I was walking through the centrinho of Lagoa da Conceição when I heard a whistle behind me. It was my Colombian friend and samba buddy, Juan Carlos. “Oi menina. Que tá fazendo?” (“Hey girl? What are you up to?”) I replied, “Vou para a praia. Vai para samba amanhã?” (“I’m headed to the beach. You’ll be at samba tomorrow?”). He looked at me quizzically and then realized that the next day was Tuesday, which meant samba at Varandas. “Oh amanhã é terca-feira. Eu vou” (“Oh, tomorrow’s Tuesday. I’ll be there). Leave it to me to never forget a samba.
Minutes before, I had run into another friend from Varandas. We had exchanged the same series of questions and answers, ending our conversation with a “I’ll see you at samba tomorrow night.” As my friend waved goodbye he yelled, “Chaú querida” (“Bye, dear one”). I love how in Brazil it’s ok for guys who dress like American hip-hop artists to address their girl friends as “dear ones” and say “Beijos” (“kisses”) over the phone.
That day my cellphone had me preoccupied. In order to purchase a Brazilian SIM, you need a CPF, i.e. proof of Brazilian residency. I had managed to buy a chip without a CPF, but I could only text, not make phone calls. That would have been fine if I didn’t need to make a phone call in order to recharge the credit on my cell. I planned on begging Marcio, one of the boys whose house I was staying at, to “lend” me his CPF number. In the meantime, I wandered around Lagoa and searched for a cellphone store. After finally locating one, I entered and ran into (guess who) Marcio! “What are you doing here?” “I work here,” he responded. What a small world! I explained my phone situation to him. Without even needing to ask him, he turned to his boss and said, “Just register her phone with my CPF.” Thank God for amazing Brazilian hospitality!
Floripa is a city, but one that feels like a small town. Imagine living in a place as a foreigner and scarcely two weeks later, running into three friends on the same day. I love Floripa!
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