Doug McLean World Tour 1999-2000
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Date: Wednesday, February 09, 2000 10:07 PM
Subject: Jan 15-17, 2000: Limeira

 Current Date/Location: Feb. 10, 2000 (Thur)...early morning in Brasilia,  Brazil. Still at Juliano's house.

 Current Itinerary: Going to costume party this Friday in Jaracua  (sp?)...then Cuiaba on Sunday...will be in Cuiaba/Pantanal region for about  a week...

 Carnival Itinerary: Still planning to be in Salvador...hope to be there  several days before the huge weekend crush of folks...expect to be there for  atleast a week...hope to meet up with my friend Agustin and others if  possible.
 

 JOURNAL -

 Jan 15, 2000 (Sat):

 Woke around 7am in Sao Paulo...had breakfast...headed out to bus station.  Took bus to Limeira to visit my friend Iara. OK...some history...I met Iara  in the Rio Youth Hostel (she is mentioned in my journal around Jan. 7,  2000), she invited me to visit Limeira...so I readily accepted. Arrived at  her house and met her mother, father, sister, and her sister's daughter,  Mirelli, who is about 4 years old and as cute as you could imagine. Also  met the family dog, Tatoo a boxer, a wonderfully friendly dog who always
 wanted attention and to play ball. Mirelli was very shy and would hide her  face anytime I would talk to her or simply run away...sometimes I have the  same effect on women...cést la vie.

 They prepared a wonderful lunch with lots of meat and of course rice and  feijoda (beans)...we sat around and talked for awhile...then we went to  Nosso Club ("Our Club" in Portuguese). We walked there, and on the way,  Mirelli wanted to hold my hand and talk to me...she was not shy anymore.  Nosso Club is basically a Country Club with a futball field instead of a  golf-course (this is Brazil you know!). Swam in the huge pool...went down  the large water slide...and Iara and Mirelli went down the water slide and I  was at the bottom to catch and rescue Mirelli...we had lots of fun and  splashed around alot. Ate at snack bar while watching Brazil destroy Costa  Rica in futball (Note: It is hard to go anywhere in Brazil where there  isn't a TV tuned to a futball match somewhere in the world).

 Back at the house I was in for a treat! They cooked Churrasco (meat over a  grill) for dinner. It was awesome...I ate like a horse! Mirelli was  wanting to talk to me as much as possible and wanted to play...she is cute  as a bug's ear. Wanted to go out on the town, so Iara and I looked in the  paper and found a mobile disco that was setting up in the parking lot of a  shopping center (really...they bring the whole thing in, stage, sound  system, props, lasers, smoke machines, porta-potties, everything). Iara and
 I took the last bus to the shopping center where the mobil disco was to be  located...but still arrived too early to go in, you know how it is...we had  to be fashionably late. So, we went next door to the bowling center and  played air hockey and pingpong (table tennis) for about an hour and a half.  I reaffirmed myself as CHAMPION OF THE WORLD IN AIR HOCKEY winning 2 out of  3 games...and Iara was reconfirmed as CHAMPION OF THE WORLD IN TABLE TENNIS  winning 3 out of 5 games...we had a great time.

 Finally entered the disco...it was cool...had a big laser show and lots of  techno music, jugglers juggling flaming pins, half naked go-go dancers (male  and female) painted in gold and silver, just about everything... Iara and I  stayed until 5am...crashed around 6am...as the sun was coming up over  Limeira...
 

 Jan 16, 2000 (Sun):

 Woke around 1pm...as I staggered in the hallway I looked to my right and saw  Mirelli about the same time she saw me. She ran to me and gave me the  biggest hug you can imagine...awwwww...it is the type of thing that can melt your heart...now I know why people want to be parents (Mom, Dad, and a grandparents should not get any BIG ideas or gain any form of hope from the  preceeding comment). Also, immediately behind her was the ever-present  Tatoo who snarfed me first thing as well. It is one of my most treasured  memories, waking up and being greeted in the hallway by Mirelli and
 Tatoo...sniff...sniff...

