and I've been on the internet for what seems like hours. Thankfully, my phone was fixed while I was out, which is blessed news! Water is still scarce though.
This evening was quite really splendid. The meeting at Projeto VIdinha didn't go too long, and I was a bit lost as to what I was going to do on a Saturday night. On a whim, I called up a friend who lives in the Tijuca area. She and another friend were just arriving home and invited me over. We watched several episodes of scrubs, drank orange juice and ate yummy chocolate croissants from the charming bakery around the corner...and then decided to go out for dinner. For salads, which are somewhat of a rarity in Rio. We got a card on which we were supposed to pick twelve different items (including such delicacies as salmon, sun-dried tomatoes, and palm hearts) and one dressing...a half plate was HUGE and cost about three dollars. Our poor waiter! I know he was expecting a nice fat check when three English speaking girls sat down...and our total bill was R$30! It was great. Even my superstrong limeade that didn't get sweet no matter how much sugar went into it...pure acid, I'm afraid, but it's warding off any cold bugs!
We then moved downstairs in the mall to a chocolate store where my friend swore they served the best cappucinos ever. I cannot vouch for the cappucinos, because it was late and we were afraid of the caffeine content. But their Mexican hot chocolate, thick as soup with a mug on the side just for the whipped cream and tiny cookie complements, gave new meaning to the word heavenly. This was chocolate from the gods. This was the reason chocolate is "better than sex." Decadent. Divine. Awe-inspiring. There are no words to describe how perfectly wonderful this cup of hot chocolate was. All other chocolate should be outlawed...those grainy bars of milk chocolate, the pasty, waxy commercialized chunks. It's a defilement, a slur on the reputation of something so otherworldly and sensual. We were stupefied for the fifteen minutes it took us to sip it down...
I also realized how outrageously expensive the store was...and thought back to the bar of chocolate a long-gone and frustrated admirer had given me once many months ago...it must have set him back a small fortune. I'm afraid I wasn't all that appreciative at the time. He was too cynical for my taste in the end, and I was looking for a way to say "not interested" gracefully...and his interest eventually fizzed. But I think back on that chocolate bar and our heated conversations and think how nice it is to know you're valued, especially if the weight's in chocolate at nearly R$20 for 100 grams!