Lately, I have been lucky enough to have a ride to school just about every day, instead of needing to take the bus. It is really nice because it saves SO MUCH TIME. The down side is I am usually traveling to work when the roads are relatively busy. Busy roads equals white knuckling the door handle and pressing on my imaginary passenger side brake.
Any one else have one of those?
I have talked about the roads here before. They are CRAZY to say the least. And we live in a small town. If we lived in a city, I am wondering if my imaginary brakes would have worn out the floor by now. Between busses, bicycles, motorcycles, pedistrians, dogs, and people trying to park and dodge one another, it feels like we are in an 'obstacle course for you life' EVERY SINGLE DAY. Like, bah hahahaha, let's see if they can make it today: TRUCK WITH NO BRAKE LIGHTS, POTHOLE, SLOW BUS, BAM, CONSTRUCTION WITH NO SIGN CAUSING SLAMMING OF BRAKES. And that is all within the space of about 30 seconds. I wish I could make this up.
My husband used to get upset with me because my movement of hitting my brakes (along with the little *gasp*) used to startle him. Lately he has been handling it better. Meaning he laughs and tells me that I need to get my brakes checked, they aren't working.
But with an accident history like mine, combined with the 'obstacle course for your life' drive to work, any girl would need her imaginary brakes!
I love going to the soccer games here in Ipatinga. The actual game is usually fun, the people watching is always fantastic, and I just really enjoy myself in general! This game I had the pleasure of having Amelia along with me! It was her first game! Imagine our delight in the conicidence Ipatinga was playing against Amèrica! That is in Minas Gerais, not to be confused with the United States which is also referred to as America.
Anyway without further ado, here we are! Ipatinga's Mascot Sidnei was waiting for the drawing to win a motorcycle! (Thankfully that didn't happen) GO IPATINGA! This is my crazy friend who is at EVERY GAME, FULL OUT SCREAMING AND YELLING encouraging the players on. He is one of my favorite parts about Ipatinga playing!
Two weeks ago (seriously time passes way too fast) Sidnei and I went to Belo Horizonte to transfer Sidnei's drivers license. Oh how simple that sentence sounds. Nothing is ever that simple. Ah well. Even though we didn't get the drivers license we did have a good time! We spent Friday wandering around Centro and the Mercado Central. Which I happen to absolutely LOVE. I taste tested a parmesan that was $R84 per kilo. Seriously. And it was seriously delicious too. Though I think Sidnei about choked when the lady told us how much it was.
Sidnei surprised me, deciding we should stay the night. So we got a hotel, relaxed a little and I made plans to go out with Corinne. Oh how simple that sentence sounds! Of course that is not at all how it worked out. The stomach bug struck and I was down for the count! So we made a night in and it was nice just the way it was. I only got a few pictures because I just plain forgot (which is so unlike me) SO these were from the day I was leaving.
I have been promised we will go back soon, with some formal plans to look around and see all the things I've been wanting to see!
So lots of people have opinions about election day (last Sunday October 3rd). Mine are not very well educated, though I have read lots and lots and lots about how things work here and I went with Sidnei just to kind of take a look and see how the people were taking in the experience. Here is my take.
First off, let's get all the negative hubabaloo out of the way. I am SO GLAD, elections are over (for the most part anyway...for those that don't know, we will have a second round for the presidency on october 31st..then we will be done..hopefully). The couple of months leading up to the elections are little pieces of papers, cars with speakers playing loud jingles for cadidates which usually consist of repeating numbers over and over so that they stick in your head and won't go away. ALL of the marketing, advertising that go into the elections make me sick. The amount of paper wasted makes me ill. The streets are littered every day for two months. My mailbox was full every day for two months. And all of it went into the trash. And that is nothing compared to how the streets look the day of elections.
The second thing is...WHY???!??? Why Sao Paulo, why would you elect a clown to be your congressman? How embarassing. That is all I have to say about that.
I really enjoyed the day of elections. I was really impressed with the people who did take the elections seriously. Another side note, is here in Brazil voting is mandatory by law. Which I honestly think is great. If you don't vote then you have to pay I a small fee...I think it's 5 reais..about $2.80 give or take...(though with dollar continually falling its probably more on the give side) Anyway I really enjoyed seeing SO MANY people voting. It was madness. Especially in the morning there were LOTS of people. We opted to come back later in the afternoon when it was not so full and it was still busy!
And last but not least, my preference was Marina Silva for President who is part of the Green Party (you know, going against my whole family...arguing politics in another language? HARD..not suggested). I was really surprised and happy she did so well. She didn't win, but she gained almost 20% of the vote..and to me that means people are really stepping outside of the 2 popular parties and are really participating and thinking about who they want to run this country.
Democracy is still very new in Brazil! It's actually younger than I am (founded in 1988 and I was born in '84)! I really enjoyed watching people being able to participate in something that they are truly grateful for. The system is not perfect. People are still learning to trust it and still need to learn that they CAN make a difference. But they are getting there. Let's see what happens on October 31st!