Week’s 3 & 4 in Trancoso, Bahia

Week’s 3 & 4 in Trancoso, Bahia

There’s an albino gecko in our bathroom.

I’m not a big fan of gecko’s to start with, but I’m especially not keen on ones of the albino persuasion. Call me prejudice all you want but  seeing a big gecko with almost translucent skin suddenly scurrying across ones bathroom walls is not something that I wish to get used to. In contrast however, I have to say that the gecko’s here are not as numerous nor noisy as I thought that they’d be. When we were in Thailand there were lots of them in our villa and those ones were noisey, especially at night when we were trying to sleep. They would creep into our bedroom and begin making this horrible clicking sound on the ceiling above our bed and coupled with the intense heat that was already making it hard for me to sleep, I couldn’t help but worry that at any moment one of the crusty cretins would drop from the ceiling onto me!

In contrast, the gecko’s here seem to keep themselves to themselves (albino or not). They hide during the day and the only time we really see them is if we suddenly come back from being out allday and go straight into the bathroom or they appear during the night when we get up to go to the toilet. Other then that we don’t really see them during the day at all and aside from the occasion baby gecko that we’ve found in our bathroom, they keep themselves pretty well hidden and they tend to stay out of the bedroom. Also, we haven’t seen a barratas aka cockroach in our apartment for a couple of weeks thank goodness. So it’s just the mosquitoes we’re battling now…and they simply will not let me be!

Our chalet is located along  the beachfront, seperated by the dense mangrove trees, the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. 

Slow Living

The art of slow living can be found here. When we first arrived I remember feeling immediately relaxed as I strolled along the leafy, picturesque Quadrado. The people here don’t rush much, don’t fuss much, life is simple and they really take their time living it. As we’ve found out, living here is very spontaneous affair and we really got to experience this spontaneity on our way to dinner one evening.

We had planned to go to the plant based restaurant Tao Cho but it was closed so we walked down to the Creperie with intentions of having a savoury crepe there instead but as we passed the Supermarket we bumped into one of our newly made local friends, the Dutch Viking looking friend,who was the husband of the Brazilian man who had invited us to celebrate this birthday with them the week before at Capim Santo. We soon got into conversation with him and before long, 5 minutes turned into 10, turned into 15, and then along came our Airbnb host who was also passing by on her way to dinner somewhere, and then the Brazilian guy arrived and other locals either joined in the conversation or came over to say Hi. Before long there was a large group of around 8 or 9 people congregating outside the Supermarket (and probably blocking it too!) laughing and making merry and none of us had planned to meet at all – it was completely random.

The guys were planning on going to the Sushi restaurant and invited us to join them. This was the norm here. You’d walk down the street (to be fair it was the only “main street” in Trancoso), and in doing so you would bump into people you knew (or didn’t yet know) going about their leisurely business and so you’d join them for dinner or drinks or a dance. You could never be bored or lonely here. 

I thought that it was great. People seemed to be friendly and tactile, there was lots of kissing and hugging between friends and family and a natural warmth and openness between the locals that I really liked. And the environment was very conducive to this way of life. For a start it’s small village like feel had a feeling of intimacy, the environment was very laid back and of course it didn’t hurt that it was beautiful at all times of the day.

In the morning you could walk along the Quadrado and see only a handful of people walking around, usually people selling fresh coconuts, handmade jewellery, chocolate and dream catchers as the sun came up. The cloudless blue sky, the piercing green vibrancy of the trees and the colourful pousada’s lining it was picture perfect. In the afternoons the restaurants surrounding the square would be open and lots of people would be milling about eating outside in the sunshine whilst beautiful well kept horses strolled on by enjoying their exceedingly good life.

In the evening, lanterns and fairy lights would be strung up in the trees providing a romantic glow to the atmosphere, and if you were lucky to get there just before the sun went down then you could have the best of both worlds watching local musicians strumming traditional Brazilian songs on their guitars.

 Of course this place was catering for the tourists, that was undeniable, but it was also undeniable that this place had an authenticity and beauty that made it unique and it had a tranquility that was very hypnotic. Brazilians considered this place to be the secret jewel in their crown and they came from all over the country to experience it. We felt very lucky to have discovered it!

