1. My current apartment has a wall of windows and quite the view.
I happen to be living across the river from the Jockey Club these days, and it’s my fondest ambition to watch some horse races for free. I just learned from my roommate that you can post bets online, and somehow that makes the whole situation just seem that much more chique. As it is, I have seen no horse races, but I have witnessed many tiny little cars driving around the track–Lord knows why–and a village of tents being constructed. The tents are for a music festival that will be happening next week: so the good news is that I will be taking in a concert by Garbage without paying anything. Wins all around. I’d still prefer a race though.
I also get quite a view of the local taxi, mall, and commuter train action. My local grocery store is actually in the ground floor of a mall, which hasn’t yet ceased to blow my mind. The mall also has multiple banks, a few salons, a movie theater, and a theater theater, as well as an Outback steakhouse and some other, actually reputable restaurants. It’s like Little Worlds in there.
3. The other day as I was walking and looking around–something that I definitely don’t do enough, as I am usually concentrated on getting around the infuriating bunch of bejeaned (yep just made that one up) slow ladies in my way on the sidewalk, forchrissake–I realized that none of the buildings here have fire escapes. Nowhere to sit at night in the winter with a glass of wine, nowhere to get into your apartment from if you forget your keys, and, now we’re getting to the point, no way to escape in an emergency.
São Paulo is the worst place to have an emergency of any type. Somehow you can’t get anywhere in less than 40 minutes, even if it’s right next door. When you are at the end of the last bit of rope, taxi drivers choose not to understand you that day, even though you know you’re saying everything correctly. I walk down most of Rua Consolação to get to class twice a week, and rush hour traffic is just a given from 17h on. I almost always see an ambulance stuck in traffic, siren plaintive, sort of an afterthought; cars don’t even try to move out of the way because there is nowhere to go. I always wonder if there is a point in calling in a medical emergency between 5 and 8 pm if you’re in Centro or near the Marginal or far away or really anywhere at all.
I almost cut off a good chunk of my finger, and out of a profound lack of desire–call it an antidesire–to find a cab or get on the Metrô with blood gushing out of my finger, hand clutching a frozen beer can, and navigate a shitton of bureaucracy just to get a few stitches, I opted out and stayed on the couch. I know I would have been waiting around for four hours or more before anything happened at the hospital. Now I have what is shaping up to be an interesting parabolic scar.
If someone dies in an accident, the perícia will take six hours to get there, and they only come that fast because you know someone who knows someone. I didn’t even see an ambulance, although logic tells me there was one at some point.
5. And a song:
6. And to top it all off, I have lost most or all desire to continue working at the place I’m working and doing the things I’m doing, but I haven’t lined up anything else yet. Aaargh. But that’s life yeah?
I have a few ideas and maybe a tentative option in another place and all I can think about is Getting Out of Dodge. Keep your fingers crossed for me and send productive thoughts my way, please, because I really need a swift kick in the ass as far as Applying Myself goes. In caps because these things feel super theoretical to me right now.
I’m blaming it on the weather, which seems to also be having an identity crisis; summer is approaching, but it’s getting colder. I, habitually associating October with chill and pumpkin and Bob Dylan, am incredibly confused by all this because theoretically I know that it’s supposed to be hot and humid but I am not-so-secretly longing for more sweater weather. My more Brazilian side wonders if everyone isn’t in some sort of universal mild Astral Hell (everyone asks what your sign is here when you meet them), because it sure seems like it.
7. ‘Jesus mother of god i hate cats’ tag added to this post because it is and always will be true, and because I saw it just now and it made me smile.