have created a new obstacle

LixoDoorwayIn rearranging my kitchen to accommodate the new fridge, I inadvertently created a new obstacle.

Can you see it?

A cat tail in the doorway!

I have stood on that tail a couple of times and “Beware the Jabberwock cat, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
can only be imagined. Lixo has no notion that one doesn’t bite the hand, nor the ankles,  that feeds one.

Barra was successful yesterday, bills paid, a new bottle of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, sushi for lunch and still had money in my pocket.

I saw a shop sign from the bus. “Dental Uranus”, I didn’t know arseholes (assholes for our American cousins who can’t tell the difference between a donkey and an anus) had teeth, but then some of the arseholes I have met don’t even have balls.

Another thought, found on the internet news headlines. “People who exercise have more sperm.” I immediately jumped up and began calisthenics; then wondered why? The chances at 61+ of needing more raised another question…

Tonight carnaval starts. Friday is always the parade of the mirins (juniors).

Doing basically what the big girls do, but with more clothes

Doing basically what the big girls do, but with more clothes

The big girls and boys start tomorrow with the parades of Grupo A.

The big girls have less clothes

The big girls have less clothes

Carnaval goes for four nights. The Sambôdromo is packed with locals and tourists alike.

Sambôdromo, paked with locals and tourists

Sambôdromo, packed with locals and tourists

Where will I be, sprawled on my sofa enjoying the spectacle on TV.

I used to get involved, but now I am rather nonplussed, and prefer to stay at home, it’s less crowded, just Lixo and me.

Only have one class tonight. 6 – 7:30, then it’s beer o’clock and downhill all the way to the weekend.

Sometimes it Rains

Yes, like every day this week. Rain has been a Monday – Thursday thing; and there is no reason why it won’t happen again.

But sometimes the sun shines.

Last night one of my students told me of his plans, to finish his project at work, get involved in Carnaval, take his holidays and get married to his long term girlfriend. But to do three of these things he needs a lot of money, he then informed me that English teachers are on the expendable list. Two more lessons until Carnaval and that’s it.

But the sun shines.

Having polar bears in the kitchen is not recommended

He wanted to know if I could use a fridge. Now the fridge I have works, but has to be defrosted manually every couple of weeks. If I don’t preform this ritual, I have polar bears roaming the kitchen at night. But it has kept my beer cold for the last year. The fridge I have been offered is like a limousine compared to the truck that graces my kitchen at present. And the price is unbeatable, the last two lessons and R$100. It is almost new, It still has the warranty adhesive.

I paused to give a lesson, my student has now gone. Lixo is still alseep on the sofa unfazed that life continues around him.

LixoShower

Lixo lying on the slate floor in the shower to escape the heat of the day

From time to time, I make observations about life. Yesterday was no different. Living alone I find the necessity to shut the toilet door unecessary, it also allows ingress to Lixo, who as soon as he hears the toilet seat being lowered, rushes in for a pet. Yesterday was no different. But yesterday, he tired of being petted and decided to have a snack. His dining room, beside the fridge is right in front of the toilet door, so I had a good view. I observed a phenomenon that had never occurred to me before. When Lixo lies flat to eat, his balls rest on the floor. I’m not sure that I would feel comfortable if mine were when I ate.

Sometimes one observes strange things, which in turn produces strange thoughts.

Last night I dined out, as a hard working English teacher I deserve that occasionally.  On arriving back home during a prolonged downpour it was easier to dive from the taxi into the bar rather than stand at the gate unlocking it and getting into the house to avoid getting saturated. One thing lead to another, one beer lead to another and before long it was after midnight and people stared wondering what was going on; one even ventured to say “AV’s still on the street after midnight, what’s happened?” It’s true, I am rarely on the street at that hour, normally at midnight I am safely in bed.

Back to my daily routine. I have to make a decision… Do I have lunch, or a nap?

Nap.

Later.

I Had One of Those Moments

You know the type, where you open the fridge and stare dumbly at the contents wondering why on earth you had opened the fridge…

In the several seconds it takes to recover yourself and regain some decorum, you stand there like a twit.

I really must spend more time in the kitchen.

Today I found a potato in a mid-life crisis No, it was not trying to become a trans-potato, it had taken it upon itself to become vodka; yes, it was slowly reaching the putrid stage, bordering on fermentation.

