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September 22, 2004

22/9/4 Quarta

Nothing particularly eventful to report.  It’s been raining steadily in Porto Alegre since I arrived on Monday morning so I made a trip downtown yesterday to buy an umbrella and an alarm clock (I broke mine when I was in Argentina).  Eight reais total for both items, or about the equivalent of US$3.00–and the alarm clock even included the battery.  Plus, I was giving my money to people who need it a lot more than the boutique and electronic store owners, so it was a win-win situation. 

This morning on my way to class I stepped into a river when I crossed the street on my way to the bus stop, making me wonder how great Porto Alegre’s drainage system really is (we had engineers from the municipality speak about it at our Planejamento e Gestão course last night).  When I got to the faculdade, I took off my sopping shoes and socks and set them in a corner of the classroom to let my feet breathe during my seminar.  The Brazilian students (the few who were there) got a good chuckle out of that. 

Brazilian students seem no different than American students in the respect that any excuse to skip class is valid–such as rain.  Only half of my class reported to the faculdade this morning.  One thing that’s different, however, is that they seem to come and go at will during class, arriving as much as an hour or two late and leaving as early as an hour early (the studio and seminar I’m in are four hours each).  And class NEVER starts on time, a fact that I’m starting to wise up to.  It’s been difficult to allow myself to be “late” to classes/meetings/etc., but I now plan to arrive fifteen minutes after something is supposed to start–and I’m usually still early. 

After class, which ended over an hour ahead of time, I went to Fonte do Sul (my favorite whole foods/vegetarian restaurant) in my soggy shoes and wrote letters to Paul and to Carole Bruschi while I ate.  Then I went back to Banrisul to initiate the process of buying my bus tokens again–this time, my attempt was successful.  The rain proved to be a blessing of sorts since both the bank and the token distribution office were free of lines.

Now I’ll need to be leaving for my capoeira class shortly, so I’ll sign off here.  I’m sending positive thoughts your way(s).  Até logo, meus amigos


From → Brazil, Uncategorized

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