Doug McLean World Tour 1999-2000
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Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2000 3:02 PM
Subject: Feb 4-6, 2000 - Brasilia/Goiania

Current Date/Location: Wed, Feb. 16, 2000. Cuiaba, Brazil...at my friend  Ana Paula´s house...she also has maids who do my laundry, free internet  access, and a wonderful family...hmmm...maybe I will never leave Brazil!

Current Itinerary: Here until Monday-ish, then Bonito in S. Pantanal, then  Belo Horizonte!

Carnival Plans: Party like an iguana in Salvador, Brazil!!!...the only  place to be in Brazil for Carnival!

 JOURNAL:

Feb. 4, 2000 (Fri):
Arrived by bus into Brasilia in the morning. Juliano picked me up at the  bus station. We drove through the city, with him explaining many of the  points. Brasilia reminds me somewhat of Washington, D.C....both are planned  capital cities with huge boulevards, green areas, monuments, and the various
 branches of government. Brasilia seems to have gone a step further and  added lots of architectural novelty to the process...it is meant to be a  futuristic city...and the view of the future in the 1950´s makes the city  look like it is both headed towards the fugure and stuck in the past at the  same time...go figure.

 Arrived at his apartment/condo building...now, I am also learning that  having an apartment here in Brazil is often better than having a house...in  the USA, having a house is the ideal American Dream...not so here in Brazil.  Juliano´s family lives in a huge apartment with a lovely and beautiful  interior...I am not slumming it in Brasilia! I met his mother and brother  while briefly having breakfast...then the driver arrived to take his mother  to work (I didn´t know it yet, but she is highly placed in the state  government, and is going to be the next Minister of Tourism for the Federal  District of Brasilia.). Anyway, we all piled in the car with a friend of  Juliano's, Caroline, and toured the city again. One thing that you should  know about Brasilia...it is literally shaped like a plane that is headed due  East...no kidding. The designer and architect of the city, Oscar Niemeyer,  figured that the city would transport the country into the future, or
 provide the lift for the country, or something like that...you get the idea.  The city has a huge couple of avenues and large grassy tracts of parkland  that act like the fuselage, the city is divided into North and South  Sections that are laid out like wings, and ofcourse, the branches of  government (Executive, Legislative, and Supreme Court) are placed in the  front of the plane (the cockpit)...acting like pilots directing the country  into the future. I am not making this up, go get a map of the city if you  want to!

 We visited the Park of 3 Branches of Government...visited the JK Memorial  (JK...Jucelino Kubitschek campaigned to become the President of Brazil on  the platform that he would build Brasilia in the middle of the country and  move the government here from Sao Paulo...after he was elected, he realized
 that he had to build it and complete it in 4 short years before the end of  his term! ...he did it...and Brasilia erected a monument in his honor.).  One other note on JK, he was a communist and the monument has a statue of  him in a very Communistic pose facing Eastward...it is strangely out of  place now...but it stays...he is a part of history.

 We returned to the house where Juliano and I discussed the art of  backpacking (he is planning a 45 day European trip starting in  June...needless to say, I told him the most important thing is to go Run  with the Bulls in Pamplona!) I gave him some ideas...but then we had to pack  our bags and leave quickly with Juliano's Aunt Rosie for Goiania. We were  going to Goiania to attend the graduation of Juliano´s cousin...yawn...I  used to work at the Erwin Center in Austin, Texas...and attended/worked  about a thousand graduation ceremonies...they are all yawners without  exception, and I was not enthused about attending another in Brazil...but  figured it would be a cultural experience...so what the heck! We picked up  Uncle Edward and we drove to Goiania...stopped at their house under  construction. It was interesting to see a house being constructed here in  Brazil. It looks somewhat confused and like few things are being done in a  logical order, but when you look at the same type of house next door you can  see where they are going. Juliano said that since they don´t have kids, his  aunt and uncle are really building this new house as a place for their  neices, nephews, and distant relatives to enjoy and to visit them...they  want the company as they grow older...a sobering thought.

