Week of January 09 - January 15, 2011
One of my favorite things to do in Curitiba is to wander around the "Feirinha" or "Fair" that occurs every Sunday. It is a fair full of food kiosks, crafts, jewelry, artwork, kitchen utensils, clothes and just all kinds of things you never knew you need until you see it.
We had a great time amongst all the people out on a sunny Sunday and listening to the various languages being spoken, we identified several Americans in the lot. And, while I was indulging in one of my weaknesses, queijo pastel (cheese pastry), a young lady asked "Where are you from?" Upon my answer, she informed me that she was from Curitiba but studying in Massachusetts and still gets shocked by the differences between Brasil and the United States. I agreed wholeheartedly as Gerson and I have been seeing a widening in the differences in some areas (quality of food, housing, roads, clothes, etc.).
||Nice fountain in the middle of the
My indulgence - I love the cheese
||Classic cars are starting to show
up around Curitiba - very
difficult to import but getting
easier for people to afford
We always look
for this artist and
As the feirinha has grown quite a bit, we could only get through about half the experience in a few hours so we will be back for the other half (and more schtuff to buy). We had a lunch appointment at one of my favorite restaurants, Matalosso, where we were going to meet up with Kike and his family. Kike is a long time friend of Gerson's and we visited in Goiana during a previous trip to Brasil (previous visit).
What's so special about Matalosso is not only does it have great Italian food, it is served Churrascuria style and all you can eat, and eat we did! Afterward, we met Kike at his parent's fazenda outside of Curitiba and just enjoyed the rest of the day catching up.
||Gerson, Daniel, Kike
Carlos, Enrique, Bruna, Isabele and Isadora
Monster dog (yeah right, the worst thing you
Jaguar shot on Kike's rural property (poacher)
||View out the back at the
Friendly game of pool
It was a good weekend for catching up with friends and having a little downtime before we launched into our main reason for staying so long in Brasil for this trip. Cindy was in need of a good going-over and we knew we were in for many days of taking apart and putting back together to get her out of retirement.
We did find Cindy in relatively good condition, however dirty, and other than one mishap, she did not sustain too much damage. Unfortunately, a thief did get into cousin Vinicio's backyard and had enough time to have his way with Cindy. Wherein during Cindy's crossing of the Panama Canal she was raped, this time she was merely felt up.
The miscreant tried to look in the uppermost (bed) window by standing on the windshield below. This resulted in a very bent windshield wiper arm and some footprints. Then, he tried to pry open a back/side window which resulted in a reshaped window frame. Finally, the idiot broke the tempered, tinted, custom glass window and crawled in (definitely a little guy).
With a burning candle for light (as there was dried wax in a variety of places), he had enough time to break the dining table, scatter some papers, steal some mosquito net hats, steal the (very cheap) van's stereo and just go through the cabinets. Funny thing, but everything he took we were glad to be rid of as we were planning on replacing the stereo with an Ipod compatible unit and some of the other items were due to be exchanged. However, the damage to the wiper, the window and the dining table did cause us some difficulty.
We did have a chuckle at the thief's expense. Apparently, our bicycle was in the middle of the yard and a remnant of a pants pocket was left nearby. We made the assumption that Juca, the monster rottweiler dog Vinicio had to guard the yard, got a tender piece of the thief and the guy dropped the bike and ran for his life. Sadly, Vinicio had to euthanize the aged Juca before we arrived in Curitiba so we never got to thank our guardian.
||Cindy did well in the past five years
Damaged window and lock
Bent windshield wiper
||Significant paper store
on fire - we had to get
close as we were
picking up Marjorie
for lunch and she works
at a hospital a couple of
Fortunately, we were able to locate a glass person that could replicate the glass (although the first attempt was the wrong size) and we were able to find a good window frame repair person who reshaped the metal into a working window. As you can imagine, we were quite relieved that we could repair this window as we were initially met with "there is no window like this anywhere" comments.
The frustration with Cindy gave us the excuse to run off to the beach for a long weekend. Marjorie's wonderful condominium was beckoning and the sunshine just added to the encouragement. Carlos and Marjorie joined us and we spent three days of sunshine and relatively little rain (which was unusual).
||Walking north along the beach
Gerson and Carlos enjoying the ocean
Even nuns love the beach
||Marjorie's condominiums and
the newer paint - looks nice
A huge beetle
that was a bit
We indulged in some fantastic crab (as we were in the middle of the season) and spent most of our meals around the bar-b-que. The beach and pool time helped me actually remove the shade of ivory white and progress to an off-white (gotta love my English skin).
||Gerson, Carlos and Marjorie and the
View from Marjorie's condominium to the
||Always the great view
Gerson on the upper balcony in his
It is amazing to watch this area go from Marjorie's condominium building standing alone a few kilometers from the nearest city of Matinhos to witnessing many new buildings and several large condominium projects sprouting up nearby. We will have to enjoy the quaint time that is left as in a few years, the area will be a very popular tourist spot.
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