::::: EL MUNDO REAL :::::
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Tony Gavilanes / Lacy Sarco

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"Sao Paolo"
(episode 16)

Can't see the movie? Click here to download Quicktime

"I'm so happy they had the card.. What a miracle..."

No thanks to the dopes and street children of Rio, we finished out the cab ride to Rodoviario terminal to catch the first bus closer to the Argentine border. I hated my precaution here; every momet looking back, taking account of people, expecting a fight. My adrenelanine would start to pump so hard I'd envision every move, imagining the superior throws like in some Chuck Norris flick. I was sweating all the time. We needed to get out of Portugese Brazil, it was all babble to us. Activated me card in the computer booth and booked the departure to Sao Paolo leaving in five minutes. Now, some busses are nice, but this Itaperim had such well-functioning air conditioning that we needed to unwrap the blankets from their plastic sterility and cuddle up, even though it was 85 degrees outside. Gave us a box full of all kinds of cookies and even an "Itaperim" magazine. Damn Brazil! $120 Reales each.. that's $60USD per person for a ride 6 hours out! At least we were in the right direction... We arived around 4:30PM, and after re-checking the hostel website and dissecting Metro maps, we hopped the blue train south to Paraiso, where we switched to the green line and came terranian to the fading afternoon on the cemetary of Estacion Clinicas. From there, walking six or so blocks, with the horribly heavy third bag, we arrived at a completely dark address. Not even a hostel sign in the twilight. We rang the buzzer a few times and knocked on the door, realizing that all the windows had been blacked out with paint. And just before we gave up hope, a frantic-eyed and bald man swung open the parkway gate to our right. Thinking he was a clerk, I started into, "We don't have a reservation, but we heard about you..." "You don't have a reserve?" he cut me off. "Do you have Claudia's telephone? No one is here.. I live next door..." There was a bare and unattended desk in the entryway and a phonecard-only Telefonica next to the beat up couch. Luckily some other fellas came in at that moment and we got the number from them. But still, no phone card. Wandering for a half an hour up and down the avenue produced no result, so we reluctantly resolved to stay at the highrise hotel next door. We were getting real ready for a sushi dinner, dragging our bags and selves past the restaurant and up the stairs to the consierge, until he said, "No reservation? We are full." Lugging ourselves hopelessly back to the street and circled another six blocks before the fear of sleeping on the Brasilian streets set in. And walking by a news stand I found a Telefonica card for sale. We perched up under the nearest phone and found out we still needed to walk another 10 blocks to an affiliated hostel. Thank God, but my fingers were so raw from carrying the bag that the skin was coming off in flakes. After dropping off, we settled on the stoop of Finnegan's Pub for a Lucky Strike, and then proceeded to order an enormity of happy hour grub and tall Chopp beer. Beat as hell, we made plans to get out the very next day. So after waking up and checking out, we took the trains back to the bus station, bought our exit tickets, locked our bags up, and hopped back into town for 5 hours of uninhibited tourism.

POSTED: May 12, 2009