Can We Hack This?
Fri 3 Apr 2009 - Fri 10 Apr 2009 28 °C
Our initial observations of Brazil (and in comparison to Buenos Aires) are as follows:
- the people are friendlier and they smile, laugh, and talk FAR more in public than those in Buenos Aires
- the food (and sometimes the coffee) is tastier than in B.A. and you don’t have to order every item separately (i.e., your meat comes with veggies/rice and a salad)
- you have to pay to use public bathrooms (a total pet peeve for K – it’s a human right damn it! Give us a hole in the ground at least!)
- the landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful and full of colours
- there are people of all different colours – but Jorge is still a minority :o)
- the mosquitoes are a**holes (and one of God's stupidest creations) - Jorge looks like he has chicken pox (they turn all red on him) and K has 10 bites on one kneecap
Even with the somewhat more positive aspects we’ve observed here in Brazil, South America is going to be an exhausting place to travel – due to distance, due to completely lower standards in hostels, and due to a complete lack of feeling secure and safe. We truly are rethinking our travel plans... we'll keep you updated.
As for safety... While waiting in the Sao Paulo bus station, we changed seats three times to get away from obviously sketchy people. Most notably, there was a couple who bee-lined to the seats in front of Jorge while K was in the washroom. They had no bags, they sat in a way that the lady’s head blocked our view of the man’s head (so they could scan our bags), and they pretended to be all lovey-dovey while chatting loudly and energetically (but mixed with whispering and darting eyes). If looks could kill, they would be dead now. We no longer have any problems throwing extended dagger looks at these kinds of people. We weren’t overly concerned since our bags were all buckled to each other and our seats, however, we still chose to move ourselves to another location. We assume their plan was to each grab a bag and make a run with them (we have one big and one small backpack each, plus one crappy ass “extras” suitcase that is soft).
K also realized after completing a double withdrawal from the ATM, that she was being watched by a guy in a red t-shirt. When we left to go catch our bus (to Parati - hours after being observed taking the money out), K noticed the same guy sitting and pointed him out to Jorge. At that very moment, just as we were passing him, the guy stood up and started following us. We immediately turned around to look for him and he had hid behind someone else and moved on. However, after stopping for a moment and then proceeding to go down the escalator, K spotted him sitting, staring at us, in a chair at the fast food joint. K made sure to make big hand gestures to point him out to Jorge again. He didn’t follow us after that :o)
Paranoia is truly our friend here. It’s also our enemy. It’s these kinds of experiences that make us want to hop back on a bus (or preferably a plane :o) to Buenos Aires where we found our groove and felt comfortable - thieves and all.
Here are our travels, this far, on a map: