Doug McLean World Tour 1999-2000

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Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2000 10:06 PM

Subject: Feb. 11-14, 2000 - Jaragua

Current Date/Location: Late night of Sunday, Feb. 20th, 2000 in Ana Paula´s house in Cuiaba, Brazil. Typing journals here, while my father and my friend Nathan are busy at this moment in Jarrell, Texas preparing to launch my latest website...details and new website address to follow soon!

Current Itinerary: Going to Bonito tomorrow (Monday night)...will be there for a couple of days...then onward to spend the weekend with my friend Giovanni in Belo Horizonte and to wait for mi amigo, Agustin. Then Agustin and I will roam towards Salvador...looking for a party...Carnival 2000!

JOURNAL-

Feb. 11, 2000 (Fri):
Got about 2 hours of sleep from 7am-9am...then woke up and hustled to get ready to go to the busstation. We caught the 11am bus to Jaragua, Brazil (in the state of Goias). Along the way, the bus stopped at the posto de Fibre Amarela (Yellow Fever Station) ..hmmmm... for all of you who don't know, they recently had an outbreak of Yellow Fever in these parts and 2 guys died as a result. However, it is comforting to see that they are actually very proactive in containment of it now, and require everyone to have their shots...and the shots are free. I had gotten my shots in the USA at quite an expense...darned it! ...I guess better safe than sorry.

Anyway, we arrived into Jaragua the afternoon. Walked from busstation to Illana´s house (Juliano´s friend who was throwing the party). We were greeted by Illana, her sister Floriania, and their friend Leia. They have a huge, beautiful house on the edge of town which would be the site of the party...but not in the house, but rather in the back by the pool. The backyard contained a pool that overlooked a small man-made lake/pond, complete with cattle and pastures in the distance...ahhhhh...it was lovely and a wonderful sight for a country-boy...I took a picture of the cows...really.

We all blew-up up hundreds of balloons that would be thrown in the pool for decoration. We also hung streamers and generally tried to make the place look festive. We had wonderful plates of a chicken/rice/bean concoction...it was superb. I was pretty exhausted from getting almost no sleep recently, so I had to crash from about 8pm until 11:30pm...but, actually that is no problem here...nothing really starts until late anyway!

Then, Juliano woke me and we started to try to affix our outfits for the Festa da Fantasia (Costume Party!)...we had decided to utilize the cheap Toga idea...but there is only one difficulty...the Romans and Greeks made it look so easy...but we found it to be a little more difficult to have it hang properly...a Toga is not an easy thing to master. We also made head wreaths from a tree that had leaves something akin to olive trees...sort-of. Well, our intentions had been to go commando...but we decided that night that our togas weren´t very secure and that we would not go commando...cést la vie.

The party started really going after midnight, and everyone was dancing and talking around the pool. Probably 80-100 folks in various costumes...probably the best was a girl who dressed as a domanitrix with a small outfit, mask, whip, and exceptionally good makeup making her appear to have bruises and scars over her body...really went well with the S&M theme she was going for (NOTE: I would see her the next night at a not costume party...the bruises were real...didn't ask why, maybe she had fallen off a motorbike doing 60mph...but I would only learn this later...the night of the costume party, I was in awe of the makeup job...). I also ended up talking to a girl named Louisa from Goiania for quite some time that evening (she was dressed as a Bahiania (woman from Bahia part of Brazil)). She had studied Agronomia and had a ranch on the other side of Goiania, raising cattle. We talked about ranches and cattle amongst other things...yeah...the kinda stuff that would bore most of you to tears...but to us country-bumpkins, it is interesting stuff...she is the kinda girl who knows the difference between a Herford and a heifer...rare in this world...eh?

Juliano had told me that we would encounter a few folks of alternative lifestyles (gay) at the party...but, I was surprised to see that about 10-15 of the folks were guys dressed (or undressed) in various forms of drag. Jaragua being a small town, I had not expected such a large turnout of queens...guess you can find anyone of any persuasion anywhere, eh? Anyway we would find out that one of the queens, named Rubia Gabriela, was having a birthday party tomorrow night...which we would be attending.

