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bureaucracy e botequims

Unfortunately, although I’ve been doing fun stuff lately that I haven’t remembered enough to blog about, I’ve recently been occupied with trying to make sure that my military certificate is in shape for me to be allowed to leave the country. Around the world (literally–we called the consulate in Hong Kong last night since their hours were more convenient), nobody knows for sure. It’s a slightly frightening situation.

SkypeOut (shameless commercial plug) has been valuable in talking to Hong Kong, Houston, Washington, and so on. I don’t know what it costs to directly dial HK from here but I’m pretty sure it’s more than U$ 0.04/min.

Began the day on the phone with Consulados Americanos (which if you’re Brazilian sounds like the name of an appliance chain), and continued to lunch at my god-mother’s little… uh, place. Lunchery? I’m not sure exactly what it is. Good food, though, with a sublime torta de abacaxi (pineapple) and ameixa (prune, which Brazilians pride themselves on including in almost anything sweet and a few salty things too) for dessert. It was so sublime that while I ate I spent the whole time trying to figure out the Portuguese translation of “sublime.” (still don’t know as of press time, but I haven’t asked or searched either)

Later went to the old Sta. Teresa part of the city and enjoyed a square for a few hours, which is something I hadn’t yet seen in Brazil (all over in Spain). Had a good carne asada sandwich (think BBQ, but not the liquefied sort). Sta. Teresa has some nice views of the harbor and Centro, too, including the trams running up to/down from Urca to Pão de Açucar (Sugar Loaf).

Rio is a curious place in that it has comprehensive public transport, but there are such gaps in the transportation system that some things you really can’t do (safely or at all) without a car or taxi. Sad.

News on the home front is good: I received my acceptance packet from Lingnan in Hong Kong today (via WVU’s Office of International Programs). As described to me over the (computerma-)phone, it’s… comprehensive.

As you can perhaps tell by the tone of this post, the weather has finally broken… it was a brilliant day, a little chilly in the evening by Rio’s standards but the bitter onset of winter can be blamed for the thermometer’s drop to [checks] 72 Fahr a couple minutes before midnight. If the weather is similar tomorrow we’ll head out to the… uh, I’m not sure what the name is precisely, some walk near Urca (the smaller mountain on the way up to Sugar Loaf) near the Praia Vermelha (Red Beach, not red). It’s very pretty, as I remember it… forest on the inside, waves crashing below on the outside.

Happy Saturday.

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