Sunday, July 19, 2009

Brazil: Exceeds Expectations

I hadn't thought much about Brazil other than as a means to escape the start of winter in Buenos Aires. All I knew about Salvador was that it's known for "Afro-Caribbean culture," that there would be fried shrimpy snacks cooked up by ladies wearing big white dresses, and that I should be careful. Oh, and that people there wear flip-flops all the time.

I had no idea that in Salvador, I would meet such incredibly warm and wonderful people who would teach me how to samba and make Brazilian empanadas and with whom I'd drink caipirinhas and play music late into the night. I had no idea that I would be able to eat freshly-caught fish for only a few dollars, or that I would spend most of my days on the beach. I didn't know about the wonder that is beach-cheese, or just how much more delicious coconut water is when it comes straight from the source. I didn't know how good it would feel to sleep in a room that doesn't need window panes because the temperature seldom drops below 24°C. And even when I started to look for a new fruit every day, I never once imagined that I'd find more fruits than I could write about before we returned to Argentina.

Let's just say I really, really loved Brazil. Even Brasília, which, as a city, couldn't be more different from Salvador, grew on me after a few days, and I can even imagine going back for a visit (only next time I'd rent a car).

When we talked about taking a year off to live somewhere else, Ken's first choice was always Brazil. I voted for Buenos Aires, not only because I love dulce de leche, but because I thought it would make more sense to learn Spanish than Portuguese, and tango is oh-so-beautiful. But a month of samba and caipirinhas and Portuguese and capoeira wasn't nearly enough for either of us, so we're planning to bid an early adios to Buenos Aires to return to Brazil, preferrably Bahía, as soon as possible.


Lisa said...

I'm glad we ran into you guys in Barra. It's always great to meet cool people when traveling. Brazil exceeded our expectations as well, and I hope to get back someday. I love the food blog!

Ken said...

Lovin' the food blog as well. Fantastic meeting you and Ken.