Why I am sitting here on Saturday morning reading Paul Atkins' femarks before the SIA Industry Leadership Luncheon, San Francisco, CA: June 8, 2005? Because I am a news junky, which is what I like about my job. That's why talking over our impending vacation with my wife is getting a little interesting: There's a little voice in my head that says that if I find myself on a white-sand beach in Pernambuco, I might die from lack of WiFi--or soon, I hope, WiMax--access. Not to mention that nifty 3-G network that my CrackBerry runs on. Only the roar of the ocean and the answering echo inside my empty head. Yaaaaaagh! Could I bear it?
All we have really firmed up so far are the dates and the initial destination, once we have kissed the in-laws in Sao Paulo and petted the lonesome dogs over there on the Rua Juranda. We were thinking seriously about a posh resort at Porto de Galinhas (below) near Recife (above), then started envisioning ourselves moping around with a lot of fat German tourists, listening to Beck's Tropicalia over and over and over again:
When they beat / On a broken guitar / And on the streets / They reek of tropical charms / The embassies lie in hideous shards / Where tourists snore and decay / When they dance in a reptile blaze / You wear a mask / An equatorial haze / Into the past / A colonial maze / Where there's no more confetti to throw / You wouldn't know what to say to yourself / Love is a poverty you couldn't sell / Misery waiting in vague hotels / To be evicted / You're out of luck / You're singing funeral songs / To the studs / They're anabolic and bronze / They seem to strut / In their millennial fogs / 'til they fall down and deflate / You wouldn't know what to say to yourself / Love is a poverty you couldn't sell / Misery waiting in vague hotels / To be evicted / Now you've had your fun / Under an air-conditioned sun / It's burned into your eyes / Leaves you plain and left behind / See them eyes and fall / Into the jaws of a pestilent love / You wouldn't know what to say to yourself / Love is a poverty you couldn't sell / Misery waiting in vague hotels
On the upside: they have a fleet of what the Brazucos like to call "doony boogies" ... dune buggies, that is. It's just committing to a package of 7 days and 8 nights that we are balking it.
When I go to Brazil, I like to hang out with Brazilians ... or at least with unarmed Brazilians. I'd really like going to Recife this time out, to see where Lenine and Zeca Baleiro--first poet ever to rhyme "Recife" with "Jimmy Cliff"--hail from. Maybe we could book a few days at Porto de Galinhas when we get there, or day-trip the 60km: Our Brazilian facilities guy at my last company said it was the bitchenest beach in all Brazil. But I ain't takin' no bus from Minas Gerais! We bused it from Sampa to Salvador, Bahia, last year and boy, did our asses hurt when we finally got there!
The plan now: ficar a vontade as much as possible. We'll just block out our 4-5 days in Ouro Preto and then see where we go from there: Rio or Recife, as the mood strikes us. Both Recife and Ouro Preto are university towns, so we'll feel at home in that sense. I always have to come back with about 100 kilos of books to read. And I am on a mission from God this time for pre-1980 Chico CDs.
The best way for me to ameliorate media withdrawal pains is for me to tune into the Brazilian mediasphere full-bore while I'm there: read every newspaper and magazine in site, watch tons of TV, visit an Internet cafe every day, and generally soak in the zeitgeist, like a diver taking a gulp of air. Yes, definitely Recife and environs, but a toa e por ocaso ...