Saturday, March 11, 2006


Hitching rides is such a nice way to get from place to place...after the party, we hopped in with some other guests who dropped us off closer to home so we wouldn't have to take two busses. We passed the bus we wanted to take and raced to the next bus stop just in time to jump out of the car and flag it down...when you're walking around in three-inch heels, anything that avoids walking on cobblestones is welcome! Even more so when you're in heels plus a bag plus a shopping bag plus a huge flower arrangement you snagged off the party table, something exploding with bamboo shoots and daisies and biird-of-paradise. I'm thrilled; I've been craving flowers for ages. So here I am at 12:53 at home, with my feet up and listening to loud music from the street and thinking about maybe going to bed. But as Brazilian parties run late and I only just ate dinner about 45 minutes ago, maybe that's not such a good idea...

Backup. Today was Cristina Mel's birthday and the girls threw a surprise party for her. About fifty guests ranging from family, other singers, friends, and one crazy fan that was just kicked out of the U.S. last Tuesday...Rich people's parties are never quite the occasion, because for one, as Ana Paula remarked to me, you can't fill your plate up with the finger foods. They have waiters passing them around, which means you're really limited to one, two if you're gutsy, and even then the waiter will still give you a raised eyebrow. The second reason is because everyone is all out to impress everyone else and comment on who is who and what they're wearing and what's new in their life or career...and no one really mingles. They just watch each other and give polite comments and smile fakely and eat cake. Okay, that's harsh, because this party was a ton more lively. But it made me miss Souphous flings. It was great fun...though there was that one awkward moment in which Erica introduced me to the "single members of the band" after announcing I was now available, then running off and leaving me surrounded by five medium-aged men all at least a head shorter than me, looking simultaneously interested and embarassed...they mean well, my friends, but it's a little soon. And anyhow, I'm certainly not on the prowl. A good man, he needs to come to ME.

This week was eaten up in running around doing visa stuff at the Federal Police and then trying to figure out how to get my student visa. Rule number one: when calling a consulate from overseas, you will only get a real person after the fifth state you call, and that's mostly because you chose the Portuguese language option, snagged an operator, and told her that you were calling from Brazil. Rule number two: Brazilians love circular reasoning. And catch-22's. For instance: I cannot get a CPF card according to clerk #1 because I do not have a Brazilian identity card. I cannot get a Brazilian identity card without a different visa, preferably a student visa. I cannot get a student visa without being enrolled in university. I cannot enroll in university without a CPF card or Brazilian ID card...repeat as necessary.

So next week I get to go find a clerk that will give me a CPF card because that's what his job is, and because it's perfectly legal. Which means dressing up and makeup and flirting. Gag.

And tomorrow night is little Matheus' birthday. He will be 2. He calls me, via his grandmother, about twice a week, just to chat a little in baby Portuguese. This little boy is beyond words! So I'm going to the festa because if I don't, his feelings will be hurt...Tia Jenna will be there rain or shine, even if she has to avoid Tio Junior for the half-hour she'll stay....

Ah, my life.

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