Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bye Brazil

Google in BH

I had no time in Brazil to add more pictures and stories so here’s a quick recap. The GCJLA finals went really well. The Googlers in BH were very friendly and very helpful. The day of set up one of them took us to a buffet/cafeteria style lunch where I had the most, enchanting desert ever! After we ate the waitress treated us to (I forgot the name of it) but it looked like a donut hole and was very hot. When you took a bite it was hard from a sugary shell on the outside and the inside was soft with hot, melted banana. It was SO good! I could have eaten a million of them.
The infamous Faxman setting up

Set up lasted until about 7PM and by the time we got back to the hotel, we were exhausted. We settled for a dinner at the hotel which I thought was fantastic (however it appears the locals don’t care for the food there). I had a traditional fish dish that they prepared for me at the table. We also had some malbec from Argentina that was really tasty.

Thursday we headed back to Google for the competition which went over flawlessly despite a few technical difficulties early on. Once we got back to the hotel, I had time to pack before heading out to the awards ceremony. The dinner was held at this trendy banquet hall with some really good appetizers. They had servers coming every minute with another thing to try. Of course half the stuff we didn’t know what it was but it was fun to try. They also had waiters with bottles of champagne and beer circling. As soon as I saw the champagne, I caught him and said in English to come back every 10 minutes to fill’er up. Apparently that one waiter understood me because every time I turned around more champagne was poured into my glass but I couldn’t complain…

Awards Reception

The event went well and by the time we got back to the hotel we decided to hit up the bar for some Cachasas (pronounced ga-cha-sas). This is the potent drink of Brazil. We had Cachasa in the form of a drink called a Caipirinha. It was very tasty. Lots of lime, lots of sugar and lots of Cachasa. After a few of those we were laughing and having a grand old time…forgetting that we had to get up at 3:30am for traveling the next day.


Yesterday’s travels were long and tiring but we finally made it back to CT and to our own beds. Brazil was a lot of fun for the short time we were there. The people were really friendly, they really loved their country. Hardly anyone spoke English and for some reason to me it seemed like their city was “unspoiled”. Yes, it would have been better if they did know a bit of English or Spanish in terms of educational purposes (apparently not a lot of people go to college) and it would be better for tourism. However they are real people living their real life. They appreciated when we tried to speak Portuguese and were not offended when we could not understand them. They are a very genuine group.

Man making umbrellas on the sidewalk in BH

The city of BH was a very interesting place. People didn’t have white houses with picket fences. They had bright yellow, orange and pink houses. They had very tiny driveways for their little cars. They had very steep hills that I wouldn’t want to lose my brakes on! They may be different than us but they also took buses like we do, they sit in traffic like we do, they go to malls, and they have a beautiful language. In BH they even had a store called C & A (which is equivalent to an H & M)! I wish I had more time to spend in Brazil so I could have seen more of the city and more the country-side, especially Ouro Preto. I hope I get a chance to go back in my life.

A festive building and sign

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