Already half-a-year has (nearly) elapsed since the magrelinha and I landed on the hot tarmac of Natal airport’s runway. I haven’t written anything yet about my experiences there so, with the guilty conscience of a debtor being 6-months in arrears, I am going to make weekly repayments through this series of blog posts – Brasil, belatedly.
On a small island very far away from where we were, new life was born and was given the name of Nora. I can emphasize the divide by saying that this bundle of jaunty genes is the daughter of the daughter of my wife’s sister-in-law. If you find it difficult to work your mind around that tangle of family tree branches, I will reduce the familial distance to one defining noun – grandniece. In spite of Nora’s insignificant size in the great span of the planet, she still managed to etch a specific memory in the album of our Brazilian voyage. The reason is that I found Charmaine’s WhatsApp breaking news message on the first full day of our one week stay in São Paulo. Her birth also coincided with the most walking Sandra and I had ever done together – 24 kilometres. We were absolutely knackered with all the sightseeing we had done but thankfully we had a comfortable room to return to on the seventh floor of H3 Hotel Paulista.
For all the attractions and possibilities that the city offers, what stands out in particular is one little blessing. I had finally found a café which made a cappuccino the way we know it back home. I’d been avoiding the beverage since coming to Brasil because every barista had an urge to add cinnamon to the drink. One of the first Portuguese phrases I memorized, in fact, was “sem canela” (without cinnamon) but when I did get the correct pronunciation, they surreptitiously substituted it with a thick layer of chocolate coating the bottom of the cup. A chocoholic I might be but not in my cappuccino please (only on it, in powder form)! Consequently, my language skills had evolved to the complexity of, “Um cappuccino por favor, sem canela e sem chocolate”. Even then, I sometimes had intense discussions (with Sandra helping out as interpreter) with the waiting staff that my request was perfectly feasible while they kept on insisting otherwise.
Here are a few memories from our photo and video album:
The “Brasil, belatedly” series. Click for: parts 1 to 7