And the story goes...

Trip Start Oct 03, 2006
Trip End Dec 07, 2006

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Thursday, October 5, 2006

Piracicaba, 10-5-06


It is way hot here. I think Seattle got this hot once last summer. This is going to be great.

I sit by the pool post run to journal finally. I taste like sweat as the 4p sun continues to burn brightly.

A recap of the past 24? 36? hours of travel. See photo documentation.

Post flights -- @ GRU I opt to crash for the night. I arrived at 8:15p, my friend Jim arrives at 6a tomorrow, his flight from visiting his family in the states delayed. A bus to Campinas and hotel, destination unknown, $100 Reis, or a locker and airport bench,12R, you do to the math... I put my bags in a storage locker and found a bench amidst the crowds, earplugs in, headrest from my friend Tam, a light airplane blanket, and curl up. I awake approximately every hour or two to pull my hood over my head as I shiver,
and to roll over and unlodge my arms, which fall asleep between the weight of my body and immovable plastic of the bench. The last sleep cycle ends at 4:15a, I don't want to oversleep and miss Jim's arrival at 6:00! I embark upon a mission to find a Brazilian coffee, as seen in many locations the night before, when I planned ahead for the consumption in the morning. Score! Cinnamon/chocolaty syrupy, but gluten free! Alas the pao batata com queijo is not I am sure.

Jim floats through security at 7, and I await him, conversing with the CAT driver who is also waiting. The driver and I work on my Portuguese and his English a bit which is fun. He is from Sao Paulo. Unfortunately he transfers us off to another fellow who is then our driver. Fellow B knows no English, but with him we do clear up the questions I have about needing two words for chicken (galinha is to frango as cow is to beef). Americans only do one word I guess. Frango assada is roasted chicken, a restaurant name is this as well, of which we see many on our drive.

Items of note - The drive, some traffic near Sao Paulo, we break of this and the remainder feels similar to the rolling lands NW of Milwaukee, only somewhat more green, and sugar cane instead of corn and soybeans. Three lanes wide, we zip along at 115k (~70mph) Cars are the same with steering wheel left, driving on right, faster vehicles on left. Motorcycles do the California thing, and zip along between cars fearlessly, I see a man with a small child of about seven holding onto him as they fly through the gaps. Glad I have decided to go without a car as this feels far to American!
Jim Unruh is my good friend from CAT who I used to sit by in my first corporate job 7 years ago.... He works here at their plant, which is rather large of about 5000 people, and in the city of Piricicaba, which is about 2h from Sao Paulo. Although the idea of possibly working at CAT or an engineering job here had once briefly crossed my mind, I am reminded after a few moments of discussion that corporate engineering jobs are corporate engineering jobs, whether it is in Brasil, US, or anywhere else. I'm done, yup.

Finally, we arrive in Piracicaba (I say finally, but really I have lost all concept of time quite a while ago now, as I do not wear a watch and I am just doing what comes next). We probably drove for 2 hrs, but I don't know or care. I feel the same concerning all the time spent in travel thus far - who cares?? This is what I signed up for, it's all good!

Jim tours me the home (sweet place I must say!) and leaves for work to clean up his inbox. He just returned from the US where he was spending time with his wife, son, and their new daughter, and helping them move into their new home there. Post baby #2 in July, they opted to stay near family and friends, and await Jim's return in the spring. Prior to leaving for work Jim empties out hordes of deliverables for orders from his co-workers, electronics, print cartridges, 3 Betty Crocker cake mixes, 6 Velveeta shells to name a few. Fun stuff to watch him unload, this is certain. I briefly contemplate that I've brought no items of favorites, unless you count my yoga mat, journals from friends, and pillowcases made by my mom. Not even my favorite underwears, as I intend to pursue a new 'femme' life with the likes of the Brazilian women...


I awaken from a 2 hr nap, my first real sleep, to darkness and quiet in the room and home around me. The realization hits me, I am alone, and far away from home. A calmness prevails. I wonder if I should awaken in this manner every day.
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