I woke up this morning to the shrimp car. It is a distasteful thing for those who like silence in the mornings. It is white, with a megaphone sitting on the roof, and it drives very slowly to exibit foam coolers full of fat grey shrimp with the whiskers still on them. And the driver shouts into the microphone, which is projected very loudly at 9:00 in the morning:
R$10 SHRIMP FOR ONLY R$3! TRES REIS! TRES REIS!!! WAKE UP!!!! SHRIIIIMMMPPPP!!!
It was 9:00; I overslept just a little. There was a bit of hustle, throwing things in my bag, taking a shower, making breakfast pancakes. I opened my freezer. Everything melted. Again. This required a detour on my way to the bus stop. When the refrigerator guy saw me coming, in my power heels and big bag and no-nonsense stalking towards him, he actually HID from me! But he'll be coming tomorrow to take my refrigerator away and replace it with something else that's probably just as defective as this one...because I'm not going Easter weekend without refrigeration if I can help it. And after all, he's "never lost a client. Especially not an American one..."
There were boring tasks to be completed today but they went by much faster than I had anticipated, so I wandered around downtown. My last stop sent me into the Banco de Brasil Cultural Center where I discovered their library, complete with reading room, lots of plush chairs, tons of English language books, fat encyclopedias (including some I've seen at Dona Dora's!) and AIR CONDITIONING. I'm so going to hide out there! I had tea at the tea room, with a yummy almond pie-cake thing, quiche, and a huge pot of cafe com leite all to myself. Mmm...
Today was our girls' night out with Isabella and Rayane from Projeto Vidinha. We went to see the Westminster Boys Choir for free at the Candelaria church downtown. I met them at the church an hour before and we got great seats. The girls were so cute in their dress-up clothes and high heels! Isabella paid attention to the tiniest details, noting the cross-shaped layout of the traditional church, the Latin inscriptions, the ladder high in the corner where some restoration work was being done. Rayane was nervous the whole time because we were in a Catholic church and she wanted to know the meaning behind each and every thing she saw, from the ceiling paintings and holy water to the background lives of saints. We found the bathroom which was behind a huge pillar (I thought the man who directed us there was joking) and one of the girls refused to use anything but the very first stall, which made me laugh. Someone just as compulsive as I am! The concert started right on time and we loved nearly every minute of it, even in the melting heat. In the middle of a glorious acapella number, Rayane leaned over and whispered,
Tia, where's the speakers?
Her eyes widened in amazement when I informed her that there weren't any! And both the girls were curious: were the boys Catholic or Evangelical? And why was there a black boy and an Asian boy in the choir? Weren't they from England? Isn't everyone from England, well, white??? Ah...we've got to take these girls out more! At least they agreed on something: the boy with the long hair in the back row was a heartthrob. :)
And now I'm sitting here in Rebecca's chair (thank you Nichols!) and watching the moon float through clouds that look like angelfish...remembering a great day.