Doug McLean World Tour 1999-2000
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Date: Tuesday, February 08, 2000 6:40 AM
Subject: Jan 11-14, 2000: Sao Paulo...Life in the Fast Lane!

 Current Date/Location: Feb 8, 2000 in Brasilia, Brazil. Staying with my  friend Juliano.

 Current Itinerary: Plan to stay in Brasilia for the next several  days...Friday is a costume party in a city nearby...then later this weekend  I will go to Cuiaba (North of the Pantanal) to go to my friend Ana Paula's
 graduation.

 Carnival Itinerary: Still on course to be in Salvador. Let me know if  anyone else will be there...maybe we can meet up.

 JOURNAL-

 Jan 11, 2000 (Tue) (Continued from last Journal):

 Arrived in Sao Paulo off bus from Campinas around 6pm...went to Hostel. I  ended up meeting all sorts of folks at the hostel: Juliano/Brasilia,  Fernanda/Porto Alegre, Tatiana/Rio, Ana Paula and Marcia/Cuiaba (in Mato  Grosso...North of the Pantanal), Ryan/Capetown, South Africa, etc.  Fernanda had a friend who had left tickets for us to go to a club for  free...yeah!!! So, we all got dressed up and went out (Fernanda, Marcia,  Juliano, Ryan, Alessandro)!

 We arrived at the club...Club Lov.E ...waited in the pack outside the door  until we were "picked"...I worked on getting the attention of the door  lady...spoke a little English to her...and we were in (for free with our  tickets)! The club was a large club playing only Techno Music. We danced  for awhile amongst the crowd...after awhile, the guy, Marcos, who had gotten  us the tickets arrived. We thanked him for getting us the free entrance  tickets...he said no problem that people were always giving them to him at
 the salon he worked at. He said that we should all go into the Special VIP  room...so Marcos took us all past the surly bouncer dude and into the back  Special VIP Room (Yes, it said that on the door in BIG letters). It was a  area with red fuzzy walls (I'm not making this up...). In the comparative  quiet of our new environment, I gathered that Marcos was a  hairdresser/stylist at one of the most fashionable salons in town. In  talking with him, it becomes apparrent pretty quickly that he is of what  most would call an alternative lifestyle (gay). Now, let me share some  thoughts on the gay issue.

 This will probably come back to haunt me when I run for President, Senator,  Mayor, or for head garbage collector...but here are my thoughts on  Homosexuality...I think it doesn't matter and that it is basically no-one's  business. I believe that if someone has a preference for the same sex, it  should be treated the same as if a person has a preference for red cars or  green underwear, it is their business and is of concern to only a few select  people at most. NOW, that being said...I do think it is silly that some gay  folks choose to be FLAMING in their way of life...I will fight for their  right to do so...but I still think it is silly (much in the same way I think  it is silly for an overly heterosexual male to walk around with his shirt
 unbuttoned to his navel with 5 pounds of gold chains...). I think it is sad  anytime someone chains (excuse the pun) their entire identity to one  characteristic, in this case, their sexual preferences. I tend to think  that they should get a life...defining yourself in terms of only one trait  only allows the world a myopic view of yourself...I think that most people  simply have more to offer. I also think that it is pretty self centered of  most heterosexuals to believe that all homosexuals want everyone of the same
 sex. From what I have seen, the homosexual world (especially Gay Males)  tends to be very discriminating based on looks...with extreme prejudice  towards people in incredible body-shape, and against folks who are not in  perfect shape...probably much more than the heterosexual world...it is a
 tough life for many, really. For the males out there...don't humor yourself  and think that the gay guy you just met is interested in you, anymore than  you would be interested in any random woman that you might meet on the  street. Now let me share with you a purely original Doug McLean quote, "I'm  only homophobic in my bed"...simple as that. ...and for all of you  unconvinced heterosexuals out there who still resent gays for some  reason...think about this...the gay folks out there are not competing for  your prospective boyfriend/girlfriend...from a strictly utilitarian point of  view, I would like many more guys to be gay...less competition, eh???

