Day… It’s going to be tough to remember which day of my trip it is soon..
I seem to be in the habit of posting right before something really exciting happens that I would want to blog about! Last night just after I finished uploading the last post we ran out to buy a few things, and there was an invitation to a live samba band gathering at a restaurant in Centro when we returned! One of the people we met at the couchsurfing.com event is part of a group of grad students here to learn Portuguese in 6 weeks. Keia and I met them at the metro and we walked around Centro until we found a completely jam-packed open air venue tucked away in some small alley in the middle of downtown that was exploding with music, people, and cerveja (beer). It was really too crowded to dance much, but we did learn the basic step, the group spoke in Portuguese nearly the entire time, and we ran into our friend Kevin (one of the UVA grads). It’s tough to meet other people (i.e. actual Brazilians) in such a large group, but the event happens every Monday, so we’re bound to go back!
After class this morning, we had to take our first trip to the university where we’ll start taking classes in early August. To get there we had to take the bus for the first time. They drive just as crazy if not twice as fast as the other cars on the road so it’s quite the wild ride. Paying R$3.30 each way per day come school starts won’t be the most fun I’ve ever had, but it’s still worth it living near all of the action. We met with Professor Orlando and Adriana (our main contacts at UFRJ), before heading to the airport to register with the Federal Police. It turns out we didn’t quite have all the necessary paperwork, so we’re going to have to pay more fees for a Brazilian ID and make a return trip to the airport within the next 3 weeks. In other words, we’re still in that difficult adjustment phase.
On the bright side, the weather has perked back up (although a bit chilly compared to usual, ~65 degrees F), and I heard about a climbing gym that I’m going to check out either tomorrow or Thursday. As for Friday, Lapa is evidently the place for young people to be on the weekend. There are lots of clubs and if you don’t want to pay a cover, we’ve heard the party spills into the streets from all directions.
Well, I’ve got to finish my homework before I get some sleep tonight!