Monday, June 16, 2003

Week 1 in Brazil

Well, I have survived my first week in Rio.  I haven't had much luck with my research so far, but I've given it the effort it requires!  I have attempted to contact my organization, including stopping by personally a couple times (no one seems to ever actually be in the office!) but I'm not too worried as the bulk of my research actually takes place in Vitoria (where I'm headed on Wednesday).

I've been to the beach several times, I'd forgotten how much I miss the beach living in Kansas. It's especially beautiful in Rio surrounded by hills and mountains.  I'm taking an endless number of photos, of course.

I also found myself incapable of visiting a foreign city without visiting a local movie theatre, which is how I am able to tell you with absolute certainty that Rio de Janeiro has absolutely the most comfortable movie theatre I have ever had the pleasure of sitting in, bar none.  The seats were so comfortable, it was like sitting in an armchair in your own home (although the aisles were extremely close, the chairs were high enough, you could actually stretch out with your feet under the chair in front of you).  Even more amazing, at the front of the theatre directly to the right of the movie screen was… a women's bathroom!  The men's was located at the back of the theatre.  I only visited the women's of course (out of pure curiosity) and it was like walking behind the stage.  The door led to some stairs that led up to another door which opened into one of the cleanest movie restrooms I've ever seen (with several stalls).

Everywhere I go people ask me “voce e portuguesa?” (are you Portuguese?)  I have to laugh and explain.  Maybe it's a compliment, maybe not, I'm not really sure!  All I know is everyone knows I am most definitely NOT Brazilian (they do such weird things to their vowels!)

Amazingly enough, I am not having any problems remaining vegetarian here.  Yes, their meats are supposedly a specialty, but they also have the most amazing veggies and fruits. I'm eating quite well (perhaps better than in the U.S.!) and am loving their food.

I visited several street fairs with the most amazing crafts, wood work and clothing.  I am of course resisting all temptation (although the used bookstores are especially hard to resist — I actually found Artemis Fowl in Portuguese!)  So far I've resisted the Lord of the Rings in Portuguese (after all, they're hard enough to get through in English!)

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