Destination Fortaleza, capital of the state of Ceará.
Episode 1: The PSOL pousada, a hostel connected to a socialist party.
Funk and reggae
We had spent an entire day on the beaches of Canoa Quebrada. Canoa Quebrada is a popular beach resort east of Fortaleza and attracts many Brazilian and international tourists. That night, we found a hostel where we could take a warm shower for only two reais. A warm, refreshing shower, we all really enjoyed that, after having spent 4 consecutive nights in the bus, and only being able taking cold showers. Later that night, we spent our time at Broadway, the main street in Canoa Quebrada with numerous options for an entire night of amusement. We had some drinks in a bar, we then entered a night club with funk music. From time to time, we left this club for a reggae bar, at the other side of the street. It must have been weird for an outsider to witness a group of ten students running to the reggae bar, and less than fifteen minutes later leaving the bar for more time in the nightclub, and vice versa. We continued this ritual at least five times. Funk, reggae, funk, reggae, funk… We then returned to our bus, our riding hostel, for our fifth consecutive night in the riding bus.
We arrived in Fortaleza, capital of the state of Ceará, at dawn. The name of the city is linked to the Dutch Era, when Dutch colonists founded their fortress: Schoonenborch. Fortaleza is Portuguese for ‘fortress’. We were about to spend four days in this metropolis – more than 2.5 million inhabitants. Most passengers of our bus would stay in the campus of the local Federal University. The remaining group consisted of eleven students, and I was one of them. We started our search for a cheap lodgement. We first asked at an office of the PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores, Workers’ Party), if they had some accommodation for us. Unfortunately, their answer was ‘no’. But they indicated us a pousada that is run by another party, and this pousada was only a few blocks away. This pousada was run by the PSOL (Partido do Socialismo e Liberdade, Party for Socialism and Freedom), a leftist party that would totally bleach any ‘red’ socialist party in Europe. We were welcomed heartily, but we had to wait until the responsible person had returned. She only returned after noon. She made apologies for her delay, and in exchange we didn’t have to pay for our stay in a small room. We set up our tents, and spread our thin mattresses.
A family with two little children was living in the pousada. The woman was from São Paulo, and she was now living in Fortaleza for some years. Coincidentally, she had her birthday during our stay. As a gratitude for our free stay, we offered her a churrasco (barbecue). We bought fresh meat and fish at the local grocers. We cooked rice, and warmed the beans and farofa. One of the girls made a nice and delicious salad. The birthday meal was completed with cans of ice-cold beer and mixes of cola or rum with cachaça. We sang birthday songs for her, she was having a real surprise night. Those four days went on very fast, then we had to say goodbye to her. ‘Volte sempre!’, she told us. We are always welcome to return…
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
- A Foreigner in Brazil (35): DEC 2006, part one. Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: SALVADOR (38). Filhos de Gandhy, Banda Mahatma and Belchior. (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: FLORIANÓPOLIS (24). Beaches of Armação and Matadeiro (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: ALAGOAS (13). Beaches at Coruripe V (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Imaging Brazil: Photo Gallery ‘Praia do Francês, Alagoas’ (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)