Monday, January 25, 2010

Case of the Brazilian Mondays

Today I went into centro to go and pay bills. It seems that’s all I ever do is pay bills…and we don’t even have that many yet… Anyway, the past couple of weeks it has been really, really hot. Today was no exception, but accompanying the heat was a cool breeze. So as I am waiting in line at the Caixa, the breeze hits my sweat, and gives me the false illusion that I am not hot.

Let me tell you something about lines here….they are long. And even when they aren’t long, you will wait. Today they had one person helping people buy lottery tickets and paying bills. So I waited for a lonnnggg time. When I finally got inside (since the line wrapped around outside) there were only 4 more people in front of me when the warning bell in my head went off. My brain said, “Ummm, you aren’t feeling so good suddenly.” I pushed it away and said, “No, I’m alright, I just need some water. I will be fine, I’m almost there!” Again, brain says, “You really don’t feel good, you are dizzy and kind of feel vomit-y” Determined as ever, “I’ll be fine, I’ll go get something cold as soon as I’m finished.” One more person in front of me.

My turn comes up, I walk to the window, dizzy, hand the agent my bills, and then she says something. However, I have no idea what she said, because I am hanging onto the counter for dear life trying not to pass out. It felt like a bubble went over my head. All sounds were muffled, I couldn’t hear anything. But I knew people were concerned. Someone from behind me was holding me up. All I could concentrate on was not falling over, I actually wore a skirt that day. I did manage to say ‘agua.’ The agent found me some water and a stool! So I sat, I drank, and felt much better after a minute. Except that my hands were weak, shaking, and tingling really bad. It was all very strange. This lady kept trying to talk to me, except I was focusing on staying conscious and Portuguese was difficult. So I told her I didn’t understand her. Then there was an uproar from all the women behind me, saying I shouldn’t be out by myself. Poor thing. It was too hot. I was accustomed to this weather. Poor thing, make her drink more water. Then someone rubbed some kind of salt/alcohol solution on my wrist. I don’t know why, I was just glad there were these wonderful people here. Strangers, who didn’t know me from Adam, super concerned and taking care of me.

After I really felt much better, the drama subsided, I paid my bills, apologized profusely, thanked everyone more than once, and promptly went and bought agua de coco (coconut water) and an ice cream cone. Coconut water helps to rehydrate you and the ice cream for the sugar (and I love ice cream).

Just as a mention, you will be the only souls on this earth who know this information. Because if my family here were to find out, I’d never go out alone again. And Sidnei would just flip out (I also had my first trip to the hospital last week, which may have also contributed to this episode. I will blog about that soon as well).

After all this, I went and bought the dog food (I would have gone straight home, but she was completely out) and then I went to find the bus. Exhausted, head pounding, my bus finally arrived (though not the one I wanted. The one I wanted drops me off directly in front of my house, but runs less frequently. The one I caught is about an 8 minute walk home). I got on the bus, sat myself down, and after a few minutes I doozed off. I didn’t really sleep, but my eyes have a tendency to get really heavy (I know this is not very smart, but seriously I just couldn’t help it. I was sick and it was all warm..I was trying to fight it and I was sitting across from the guy who takes money and I was in a single seat), so I go back and forth with them opening and closing, not really sleeping. However, I became fully awake when the bus rammed into a car door. We were just cruising down the street when some idiot (who parked on the side of the street) threw his door open without looking. So we had to stop. And wait, and it was REALLY hot. I started feeling all vomit-y again. We finally were allowed off the bus, but had to wait for another bus to come and get us. But we had to wait in the sun. No shade anywhere to be found. So I promptly sat myself on the curb, with my head in my lap, skirt and all. An hour and a half later, I finally arrived. Then the dog threw up.

To make a long story longer…I have a case of the Brazilian Mondays.


*But I’m still extremely grateful to all my kind, kind strangers who helped me. I wouldn’t have made it if the girl behind me wasn’t holding me up.


Anonymous said...

I went to do a Western Union transfer on Friday and was there (the only customer) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I love how willing most Brazilians are to help a stranger as if they were their best friend or a member of their own family. I think the typical inefficiency of things here that usually work faster in the US can be explained by the significant difference in people's generosity with their time here :) so it's a trade. Hang in there :)
BTW, where's that haircut picture you promised? Any better?

Ballerina Girl said...

