Cafe do Brasil - 2005

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Not a Goth: I just like cemetaries (as you will see later on), I am not morose. I don't think there is any reason for vault-type graves in Ervalia (as there is in New Orleans, etc). It's just a style.
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I am not sure if the dead care, but the gates to the cemetary are beautiful for the living. And I guess that is the audience they are for, anyway.
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Timberland: A simple shack with rough and sawn lumber. I am a sucker for the rustic. What do we have, Home Depot? Rural Brasil is rustic paradise.
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The Hamburger Thing, Revisited. Ironically, I did not have a hamburger on the entire 2 weeks I was traipsing around Brasil. Perhaps a picture of a Brasilian Hamburger is better than the actual thing-in-itself. I was also enjoying the horse with the blinders that have a little horse on them, which might also have blinders that have a ...
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Not a Mausoleaum, Just a House. And what an amazing over-the-top design from the turn-of-the-century. Ervalia is not that old (from what I understand, much of the area was farming and grains to supply the gold trade in Ouro Preto with food.)
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A nose for Fashion: Vicosa, nearby college town, with some rather odd ideas of haute couture.
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Rebel, Rebel: And in fact there was some critical statements to that effect, so it seems not all like to buy dresses off brainless manniquins. In addition, you can't bring your bike into the area, but you can buy some evangelical material at the table below.
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Let It All Hang Out: One way to show what you got, just turn your store inside out. Now, how can Sweet Maria's implement this unique retailing idea. Hmmm.
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Rhizome: At the university in Vicosa, Alphonse poses with a tree that wishes it was a bamboo. Actually, it's just a Ficus that got frankensteined by the grafting department to have multiple trunks.
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Ape-Nut: That's how I feel too, but actually its an acronym for a project that for which I was laughing too hard to remember the name.
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Amusement, Everywhere: At the convenince store, some favorite products. Multi-use Snob. In the US, a snob is considered without any use, let alone multi-use.
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Boy, I Taste Good! A favorite of mine is the animal product with the animal mascot endorsing it, saying, in essence, "Eat Me, It's Okay!" The fact this one actually is eating himself is just frosting on the cake of enjoyment.
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Tough Guys: Simply the best motorcycle club graphic, ever. I dare you to find anything more intimidating than the Pygmies of the Asphalts ensignia! PA Rocks!
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Rural Coffee: It is synonomous with Bad Coffee, but back in Ervalia it busy signfy otherwise. SOme of these trucks act as "coyotes" in Mexico, traveling rural roads offering cash and low prices for coffee in parchment. Others have regular sources. Either way, it takes sheer desperation to lift a Cafe Rural up to your lips and take a swig.
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Speaking of Shwag: We wanted to check out a big local roaster, and Cafe Toko (who has a 2 drum Leogap roaster, each drum with an 8 bag capacity(!), that's a 16 bag roaster, folks!!!) was too far away. We settled on Cafe Donalice in Ervalia, with this tiny little Jocar 6 bag machine. It's some pretty rough coffee, but a standard in Brasil and you have to respect other people's taste in coffee. To their credit, I saw few sticks and rocks coming out with the coffee, so at least they were indeed roasting coffee!
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Poseur: After the batch dumps, I had to get my picture. I have never, ever seen that much coffee emerge from a drum at once. If you could have seen the steam coming off the machine when they did the in-the-drum water quench, it was unreal. The coffee comes out fairly cool into a bin with no mechanical agitation. It does pull air through the bottom, but it aint going to cool 6 bags of coffee piled that deep any time soon.
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Hot Day, Cool Water, Nasty Bugs: You could actually get underneath these falls for a swim, and it was awesome (and a little dangerous). But instead of taking home a postcard and fond memories, we took home Carapatos. A Carapato is a nasty tiny tick that lives on horses, and we were at the wrong place at the wrong time. The grass was abloom with Carapato. I was pulling them off me for 2 days. Thanks Joao. Thanks Aphonse. Each carapato I had means 2 points lower on your coffee review score! (a joke, ha-ha)
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Contact with Livestock: I suppose I should keep my re-entry Customs form in mind on these trips, but I had to try for this self-shot picture. The Goat is the one on the right, although I understand the confusion because we were sharing a piece of cud just before the picture was taken...
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Cool Water: Ah we finally pass through Rio and on to Niteroi. On the bay in the city is the famous art museum designed by Oscar Niemeyer, a disciple of Le Corbusier, a guy who loved the "play of light" but perhaps not the people who had to use his buildings on a daily basis. Hey, it's art, inconvenience yourself.
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A Better Play of Light: Sunset that evening, and a view toward Rio. You can see Sugarloaf in there somewhere. I did not go to Sugarloaf but was told by someone who did that it is, surprisingly, made of rock. It is full of high-waisted German tourists who are clearly disppointed, and thusly crowd the gift shop to buy Reisen candies. (BTW: anyone remember a bubblegum in the '70s called SugarLoaf?)
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In Niteroi, there is a central indoor fishmarket (Sao Pedro) where you can buy everything and anything from the morning's local catch. That includes these toothy, eel-some fish ...
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Mmmm... and some fresh Octopus. Extra eyes for me please! But the greatest thing about the fish market isn't all those delectable suckers, colorful internal organs, or the fine aroma ...
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...The best part is that after you buy your fresh fish, they clean it for you, put it in a sack, and you take it upstairs to one of the 2 restaurants where they cook it for you! We had fresh whitefish and fried shrimp. Excellent.
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My favorite beer logo from Brasil - Antarctica (pronounced ant-arch-tica here). This would be a great t-shirt, but I could not find one... and unfortunately, it was my least favorite of all the beers I tasted in Brazil. They tell me each brand varies from region to region though.
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Poverty in Proximity: Niteroi has small Favelas just as Rio de Janiero has huge ones. Favelas are not the same as slums really (and they have a much better name, eh). Every person I spoke to has passionate feelings about them, that there are good people stuck in the Favela, that drugs are a big issue, and that there is a whole set of rules and laws for each Favela that have little to do with the outside world. (Check out the 2002 film "City of God"). Rather than being in lowlands, Favelas are often on hillsides with great views! and always in view of the city.
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Finally, I Got to The Beach! Ah, the beaches. I was searching for something more remote, but would have to rent a car to head up North. So I stuck around Niteroi, and walked north to Itaipu and Itacoatiara. This is a picture of Itacoatiara, much more of a "locals beach" with some decent shorebreak surf and amazing "futebol" soccer on the beach. I would have joined the game but, ahem, I had a pulled muscle.
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Fantasy Life: On the way home from Itacoatiara, a billboard of a future condo project. An image of paradise quite close to a near-paradise - odd.
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Cemetary, Again: I just can't keep out of the graveyards. Anyway, this one was unique for the kinda creey numbering of all the gravesites. Seems like an overzealous caretaker was interested in keeping proper records more than aestheics.
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More of the Same: This was no fancy place, many graves were wooden crosses or cinder block with white paint. Few had any special ornament. The neighborhood was full of large houses though. It was a distinct contrast.
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Tags: Every so often I saw some fancy grafitti but mostly it was lots of little tags like this. Of course, I added mine (upper left corner). Joke.

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