I’m honestly so humbled to meet so many good people during my travels who have some positive influence on me.
Brazil has been no exception. After a meeting up with a group at Parque Large, organised by Rio Walkers, we headed to Lapa by bus. I got talking to Alberto. It wasn’t long before I got straight to the point as asked what he did for a living.
“I’m a travel journalist.”
He came out with. And on the rocky bus, nothing else seemed to matter. I’d met ‘my kind of people!’
We inaugurated our friendship at Casa de Cachaças. With a wide variety of cachaças to choose from, my favourite (however least liked by the rest of the group) was the ginger. Prices range between 3 reais and 9 reais for a shot.
It was here in fact that Alberto totally corrupted my mind! What should have been an innocent invitation to eat bacalhau (cod fish), would turn into a sexual innuendo which in its self would officially have me inaugurated into ‘mistakes Gringos make to try and fit into Brazilian society.’ Examples I’ve been told are;
‘kissing on the lips’
thinking it’s the informal way to greet Brazilians, and mistaking
‘pau duro (horney)’
‘pão duro (stingy)’!
Oh dear, never would I think to be associated with such, well… Stupidity!
Anyway, back to bacalhau. The invitation went on for a few days with Alberto constantly asking me when we’d have some. My response was always “tomorrow”. Then finally one sunday, the day Alberto my travel journalist mentor tested my blagging technic to get into Circo Voador comp as a journalist since I missed the free admission time before 9pm. And I refused to pay the 15 reais on the basis of principal- customer service.
So he and Richard (a friend) did what they could to ‘get journalist from the UK‘ into the gig. I got in!…. As Maria Sulvars!
We were with a dynamic group to see the headliner Gaby Amarontos; dubbed Brazilian Beyonce. So naturally the men were gay (and beautiful), and the women free-spirited and wild (i’m pretty sure the girl behind me was intentionally letting her hand swing loosely to touch my back as she danced). At one point we all sat together and I exclaimed my hunger.
“I want some bacanau”
One of the guys asked in surprise; almost considering the same.
“Yes, tonight! Now even!”
I had just blurted out to 3 gay guys that I wanted to have some sort of orgy with them!!
“Ah you mean ‘bacalhau!!”
“That’s what I said- ‘bacanau’!”
And then they explained to me the subtle difference. I turned to Alberto and we all burst out into laughter! But as we said our goodbye’s and one of the guys said;
“so do you want to do something else… sometime?”
I really couldn’t tell if it was an innocent question or he was considering my bacanau request earlier. It was late, I was tired. I kissed them goodnight and made my way home- alone!
The next day bright and early I met up with Alberto. He had on him some goodies.
“I know this will be the only time we’ll get to eat bacalhau together because you keep saying ‘tomorrow'”
and as we made our way on a mini tour around some hidden sights of Rio, we ate bacalhau together…