A couple more days and the garlic cloves would have all been doing a Russian Cossack dance, shouting for more vodka.

Today is Ash Wednesday, yesterday was Shrove Tuesday. We have all heard these terms, but do we really know what they mean?

Shrove Tuesday can be a dangerous time for your pets

The shriving bell was the summons for confession, once confessed they had been shriven. The verb to shrive means to confess one’s sins or absolution. One shrives on the Tuesday before Lent, that 40 days of fasting before Easter. Before the fasting of course the household has many ingredients that needed to be used, or wasted. It was this that became the ‘pancake tradition.’

Shrove Tuesday is also known as Mardi Gras from the French meaning Fat Tuesday, the day that all the fats in the house were used.

Then you have carnival, literally means one more meat before Lent. Hence the gluttony and debauchery at carnival prior to the Lenten season.

Why is Ash Wednesday called Ash? Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. Usually an ash cross on the forehead by the priest.

So there you have it; pancakes and a dirty smudge on the forehead.

In about ten minutes the apuração (voting) for the samba schools in the Grupo Especial will be televised, which in turn indicates a proximity to beer o’clock. Two schools will be relegated, and allowing two schools from the second division to be promoted for next years carnaval.

This year in São Paulo, there was a scandal at the apuraçaõ. The competition at carnaval is very intense, and one disgruntled member of one school invaded the judges box and destroyed many of the voting papers before he was subdued which meant they couldn’t complete the count. Totally bad sportsmanship.

One mustn’t be tardy.

Later.

The Real Monday Post

I have already posted today because I didn’t get round to posting my Sunday Travel Tales yesterday. I have been busy today, but it seems like I haven’t done much.

It’s Monday, but its not an OMG It’s Monday type of Monday; it’s more of a dead Monday. This morning when I roused myself at 8am the world was like a morgue, no cars, no people, no noise. There was just this deathly quiet. You see Yesterday was the first of the 12 Special Group parades at the Sambódromo and there will be more tonight.

There are also local festivities like the Geriatria Bloco which is only a 20 minute walk from home. Lots of people having lots of fun until the wee hours.

Bloco da Geriatria, Campo Grande

I suspect there are many nursing sore heads, so I will type quietly.

I went once two years ago, but that was enough, now I watch carnaval from the comfort of my sofa.

Business-wise, Brazil is still closed. Nothing moves until Wednesday, and then it’s only a half day because it’s Ash Wednesday. Nothing really happens until Thursday, that’s when I start lessons again.

Av Rio Branco, the main business district downtown

Cordão da Bola Preta had a record turn out this year. Bola Preta is the traditional street party starting in Cinelândia, downtown Rio. I went a couple of times in my early years in Brazil, but since have moved further out of reach. This year there were a record 2.2million participants, that’s one hell of a party.

Literally, a sea of people in the main street, people as far as the eye can see.

My plans today, not much. I have had my customary nap, Lixo is still having his half hidden under my chair. I am debating the subject of lunch. Yesterday I didn’t debate. I literally put on my pants and went, but I can’t spend that sort of money everyday, as much as i would like to. But lunch should definitely involve food, which is something that my fridge is devoid of at the moment; not quite but the three salsichas (sausages) don’t appeal at the moment.  So a trip to the supermarket is on the cards, although there is an element of lethargy involved.

I should move…

Later.

Bagunça

Bagunça = mess

That’s it, a mess, bagunça.

TGIF, I have a lesson, I don’t have a lesson.

It’s almost like a Monday in reverse. If you didn’t know Mondays had a reverse gear, they do, it’s called Friday.

I feel like the Foul Bachelor Frog. I showered, got desmellified and dressed for nothing.

From today Brazil is shut. Nothing of any consequence happens unless it is related to carnaval. I don’t have any lessons until next Thursday.

Sambódromo, Rio de Janeiro, remodelled to hold another 12,000 people opened officially last night.

Today, carnaval starts in São Paulo, in Rio de Janeiro there is the traditional Escolas mirins (beginners, kids samba schools) parade at the Sambódromo, Recife and Salvador also begin their carnaval parades. So for the next week carnaval is full on.

The Escolas mirins are just as serious as their big sisters.

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