 Anyway, we arrived at their lovely apartment in Goiania...settled  in...Juliano and I went to have fruit drinks (NOTE: For all of you Jamba  Juice drinking folks out there...you don´t know how good I have it here...50  different kinds of juices made and mixed any way I want...and costs about 80  cents per drink...ahhhhh...Brazil!). We walked around the city...watched  part of the Pre-Olympic Futball game of Brazil versus Argentina (this was  the semi-finals now...again, Brazil played Argentina)...Brazil won and
 qualified to go to the Olympics...lots of happy Brazillians. NOTE: Brazil  consideres the Olympics to be the last great prize in futball  (soccer)...they have never won it...they want to win soooo badly in Sydney
 it hurts them!

 Got dressed and went to dance club, Draft. Now, I had been giving grief to  Juliano all day because he had promised that Goiania was famous for it´s  beautiful women...and all day, I had seen a dearth of lovely lasses. I made  fun of him until sometime around nightfall. Walking to the club I started
 to notice more ladies and at the club I was having trouble keeping my eyes  in their sockets. I don´t know where they keep them locked up in this town  during the day, but I am here to tell you that at night this town if full of  beautiful girls! We were in line when 3 exceptionally beautiful girls  walked up and next thing I know, they are hugging and kissing Juliano  (friends) and myself...we get into the club and I met his cousin who is  graduating, Carolina, and many of her friends (almost all female)...I´ll try  to understate the obvious by saying that it was not difficult to look at any  of them. Juliano had taught me a new phrase which I used, much to the  amusement of the group...the phrase being- "Um Cao Chupando Manga!"
 Literally translated, this means "A dog sucking a Mango!", but is used to  indicate that something is VERY, VERY UGLY! The phrase was a hit  (Brazillians have a great sense of humor, and it drove them nuts to hear a  foreigner deliver this line...really), and we had a great time and ended up  dancing until 3:30am.
 

 Feb. 5, 2000 (Sat):

 Woke...Juliano and I went in search of a suit for me to wear to graduation.  Juliano had mentioned that I should rent a suit for the occassion...I had  mentioned that I really didn´t have to attend the ceremony if it would be a  problem...spending money on a suit to attend a boring graduation ceremony  seemed somewhat silly and a waste of money. Juliano explained that the  graduation ceremony had already taken place...this was a big party that we  were attending...something like the Prom in the USA, but family and friends  were also invited to attend. It is a really big deal! I started to  understand, and my interest in attending and getting a "Killer" suit was now  becoming a priority! I was surprised, but suits are commonly rented here in  Brazil. It is such a hot climate that the culture stays somewhat more  informal...few people own suits (normal suits...not mentioning tuxedoes).  We went to many shops but only found 2 with shoes my size (remember, I also  have to rent shoes...not like I carry around a set of dress shoes to go with
 my shorts and t-shirts!). In the end, I rented a sweet double breasted  suit...45 Reals...found 2 Reals in the pocket...cool, eh?! I was now  set...ready to party...I was now a "Sharp Dressed Man".

 After securing my suave suit, we went to an afternoon graduation party for  Carolina (different one...this one is a friend of Juliano´s...not his  cousin...confusing, eh?). There was lots of family and kids there...we hung  out for a while, and I mentioned that I wanted to learn the words to the  Garota de Ipanema (Girl from Ipanema). Next thing I know, we go upstairs to  their elegant apartment and into the TV/Karaoke room which has a bigscreen  TV and a personal Karaoke machine...and everyone starts singing various
 Brazillian songs...including Garota de Ipanema...it was cool!