 We had lunch which again was great (more rice and beans...it is truly a  staple of the diet here in S. America...from here on, please consider that  whenever I mention eating dinner in anyone's house in Brazil beans and rice  are ALWAYS part of the equation)...watched some TV (NOTE: Brazillian
 television programming is only slightly more sophisticated than Mexican  Television programming...which truly is NOT saying much. Here they have the  gratuitous gorgeous girls in tiny outfits (which actually is not much of a  stretch in this culture...they are walking on the streets everywhere in the  same outfits), loud announcers, silly soap operas, and wild gameshows).  Talked and practiced some Portuguese with Iara...Went with Iara, Mirelli,  and Iara's sister to Nosso Club again...did about the same...swam and hung
 out at the club for awhile...

 Returned to house...cleaned up...went to Iara's grandmother's house for cake  and drinks...met Uncle/aunt, god parents...etc. It was nice, a pleasant  family get-together. Back at home stayed up late talking with Iara about  her plans in Oceanography...she is hoping to have passed then entrance exam
 into the Oceanography programs at either Rio Grande or Rio de Janiero (RdJ  being preferred). (NOTE: At the time of this writing, it is confirmed that  she gained admittance into Rio Grande! (But not into Rio de Janiero...cést  la vie). Considering how difficult it is to get into a public institution  here in Brazil, it is a huge success!!! Iara will now be able to attend  school (for free...if admitted into a public University, the tuition is  free...really) and pursue her dreams...(cool, eh?).
 

 Jan 17, 2000 (Mon):

 Woke...greeted by Mirelli and Tatoo first thing...it really is one of the  most pleasant ways to greet the day...it is good to be hugged and snarfed  first thing in the morning...really makes you feel wanted and appreciated in  the world...ahhh...the comforts of staying in a home...one could get used to  this kind of treatment. Had breakfast of watermelon and bread...said  goodbye to all. Limeira is certainly not a tourist Mecca, but I had had a  wonderful time here. Again, it was not as much the location that made it
 special, as it was the people. Iara's family went well out of their way to  make me feel at home, and I appreciated it. I bid the family (especially  Iara, Mirelli, and Tatoo) a very fond goodbye as I went to catch the bus.

 Bussed to Sao Paulo...bought my onward ticket to Curitiba...left my bag at  the bus station...headed into downtown Sao Paulo and hit Monkey (again) to  use internet...walked around Avenida Paulista...was disappointed to discover  that MASP (big Museum of Art) was temporarily closed...continued to wander
 around...found an English book store (Heaven!!!)!!! I was sooooo excited.  Let me tell you, there are many things that one wants to do on a trip like  the one that I am on, and one of those things is reading all of those  "Classic" books that you really should read, but never have the time/energy.  So, having a craving for culture and in a pathetic attempt to buy myself a  literary background, I spent about $150 on 6 books (Hemmingway- Old Man and  the Sea, Men without Women, and For Whom the Bell Tolls / Ray Bradbury -  Farenheit 451 / Salinger - Catcher in the Rye) and a Brazillian-Portuguese  Audio Course!!!

 Used the internet a little more that evening in a fruitless attempt to keep  up with my journals...responded to some personal e-mails from friends (NOTE:  I hope all of you know, I actually DO like getting e-mails from my friends  telling me what ya'll are up to these days...it helps me keep in contact  with you...since you can't call me, and I can't really call you, I highly  value e-mail...so send me an e-mail sometime...I am never too busy or too  far away to stay intouch with my friends.). I also sent my folks a final  e-mail before I left for the bus-station, hoping to make them feel more  comfortable...including details about recent bus crashes killing lots of  people in Argentina and the fact that I pay for bus insurance (seguro) which
 would help cover any funeral costs...and mentioned that I would be taking an  overnight bus later tonight. This was somewhat along the lines of what I  had always told them when I worked for American Airlines...one of the few  unknown benefits of being an AA employee is that if you die anywhere in the
 AA world...American Airlines will ship your carcass (body) home for  free...now that I am no longer employed by AA, my folks still would have to  call 1-800-AA-TRUST (Yes, this is the phone number...no kidding), but now  they would have to ask that AA "Crate-me, Rate-me, and Freight-me!" ...cést
 la vie...I do miss some of the perks of being an employee. (NOTE: This  seemed cool at the time, as I enjoy poking fun at my parents fears about my  travelling habit...but, later, I actually felt bad because this would prove  to be the last e-mail I would send them for a week (my next stop Ihla do Mel  was thankfully without e-mail or cars for that matter). This note probably  caused them some anxiety...my parents put up with alot...they really do! I  love you, Mom and Dad!). I then caught the overnight bus to Curitiba.

Doug McLean
Texas Nomad