Easy nuh man!

Trip Start Jul 19, 2012
Trip End Aug 03, 2012

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Where I stayed
Ed Rivoli

Flag of Brazil  , State of Bahia,
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The last two days we've been taking it easy, getting used to the place and generally blending in. On Sunday afternoon July 23rd we went for lunch with Joel, our host, and the three African American sisters we met on the Island tour. 

Lunch was one of those open buffet: eat as much as you like.  There was a wide assortment of Brazilian foods, meat, fish, vegetables, salads, desserts and grilled meat and you could go back as many times as you wanted depending on how much your stomach can hold.    The price as very reasonable, the equivalent of 4.50 but of course "Eat As Much As You Like" is clever marketing because no matter how much you like you can only eat so much.       Nevertheless, the pace was packed and the food was good and it is only a few minutes’ walk from where we are staying so we can drop by any day for lunch.

In the evening Joel invited us to visit his church where we met his sister, niece and nephew and other colleagues of his.   On the way he drove us through the Calabar community or Favela.    

When we got back we were feeling a bit hungry so we went to the other side of Barra, the neighborhood we are staying in, to a 24 hour fast food joint.  This place sells freshly made fruit juice and is so popular they have tables and chairs spread out half way across the wide street surrounded by parked cars.   The cars belong to customers who are either occupying some of the tables enjoying the juices and snacks or have special trays hanging from their doors to hold the food while they sit in the cars and eat.

Today July 24th we did even less.  It was a day of rest and recovery, we had both been working extremely hard right up until the night before we left London, Brazil bound, and since we got here we had either been on excursion or trampoosing the neighborhood.  

In the afternoon we went to the dry cleaners and to buy fresh eggs where we overcame some initial language challenges and achieved our objectives.   We then went to buy drinking water which comes in 20L bottles and our guide had told us that they would deliver if we told them what building we were living in.   Well, that’s as easy as it got, or so we thought except that we hadn’t taken note of the apartment number.    In actual fact there was no number on the door and we hadn’t taken note of the numbers on the neighboring doors.   It hadn’t mattered until now because we weren’t expecting any visitors, post or other deliveries and no other need to account to anyone for our precise whereabouts, our guide knew where we were if he needed to get hold of us.

Apart from not speaking English, the guy in the shop was just not interested.   I was able to understand that he needed the apartment number without which he could not deliver.  I have assumed that he would just leave it with the security for me to collect when I returned to the building.    My next move was to offer to take the bottle myself, I’m sure I can carry a 20L bottle of water for 200 meters.   I tried but the conversation rapidly went downhill, he moved on to doing other things so I left the shop.  I’m sure he is a busy guy and has a lot to do but I am glad that not everyone we’ve met so far have been as impatient as him.

We took a stroll down to the seafront and went to look for Jho to buy water coconut.  Jho is a small African Bahian lady who has a water coconut stall near the beach.  Nice round thatched hut with tarpaulin draped around it, if you are passing on the street side you might think it’s shut.  We did a few times.    Joel, our guide showed us the placed on the first night and told us that Jho was his friend who he has known for many years.  

I think we both had a great desire for water coconut because this time we left the street and went to the other side of the stall to make sure it was opened but this time it was easy because Jho has several customers at her window and we saw her inside serving.   I waited until she has finished serving the last customer and went up and asked in Portuguese if she was Jho. She answered yes but with a look on her face that said “A who yuh?”  So I quickly introduced myself as Joel’s friend to which she responded with some delight.

Jho is very skilled with the machete and handles herself well.  Whack! and she flattens the bottom of the coconut allowing it to stand on a flat surface unaided.  Whack! Whack! Whack!, another three chops and she produced the ideal sized star shaped hole in the top of the coconut which you can see us drinking from in the picture.  

Of course, I never drink water coconut and not eat the jelly inside so I went back and signaled to her to chop it open for me. She knew exactly what I wanted.  In Jamaica we shave off a thin piece of the husk to use as a spoon to scoop the jelly so I was interested to see what she was going to do.  Whip!  Jho shaved my spoon and left it attached to the husk just as we do in Jamaica.   Easy nuh man!
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Nana on

Well done. just have fun

Sharon Mahlangu on

I am very please that you are doing the blogg. i feel like i am with you on your quest. just like home, lovely sunshine and good food. continue working on the language. enjoy the rest f your stay.

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