Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
3Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
I was initially driven to distraction trying to figure out what was producing the smell. All of a sudden, out of nowhere in particular, an aroma equivalent to a bushel of minced green chilis would flood an area through which I was passing. I assumed it was from a restaurant but couldn't determine why this should be so in a part of Brazil where the food is not particularly known for its spice. In Ethiopia, one of the most chili-loving countries on the map, restaurants did not necessarily broadcast this smell onto the streets.
I finally decided that it must be coming from some kind of plant, tree or shrub- perhaps the flowers, perhaps the leaves, probably stronger because this is the middle of the summer rainy season and all is warm and wet. However, I still have not been able to pinpoint the plant from which this mysterious smell is coming, so the search continues....
Notes to Self
When purchasing lunch at a local cafe, make sure that your keys and coins are not resting on top of the paper money in your coin purse. If they are, they may fly out and distribute themselves over the floor, counter and/or gum & candy display. If you should only pick up the coins and neglect to collect your key, only realizing it later, this will necessitate an embarrassing trip back to the cafe during which you can assault the cashier's ears with your horrible Portuguese. If there happen to have been three silver keys lost there recently instead of only one, and you can't remember exactly what your key looks like because you only just arrived in the country, then you will have to take all of the keys home to try them and see which one is yours. This will probably mean you will never again be able to bring yourself to eat at that cafe. At all costs, try to avoid this scenario.
If, in your home country and using your native tongue, you are often confused when attempting to order a sub sandwich on account of all the possible choices and the questions posed by the sandwich-makers, DO NOT attempt this for one of your first meals in a culture that is new to you. This should be an exercise reserved for a more advanced stage of language learning.