Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Brazil - Salvador Bahia - "the system

So we have decided that we will fly to Natal on the 18th. We went to the airport to do the booking as we could not complete it last night because of “the system”. Yes the system is often used when things do not go well, or something does not go to plan. Everyone is a victim to the system in Brazil no one is to balme. Its not that persons fault its the system, so its nothing they can do and they are sorry but do not blame me as its the system. So Daniel's sister, Danella came to pick us up. So we drove around town to the airport, first. Giving me opportunity to take some street photo's , from the car. When I think of Brazil I think of poverty, and street crime. Brazil does have a European feel about it, rather than a American feel. Salvador was the first city of Brazil, Portugese first set up shop here. To think when I stood on the cliffs of the fort at Sagres, in the Algarve, imagining sailors setting forth for the new world it is here that they first came. It is good to make that connection with the past, and what you have done. A sailing boat trip to do the same trip carried out 500 years ago would be fun, and insight into the past. So as we zipped along the road I could take a look at the people. So as I looked out the window of the car what I sow was low rise buildings, more family run business rather than “high street names”, pavements worn down, buildings have finished, grey dirty walls, next to gleaming painted buildings, people walking along dusty streets, people waiting in the middle of the road for the buses. Buses do not stop here they just slow down enough for people to jump on. Could the drives not want to stop encase the bus stalls and can not start again? We made it to the airport , and booked our flights. Luckly no problems with “the system”. Next stop was the travel agent, to book our hotel for Natal, and extend our stay for one night at our present hotel Bahia Plaza Resort. Even if “the system” does not rear its ugly head getting things done seem to take long time, protracted affairs. Things just moving along at a different pace, the rhythm is so light. What seemed a age eventually everything was sorted out. It was 4:30, the sun would set soon. Made it to the beach before the sun set. I wallowed about in the Atlantic, ridding myself of the dust and sweat of the day.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Brazil - First day

Now why do certain events happen that make other events even worse.
Juliya temperature had been rising and falling through the day. Daniel had take her to the hospital in the morning but they said they could not do anything for her. So Daniel was tired, special after waiting for me. So had not slept for 24 hours.
So I went to lunch with Alla and Juliya, while he slept.
After lunch we went to the pool, Juliya could stay in the shade.
Daneil came down and did some capoeira, and then we went for a walk, and some beers.
We walked across a driver that divided the beach. When we went across it was quite deep. So when the we were coming back we did not want to cross the river again to get back to the resort. So we thought we could walk up the road and get back. How wrong we were. The road eventually led to the river again. No chance of us getting across. So we made our way back to the beach. We crossed this time further up, thinking it would be shallow. We ended up wading up the river again, think we were on the beach and the tide had come in. We were getting no where. We were watched by a family sitting outside there house taking in the air. We waded across to them. What must they be think, to guys in the dark of night walking out of the river to them. “What the hell are you doing walking about the river” His first words to us. We were told that the water we are in were in was a river not the beach and we would need to walk back down the road outside his house to get to the beach where we could cross the river. He allowed us to pass through his garden. Great we are walking about outside gated communities in Brazil trying to find our way home. We found a gap in a fence and squeezed through, which lead to the river. There was a road that could take us back to the road that would lead to the beach. The only problem we would need to get over a high wall. We could be shot at any moment. What must we look like scouting out a wall. So we scaled the wall, more clambered than climb. Third time lucky we were, re-traced our steps back to the beach. The water looked so deep, the stars were reflected in the black ink of the water. Daniel jumped in, waded across. Not so deep. We must have crossed at the deepest point earlier. No wonder people were looking at us, while we waded up to our necks across the river. Fools. Still things did not seem right. Where was the beach, all that sea weed, where was it now. So we had to walk down further, we found our sea weed and could follow the sea weed trail home. Now the beach that the Bahia resort is built on is unique. Unique in that turtles come only to this beach to lay there eggs. If a light is on they will follow the light. So our beach is pitch black for one light se we follow the light in. Then at last we can see the hut where we had our first cerveja. At last we have made it home. My first day in Brazil and I get lost, but survived.
All through our escaped we were worried about Alla, specially Juliya. Alla was very upset.They went off with Juliya to the hospital, her temperature was 40. Why do such events happen, that make other events even bigger?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Brazil - Getting to Salvador from Sao Paulo

