I have hidden the post about my article because when I googled for more material for it, I got that post. Thank you for your comments, everyone, they were extremely helpful! I am replacing the post with a story of my day so far in that Brazilian land, where I am living in a working class neighborhood with an absolutely spectacular view of the bay.
I woke up at ten — late, I know, but I had stayed up until two. Cocks were still weakly crowing. I did some yoga exercises and made coffee, and then came back upstairs and did some work. I tinkered with my piece, ordered books for it, rearranged notes, read articles, thought, and wrote two sentences. Sent a progress report to the editor. Put off other professionally related e-mail.
Now I was ready for my program: go to the beach, come home, then take a bus downtown, get money, come back, buy groceries, and be home by dark to wait for the electrician, but I realized it was already four. There was no hope of completing my program so I decided I would wait until tomorrow to go downtown. Instead of the beach and the voyage I would and take a stroll up to the famous neighborhood church, where I have been too busy to go this week. Then I would buy the groceries I could with the money I have.
This walk takes about fifteen minutes and there are nice views of the bay and the upper city along the way. The church is prettier than I remembered, and the square seems positively metropolitan because of all the souvenir shops. Outside the church door I tried to buy a fairly large ebony figa and a Iansan necklace from an nice old man without legs. I ended up with quite a few additional articles because he overcharged me and I didn’t object, figuring I could afford it and he needed the money. My lagniappe was thus larger than my purchase.
Then I strolled back down the hill and went to a food market next door to the one I have been going to and slightly better. I had already spent half my grocery money so I cut out the items that are bad for you, but that I like. These include German-Brazilian beer, meat, dried meat, and cheese from Minas Gerais. I did buy a kilo of black beans, a liter of tomato pulp, and a bottle of hot sauce.
Coming out of the store I realized I was hungry and had hardly eaten all day. I bought a shrimp laden acarajé from a baiana on the corner, whom everyone else called “my beautiful Negress” but I called “Ma’am.” It was an excellent acarajé, larger, fluffier, and less greasy than any I’ve bought on the street anywhere else. To eat it I sat on a little plastic stool next to the stall. These baianas sell acarajé as a religious activity, you know. They have to make the foods of the gods readily available at reasonable prices. The price of this acarajé was $2.
At home I put the groceries away. Out of curiosity I tasted the new brands of coconut yogurt and passion fruit juice. Now I am waiting for the electrician and should be getting back to work. I feel I should cook something, and I know I should call my friend to test my Brazilian cell phone. I wish I had some of that German-Brazilian beer or — now I know — a caipirinha! I will have to buy some distilled fresh sugar cane juice (nothing to do with rum, which is derived from molasses) and make some of those. What I would like to do is take another walk along the quai and then watch a Brazilian soap opera, but I am waiting for the electrician, and only after he comes will the television work.
This was a quiet day but I noticed it was an exotic day.