Life on the Quadrado

We were flattered to have been invited out for a very impromptu dinner with our new Brazilian friends after randomly bumping into them in the street but we didn’t fancy having sushi that night so we thanked them and went on our way. Unfortunately for us Tao Cho was closed so we went onto the Creperie where we had another amazing crepe, we then passed by the Quadrado on the way home to pick up a Tapioca Pancake for dessert which we had with banana, coconut and chocolate! The combination of having a savoury crepe for dinner and a sweet tapioca pancake for dessert was great but unfortunately they put WAY too much chocolate sauce in the Tapioca pancake which spoilt it.

The following day we went back to Tao Cho and this time it was open. We had a long conversation with the owner and his wife who had a constantly disappointed expression on her face. Judging by how she responded when we enquired about their plans for the Christmas Holidays, I figured that the disappointed expression on her face had alot to do with her probably being overworked, overheated and underpaid. Both originally from other parts of Brazil, she told us that she had spent some time in New Zealand which I knew was known for having a pretty good work life balance. Yet here she was in Brazil, in one of the most hot and humid parts of the country, working her ass off (she was the main cook in the restaurant as they hadn’t found a fulltime chef yet), doing very long days to realise what was soon becoming clear was her husbands dream of living somewhere beautiful and hot whilst owning a vegan restaurant. She seemed to be doing all of the hard work, cooking in the hot and very small kitchen whilst he went around conjuring up elaborate vegan recipes and making small talk with customers like us!

They were not getting to experience the “slow living” that this location was all about. They were working and working hard in extreme heat and humidity that was at times too a little too much even for us and we were living the slowest life possible, lol. Also, their “restaurant” was far too small. It was more like a hut really. How she could be cooking these elaborate plant based meals which required alot of imagination and ingredients prep in that tiny kitchen in the intense heat was beyond me. And that probably explained why whilst we were sitting there talking to the owner and drinking our cups of Kombucha (another favourite drink of ours that we first had in Bali), we saw a cockroach scurry underneath the floorboards. And then we saw another one that had earlier been squashed on the floor! 

It was so humid in that restaurant that it probably attracted those horrid barratas like noone’s business! Alas, the fact that I was able to still remain sitting in the restaurant where I had seen a cockroach is a testament to my tolerance level increasing with regards to encountering these horrible beasts.

It of course also helped that I didn’t see the thing inside the restaurant, it was outside in the seating area. When we saw a cockroach/barratas in the pizzeria in Florianopolis, we never returned there again. But to be fair, the people making the pizza’s in that restaurant looked questionable anyway. We figured that if they had seen one in the kitchen they would probably let it roam free whereas this man saw it at the same time that we did and tried to kill it immediately afterwards.

Oxe Club

We didn’t want to go back to Fly Club again because despite the fact that it was in a good location next to the stunning purple lake and characterful mangroves it was difficult to get to unless it was low tide, and the playlist that they had at Fly Club which we initially thought was great, seemed to be the only one they had! We could hear the music from our apartment balcony during the day and we heard them playing the same playlist over and over again and guess what? – it wasn’t THAT good. I couldn’t bare going there to hear the same tunes playing over and over again and by this point I was getting to know the order of them too which really wasn’t good at all.

So we walked in the opposite direction and we came across Oxe Club, which was next to Uxua (the hotel owned by the owner of Diesel) and it looked very similar but was perhaps a little less posey. The waiters there were very friendly and the food was good. I ordered a fresh Coconut which surprisingly would be my first in Brazil! Despite the fact that fresh Coconut was sold everywhere I hadn’t been in the mood for one before now but thankfully it was as good as I’d hoped it would be. When I’ve had fresh Coconut before (apart from the one I’d had at Finn’s Club in Bali), it was always warm and watery but this one was actually cold, fresh and had a lovely delicate coconut flavour. This one was definitely the best coconut I’ve had and it was so refreshing! We swam in the sea here too which was much easier to do as the waves weren’t as high. The water was clear and so so warm. Simply divine. For me, the wildness of the beaches here, and the abundance of them make them so attractive. Brazil has a beautiful beach for every day of the month!

