Friday, May 23, 2008

A Free Lunch?

Well, it’s noon on Wednesday, and I’m sitting here in the Sao Paulo airport, where I have been sitting since 6:30 this morning when we arrived from Miami. We were supposed to catch a 8:10 AM flight to Floripa, but that didn’t happen. We had to reclaim our checked luggage before we went through customs. Michal, my friend that I talked into going on this adventure with me, and I waited at the baggage claim. And waited, and waited some more. Finally, our bikes arrived --whew! But our other suitcases were nowhere in sight. So we had to fill out lost luggage paperwork, and by the time we did that, our flight was long gone. I took a picture of the loooong lines we spent our morning in.
This is the South American idea of a line. Chaos.

Usually when we travel, or anytime “negotiations” need to be made, Rob makes me do the “negotiations” because I’m pretty good at getting what I want. Well, there really is no way to negotiate when one person can only speak English and the other person speaks Portuguese. So we are now on the 3:45 PM flight to Floripa, ugh. But, for our nice long 9 hour layover, we did manage to get a “free lunch”. The airline gave us vouchers for a free meal. After walking around for at least 30 minutes, we finally found the restaurant where the voucher would work. It was actually right around the corner from where we started, but there goes that language thing again.

A nice Brazilian woman in the restaurant took us through the buffet line and told us all about the dishes that were being served. I took some pictures of the food, our first real Brazilian meal. We had some delicious beef called “picanha” which we were told to order “magra”, which meant lean, and “ao ponto” which means medium-well done, I guess. The Brazilian meal also had “farofa”, a cornmeal and flour mixture that looks like couscous. She said that these were accompanied by “arroz” (rice), “feijado” (black beans), and “couve” ( a dark green leafy stuff that was finely shredded - yummy). The desserts usually consisted of chocolate, coconut, sugar, and Brazil nuts, of course. I took a picture of the dessert table, too.

Although things aren’t going as planned, today hasn’t been too bad. Looking at the bright side of things, we are here in Brazil, our bikes are here, and we have met some nice people that are eager to help us experience Brazil and remind us that this is an adventure. I guess there is really no such thing as a free lunch, but the price of this one, just a little extra time waiting, wasn’t too bad.

Here I am just chilling in the Brazilian sun at the airport after my free lunch. Life is good.


Rob Chance said...

You do a much better job blogging than I do. Good to hear you guys are there and the luggage has arrived. Remember my lost bag at IM Florida 2005? I was a wreck.

I hope the rest of the week is smooth for you both. Good Luck, Race Hard, and whatever you do...DONT QUIT!

mcarnal said...


This sure does sound like a true adventure through Brazil!!! Also, from an economic side of things you are correct there is no such thing as a free

You two travel safe down there! Good luck on Sunday morning as I'll be tracking you from Kona!!!