Monday, February 20, 2006

Countdown to Carnaval

I can feel it in the air -- even through the smog of São Paulo, the infectious spirit of Carnaval is struggling on through. Maybe it's just my overeagerness to have a vacation from work, but man, am I ready for Carnaval nutsiness. This weekend I did some prep stuff -- bought sunscreen and little shorts and such. So fun, so exciting! I feel so lucky to be able to go to Salvador, since most Brazilians in São Paulo -- or most Brazilians, period -- ever get to go to the Northeast, let alone for Carnaval.

Besides my mini Carnaval prep this weekend, I got in some relaxation, bar time, and good food, which is really all you can ask for. On Friday, Dougal and I checked out a bar in Jardins called All Black. It is supposedly an authentic English pub, and so, of course, it was stuffed with gringoes, speaking loudly in English and sucking down pints. Blach! We stayed for a few hours -- to the point when it started filling up with even older, paler people than were already there -- then went wandering in Jardins to try to find another bar. Neither of us know the area very well, and we ended up going into what appeared to be a bar but was actually a little sushi restaurant. We ordered drinks, and, happy surprise, there was good live music to be enjoyed. We didn't notice the singer at first because the "stage" she was on was only accessible by a very tall ladder built into the side of the wall, so she was singing from a little perch far above everyone's heads. Odd, but, whatever. We got her card, in case I decide to hire musical talent for my next party. Yeah, that'll happen.

Saturday I spent a good chunk of the day at the gym, somehow, then came home and went grocery shopping and got a pedicure. For me, that is the definition of a Productive Saturday. I ended up not going out that night, and watched Sideways on tv instead. Mmmm, wine.

Sunday was quite a disorienting day, since no one told me that Daylight Savings Time ended. So I got up at what I thought was 10 am (really 9 am) and went about my business, not knowing everything was actually an hour earlier, wondering why my cell phone clock was suddenly wrong, questioning if perhaps I was really going insane this time. I decided to go to the mall to pick up sunscreen and stuff, and was even more confused when I arrived at 2:45 (really 1:45) and none of the stores were open. It was like a boring episode of the Twilight Zone. Finally, I figured out that something had changed, and reset my watch accordingly. So that was weird.

That night I met up with D and Rafael at a bar in Vila Madalena called Astor. It has a really cool 50's vibe, with black and white tiled floors and mirrors all over the walls.
I ate an omelette (gruyere, asparagus and spinach) and had three glasses of Argentine cabernet, and by 9 pm (which FELT like 10 pm), I was ready to pass out for the night, which I did, as soon as I got home. On the way back I had a chatty cab driver who gave me lots of compliments and laughed maniacally at things I said that I didn't intend to be funny. For example, he asked if I liked São Paulo, and I said, yes, very much, because there is so much to do here. He cracked up. Yeah, I don't know.

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