I write this off line. The connection was allowed then 5 seconds later it was cut.
Getting to Brazil was easy the getting from Sao Paulo was the difficult part, well the extended part. The airport reminded me slightly of Thailand, below power lighting and feeling of stepping back into the 80's. Exposed walls, and computer message boards that were blank. It easy enough going through immigration, collecting my bags then out the exit to check into the flight to Salvador. There was not hoards of hustlers waiting to grab your bags and take you to a hotel that you did not want to go to. No none of this happened, I just walked across to the departures desk for the TaM my choice of carrier to Salvador. The chosen one because they had a flight that fitted my arrival time and I could pay for the flight as they had a London desk, they have a number of desks around the world. Check in was painless. Isabel told me that I managed to get the last window seat, lucky me. Made my way through security. Boarding was at 21:20, and take off would be 21:59. That would be a hours wait. Then over the distorted sound system notice was given in Brazilian, luckily in English as well, that boarding would be at 11pm. As the plane had arrived late, would take off late. The gate would be 1A. They had decided to use the information screens so I could see my flight, the number and destination was correct but the time was in the past for the time of take off. Welcome to Brazil, lets samba around the airport while we wait. Anyway I had a good book with me to read, “When We Were Orphans” by Kazuo Ishiguro. Started reading the book on the flight over from Paris. The food has so never matched the food that I ate on Air France when I flew from Edinburgh to Paris, and then onto Tokyo. Who has ever had good food on a city link flight, well I did. It must have been a one off. Food still beter than the KLM flight from Edinburgh to Gotenburg, where they through bred roles to the masses. So at last I had a great book to read. My last holiday read was the pits, “ The devil wares Prada” When I first sow a poster for the movie in HK I wanted to see it. Title like that the movie must be good and the book must be a riveting read into the fashion world. How wrong I was, the film was better than the book. The book was just a flaccid. The story line was contrived, the author could not be bothered to do a proper job with the story line, because she had no idea how to write a book. Mateen was correct, it was boring but I had to see it through to the better end. Which I must do with books, I just must finish them. How much effort it must takes, the toom must be finished. Anyway the producers must have bought the rights to the movie to use the title. It is so shocking to see that most book shops have her book at 1 or 3. Who is laugh now, not me. Still in pain over that book, no justice in the world. So at last I had a good holiday read and sometime to spend before boarding the flight. So I settled down to read , keeping an eye on the notice board. The lists of flights grew as the number of people waiting increased. Then my flight disappeared from the screen, shock, had I missed something with all the other announcements going on. So lose my seat and go up to the desk and ask the young women at the desk about my flight. The flight would now leave at 1C, and she did not know the boarding time. Jings bings, Daniel will be waiting for me, the scheduled arrival time was 11:25. Better phone hime. I could not get through, I tried a number of combinations. Taking of the ID code 55 for Brazil, inserted a 0, then took of the double 1, and the added a zero. I tried all possible combinations. Just could not get through. Turns out his phone had run out of credits, so I could not phone. Then my flight was announced , the gate was now 1B. No problem, as 1B gate was next to 1C. The departure lounge was now full, people sitting on the floor. I must say though even though everyone was waiting for there delayed take off time, as other flights had been delayed as well, everyone was good mannered no latino hysterics. Then the mass exodus happened, why was everyone moving. I could hear that it was something to do with the 3156, Salvador flight. Just had to hold on for the English. Gate had been changed to 5. So I joined the exodus to the Gate 5. In less than 45 minutes we would board and then we would be on our way to Salvador. Why were people queuing for a flight that would in 45 minutes time. Silly people. Anyway we boarded, decided to join the queue, rather do my usual and let the people go in. So I found 11A, someone was sitting there. Now I understood why people were queue well before boarding time. In Brazil they double book seats, and if you are really unlucky the over book the flight. So I sat in 11c, aisle. Watching everyone else match up and down the plane looking for spare seats. Why does TAM not just not do what the budget airlines do Europe and do not assign seats but just allow people to find there own seats. Anyway after 30 minutes of people eventually finding a seat we are all seated. So now it was after 11:00. Then they tell us that we do not know when the flight will take off, as we are in a queue waiting for a slot to take off. As we had missed our slot by the delay in boarding. We waited and waited. They served us cold water, my first taste of Brazilian coffee. Very sweet and black. Considering that I woke up at 3am to get a taxi at 4am to the airport for the 6am flight I was slightly knackered. All I wanted was to get to bed, and there was poor Daniel waiting for me at the other end. After repeated announcements with the same message, still waiting eventually the plane was given the go ahead to take off. Big cheer went up, and hand clapping, and laughter. Brazilian are pretty laid back when it comes to delays, they must be used to it. Seemingly these problems are quite frequent. As Daniel had warned me about other airlines, his sister said TAM was okay. If you want least problems book a VAIG flight. I could not as they flied before I arrived in Sao Paulo, also they only have one flight a day to Salvador. So we were are in the air at 2:30. Which means a 4:30 arrival. I passed out with shear exhaustion. Time was twilight. There was Daniel there waiting for me, go on you my son. Slightly drunk and tired but happy to see me. Not much to do at the airport. Jump in a taxi and get to the resort. Sat up talking over things, got to my bed.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Alva - Still Running on Indecision

Went to a place called Duchally for lunch. Cora was visiting us, se drove up to Duchally for lunch with the fiddlers. Who came from Dundee. Its something mum and dad have being doing for 10 odd years now. Tradition. It was good to catch up with old friends of the family.
Sorry what follows now is another repeat but in wide screen HD.

2007 arrived and now we are on our second week.
Should start to do something about earning money, do I go follow my dreams or do I just face the grey light of day and go back to earning money the way I have be doing the past.
Issues being what are my dreams. Writing, music, photographer, technology, cooking, travel, ?. Question mark representing the missing link. Can I combine them altogether and do something special and worth while. I feel I Am waiting for a happening. I need to make it happen though. Maybe I am just hiding away from that grey light of day. It would be great to manage some company called INC All. People can have rewarding exciting lives, and still earn money. I wish not to lose the free spirit I have found but I do need to earn money. I still feel tired and still need to clear my head.
Anyway the spending continues, thanks to froogle.google.co.uk. I have joined the DSLR brigade. Nikon D80 with 18-200 lens, wonderful camera. Only time I have read a manual. I want to know everything about this camera.
I am still running. I have lost weight on my wrist, not on my tummy.
I am planning to go to Brazil. Very soon. So I could be in Brazil this time next week. Actually I will be on a TAM plane flying to Salvador-Bahia. Visiting Danny, Alla, Juliya. I just need to sort out the flight from Sao Paulo to Salvador, before I can book the flight from Europa to Brazil. Another adventure, and time filler. Sometimes I Am not be the most productive with my time. I am in a state of meditation .
So this week will be quite busy as I plan to get away to Brazil. Wish me luck.

Do I write to much, I think I should write these thoughts in my black book. Kind of stupid to write for others to read, strangers. I may regret what I write one day.