The heat is in the early thirties everyday and I’ve kind of gotten used to that, but the humidity I cannot. Even when it’s overcast the humidity is crazy and just getting to the shops is a massive effort. I realise that I perhaps shouldn’t complain as if I was asked if I wanted to trade it in with the climate of England then I would say HELL NO, however, getting up and ambling up the hill to go the shop in order to get food supplies doesn’t count as a very productive day in my book, lol.

My braids need redoing. They have lasted pretty good thus far, but I always intended on getting them redone at the halfway point and as we only have another 2 weeks her to go we are getting to that point! I asked one of our friends if they knew where I could get them redone here (since I haven’t seen any Afro hair salons here in Trancoso and I couldn’t find any when I looked online), so they gave me a number of someone they said done braids and I sent the girl a WhatsApp message but she didn’t bother messaging me back. I tried to message her again but again she didn’t respond so I’ve given up. Looks like I’ll just have to get it done in Colombia! 

We’re loving the coffee here. We drink it everyday (espresso), and sometimes I even have it as an after dinner palate cleanser. Also beer. I’ve been having lots of beer which I normally wouldn’t really drink. The Brazilians drink a lot of beer here so I’ve been joining them alas I’m going to give it a rest now as I don’t want to return to England with a beer belly! Lol 

We haven’t left Trancoso yet but that’s partly because of the time of year (Ian’s birthday is the day after tomorrow, and then it’s Christmas and New Year), partly because we’ve been working, and also because tbh we haven’t really wanted to. Trancoso is afterall the main event in Bahia! However we have identified a few places that have been recommended to us that we would like to go to before we leave but again, we’re in no particular rush to do them so we’ll probably go after New Year.

Nativo’s Beach

Moonlight Dancer

We were invited to a music festival with our “Brazil Family”. Apparently it’s a house music festival in celebration of an African deity (aka mythological spiritual being) called Orisha Oxala that was brought to Brazil with the religion of the African Slaves. Oxala is one of the 12 God’s who the locals worship and like many other supernatural beings that human beings conjure up in their minds, it still retains followers/believers because of course, you cannot disprove what does not exist therefore the belief persists. Despite my skepticism about the existence of this deity I liked the fact that it was an authentic tradition with such a long history so when our Airbnb host friend told us that it was an event for the locals that the tourists weren’t really interested in attending then Josh and I told her straightaway that we definitely wanted to go!

Oxala festival was their Midsummers night celebration, which commenced at sunrise and ended at sunset. Apparently it was to go on until around 6:00 am the next day (Josh’s birthday), but I had plans for that day and I didn’t want to be destroyed as a result of partying too late so we agreed that we would leave the party around 1:30 am.

I really wanted to make Josh’s Birthday special. He deserved it but it had been much easier to organise something special for his birthday when we were in Thailand partly because of the ease of finding out what was going on in the area and because language had not been a barrier: most places in Thailand spoke at least a little English, at least enough for me to make a reservation. But here I had limited ideas because there was no centralised place to find out what events or activities were going on in the area, plus Josh was still suffering with a bad back since the first night we’d arrived here so I knew that he wouldn’t be able to do anything too strenuous. And then of course there was the language barrier. Many places in Trancoso and in Florianopolis didn’t have a way for you to book on their website (where at least I could use Google Translate), they only offered telephone numbers and many of them didn’t have a website at all, only Facebook! I mean I know that they’re laid back here but really this is a little too laid back!

I couldn’t find any birthday cards or candles in any of the local shops and most of the time Josh and I went shopping together which made it doubly hard to look without him finding out. Also, there were no cakes! Well not whole cakes anyway and I didn’t want to get a shitty Supermarket bought one. So I was in a bit of a pickle. I knew that he wouldn’t really appreciate a “thing” as he much prefers experiences as presents and in any case Amazon was only a recent thing here in Brazil, and the selection of things on Amazon.br was pretty poor. No, I wanted to take him for a nice dinner in the evening instead which thankfully I had managed to secure in the best restaurant in Trancoso, El Gordo. And before that my plan was to take him to a beach club called Casa Clube in the afternoon which had been recommended to me by my Brazil family, where I had organised for them to meet us for surprise drinks and lunch. 