 We went back to the Uncle and Aunt's house...went with Aunt Rosie out to  shopping mall to buy socks (yes, my backpack is in shortsupply of  dress-socks as well)...showered and got ready...looked pretty spiff in my  suit, and so did Juliano...went with Aunt Rosie to the house of Carolina's  family. The girls looked incredibly lovely in their gowns. I delivered my  new quote for the day that I had gleaned from my Portuguese/Spanish  Phrasebook - "Sou Rico y Soltiero." which translates to mean "I´m Rich and
 Single."...it was greeted with an uproar of laughter.

 We all left in a group...and after some driving confusion, arrived at the  ball. It was lovely, tables for 10 covered with yellow roses and  candles...waiters serving drinks and food...live band...procession of the
 graduates (Received degrees in Audiophonologia (sp?) (something like  listening and speaking skills))...danced all night. One downside was that  my suit was incredibly hot and by the end of the night I was absolutely  soaked with sweat. It looked like I had gone swimming, but all in all, I  had lots of fun...left 6am...we all had breakfast (probably 2 quarts of  fresh squeezed orange juice, 3 bottles of coke, and 4-5 pastries) and the  group only paid 9 Reals (1 dollar equals 1.8 Reals...this is about  $5USD...cheap, eh???)! Absolutely crashed and went sub-atomic around 7am.
 

 Feb. 6, 2000 (Sun):

 Woke around 2pm...showered...went to Juliano´s cousins house for barbeque  (chuhascao) and to visit. It was nice. Then went back to Aunt and Uncle´s  house, watched Brazil versus Uruguay (which was pointless, because Brazil  had already qualified for the Olympics)...showered...picked up by Juliano's
 other cousin Renatta (practiced my new Portuguese Phrase for the day..."O  dou o des"...it is used to say "decide something"...but literally  translated, it means something to the effect of "have sex with me or get out  of the car"...really...anyway, she laughed)...had sandwiches in the  car...and headed to the only place in town where people as obviously good  looking as us could go...

 We went to Fashion Club! Ended up dancing almost all night...at one point,  the stars came into alignment and I had burned incense to the proper  gods...and I ended up talking to this gorgeous girl who could actually speak  English and was 6 foot 2" tall!!! (That is about 190cm to all you freaking
 metric users!). I had finally found my Amazon Warrior that I was in search  of!!! ...anyway, after we had talked for a few minutes and I had decided I  was interested in her...she said she wanted me to meet her sister...so I was  introduced to her sister. And the next thing you know, the tall beauty up  and leaves us and I am stuck talking to her sister who is...I´ll be  gentle...somewhat difficult to look at (if you know what I mean), but even  more importantly, she was about as interesting to talk to as a piece of  wood. It seemed like I talked to her well into the next Millenium...it was  only her and I at a table (that had formerly been occupied by her lovely,  interesting sister and I)...I was stuck, I could not leave her gracefully!
 Anyway, we talked for awhile (forever), until my good buddy Juliano rescued  me from my trap...holy bait and switch, Batman!

 Juliano and I ended up on the upstairs part of the bar talking to another  couple of girls when all hell broke loose in the bar. For some reason, some  guys decided to argue with several of the bouncers. Next thing I know, a  big fight breaks out involving probably 15-20 people (bouncers and  patrons)...people wrestling and fighting on the floor...not a pretty  sight...got the girls and ourselves out of the line of fire...waited until  the place settled down and then left. Now, some of my good friends who know
 me well will ask why I didn´t get involved in the bar-brawl??? I have  always told them that I want to be involved in a good bar-brawl  (unfortunately, I am always sober and am never able to appropriately start
 one...cést la vie)...but this one did not look like they do in the  movies...guess I´ll continue to wait for a good, clean, well organized  bar-brawl. The bar-brawl bringing out the romantic in me, I got the phone
 number of one of the girls, Daina, (who lives in Brasilia) and promised to  call her.

 We crashed around 3am knowing that we would have to wake at 5:30am to go  back to Brasilia with Juliano´s Aunt and Uncle.

 Doug
 Texas Nomad