I’ve travelled 1,260 km South to Porto Alegre. It’s the most largest Southern city of the country bordering Paraguay and Argentina so there’s lots of European influences. To one side the view from my hotel is looks over the densely populated urban sprawl with Neoclassical buildings further into the centre, and the other over the Guaiba lake with a 180 degree sunset vista. I can also see Estadio Jose Borda International football stadium, it actually looks like my habitat lampshade at home.
Preparations building up to the World Cup are in full swing ie lots of construction happening. The Brazilians are so pro-active, many of hospitality staff are being given basic English classes to help converse with the influx of tourists expected in the coming months.
My host is Susana who i’ve been emailing for the past 3 months helping me with my itinerary. Her husband Fransico collects me from the airport, so I get a swift tour of the city to the hotel in a private air-conditioned car. Everything suddenly feels very luxurious. Parts of Porto Alegre remind me of Raliegh in North Carolina, and their culinary dish is BBQ as well.
So after cramming into top bunks in Rio trying to scale the walls in the middle of the night and shoving my foot into peoples sleeping heads I’ve my own 12 floor apartment. It feels worth the wait.
I have a sudden panic with the plugs, my adaptor doesn’t fit these sockets. It’s fixed by concierge finding me another one to attach mine to so i’ve got a centipede recharge thing going on.
I’ve been reliably informed by a friend that Brazilian time means 15 minutes either side the time you arranged to meet. Even the TV soaps come on when they feel like it, there’s a very famous soap that’s supposed to come on at 8 but they all call it the 9 oclock show. Apparently the day I arrived they broadcasted the first gay kiss on national tv. Very controversial.
I’m being collected at 9am Thursday morning by Susana to the University.