Josh had mentioned that morning that he still wanted to do the Wind Surfing that he had previously expressed an interest in so I told him to book some lessons and I’d pay for it. I was very relieved that I hadn’t gone ahead and paid for the lessons before he had confirmed that he was well enough to do it but after discussing with him that that’s what he would like to do, I was happy to know that we had been on the same page!

Deciding what to wear for this party tonight was a lot harder then expected. On one hand I didn’t want to just go in shorts and a vest as it was a party afterall and these were Brazilians: they looked good in anything. But at the same time I wanted to be comfortable (meaning not too hot), so in the end I decided on a strappy black dress which wouldn’t be too casual, was suitable to wear to a party but not too fancy and was skimpy enough for me to dance and therefore, sweat in. Of course I didn’t want to sweat at all but unfortunately I didn’t have a choice in the matter as this place was just too bloody hot!

The party was being held on a farm just outside of Trancoso about a 40 minute drive away. The organisers had put on vans so that the party revellers could get there and back with no issues. We went to a local bar in the afternoon to pick up our tickets. Ours said VIP on them which did make us wonder what extras were included but apparently that was just for the van there and back and a free alcoholic drink each. This wasn’t a party for the roped off VIP crowd party types, this was an event for the locals who just wanted to watch the sunset and sunrise in a beautiful, natural environment whilst listening to great music: It sounded like the kind of party that was made for me!

Very concerned about the fact that it was being held on a remote farm (with limited toilet facilities so I had been warned by our friends), I made certain that I coated myself heavily in the supposed insect repellent Avon’s Skin So Soft Oil Spray and a heavy dose of 50% DEET Jungle Formula for good measure. I seemed to be the favourite meal of the day for these abominable mosquitoe beasts and I was not going to be destroyed by them again tonight if I could possibly help it!

Our Airbnb host said that she also wasn’t planning to stay until the very end and as we were leaving to go to the party at 8:00 pm I thought that 5 hours of partying was quite enough. I had spoken to the Brazilian and Dutch couple earlier that day and they had confirmed that they would not be coming to both the party that night and Josh’s birthday lunch at the beach club the following day and I told them that I wasn’t aware that they were planning on coming to both and that if that was the case then I would much prefer they come to the lunch as that was on Josh’s birthday afterall but when I went to the bar to meet our other friends there they were at the bar. However they went onto dinner first though and didn’t end up making it.

When we arrived at the party venue after an extremely bumpy and dusty journey to the venue which was much quicker then the 40 minutes I had expected, we soon realised that we were literally the only ones there. Located in a huge expanse of forest between beautiful tall trees and overlooking a valley with a winding lake a few metres below, I could hardly see anything it was so dark but what I could see I could only imagine would be breathtakingly beautiful during the day. The place certainly had alot of atmosphere and was quite magical really.

They did have some lights but nowhere near enough to illuminate the darkness of the surrounding woodland. When I was told that the party was going to be on a farm I was imagining the worst: long, unkempt muddy grass and lots of bushes and trees but it wasn’t like that. It was more flat dry soil then anything else, the trees were very spread out and there were a variety of places to dance and sit. And there were even proper toilets (not portaloos as I was imagining!), infact I had been warned previously that there might only be 1 toilet which would undoubtedly be too disgusting to use so I was preparing to wee in the bush! Now I didn’t have to. Hurrah!

The sound system was loud and bumping and from what I could hear they were playing some good, deep house music which is exactly what I was hoping for The only problem was that we were the only ones there, and I couldn’t work out why as we weren’t the first to arrive – this party had started at 5:00 pm and it was now 9:00 pm so we weren’t being “too English” by turning up too early. Alas, it didn’t bother me too much because the place had food in the form of a food stand around the corner, toilets for men and women, a bar, lots of places to sit down and most importantly, good music that seemed to just get better and better as time went on.

After holding it for as long as I reasonably could I finally made my way to the ladies toilets. Modern they were yes, but free from creatures they were most certainly NOT.

