The 4th Couchsurfing National Meeting Brasil

Trip Start Apr 05, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Parana,
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Another perfect-timing coincidence, it worked out perfectly to get down here in time for the 4th National CouchSurfing Encounter of Curitiba. 250 people from mainly all over Brazil headed down here, and the local CouchSurfing community had lined up a bunch of activities for us.

I stayed at Paulaus's place, together with a guy from Paraguay, and Tati, a girl I met 1,5 years before in Dublin. She's from Blumenau, and will end up giving me a lift and host me at her place, after the events in Curitiba end.
Curitiba is an amazingly clean and nice city with tons and tons of parks, which are often full with people just chilling, great! A very green city, and also said to be the city with the best public transportation system. The busstops have kind of "loading-tubes", where you have to wait in before boarding your bus. And you need to pay to enter the tube.

There were daytrips, parties (halloweenparty), 3AM barbequedinner, concerts, picnicks etc. organised. Good times! I joined a daytrip to Morrettes, where we went by train. The trainride is epic, through wonderful landscapes (see photos), and I enjoyed people playing guitar and singing songs in the wagon. I so love the Brazilian songs! They really have great music...

The majority of brazilians remind me of the french style, switching to their own language all the time, even when they can speak English (but has to be said that they don't feel comfortable trying, being very modest). But, these days I also discovered that suddenly I understood portuguese. A weird and sudden discovery, my mind hadn't informed me of sneakily learning more than I was consciously doing. However, 1-on-1 basic conversing would work ok, but following groupconversations gave me a medium-rated headache after 10 minutes.
So generally here in Brazil, I've often been thinking about how great it is of knowing the local language of where you are, and I have been feeling often how it feels to be an outsider, lost in translation, not knowing what is going on around me.Nevertheless I totally love this country.
Durign the Curitiba days there was also for the second time elections, because the president didn't get a big enough majority last time. So big big propaganda, and then the big day... Just like in Belgium voting is obligatory. Dilma won, a left-wing woman. 

I met a ton of cool, open and warm people, had all kind of conversations, CS style, so enriching... I also saw a bunch of people again, my host Claudiomar from Brasilia, my hosts Dudu and Victor from Rio, people from Salvador...
There were only a few other international travelers in this event, and one of them, James, was heading south just like me, so we decided joining paths for a while. Just now when I accepted traveling alone and stopped hoping to find a travelbuddy. Doesn't life has its funny ways?

So, Tati took us in her car, and brought us to her home town, Blumenau!
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