After two nights in the first hotel room in Pituba -- and its awful toilet seat that touches your back when you sit on the toilet -- Emily and I decided to relocate this morning to a much nicer hotel in Barra, the same area where I stayed for Carnaval (*shudder*). Today when we walked by the hotel that I stayed in with D, I avoided eye contact with the employees who were standing in the doorway -- both of whom I recognized -- for fear that they would see me and label me a traitor. Sorry, but that place holds too many spooky memories for me to stay there again. Bluh!
Anyway this place, the Hotel Grande da Barra, is great. It has that foreign hotel lobby smell, like leather suitcases and sunscreen. Em and I have an ocean view and cable TV and powerful air conditioning and a safe. The ocean view is the best, because we can stand on our little balcony and watch people play soccer -- in Speedos -- on the beach. That never gets velho.
Today, we woke up early, ate breakfast, checked out of the craphole hotel, relocated to Barra, then visited the workout room at our new hotel. We took turns running on the treadmill and pedaling slowly on the bike (it was like pedaling through lava), before the attendant lady said she was going to lunch and we had to leave. Okay, then.
After the failed workout, we strapped on our bikinis and went down to the pool, where I sweated like a maniac and Em remained -- wisely -- under the shade of an umbrella. We read trashy gossip magazines, commented on how creepy Nicole Richie's feet are, then got bored/hot and went inside. Later, we visited a mall and Emily bought a Brazilian bikini and CRAZY high Brazilian shoes with latticing, and I bought some sparkly Ipanema sandals and a new toothbrush. It was wonderful.
Now we are relaxing at our hotel before going out to dinner. Last night we went to Pelourinho, the old, "lively" section of town, for dinner, and got absolutely accosted by some men and a creepy little street urchin kid as we were getting out of our cab. This has never happened to me in Brazil before, I think because people don't automatically identify me as foreign, but my pale little cousin with blue eyes gets labeled immediately as a gringa and gets attacked. This kid last night reached in the open window of our cab, unlocked the door, opened it, and then grabbed Emily by the hand and tried to pull her out of the car.
The kid was totally in my cousin's face, grabbing her and talking non-stop, so I told him off in Portuguese, because come on, you don't grab people on the street, but he insisted on following us to the restaurant, pulling on Emily's shirt and trying to sell her stuff the whole way. Normally I feel sorry for poor kids who are begging or peddling things on the street, because I feel like their parents are somewhere in the wings manipulating the kids and using the money to buy drugs or something. Normally when I see little kids begging outside of my local grocery store in SP, I buy them food and give it to them directly (not to their parents). This kid last night, however, was just making me mad because he was so aggressive and grabby and I knew he was targeting my cousin just because she looked foreign. Strange how my experience of this country changes depending on who I am with...