Woke up after catching three hours of sleep, at around 9ish this morning. It’s raining outside, so I did some quick web surfing, took a shower, did a Skype video call with my family back home while watching the Opening Ceremony to the Olympics. My friend Bebeto gifted me a cool ‘Petrobras’ jacket to keep warm and off we headed to Avenida Paulista for lunch.
Shopping Center 3 – the place was packed with lunch hour rush. Note to self: Next time, come a couple hours later to skip this rush.
While Bebeto shopped for some caipirinha mixer kits, I was busy chatting up the cute chick at the t-shirt store with my broken Portuguese and some hand gestures thrown in. My first inspiration to learn the language well enough to converse with such ivory statues in the future.
Back at the Praca da Arvore Hostel, Ana informed me about Samba/Salsa nite so I stayed in. A tall, dusky, demure woman – Mara Santos taught us our first samba, salsa moves. At the end of it, she threw in a surprise – why not head out for the night and go to a real forro club!
Meanwhile, got an SMS from Bebeto about another party happening at Blue Pub with the CS gang. So I headed there first, met up a bunch of Paulistanos as well as gringos over some great Skol beers.
After about an hour, I joined the hostel gang again and we headed to the forro club – Canto de Ema. What a spectacular experience!
Forro is different from other forms of salsa/samba, in that it uses the ‘symphonie’ instrument and has easier steps. The passion in the dance form is simply beautiful. Met two beautiful girls, one Brasilian and the other Portuguese – both of them spoke perfect English.
While taking a beer break outside, this guy walked in to our group and introduced himself as Roberto – making friends is so easy here! We managed to converse in broken Portuguese and English respectively, but it was good fun. Some more girls joined in. Later I watched Roberto and his girlfriend dancing, and I could bet my bottom dollar, they were the best damn couple, swinging and swirling to the forro music with the most amazing grace I had seen. Ana taught me some dance moves and surprisingly I managed to pick it up pretty well.
The final stop of the night was of course, food! Stopped by an Arabic joint called Habib’s – the best darn cheese and chicken esfihas (think mini, soft pizzas)! Retired at around 5:30 in the morn. What a day!