Every November Rosario has a huge festival called las colectividades. It is a gathering of maybe 30 different clubs that represent countries throughout the world. For example, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Cuba etc all had tents with information about the country, and traditional food and drink. At some tents they were selling artesanal gifts too, and almost every country played typical music and had dances. The best tent, hands down, blew everyone out of the water......BRAZIL......SAMBA! It was an all out party every day of the week. I never tried the food, it looked bomb though, lots of BBQ, but I did however manage to sample the local drink. The flava flav was the caiparinha, simple and delicious. Sugar, lime, ice and cachaza or something like that, which is a cane sugar alcohol. Very sweet and packs and uppercut you never saw coming. There was a big stage that had groups of people dancing for hours. Pure samba. All night long. And then there´s the special trick the ladies do, where you put an empty bottle, can, cup, (pretty much whatever you want) and the women step up to it and start getting freaky over the bottle. Those hips DO NOT lie. Right then and there I knew that I HAD to go to this country of pure joy and happiness and sexy moves. Ridiculously(sp?) awesome is an understatement. All this fun came from one little tent stand and a stage full of half naked women dancing all night long. I can´t even begin to imagine an entire country filled of the sort. This festival went on for ten days and was right next to my house. The weekend was way more cracking than weekdays and I managed to make an appearance four or five times.
While kicking it at the Brazilian tent one night, lady killer in the flesh, aka ´ol blue eyes Jeff Klatt was at it again. Just being all nice and talkative and funny, you know, all of those disgustingly anoying personality traits.....anyways, who knows how but he starts macking it up with a dancing queen, and yes, she most def pulled out some tricks over the empty caiparinha cup. It was unclear whether her mom was there, aunt, or just an older friend, but she took the cup out of my hand and put it on the ground and pretty much forced the girl to do the sexy dance in front of us. Another older woman we met was Jorgina, a native of Rio but had been living in Rosario for over ten years. She was genuinely the nicest woman ever and it was very obvious that she was having a great time. We were all hanging out in a circle dancing, drinking, and singing. She had a partner in crime, Beatriz, who was also just as nice, and just as tossed. They also really loved Jeff, and even though we ALL introduced ourselves, they just called us Jeff the whole night. A buddy from Buenos Aires was in town for the weekend and he got a funny video.....hope the link works!
If you can´t watch it, you´ll have to be my friend on facebook, and let me be the first to say, it´s a pretty selective club. For my friends there is a small application process....I´ll need a written letter requesting a ¨friendship¨, correspondance through electonic mail will suffice, and if you pass phase one, the only thing that stands in your way is a brief phone interview and we´ll be set.
Back to las colectividades.....we ended up seeing the dynamic duo a couple nights later, and they invited us to a Brazilian party celebrating teh end of the school year for the university students before everyone bounced back to Brazil for the holidays and vacation. Oops, they did it again those dang Brazilians. They managed to throw a sweet despedida or going away party. Ian, Mike, Jeff, and I all rolled together, but as mentioned earlier, we could have all been named Jeff for all they cared. I was feeling under the weather....I´d gone to the b room six times, SIX TIMES, before everyone showed up to my spot at 1pm. The culprit, a hamburger from a semi-shady joint. Let´s just say I haven´t gone back since. Terrible timing too because I´d been looking forward to this day for the last week, and I didn´t want to samba so hard that I caiparinhad all over myself and make a mess... if you hear me. Before heading down here to Rosario I always had the idea to go to Brazil and learn Portuguese. This being said, I was super pumped to potentially find a brazilian hook-up or better yet, hook up with a Brazilian!!! We came into the spot to find a large room with tables set up and people sitting around hanging out. They found a spot for us to sit and as we were getting situated Jorgina came up and greeted us. ¨Oh Hellooooooooo Jeff!¨ she said with an alarming ammount of enery for my weary, bathroom scarred body. ¨No, I`m Scott¨.....JEEEEFFFFFFFFFFF....¨No, I´m Mike¨, then, save the day, the real Jeff swoops in and gets the smile from ear to ear from Georgy YYEEEFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!! The j is really more of a y sound.
We sat down for lunch, which was bomb. Rice with bbq meat and beans with some kind of garnishing that I didn´t know, onions, and lettuce. I was a little apprehensive but the food stayed down and was phenomenal. Almost immediately after people ate, tables magically were wisked away, the drums and instruments were brought out, and the dancing began. A group of maybe 3 guys had drums, there was one string instrument, and a shiza ton of singing traditional songs accompanied by rabid samba. I am always so amazed by people who dance well. I can´t understand how their bodies move so fluidly and mine so does not. Apparently the bottle trick was universal and before I could even think to myself, man, it would be sweet if someone put a bottle down so girls would dance over it, someone put a cup down, and we had what must have been the brazilian version of two girls one cup.
The 4hrs we spent all but solidified my desire to go to Brazil. It became more WHEN I go, not IF I go. I mean, there were maybe 100 people there, maybe less maybe more, but the raw energy and happiness was unreal. It was like a real life Mastercard priceless commercial, just like the kids walking up the steps of a baseball stadium and getting to see their first major league game......a moment like that. I can´t even begin to imagine an entire country full of it. I got a Fala Brasil book to help me learn a little Portuguese, but I´ve been a bad student....new year´s resolution is to study for one hour a day......everyday......well, let´s say five days a week........for sure 4, no questions asked.....so far I have definitely NOT walked the line, and I just tell myself that I need to be immersed in the culture to really learn......QUE BOLUDO YO!!!
Rosario has treated me super well. It was great being down here with Mike, and I´ve met a lot of cool people. But I got the itch, and no, it isn´t yellow fever, I got vaccinated BIATCHES!!!!!! Get ready Salvador, Scotty´s heading your way for a little event called Carnaval..........to be continued.......