 (OK...now, just incase someone wants to quote any of this stuff in the  future to use against me...I hearby prohibit anyone to quote a part of the  above paragraph without the quotation of the ENTIRE paragraph...I do not  enjoy the concept that anyone would take my thoughts out of context or  without the entire body of my work for consideration. Homosexuality is a  touchy subject that can burn people on bothsides of the discussion...there  is no safe ground where someone somewhere does not feel obliged to attack
 your position. The thoughts above are mine, and I am proud of them...but it  is a shameless world we live in sometimes and one must be omniprescent (sp?)  in protection of one's reputation and credibility against those who would  seek to tear down what one works hard to build.)

 That all said, Marcos was a very cool guy who was not ALL about being gay,  and we had a great time talking. I mentioned that I have always had  conservative haircuts (this is almost exclusively due to getting the  cheapest haircut available...remember, I'm Scottish...and also due to the  conservative jobs I have had in the past) and while travelling, I was  thinking about doing something different. I mentioned that I had thought  about bleaching it or something...he got excited about the idea and offered  to color my hair at his salon the next day. I said that I could not afford  to do that, and that if I was going to color my hair, I would probably have  someone at the hostel do it (cheaper, eh??). He said that he would love to
 do it as a gift, for free. I asked if he was sure...he insisted...so I  agreed to let him color/style my hair tomorrow...I figured, what the heck,  eh???!!!

 Marcos introduced me to some of his other friends (all gay or  hairdressers...or both...including one guy who apparrently is famous in  Brazil for some sort of Androgynous (sp?) act...go figure...). We all  lounged in there for awhile...and I basically discovered that the room was  full of either gay guys or drop dead gorgeous models!!! ...I was hanging  out with the trendy folks of Sao Paulo...TRULY LIFE IN THE FAST LANE!

 I started several conversations with various folks...and every girl I  started talking to was a model...and this is not just a line...it was like  getting a glimpse of heaven, every girl in there was atleast 5'10" tall
 (about 175 CM for those of ya'll who still use the darned metric system) or  taller, rail skinny, and beautiful beyond compare. I was having a great  time until someone brought up the subject of age...needless to say, I felt  mighty old when I rattled off my age of 28...but felt older and much worse  when I learned that every girl there was between 14 and 17...NO KIDDING! I  was absolutely stunned...they all look no less than 22 or 23 (in a lovely,  sophistocated way), but were all just babies...Arrrrgggghhhhh! This truly  is when LIFE IN THE FAST LANE impacts with THE BACK OF A CEMENT TRUCK!

 Cést la vie!
Continued to dance with the group for awhile, we left around 4:30...got back  to hostel around 5:00...I used the internet until 6am...and crashed...
 

 Jan 12, 2000 (Wed)

 Went into downtown Sao Paulo with Fernanda, Tatiana, Ana Paula, and  Juliano...visited the Japaneese part of town (supposed to be the largest  Japaneese population concentration outside of Tokyo)...ate chineese  food...visited big church (don't know name of cathedral)...went up Banespa  Bank tower which overlooks all of Sao Paulo. I am here to tell you, this is  an enormous city. High-rise buildings in every direction as far as the eye  can see...

 Then we caught a bus to go get my hair colored by Marcos...but while on the  bus going to our destination, it started to rain. By the time we were  dropped off, it was pouring rain!!! We walked for blocks and got drenched  and realized that we were hopelessly lost in an enormous rain-storm.  Stopped in a cute corner shop and had a great time with the owners while  waiting for the rain to pass. Had some drinks, chatted, met a guy with a  broken leg and we all signed his cast, and ate cheetos...ahhhh...this is the  life. Eventually got new directions to the Hair Salon and walked in the  rain for about 20 blocks.

 We arrived at the chic, fashionable, trendy salon looking like drowned rats!  We were warmly greeted...given towels, coffee, and lots of hugs. After  much talking and discussing, we got to work on my hair. I put on a white  robe, went to the first station where my hair was washed. While I sat there
 waiting, Marcos gave me a magazine with a lovely model on the front of  it...he nodded to my right, and I noticed that the woman getting her hair  washed next to me was the model on the cover of the magazine...cool, eh? I  will have to disagree with anyone who says that Sao Paulo is not a beautiful
 city!

