Tuesday 15 November 2022

Judging day three

I have a fruit breakfast gain. I need my vitamins. This cold just isn't going away. And it’s a nice light breakfast. I don’t want to be too full with all that beer coming my way later.

My cough is pretty bad. It must be great fun judging with me. It makes me feel dead Victorian, coughing myself to death. TB is called the English Sickness in German. How appropriate.

I troop upstairs to the judging room. Damn, I don't have my shirt for the group photo. I quickly nip downstairs to fetch it. They're just about to take the photo when I return to ironic cheers. But I'm not the last. Thankfully. A few straggle in after me.

Only three of us on the table today. But one of my table mates, Gisela, doesn't speak English. Which makes things complicated. And this time I’m the captain. Which has its upsides and its downsides. Paul, the other judge, is the brother of Alfredo, who was on my table on day one.

Two sets in the morning: English IPA and beer with Brazilian ingredients. Not weird exotic stuff, but barley and hops grown in Brazil. Enough good beers to award full sets of medals.

I’m very frugal at lunch again. Just a couple of small pieces of meat. If I lived in Brazil, buffets would drive me crazy. You get them all the time and the food is rarely any good. Dried-out meat and fish. It’s crap. There. I’ve said it.  

Lunch is followed by three sets: Beer with Brazilian ingredients (all the weird shit), Adambier and Scotch ales. Pretty eclectic, eh? The first lot was far less terrifying than I had feared. Nothing too over the top.

Afternoon judging doesn't take too long. We're done by just after 4 PM. When I quickly piss off before they ask me to judge BOS. I quite fancy getting to tonight's event while there's still some food. I know how those BOS sessions go. They always drag on for ages. Especially if there are a couple of argumentative judges. I'd rather watch the Block NZ and be at tonight's event on time.

Feijoada and samba tonight, at the other hotel. Hopefully some caipirinhas, too. It's scheduled to start at 6 PM. So will probably kick off closer to 8. I'm starting to get the hang of South American timings. 

I wander along the beach a little after 6:30 PM. The sky looks incredible. It can be so gut-thumpingly beautiful here.

As expected, not much is going on when I arrive. I do spot some people drinking cocktails. Kalvelage, a local distillery seems to be sponsoring the event. I get myself a caipirinha. It’s very nice. As caipirinhas always are.

Judges slowly dribble in as I dribble into a succession of caipirinhas. Eventually, it’s time to get stuck into feijoada. Which, obviously, is served as a buffet. I go for a bean stew with meat lumps. Much less crap than buffets usually are. It’s very filling.

When most of the eating is done, the samba school shows up. And all the fun starts. It’s amazing what you can achieve with just percussion instruments. It’s very dancy. Very infectious. Before I realise what I’m doing, I’m dancing away. Impossible to resist. It must be 15 years since I last hit the dance floor.

The samba school leads us out, Pied Piper style, to the gazebo. Where they continue to do their thing for a while.

Heading back to the bar, I take a shortcut through the terrace and bang! I walk straight into a glass door, bouncing back and falling over. I break my fall with my right hand at the cost of knacking the wrist. Bugger. No other injury, luckily.

Time for another caipirinha.

My life really is turning to shit. To think I’m missing hanging around in an office for eight hours a day just to waste my time hanging around with beer chums. Drinking free caipirinhas and dancing to a samba band. How did my life go so horribly wrong?

It's brilliant the situation I'm in now. No employer ever again to kowtow to. Becoming an oldie person is so liberating. I no longer need to give the faintest of fucks about pissing off actual or potential employers. And you get to push in at the front of queues, get a discount on public transport or get to cook crazily. Only slight downside is your body slowly crumbling to achy dust. Outside the straightjacket of work, no-one (other than Dolores) has any leverage over me.

I haven't felt this free since I was 18.

It's great to be own man again. Like when I was young and irresponsible. I intend taking full advantage. Before my crappy body pegs out.

No Jura to embrace me tonight. Just some local rum. It works the same sleepy magic.

Brasil Beer Cup paid for my accommodation during the judging, as well as some food and drink.


retiredmartin said...

Brazil is beautiful with rubbish food, isn't it. Only decent meals in Rio 10 years ago was at a German themed place. In contrast, Buenos Aires and Montevideo had marvellous food.

Dan Klingman said...

I fully agree about retirement, best thing ever. Not having to adhere to someone else's schedule, day drinking, being irresponsible. I highly recommend it.