I can't get the pic to save, so hopefully this link will work. The corresponding article is pretty funny. It says she's pretty famous in her neighborhood as the old woman who claims that she used to be rich and famous, that she used to be a beauty queen, etc. Very "Glass Menagerie."
Yesterday, I tried out a new bus line to get to work. I learned that the bus gets between its end points using 2 different routes; it does not retrace its track. Does that make sense? You can't take the same bus home that you take to work. This is a big no-no for bus aficionados like me. And the 2 routes like, aren't even close. There's a good 2, 3 miles between them.
I made a complete ass of myself trying to use the bus's turnstyle (yes, there's a turnstyle to get onto the bus... to prevent people from pushing their way in without paying. Sigh). You apparently first have to like, squeeze your way in between the first set of bars and then push the one farthest away from you, and you can only push it once. The robot bus cashier (a real person, FYI) refused to let me in without paying again. Come on. I apologized and said it was my first time using the bus here (true enough; I entered through the back last time), and he said "fine" and shouted something to the bus driver that I didn't understand. But then a woman came up and said something like, "here, swipe my card to let her in" and she put her card in front of a little sensor thing that unlocks the turnstyle... but again, only for one click. And, of course, I made the same mistake again. I couldn't figure the damn thing out! Turnstyles in the US keep moving! People started snickering. Damn it. I was so embarassed. The lady swiped her card again (I'm not sure how much money I was costing her) and I finally made my way into the correct turnstyle slot. I thanked her profusely and scampered to the back of the bus to hide. You guys probably aren't surprised at all by my mishap.
Anyway, last night, Alexandre and I went on a little date to an Italian restaurant. We planned to go to sushi (surprise), but one of Alexandre's friends reccommended this place and we thought we'd try something new. It was also cheap as far as Italian restauarants in Brazil go (they're usually pretty expensive).
It was so cute! I think it was a little house converted into a restaurant. I had to work, and Alexandre wanted to go to the gym, so we didn't get there until kind of late. It was pretty empty. We sat in a corner table that was by a door that overlooked the street, so we tried to take some artsy pictures while waiting for the food:
The menu was pages and pages of Portuguese translations of Italian food and vegetables... a million different toppings for either spaghetti or penne. I was too lazy to try to read everything so I just asked the waiter, "what do you reccommend? I love cheese, garlic, and olives." He directed me to a dish with a 4-cheese sauce and sun-dried tomato. I'll mention here that sun-dried tomato in Brazil is SO amazing. I don't know what they do different than in the US. Maybe it's not dried in the sun, since the name in Portuguese is just "dry tomato." But it's really soft and a little sweet and I find excuses to eat it all the time. (On Subway sandwiches? Sure! With pizza? Great!) He said they're flexible about changing/adding ingredients with no extra charge, so I added the garlic and olives to mine... and Alexandre added steak to his. Psh. The food was so delicious! We also got a really sweet and really cheap carafe of wine.
Just to be a little vain, I'd like to compare the picture above to a horrible picture Alexandre took of me by surprise on my first day here. (You know, one of those pictures where people yell "hey!" so you turn around, and then-- snap!) I wore the same dress to meet him at the airport. I hadn't worn it again until last night, and it fit much better. I've cleaned up quite a bit since I got here... and also lost a lot of weight!
Anyway, it turns out I'm not the only slightly vain person in the world. As we were leaving the restaurant, Alexandre politely asked the waiter if we could take a picture of the building from the outside. The waiter said, "of course, of course!" and so we found a good angle in the street. But just as I was about to take the picture, the waiter suddenly appeared at the entrance! He totally wanted to be in the shot. So here's his 15
You can also see now where we were sitting, but from the outside! :o)
All in all, it was a very lovely evening, and if anyone comes to visit me, I'll bring you here to eat. :D