Sunday 29 March 2020

Worryingly ill

I awake with a sore throat. And phlegm on my chest. This is a bit worrying.

I reassure myself that I've been in Brazil for more than a week and there have been very few cases of corona here.

After a quick breakfast, I head back to my room to pack. I only spot a couple of judges. Most have already left. Including most of those I'd been hanging around with.

I've been very diligent in writing stuff up this trip. Both on paper and electronically. I've getting on for 7,000 words in a text document. Which isn't bad at all. I usually count on having about 1,000 words per day. And this is the eighth day in Brazil. Add the handwritten stuff and it must average 1,000 words per day.

I don't trust the top on my cheapo bottle of cachaça. So I've finished it off. I don't want another spirit-flavoured clothes experience. There wasn't that much left anyway.

I'm off now to hang around in the hotel lobby for a few hours.

Which, thankfully, doesn't happen. As there are a few judges already there. Stephen is working away again.

"Fancy some lunch?"

"In a while. I still have some work I need to do."

I notice Melissa.

"You up for lunch."

"Certainly. There's this rather good charcuterie place we went to yesterday that I wouldn't mind going back to."

"Sounds good to me."

As I've a little time, I have a wander downtown. I can do with a bit of exercise. Though it is effing hot. I consider a quick beer, then realise I don't really have time.

The charcuterie place is about a 20 minute walk away. Which doesn’t sound like much, but it is effing hot. And I walked much of the route 40 minutes ago.

The food is pretty good. If not quite the meaty goodness of yesterday. This time I do eat a few small pieces of bred. It's the first carbs I've had in days. Beer, excepted, of course.

It's been great here. Always been people to hang out with. I've spent almost no time alone, apart from the first morning in Blumenau.

Melissa orders me an Uber to take me back to the hotel to pick up my bags. I leave them there, still eating. I’m being very careful about time. Missing the bus at 4 PM could have a cascading effect.

The bus ride to the airport isn't particularly interesting. But at least it gets there in plenty of time.

Navegantes airport, despite having "international" in the name is pretty small. Smaller than Doncaster.

There's no bar airside, so I get myself a soft drink in a shop. I then realise that I still have a bottle of water in my bar. Slightly worrying that they didn't spot that when my bag was X-rayed. Pretty sure that it wasn't one of the new machines that they have at Schiphol.

The taxi ride from the airport is interesting, but scary. The driver is watching a tele novella on a TV while we're driving down the motorway. After we get onto a normal road he suddenly jams on the brakes as he didn't notice a speed bump until it's too late. We jump up in the air and smash down so hard that he pulls over to see if the car is still intact.

My room is huge. Not just compared to the one in Blumeanu. It's triple the size of that. And there's a view of the Jesus statue.

I’m feeling a bit crap. But not too bad. I'm coughing up phlegm and supposedly corona is a dry cough.

Everything is still in full swing here. Rio is definitely a change of pace from Blumenau. Much livelier. I’ve arranged to have a few beers with Martyn later. In Zuzu Goró, a place literally 50 metres from my hotel.

Where is Martyn? He was supposed to be here half an hour ago.

Eventually I spot Martyn peering at the sign of the next door bar. I start waving my arms like crazy until he spots me.

He fell asleep and then had trouble finding the place. It does have a tiny. But, as I can see it from my hotel balcony, it wasn’t so tricky.

The waiter immediately comes up and asks Martyn if he wants a glass. That's the way it works in Brazil. You get a 600 ml bottle, small glasses and share. The bottle is in a cooler. When you want a new one, you just take it out and put it on the table. Within a few seconds a new one magically arrives. The empties are left on the table, as that's how they work out your bill.

We're sitting outside, as are most of the other customers. Annoyingly perfect-looking young Brazilian men and women. Bastards.

"There's a couple over they eating each other alive." Martyn remarks. "Get a room!"

The beer is nothing special: Eisenbahn Pils. But it's cold, wet and drinkable.

The couple next to us are hiding empties under the table. Are they trying to dodge some of their bill?

I get a cachaça. And some food - quite small, but about as much as I need.

People are walking up and down the street flogging stuff. Mostly small bits of food. This is really different to Blumenau.

We stay out quite late - 1:15. It's about the latest I've been up so far. Too many early starts to be staying out until the small hours.

Will I be able to get to the US in May?

Charcutaria Blumenau
R. Bolívia, 296
Ponta Aguda, Blumenau.

Zuzu Goró
R. Prof. Álvaro Rodrigues, 36
Rio de Janeiro

1 comment:

Mike in NSW said...

Ron, given the current surge of Covid-19 in Brazil, plus the thousands of people currently stranded in South America as a whole, personally mate I'd be hopping on the next plane home.
All the best and hope your sore throat is the same as I normally get every time I go back to the UK !!