A Foreigner in Brazil (15)
DEC 2005 (II): Travels with Claudia 2 in 2 States
Experiences of a Dutchman living in Belo Horizonte, since December 2004, from month to month.
December 2005, part two: Travels with Claudia 2 through Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, by bus and by train.
…We spent our third day quietly, since it was raining all day then. Again we walked along the fashionable shops, before we were about to return to Vila Velha, late in the afternoon. Diana and her friend said goodbye to us cordially. We agreed to see each other again one week later, when Diana was planning to visit clients in Belo Horizonte. We transported some belongings of Diana to Vila Velha, including a television. She was about to move to Vitória later that month. The trip went well, and in Vila Velha waited a surprise for us. Claudia had to hurry to travel to the north, to Macapá, so she no longer had time to spend more days with me. That same night I traveled back to Belo Horizonte, by bus. In a few days time, I had traveled more than forty-five hours by bus.
Claudia and Claudia
Indeed, two days later I met Diana again, in Belo Horizonte. During our meeting, I was acquainted with one another Claudia, a long-time friend of Diana. Diana could not stay too long, since she had another appointment with a client. Claudia stayed with me, we took some coffee and chatted. I was lucky that her English was understandable for me. Claudia and I exchanged phone numbers. That led to her invitation to spend Christmas with her family. I had already met her mother and her daughter of eight; I became acquainted with the rest of the family at Christmas Eve. They originate from Itabira, the birthplace of the famous Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade. That night I stayed at the family, and I received another invitation to join Claudia, her mother and her daughter to travel to Vitória, to spend New Year there. And we would stay in the apartment of… Diana in Vitória, who has family living there.
The day before New Year’s Eve, I traveled with Claudia, her mother, grandmother, and daughter to Espírito Santo. A bus trip of nine hours through the mountainous region of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo. The view was beautiful, especially when the bus followed the highway along the mountain slopes, with some very tricky corners. High, forested mountains, vast green meadows, seemingly endless depths. The highway was in a well maintained condition; it is good to imagine that a less maintained road may be treacherous during tropical rains. Luckily the bus drivers have extensive experience to transport their passengers safely to their destinations. The extensive bus services, a great number of them on daily basis, result in thousands of buses on the Brazilian roads, and, fortunately, relatively few serious incidents take place. We arrived in Vitória at night.
In Vitória, we were welcomed by Diana and her friend Sidney. Diana’s apartment is located not far from the shoreline, and offers a wonderful view of part of the harbor, and the island ‘Ilha do Boi’. At night, Diana and Sidney invited us to go to a forró night, where I was introduced to this sensual dance, with Claudia as my personal teacher. It certainly is not an easy dance, especially for us clumsy Europeans. Fortunately, Claudia showed enough patience with me. We spent the final day of 2005 at the beach of Itapoã in neighboring Vila Velha. Interesting enough, I was there only three weeks before, with the other Claudia. It was an unforgettable experience for me to spend the final moments of the year on the beach. Enjoying the warm sun, and the pleasantly lukewarm sea at day, and celebrating New Year at Camburi Beach at night. All dressed in white, each with a rose in the hand, and with the champagne bottle ready to become uncorked, we counted the final seconds of 2005….
By Dr. Adriano Antoine Robbesom
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