 Anyway, Marcos showed me some pictures of models in magazines to give me an  idea of what he wanted to do with my hair...he thought we would go for the  sun-bleached look. Kind of the surfer look...but he would color the top,  and leave the sides darker...like the sun had bleached my hair...not
 chemicals...I said, "whatever...you are the boss" and let him get to work.  Marcos dyed my hair a lighter golden color on top...way cool man!!! Lots of  pictures were taken and Juliano had his hair colored and styled as well. We  had a great time and now we understand how some folks can like going to
 salons...if it is always as fun as we had, I'd go all the time...but, I  think I can't afford it...back to Super-Cuts for me I guess...

 Fernanda, Juliano, and I all took a taxi back to the hostel and arrived at  the same time as Tatiana and Ana Paula who had left earlier to take a bus,  but had been stuck in traffic for 2 hours...hee hee...NOTE: Sao Paulo and  many towns in Brazil simply shut-down during big rainstorms...the drains are  not sufficient to remove all the water, and you are often looking for  trouble if you go out during a big rainstorm...flooding of intersections is  not only common, it is expected...gridlock results until the rain subsides.

 We all stayed up late talking, and enjoying basking in the glow of my new  hair...ahhhhh...slept.
 

 Jan 13, 2000 (Thur)
  Woke...went with Fernanda to downtown...to employment office because she had  to get work papers...this is somewhat different than in the USA. In the USA  we create a resume (CV to all you other folks) and that is how we apply to  companies. In Brazil, they need to get official work papers that basically  act to register your skills and past work history, as well as to provide a  way of tracking your retirement (almost like social security numbers).

 I then went to internet place I had heard about called Monkey...6 reals per  hour!!!! Entire place innundated with young kids playing largescale  interactive video games...the place was going nuts! There were probably 25  computers in the place and probably 20 were full of kids playing this game.  The difference is that the game is interactive and they basically Commandos  or Terrorists with goals and objectives...they play as teams and it is all  realtime...it was cool to watch. Anyway, I used the internet for a while  during this mayhem...then went back to hostel...

 I called my friend Cesar (I had met him in Frankfurt, Germany in November),  told him I was in town...he came to pick me up and we went to his  girlfriend's house. Met his girlfriend and her cute boxer dog. The dog was  well trained, but apparrently only spoke Portuguese because when I said  "Shake" the dog gave me a blank stare...but if I said "Da Pata" the dog  would extend his paw for me to shake...go figure. I guess it is important  to speak Portuguese down here to communicate with the people and the
 animals...who knew!???

 We went to juicebar and had a kind of fruit/frozen yogurt blend type thing  called Acai. They drove me around the city for awhile and gave me a tour.  They dropped me off at the hostel around midnight...bed.
 

 Jan 14, 2000 (Fri):

 Woke...breakfast of papayas, fresh squeezed juice, bread with dulce de  leche...not a bad spread for a hostel. Met Naomi from Israel at breakfast.  Went to Parque Ibapuerra with Juliano and Naomi. It is a large urban park  which had the usual...artifical lake, grassy areas, trees, ducks, etc...it  was basically nice but uninspired. The park did have a exhibition building,  and we visited an Architectural Exhibition which had lots of pictures of  cool architecture in Brazil (not surprising, much of it was photos of  Brasilia, the futuristic capital of Brazil which was designed by Neimeyer).  Walked around the park and sang songs...working on learning the words to  Hava Nagila song (Jewish wedding song that I love).

 I went back to Monkey to visit the Cyber-warriors and to spend some time on  e-mail...then returned back to hostel just in time to watch end of the FIFA  Championship Game...Vasco (Rio) against Corinthians (Sao Paulo)...truly,  there could not be a bigger rivalry than Rio vs Sao Paulo...the game was
 very good and it was tied 0-0 at the end...went to goal kicks...and Sao  Paulo-Corinthians won the game! Within seconds of the victory, you would  have thought that war had broken-out in Sao Paulo! I have discovered that  Brazillians are not as big on beautiful fireworks as they are big on LOUD  fireworks! They were setting off fireworks all over town that sounded like  bombs...the city was going nuts over the victory!

 I went out with Juliano and 2 other guys (one Uruguayan and one Argentinian)  to visit the town in celebration. We went to Vila Magdalena part of  town...people were on the subways singing...on the streets yelling, and  hanging from cars. We hung out and drank at a street cafe and enjoyed
 watching the fans and people stream by our spot.

 We ate street hotdogs and sandwiches late in the night and then returned to  the hostel...back to bed by 4am...

 Doug
Texas Nomad