Doug McLean World Tour 1999-2000
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Sent: Friday, April 07, 2000 2:16 PM
Subject: Mar. 18-19, 2000: Recife II...ahhh..amor!

Current Date/Location: Friday, April 7, 2000...in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Current Itinerary: To be in the Fortaleza area for the next week or so...visiting Canoa Quebrada and Jericoacoara (sp?).

EDITORIAL NOTE: As you may have guessed from my previous journals, I am enjoying the beginnings of a new relationship with a certain lovely doctor (Luciana) I have met in Recife. It is with mixed emotions, opinions, etc.
that I continue to write about my feelings and experiences during this time...certainly to share many of my thoughts leaves me exposed to evaluation by both my family, friends, and my new found girlfriend (yes, ofcourse she gets my journal as well)...but, I believe it is a necessary evil. This is a trip as much about discovery of the world as discovery of myself...and if during my travels my family, friends, and girlfriend are able to discover more about me than they had know before...all the better. As I have said before...this journal is not for you the reader...it is for me...however, as my friends (as I only send this journal to my friends)...I invite you to join me as I enter into what has so far been a wonderful romance, experience, and part of my journey...and a special new part of my life...

EDITORIAL NOTE II: I think I skipped the fact that Agustin and I saw the movie Boys Don't Cry while we were in Salvador before going to Lencois. Anyway, I must tell you that we loved the part where the girl was singing karoke to The Bluest Eyes in Texas...she was horrible. Anyway, later in the movie she says (several times) that she could travel across the country singing karoke to make money...well, Agustin and I laughed so hard we almost fell out of our chairs...and what was funnier was that absolutely no one else in the entire movie theater even giggled..some things are lost in translation...but we thought this line was the highlight of the movie...but no one in Brazil thinks it is funny...too bad.

JOURNAL:
March 18, 2000 (Sat) (Location-Recife, Brazil):
Woke around noon...talked with Agustin...you know the conversation...the kind where one person is so happy that they can't contain themselves...and where the other person keeps saying uh-huh, and yes, I agree...she seems
wonderful. Yeah, the typical pathetic conversation of all the people who are in that wierd phase of limbo in a relationship that has just started...and they want it to continue but are worried/excited/scared/hoping to find out how to be with the other person. Well, I was the happiest person in the world and Agustin couldn't do anything to shut me up...poor him...but he listened like a good friend.

For me, the night at Fun House had been perfect...I had met the girl of my dreams (whatelse would you call a 6 foot tall, beautiful, interesting, funny, doctor, eh?)...and was now I actually afraid to wake up...meaning that I hoped I wasn't dreaming it all...oh well. I told Agustin that I was a little afraid to call her...for fear of her not wanting to go out, having given me a wrong number, or something else...who knows...but it is almost as if I wanted to preserve the night before as being perfect...and I was a little afraid that things in the future might do nothing but tarnish a
wonderful memory. But, this is not the way to live life...one must embrace things...potentially good, bad, or indifferent...one can not be afraid to face reality...so I was looking forward to calling her later...she told me
that she would work until 7pm, so there was no rush to call her.

Agustin and I ended up hanging around the hostel for awhile...then walking around the neighborhood...to the beach...me absolutely blithering on about Luciana...anyway, around 5pm I tried to call her from a payphone at the
beach...DISCONNECTED! Sniff...Sniff...I tried the number again...and got the same message in Portuguese. I had Agustin listen, and he smiled and said that it was not disconnected, but temporarily out of service or out of range...meaning that her cellular phone wasn't on or in range...whew...OK...I am still in the running, eh?

We headed to use the internet at Shopping Recife...and I tried to call her at 7pm...still no answer! Continued to use the internet until 7:30...then tried to call again...still no answere...sniff sniff... Before going back to the internet, I decided to use the bathroom...returned, I decided to try to call again...literally 1-2 minutes after my previous attempt...at this point I was somewhat discouraged, but...THIS TIME IT RANG!

She answered...said that she had just arrived home from work...we exchanged guarded small talk...and she agreed to pick me up at the hostel at 9:30pm! NEEDLESS TO SAY, I WAS ESTATIC! Now, I was later to learn that her phone battery had died at work...and that she was also excited about our date and was afraid of missing my call. She said she had rushed home and had literally run into the house, directly to the charger, plugged the phone in...and it rang with me on the line!

I practically ran back to the internet place...and practically kissed Agustin I was so happy! Agustin was happy for me and wished me good luck. He decided to go to a movie...and I practically skipped out of there!

I had to return to the hostel to shower and change (gotta look good, eh?)...and while walking (skipping) through the mall, I thought about getting her a flower...but red roses on a first date are risky. I then thought that a yellow rose would be ideal...representing the Yellow Rose of Texas...the state flower and a darned fine rose! Hmmmm...but, I guess they are not as in demand here in Brazil because the flower shop in the mall didn't have any...hmmmm...still strapped for an idea, I looked around the shop hoping for inspiration...saw something I liked...and bought it for her!

So I returned to the hostel with my gift...hoping it would be good...but not exactly knowing. Anyway, I was met in the lobby by a big group of people who wanted to know about Luciana and tonight's date. ...it was funny, because one of the girls staying at the hostel is also named Luciana...anyway, my gift was still in the bag...so I decided to test it out on this Luciana to see if she thought that my date Luciana would like the gift...just as practice and to see the reaction...so...

I said..."well, I was hoping to buy you a rose...in fact a Yellow Rose...for the State of Texas...but the florist didn't have any. And since, most people don't actually think of Texas as having any kind of flowers...and only deserts...I figured I would give you the other flower of Texas..." At this point, I pulled out of the bag a potted cactus that had a yellow bow on it for her and everyone to see. They laughed and smiled...and said that it would be a good gift...if I gave the same explanation as I had given.