As soon as I approached the bathroom I could see that it was teaming with these big ugly looking black beetles. They were crawling everywhere both inside and outside the toilets, on the walls, the floor and even in the sink! The beetles looked as though they may have been dying as the ones on the floor and on the sink were twisting over and over. Perhaps the organisers had sprayed the place with some kind of chemical to get rid of them or something but either way, alive, dead or dying they were vile. Big, shiny, black and too many to count, I felt quite ill looking at them but I really needed to go to the toilet so I took a deep breath and went into the toilet cubicle accompanied by 2 juicy black beetles writhing around on the floor.

As I was doing my business I kept my eyes on them, watching them closely as they writhed around on the floor, opening and closing their wings as if they would fly at me at any moment. Bloody horrible.

When I went to the sink area to wash my hands I was shocked to find that it was even worse – the entire sink area including the floor, wall and the sink itself was infested with them. I realised that I was either intoxicated (and I hadn’t had that much to drink), or I had turned some kind of corner with regards to my tolerance for creepy crawlies as I was able to put my hands into the sink with 8 shiny black beetles (who were still alive) and wash my hands whilst they were crawling around in it frantically.

Afterwards I left to join my group of friends and Josh who were on the dancefloor dancing to a really good deep house tune and before long I found the flow that I had hoped to find as tune after tune after tune came on in rapid succession, until I completely forgot that anyone was was there.

I was totally in the vibe. 

A soft breeze kissed my skin under the moonlight, I loved the feeling of being so free in this open and vast natural environment, it had such a magical, special energy about it, surrounded by all of the ancient trees in the middle of nowhere overlooking the winding lake below. There were so many beautiful places like this is Brazil and I was always being surprised at the depth of beauty it had. The sound system was excellent, the music had a deep, raw tribal sound that accompanied it perfectly. I felt so alive it was as if I could fly. I was completely immersed in the vibe, feeling every beat of the music completely unaware of who might be watching.

About an hour into dancing I was approached by a Brazilian girl who was as beautiful as many of them are, talking excitedly to me (in Portuguese). Naturally, I didn’t understand a word of what she said but the expression on her face seemed so earnest that I grabbed one of my friends who could speak and understand Portuguese and asked her to repeat it. When I found out what she said I was beyond flattered. The girl said had she had come up to me because she said that she had felt compelled to tell me how beautifully I danced. She had thought that I was a native Brazilian and had been so impressed with how I moved that she wanted to know if I was some kind of a dancer! Me? A dancer? And a BRAZILIAN one at that?! – well I have to say that compliment tops them all! lol.

Turns out the girl could speak English afterall – she was actually pretty fluent, she just didn’t realise that I wasn’t a Bahian. So we began talking and I found out that she was originally from Sao Paulo but was in Trancoso until the beginning of January. She told me that she loved Trancoso so much that she couldn’t help but keep on coming back (a sentiment I thoroughly understood). We talked about other travel destinations that we’d both been to and she told me what she did for a living (she was a digital marketer for the Brazilian equivalent of Amazon).

She was really sweet and genuine and we swapped numbers and said that we’d try and meet up whilst we were both still there.

I perhaps should be used to it by now, but the openness and friendliness of the people here is very surprising. I have never experienced anything quite like it before. Unfortunately, the food at the venue left alot to be desired. We had banana with farofa, which is like a root which looks and tastes like a root (or sawdust!) that the Brazilians like to put on meat or fish usually. Since it has the look, texture and taste of sawdust I’m not entirely sure what the benefit is of having it on ANY food but it seems to be a Brazilian staple. Perhaps it’s for the purpose of making people feel more full? Or maybe it has some nutritional benefits that I’m not aware of? either way they served the sawdust with cubes of fried banana (which was COLD) and my new friend Luciana was perhaps even more disgusted with it then I was. She said that it was the worst farofa that she had ever tasted. So, pretty bad then, lol.

