Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day 28 - Ouro Preto return to Beaga, vamos Brasil!

I am getting old. In a few weeks I’ll be 55. That used to be retirement age in England, and indeed, some of my contemporaries at school, who went into the police retired a few years ago. When travelling and generally being a tourist, watching football, drinking beer or eating nice food, one doesn’t feel one’s age. If anything, being older makes it better. I know more about the world now than I did when I was, say, 26 so I can appreciate the places I visit and the things I see better. I am more philosophical about the game than I used to be. England and, to a lesser extent, Australia getting knocked out so early would have upset me a lot more as young man than it does now. I enjoy a proper pint and good food more now than when I was happy to drink any old lager and eat any old burger before.
But today, I was reminded of the down side of getting older. Having got up nice and early (thanks to a group of noisy dogs, I hardly got any sleep anyway) packed, and had brekkie I was off to the bus station to get back to BH. At the bus stop I bumped into another Forest fan (called “Blue” I think) who was clearly a young dude who fancied himself a bit. Immaculately dressed, short styled hair with a stubbie beard. His mate, Rich, from Swindon, was a bit more nerdy. Some young dudes are great with older people, they are blind to age and just treat you just as another person. Many of my friends in Perth are like this. But sometimes, you just get the impression that they’ve dismissed you as just some old man. Maybe it’s just me being over sensitive but I got that first impression from Blue. Upon chatting it turned out that he knew my next host, Tatiana, and had stayed with a friend of hers a few days earlier and had met her and that we would probably all meet up again later. So, that put a bit of a negative thought in my paranoid mind on that. Never mind… the adventure continued.

Too cold for a dip

Ouro Preto Hills

Bus Station

Green Bird Arrives

Journey back to BH
The bus journey went fine and I got some shut eye before getting off early, the south side of Belo Horizonte where I would get a taxi to Tatiana’s apartment. I asked a security guard where the taxi rank was and he called a colleague who walked me straight to it across the shopping mall. Brazilians are always so kind and helpful. The taxi rank was empty though and a queue of people soon grew – behind me. After waiting 15 minutes I called Tatiana to suggest she might have to come and pick me up but then a taxi came, so there was no need for that. Tatiana is lovely and so is the apartment. She quickly showed me around before we left for the big match which would take place at the Mineirao where I’d seen England just a few days ago. The whole city was focused on the match and most restaurants where closed. Tatiana was keen to eat at a nice place so we walked around trying to find one, but to no avail. All tables had already been booked or the restaurant was closed. So, just in the nick of time we arrived at her chosen venue to watch the match with her friends, Jack Rock café. It‘s a cool place for music loving dudes and I was very impressed with the big screen and the sound. We made it just in time for the lovely Brasilian National anthem, which is surely the best in the world, unlike England’s embarrassingly crap one.
It was a great match that was played out on a knife edge and went to the first penalty shoot out of the tournament. Even then it went down to the last kick, Jara (ex-Forest play) hitting the inside of the post (but not inside enough for it to go in) to send Brasil into ecstasy. It was a great experience to be part of all the hugging and joy of that moment. Lovely.

BH Shopping

Backer Bar Has Televisions

Jack Rock Bar - A great venue
Key moments... Jara misses by a fraction

Happy Brasilians and three pasty guys from the UK

Ouviram do Ipiranga as margens plácidas
De um povo heroico o brado retumbante,
E o sol da Liberdade, em raios fúlgidos,
Brilhou no céu da Pátria nesse instante.

Se o penhor dessa igualdade
Conseguimos conquistar com braço forte,
Em teu seio, ó Liberdade,
Desafia o nosso peito a própria morte!

Ó Pátria amada,
Salve! Salve!

Brasil, um sonho intenso, um raio vívido,
De amor e de esperança à terra desce,
Se em teu formoso céu, risonho e límpido,
A imagem do Cruzeiro resplandece.

Gigante pela própria natureza,
És belo, és forte, impávido colosso,
E o teu futuro espelha essa grandeza.

Terra adorada
Entre outras mil
És tu, Brasil,
Ó Pátria amada!

Dos filhos deste solo
És mãe gentil,
Pátria amada,

After the match there was a bit of awkwardness as Tatiana’s friend Maria wanted to join the throng on the streets of Savassi whereas Tatiana and a few other friends didn’t. I was keen to see that too so I offered to go with her. We ended up finding a bar to watch Columbia v Uruguay. I could feel myself slipping into a bit of a mood, especially with so many people packed in the bar. It took 15 mins to queue to go to the loo and it would have taken another 15 to queue up to pay for a ticket to buy a slice of pizza or a beer. I really should have stayed with Tatiana at the Rock Café place but I couldn't help feeling like an old man there with so many beautiful young Brasilians everywhere. Bloody age! Oh well, you live and learn. At half time I decided to go off on my own anyway and wander through the incredible throng of merry Brasilians before deciding to call it a day. I’m not feeling 100% at the moment – some kind of cold from Ouro Preto, I think – and the lack of sleep there caught me up. I called Tatiana, who I presumed was still in the Rock bar, but no reply, so I got a taxi back here and crashed out. Lovely.

Streets of Savassi Packed with Happy Brasilians
Belo Horizonte

No comments:

Post a Comment