Doug McLean World Tour 1999-2000
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Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2000 2:06 PM
Subject: Apr. 1--2, 2000: Joao Pessoa

Current Date/Location:
April 12, 2000...still in Fortaleza...

Itinerary:
We'll see...any guesses?

JOURNAL -
 

April 1, 2000 (Sat - Happy April Fools Day):

Had breakfast with Luciana and her mother at their apartment (scrambled eggs with ham!...I haven't had this since the USA...it was a real treat!)...then drove to Joao Pessoa (beautiful beachside city about 2 hours North of
Recife).

Arrived...checked out a couple of hotels...but didn't make decisions...went to Praia Sextas (Farthest East point in the Americas...actually, the signs say the Lugar mais Oriental nos Americas...I was interested to learn that they used Oriental for the Farthest East...rather than Mais Este lugar...I do not know the origins of the word Oriental...but it does stand to reason that the Orient is considered the Far East (from a European perspective)...and that word still means East...did not really know this usage for the word.). Walked along the beach and had Caranguejos (Crabs)
for .80 Reals each (1USD is 1.82 Reals...these crabs are about .45USD each!)...I ate 4 of them! MMMMM...and very messy! Sat in the sun while dining on crabs just a few feet from the surf on the beach...ahhhhh. Days like this are why one goes travelling...sun, sand, crabs, coconuts, and a beautiful girl by my side...what else does one want in this crazy world! (I guess sunscreen...but alas, I jump ahead of myself...) But, it was not all bliss...Luciana (who is somewhat white from always spending her time in hospitals...and not on the beaches) burned her back while at lunch. Awwwww...she had a top on at the time that crossed across her back...by the end of lunch, these marks were clearly evident on her back...ouch!

Returned to the city...checked into Hotel Xenius...it was nice...Air Conditioning (important in these parts!), a pool on the roof overlooking the beach, a great breakfast (we were assured), and a great location...and all for 60 Reals per night (official posted rate is 120 Reals per night...I got a 50 percent discount by talking with them...it is good to visit in the off season!).

Did not venture out into the sun again that afternoon due to Luciana's burn...but took a long walk on the beach that night. Watched some folks play beach volleyball...borrowed a ball and volleyed with Luciana...hmmmm...have I told you how attractive it is for a girl to play volleyball...well, Luciana said she didn't know how to play...but while
peppering with her, I found out that she is very talented in volleyball...and dives for the ball...something that all of my friend in Los Angeles know is a trait that I value in a person...someone who goes for it and isn't afraid to get a little sand on them (I was always that idiot who would go running after a ball that was so far off the court that I would need a surfboard to retrieve it...bit I tried to never give up...to give up is to fail...and failure is unacceptable.) is the kind of person I want to be with. I find that a person's character shows through in everything they do...if they are interested in bettering themselves at one thing...they generally are interested in becomming better at verything...work, personal life, and games such as volleyball are really not that different. The concept I try to achieve is to always to your best, and improve if you can (and I respect others who do the same)...Hitting the volleyball with Luciana was a special moment for me...Luciana doesn't know how special...but, I will
always remember it.

Had a wonderful evening walking on the beach, talking about everything...hmmmm...like a good pessimist, I am still looking for Luciana's imperfections...either I am blinded by her beauty or she really is perfect...I am starting to believe that it may be both...smile.

Goodnight.

April 2, 2000 (Sun):

Woke...went to breakfast in the cafe on the roof...mmmmmm...it was fabulous! Eggs with ham, all sorts of fruits, 6 different juices, fried bananas...everything...this place is great! If I had known that breakfast was going to be this good, I would have gotten up earlier to spend more time at the trough! (smile)

We changed into our swimsuits and returned to the roof and enjoyed the sun (after putting on lots of sunscreen...smile...Luciana has a wonderful X on her back from yesterday's burn...smile) by the pool. It was great...we both talked and read (I was reading Sophie's World...she was reading something about Clinical Clerkships...wow...exciting!) alot...got rained on...went in the pool...had a wonderful afternoon!

Checked out of hotel at 3pm. Walked down the beach to a restaurant...ordered shrimp lunch for 3 (I was hungery...and it was the promotional price...so what the heck, eh?) while overlooking the pier and the fishermen and swimmers. Luciana noticed an older couple that was dancing to the music of our somewhat live performers...more a lounge act than band...but were playing nice, sedate bossa nova and other popular Brazilian music. Feeling somewhat charmed by watching the older couple dance...and somewhat charmed by my lovely date...I got her to dance with me as well...ahhhh...it was a lovely moment. Afterwards, our lunch arrived and we enjoyed the shrimp.

We then spent time on the pier watching the sunset...then headed back to Recife. Went to her apartment...I expected to see her mother...but it was a full house with mother, brother and girlfriend, sister and boyfriend, and another couple. Chatted with them for awhile...but had to go.

I knew that I would be leaving either Monday or Tuesday...so after I was back at my usual albergue in Boa Viagem, I went to a florist (actually, there is a 24 hour florist shop half a block away...go figure...guess it is fate) and ordered the delivery of a dozen yellow roses for Luciana. I wrote a note on a card (as with most cards...it had some cute quote preprinted on the card saying something about love and how grand it is or something like that...but the darned thing was in Portuguese...so I was just hoping I didn't send her a note that wishes her a happy Bahmitzvah (OK...all my Israeli friends...tell me how to spell it! SP???)), gave them the address of the hospital, instructions to deliver at 9am on Tuesday, and my money...and hoped that the flowers would get to her...went to bed...hoping that she would like receiving the flowers on the day I had left.

It was not an easy decision to leave...but I need to keep moving...do not want to regret not having visited things on my trip. I thought she might be sad that I was leaving, and hoped that the flowers would show her how much I really care about her...and want to be with her...although I was somewhereelse...hmmm...the Brazilians have an expression for things and people like this...complicado...right now I was feeling very complicado...wanting to physically be somewhereelse and to remain in Recife with her at the same time...go figure...

I don't have any explanations...and don't need recommendations...I know...the situation and relationship is complicado...cést la vie...

Doug
Texas Nomad