This isn’t real-time. I’m writing this on a jet serviced by American Airlines, on my way to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, August 11th/12th, but by the time I hit “publish”, several hours/days will have passed by. I want to start by saying:
Me - 3, Mercury - 0
Now that that’s out the way (I am hyper-vigilant when that bastard goes retrograde), WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! My long-awaited travels have finally begun!
I began saving for this current trip (and the one coming up in September to Europe) in January of 2010. Waaayyyyy before I had even entertained the idea that I might even submit for a commercial – and even when I submitted, I doubted that I would be cast (and even after I was booked, I was sure I wouldn’t make the final cut for either versions) – I had decided that dammit, I’m going to Brazil in 2011, and Italy too. Back when I was participating in the CAMAC residency program in 2009, the Venice Biennale international art show/exposition was in full swing, but I was on a strict budget and couldn’t afford to go. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make the next one, especially considering how flat broke I was for four months after getting back from France, but I was determined to make it for sure. I had saved up a cool little amount by the middle of last year, but when I was booked for the commercial, and then made the cut in both versions, and the residuals started coming in, I knew for a friggin’ fact that both Brazil and Europe would be a reality for me in 2011.
I’m somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico right now – or maybe even Guyana – finally on my way to Brazil after years of exhortation from my Brazilian friends. I first met minha amiga Brasilera otima, Renny, in one of my animation classes during my fourth year at USC. I don’t really remember how, but we befriended each other and started hanging out a lot. By way of her, I met a whole gaggle of Brazilian kids at USC, most of them super cool and friendly (especially considering the fact that they’re all fabulously wealthy, sheesh), and we all partied together, saw films together, went out together, and such like. Some of my best college memories include those guys and gals. Most of them moved back to Brazil as soon as they were done with school, but there’s a few still hanging around LA, and we try and get together every once in a while. I’m the token poor black friend *wicked grin*. Sometimes I joke with Renny, making her promise to take me to a baile funk party in one of the favelas, and in return I’ll protect her with my blackness and fluency in Brazilian vulgarities (my favorite being “Porra!”)
One USC Brasilera friend in Sao Paulo announced her wedding date earlier this year, and so the date was settled. I SUPER CAN’T WAIT!! I hear Brazilian Jewish weddings are quite the event, plus it’s going to damn near be a college reunion, I’m so happy and excited. Thank Christ the exchange rate works out in my favor for this trip, because for Europe, I’m either going to have to bring pb&j sandwiches or just eat once every other day. The dollar to euro ratio SUCKS right now for Americans.
I first started learning Brazilian Portuguese back in 2006 using Pimsleur CDs, and y’all, omg, the Pimsleur method is like immediate. They use native speakers, have you repeat to match their intonation, and you start speaking whatever language you’re learning right away. I’m learning Italian right now, plus refreshing myself on the Portuguese, and when I get back I’m going to start German.
OK that’s it. I may or may not check in frequently with updates, I don’t know. I’m just going to float on, taking in everything as I experience it, etc. On this trip, I’m just gonna abide, man.
Nossa! Legal! Maravilhosa! SHOW!!!!