Wow, what a day! And I don't think it's because it's segunda feira?!
Could you be with child??
You should tell Sidnei just in case something were to happen and they were to have to take you to a hospital! You wouldn't want him not knowing where you are!!
Sorry, not trying to tell you what to do, just concerned!


Just Jaime! said...

Oh no! That's terrible! I'm really sorry! Hope you're feeling better.

Nani said...

You should tell Sidnei, and I advice you to do something I did here in America: to write down all your information (name, adress in Brazil, your in-laws and Sidnei names and phone numbers) and keep it in your purse or wallet ALWAYS just in case something like this happens and you can't talk, this way people will be able to contact your family in Brazil. I do this even today. Even though I speak enough english I am afraid that if anything happens that I won't be able to speak at all (pass out or something)... so I keep all this contact information with me all times.

I have a pretty good guess of why you have been feeling like this... a little 'brazilian-american' on the way?

Michele said...

Oh jeez...what a day you had. I'm so sorry you went through that...and all my yourself. Hope you're feeling better...keep us updated!


Dari said...

Scary Steph!!! I hope you are doing ok. Always take water with you everywhere you go, sounds like good advice to me. I would be excited though if there were a baby on the way and that was why ha ha :)

Betty said...

I hope you´re ok now! But I agree with the rest of the comments , you should tell Sidnei!
Sounded scary!

Corinne said...

I have fainted on a bus in Rio before and had the same experience - a bunch of strangers helped me off the bus, got me water and made sure I was ok. After our get together, I totally understand you not telling the in-laws :), but I would take Nani´s advice and carry your info with you, just in case. Sounds like your blood sugar got too low, with the heat, it is easy not to eat enough or frequently enough (at least, all of my fainting is related to that and not pregnancy), so make sure you eat!! Especially fruit for the natural sugar.

Does Sidnei have a checking account? If he does, you can get an internet PIN and pay all the bills on-line. SO much easier than waiting in lines.

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness girl! Heat can get to you so fast. But, all those sweet people helping you; how nice.
I suspect a little one also...maybe?

Lisa Q

Jim said...

Sorry to hear about your terrible, horrible, no-good, nasty Monday.

Waiting at the Loterias is only a last resort for me. We have some bills automatically deducted from our checking account, some paid online, the rest paid at the bank ATM. We hve gotten it down to a rare visit to Caixa.

Keep us posted.

Mrs. Carioca said...

The same thing happened to me once. Now I always carry a little bottle of water with me. You should tell Sidnei, what if you pass out in the street somewhere?! That's good advice about writing down contact info. And thanks, you just reminded me to back a little water bottle for my trip to Brazil!

That Girl said...

Dude, next time you go out just ask to borrow a friend's baby. You get to skip all the lines.

(And I'm so, so sorry.)

Teresa said...

i too agree with those who say you should let sidnei know..

this isnt something you should keep from him, just for safety. u know..

im so sorry you had a lousy monday, hopefully the week turns out better than today.

Vanessa Rogers said...

Oh my goodness- it must have been hot! You are having heat stroke and I am dying from the cold! What a pair we are.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there! I used to feel faint (ears humming, heat waves, tingly hands) everytime I went to the centro in Porto Alegre - I think its a mixture of the heat and the craziness of a Brazilian down town. Oh and I also feel queasy on hot days - last year EVERYONE told me I was probably pregnant, but that turned out to be a false alarm!
Take Care!

Krystyn said...

Oh my goodness..that's some story.

I sure hope you are feeling better now.

And, you must start traveling with a large bottle of water with you.

American in Norway said...

Poor thing! Hope you start takig water with you all of the time. Hope you are feeling better

Ashley said...

I'm glad you had people around you to take care of you in your moment of need. Good call about keeping it to yourself. I bet little trips like that on your own are crucial to your sanity.... well, unless they end in bus wrecks and long, hot waits in the sun. I'm sorry you had such a bad day. Hopefully your week is getting better.

P.S. Hospital trip? Hope you are okay!

ko said...

I hope you're ok!!!! hmmmmm..thats what I felt like when I first got Pregnant with Samuel...hmmmmm....

Eve said...

Oh my goodness! I guess you should start carrying a water bottle or something. Yikes! It's hard to imagine it being so hot there while it's so cold here!

What an experience!!

Michelle said...

Sorry you had such a bad day
Glad people helped you when you needed help
Hope you are feeling much better now

Megan said...

How scary!! Glad you were ok!!!

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