So I went upstairs to quickly change and shower...after leaving strict instructions with Luciana that if my Dr. Luciana showed up, she was to be the only one to talk to her...not the rest of the guys downstairs...why take
chances??? smile...

I was almost ready at 9:30pm...but figured that she would be a little late (as is the custom in Brazil)...and walked into the lobby downstairs at 9:35pm...there she was (Dr. Luciana)...sitting and talking with Luciana and the others. And in a city of 4 million people, I only knew two Luciana's...and they both knew eachother...Dr. Luciana is Luciana's doctor...no kidding. How's that for a small world??!! Confused...me too...anyway...we chatted for awhile...and then my Luciana (Dr.) and I left. In her car, I gave her the presentation of the cactus (as you will recall,
presentation had already been Luciana tested and approved...so, yes, it was a success.)...she seemed to like the cactus...I think.

Anyway, being a foreigner, I had left the dinner location decision to my newfound local tour guide...so Luciana took us to a wonderful seafood restaurant nearby. One thing I had not really learned here in Brazil (not dining at finer establishments) was the tendency for these restaurants to have all the dinners be for 2 people. Had a shrimp dinner for 2...it ended up being served in rue sauce and not served in a bowl...but, rather in a coconut! I loved it! We had a wonderful dinner, talking, laughing, holding hands...ahhhh...

When the bill came, I insisted on paying...we almost had a crisis...she said that she wanted to pay half. I firmly informed her that I had asked her out and that in my country (Texas) when a guy asks a girl out, he pays (atleast the first date)...her exact quote was..."Then I think we are going to have a problem". But, I was willing to compromise...I said if she wanted to go out to dinner with me tomorrow night, then she could pay half. She smiled and said that dinner tomorrow night was fine, but that she would pay the entire bill...I acquiesed and the matter was settled...smile...I love a win-win solution. Then we walked along the beach and talked...the moon was
full...it was a lovely night...we kissed...we talked for hours...it was an absolutely wonderful evening...enough said.

Got back to the very late (like 3am)...kissed her goodnight and arranged to have dinner with her tomorrow...guess she liked the cactus! Smile.
 

March 19, 2000 (Sun):
Woke late...smile...again, I was pathetic and Agustin could barely stand me...but oh, well...amor...smile...

NOTE: My mind is a complete blank what the heck we did that day...really, it is tragic...I can't remember...don't think it mattered to me...probably spent too much time on the internet...or something...basically passing time until Luciana got off work. YES, she had to work 7am until 7pm today as well...this doctor stuff is lots of work, I guess...Hmmmm...what is work??? Smile...

I think this is the day that Agustin and I saw Belleza American (American Beauty)...which I really enjoyed. It is a great movie...and as of this writing, I know it won the Oscar for movie of the year...it deserved it! It is not an altogether comfortable movie...but constantly challenges the viewer...I like that.

Later, closer to the hostel, I actually found a flower shop quite by accident...and they had yellow roses! So needless to say, I bought one. Luciana picked me up around 9pm...I gave her her the rose which I think she liked. We went to a different restaurant along the coast. This seafood restaurant was nice...had a wonderful, romantic dinner...sat next to eachother...all that sappy stuff that you see young couples together and they look absolutely silly...yeah, that was us. Anyway, dinner was great...I had shrimp (yes, again) and she had salmon...she paid for it as agreed...smile...hmmmm...dating a doctor does have advantages...I wonder if she knows the term "Sugarmamma"...smile...just kidding.

Have you ever looked at someone (hopefully your date) and been absolutely entranced by them...and mentally wondered what this wonderful person is doing with you??? Well, I did that night...and the night before. I
consider myself a good guy, and a decent sort...but felt like I was robbing the bank and getting away with the goods...she is such a wonderful person, that in her presence I consider myself the winner of the lottery or something...not sure that I could be this lucky. Really, this is not to say I have a low self esteem or anything (I think folks know me better than that)...but she seems to be absolutely magical...no kidding.

We were going to go walking along the beach in Boa Viagem again, but ended up talking in the car for hours...she fascinated me. She is somewhat shy and timid...but with some encouragement on the right subjects, she becomes
animated and talks with the most exquisite expressions. I know it is funny, but when she talked about diseases...I couldn't help but be attracted to her...let me explain. She is interested in certain types of diseases...she will probably specialize in this after her 2nd year of residency is over...and when she starts talking about some of her patients cases, she gets very excited and happy. Now this may be silly...but if you look deeper it is wonderful. Ofcourse she is not happy that they have these diseases, but rather, as a professional who can assist them, she does not feel helpless...but rather inspired to help them...she does not feel it is hopeless...but rather as a challenge to be overcome and one that she enjoys facing...ahhhh...more qualities I like in a person...

But alas, around 3am it was pretty late and she dropped me off. Also, if one will recall, she has worked 12 hour days for the past 3 days...and I have kept her out past 3am each night...you do the math, she is not getting much sleep (she said she was OK...I told her it I feared for her patients...smile). Also, Agustin and I had wanted to go North to Natal for a few days...and we had been in Recife for awhile. So I reluctlantly extended the idea that Agustin and I would head out of Recife tomorrow for a few days...but that I would come back on Thursday (she got off work Thursday
at noon, and had the following Saturday off.) to spend more time with her. She thought it was a good idea...and would look forward to my return. (awww...really...when she said that, I almost melted...it is always good to have someone looking forward to seeing you...).

I kissed her goodbye, told her to get some sleep...and with more than a little trepidation I got out of the car and said goodnight. It is not exactly a good thing to find a special person...then to leave them...I had a few doubts in my head as to whether I was doing the right thing or not...but I figured if it was going to work out...it would work out.

Doug
Texas Nomad