Monday, November 23, 2009

My Sunday Afternoon, or Why Getting Lost on the Bus is a Good Thing

So last Thursday, I got horribly lost on the bus. I guess it was bound to happen at some point. I usually take the bus line ‘Grande Circular 2’ to CUCA, but I wasn’t really paying attention, and I ended up getting on ‘Circular 2,’ which is a completely different route.

…Only it goes a while on the same route before turning into a completely different route, so I was sitting on the bus for quite some time before it occurred to me that the bus didn’t seem to be going exactly the same way as usual. I figured it was my poor memory, and it took me a bit more time before I summoned up the courage to head up to the driver and make sure that the bus was headed toward CUCA. I got a confused look from the bus driver, instructions to go to the terminal Antonio Bezerra and take a different bus from there from the guy waiting to get off, and then there erupted a small argument between him and a girl who appeared to be about my age, apparently about which way I should be going. Finally the older guy ceded and got off the bus, and the girl motioned to come sit next to her. We disembarked at UFC, the university…allllllll the way across town. She walked me quickly to a different bus stop and loudly asked if anyone was getting on the “CUCA/Barra” line. One girl, also about my age (there were lots of college students around…it is a university campus after all) said she was, and we got the bus together.

The CUCA/Barra bus took a long time to arrive, and we had an even longer time riding the bus all the way back across the city, and Joelma (that was the girl’s name) and I had a nice time conversing and getting to know one another. She’s taking an English class at the UFC and works two different jobs. We exchanged e-mails and phone numbers and made a tentative date to go watch the new Twilight together (I wasn’t particularly enthused, but it’s something to do and hang out again).

After much conversation, I ended up going to her house and chilling with her and her two sisters on Sunday afternoon. She made lunch for us to eat together (lasagna, delicious) and around 4:30 we left to walk to CUCA (it’s about a 20-minute walk from her house) to watch yet another gorgeous sunset, and then go to a Baroque ensemble concert. The ensemble was great, playing a bunch of really old stuff, but also some arrangements of Brazilian music they’d written for the group, including some great pieces composed originally by Luiz Gonzago.

Joelma and her sisters had never been to the theater before…I was taken back to the days of my youth when I’d go to some small ensemble performance with my mom at Penn and fall asleep halfway through…but either way, it was enjoyed by all. And that’s the story of why getting lost on the bus is a good thing.

But my Sunday didn’t end there! Fatima had introduced the group and is friends with a few of the musicians, and a big group of us (about 9) ended up going out after the concert for delicious pizza. I had a nice conversation with one of the recorder players who said he could procure me an oboe to play! And I’m going to an orchestra concert of his on Thursday! They’re playing some Villa Lobos.

So basically, a really solid day.

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