Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Brazil 2006
Originally uploaded by shalberg.
What a great time! We got back yesterday morning and drove off right away to pick up Claire. We both missed her so much, and its great to be back home, even if it is 50 degrees colder.

Brazil was fabulous. We went to at least one beach every day. We ate amazing food, went to parties, concerts, and clubs. Ana and Luiz were wonderful and showed us a great time. They took care of everything, and it was a truly relaxing week for Mike and I.

A few things I remember:
1) Traffic is insane. Motorcycles ride between lanes of traffic. Everyone drives 80mph or faster. People walk and ride bikes across highways. On city roads, there are speedbumps everywhere, some of them completely unmarked. At one point, we were behind a policeman. He pulled over to let us pass so we could go faster. Luiz is an incredible driver. He can park his VW Polo in a spot three feet long.

2) Pretty much everyone has a year or two of English. The first phrase they learn to say is "the book is on the table". Its kind of a joke (they have a SNL-style skit where two people are having a conversation in english and the portuguese subtitles only say 'the book is on the table'). Every person I met who didn't know English said "the book is on the table" to me. Or I would say it to them and get huge laughs.

3) We had a few funny misunderstandings. Mike and I were telling Luiz that snow is good for children, they like to play in it and so on. He understood us saying that snow is good for chickens. Mike was laying on the couch and Luiz came into the room and said "Upstairs!" when he meant to say "wake up!". Mike started to go upstairs until he realized Luiz meant wake up. Ana was giving us a few options of things we could do while she was at mass. We could go along, take a nap, go to the beach. Mike thought she said we could come to mass and sleep.
"People really do that?" he asked her.
"Yes, of course"
"Really. Hm. Thats interesting."

3) One night we were going to a birthday party that was at a house in the middle of a banana tree forest. It had been raining a bit that day, and we got a late start, so we were driving through the banana tree forest at night, in the rain on a road much like the one to the cabin in Ironwood, when we came up over a hill and saw a huge puddle blocking our way. We couldn't tell how deep it was, and decided it was not worth it, so we turned around. It rained all night, and the next day, we found out the people who had already made it to the party had to call a tow truck ($400!) to get the cars out. The water was more than waist deep (they found out because one person decided to try it and got very stuck.

We did and saw so much, I don't think I even have a favorite. It really was a vacation of a lifetime, and we are already planning to go back! Thank you so much to Ana and Luiz, and their family and friends. You all made us feel so welcome!


Maighie said...

Awesome fotos! (This is Emily, not Maighie.) I am DYING to travel again... your pictures were like taking a mini-journey. Thanks for the fix! :) I'm glad you two had a fun and safe trip. Write more about it... I love travel tales.

Ana Luisa said...

I love it! I am laughing till now to read what you wrote... I am so glad you like it... I was so fun for us to have you two here... You are more then welcome how many time you want... Everyone in Peruibe is saying HI ... and "The book is on the table"... Love you.. Ana

monnie halberg said...

Your pics are really great. We're glad you're back! You two so deserved a fantastic vacation... with many more to come.

Luiz Marcelo - Cabeção said...

Hi Mike and Sheila! Your blog is very cool...
Brazil love you and want too see you soon! Come back again...
Oh mike! If you are having haedaches go to a doctor...
My head is very big! hehehe...
When i finish my university and i have money i will go to drop by you, ok?!
And i ever will remember: "cabeção, happy birthday!"...
Nice to meet you!