Ended up dancing with Louisa all night. She left as the party was finally winding down around 6am...I got to bed around 7am just as the sun was rising.

Feb. 12, 2000 (Sat):
Woke around 3pm...just in time to go out and sit by the pool with some of the folks who were still recovering from the party. Juliano and I were hungry so we went to get lunch. We ate a local delicacy, called pomonha, which is a corn-mush that is wrapped and cooked in a cornhusk...it is actually quite tasty (although it sounds disgusting). Returned to the house, and I worked on reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac for quite some time...and napped on and off...it was cozy afternoon on the couch in their living room...ahhhhh. About 7pm, Juliano and I went out and drove up in the hills overlooking the city and the surrounding valley, called Valle da San Patricio...it was a wonderful view of entire valley and city below us.Returned to the city...hung out with some folks drinking in the sidewalk cafés...then returned home...had dinner, which was an incredibly good soup!...and headed to tonight's birthday party.

It was a birthday bash for a trans-sexual named Rubia Gabriela at the Lions Club of Jaragua (No idding)...whatever, it was a party! We went...had drinks and food served to us all night and didn't pay a cent! It was a nice party of about 200-300 people. It was interesting for me to see this party. It had all the appearances of anyother danceclub/party...except it was in honor of a trans-sexual. Now, let me explain, the Brazillian culture is pretty machisto (lots of sexism exists down here, in the open and unchallenged) and the men are pretty conservative on most things...hmmmm...especially when it comes to matters regarding homosexuality. That being said, I was at a large
party in a small town where everyone there was having fun and not really seeming to mind or care that it was in honor or a FLAMING Drag-Queen...just seemed a little strange. Juliano said that the folks in Jaragua were somewhat more liberal and used to this type of thing than other parts of the country...anyway, it was a cool party. Danced all night to samba, country (Brazillian version), Forro, and to USA dance music. Called it a night around 3am.
 

Feb. 13, 2000 (Sun):
Took the 9am bus to Brasilia to meet up with Jayne for a continued tour of the city...unfortunately had my wires crossed with Jayne, because she ended up having another committments and was unable to give me a tour of the city, cést la vie. Juliano was taking one of the later busses, so I waited for 4 hours at the bus station for him...it was actually nice. I finished reading Kerouac's On the Road...a good book...but not spectacular by my evaluation. Also worked through about 20 pages in my new Portuguese Workbook...I am serious about trying to learn Portuguese! I'm gonna return fluent, darn-it! (I hope...) Juliano arrived and we returned to the house. Stayed up talking for awhile...and I typed away another night updating journals.

Feb. 14, 2000 (Mon):
Woke...hung out with Juliano for awhile. I gave him some of the books I had finished reading and quoting from: Kerouac-On the Road, Twain-Roughing it, Salinger-Catcher in the Rye, and Bradbury-Farenheit 451...the last two being my favorites! The books were little compensation for all that Juliano had done for me (and it meant that there was less weight in my backpack!). Juliano gave me Lou Bega´s current CD against my bitter protests (he did this when I told him that I intended to buy it in the USA...it is a great album, and practically all I have heard while travelling for the past several months...Mambo #5 and I´ve Got a Girl.)...I appreciated it, though.
 

He took me to the busstation and dropped me off. I was touched that Jayne called and came to meet me at the busstation to say goodbye. I really appreciated her time and effort (both in showing me around the city, and in coming to the busstation)...it means alot to have friends who go out of their way for you, especially in a foreign county...really.

It is about 18 hours from Brasilia to Cuiaba...so I settled in for a long bus ride. Note: These roads on this route are exceptionally bumpy and rough...don´t expect much sleep if you take this trip...I didn´t get almost any.

NOTE: Again, I am in eternal debt to more folks...in this case, Juliano, his family (both in Brasilia and in Goiania), and his friends. They were wonderful to me and made my stay in the "heartless" city of Brasilia a very warm and comfortable experience...they are the heart of Brasilia!

Doug
Texas Nomad