Despite the music being excellent, with a stream of DJ’s waiting to play until the early hours when the sun came up, the place remained empty. No party is great without people being present but I didn’t care all that much because I was just enjoying the music. According to our friends the advertising of the event hadn’t been very good and most people had only found out about it a couple of days ago. Also, Brazilians are renowned for not turning up for events apparently. Whether it’s an event that they’ve previously paid for or a dinner party at someone’s house it doesn’t matter, if they don’t feel up to it they simply won’t show up, and coupled with the unprofessional/extremely lazy way I’ve seen them advertise events here I figured it was inevitable that the organisers wouldn’t have the numbers they were hoping for.

But the promoter (who seemed to know Luciana) seemed VERY upset that the party was so empty. Despite us being there for a good 6 hours when we left to go and get on the awaiting van to take us home at 2:30 am in the morning he came and addressed the entire van (which was pretty much the entire contents of his party!), to try to explain why it had perhaps been such a disappointment and said that he was sad that we were leaving. But all I was thinking was that we had planned to leave at 1:30 am so we had stayed an extra hour, partly because the bloody van that was supposed to take us home hadn’t turned up and partly because the music had been too good to leave and I still had some dancing to do. But now it was definitely time to go!

Midsummers Oxala Party 

At the party earlier on in the day

The next day (Josh’s birthday), the girl I met the night before text me suggesting that we meet up for lunch! I mean such a thing simply doesn’t happen in the UK, small town or not. These people are unbelievably friendly! I apologised to her, telling her that it was Josh’s birthday and I actually had plans for the day but that I would be happy to meet up at some other time.

Needless to say after getting home after 3:00 am Josh and I was feeling pretty destroyed when we woke up. I cooked him breakfast with the limited food supplies we did have and then I set about trying to make his day as good as I could despite having no actual birthday card to give him (I had sent him an e-card instead), no birthday cake or candles and no present! Also, I was still feeling a little hungover from the night before and I had woken up with a fresh load of mosquitoe bites no doubt a present from the mossies who were ecstatic to find me bare fleshed and ripe for the sucking dancing wildly in the middle of the jungle. Alas, Josh wasn’t to know all this and he certainly deserved to have as good a day as was possible.

Afterall, despite all the things that I had wanted to get to make the day perfect, we were already in the most glorious of locations in beautiful Brazil, we had lovely friends to meet, drinks to drink, food to eat, and we had the sun, sand and sea on our side! So, we weren’t doing too badly at all!

I still didn’t want to tell him what I had planned so I just told him that we would spend the day on the beach relaxing. It’s what I had planned anyway but we both REALLY needed a chance to relax now as we were feeling a little worse for wear. The only thing was that I didn’t know exactly where this beach club was but from what I had understood it was quite a walk away. After about 20 minutes of walking Josh, who was still very much hungover so in a worse state then me, started to enquire why on earth we were walking so far on the beach, where we were going etc and it took everything in me to keep it a secret as I my legs felt like lead too and walking along this beach with it’s extremely thick sand that sloped into the sea, was no easy task. The sun also couldn’t have been more intense. It was knackering!

The more I looked over at Josh, who looked exhausted and bewildered the worse I felt about making him walk all this way just to get to a specific beach club but I told myself that it would be worth it in the end. All of our Brazil Family planned to meet us at Casa Clube which was all the way at the other end of the beach and in a secluded location, and today they had a DJ playing chilled out music for what they liked to call their “Sunday Sessions” so I figured that it was probably the right place to take him for some proper rest and relaxation on his birthday with friends before our big dinner later that evening.

After 40 minutes of walking down the beach we finally made it there and when we were taken to a large table with “proper” wooden chairs and a beautiful hand carved wooden table I knew that we had come to the right spot.  Soon after our friends turned up to surprise Josh who was definitely operating at only 50% but who was happy and pleasantly surprised to see them nonetheless. He did however ask me (worriedly) whether they would be joining us this evening too and I assured him that no they would not, it would just be the two of us. 

Even I understood that this meeting up thing was getting to be a little too regular, but of course it was still lovely to be invited!

The lunch was wonderful. Many of the other Brazilian beach clubs (and restaurants) were so close to one another that they had competing music. Rather then them agree between them a time to play music so that they didn’t clash with each other, they each played their respective music at full blast and it sounded horrible. But this place was so far away from all of the other beach clubs that they could play their music as loud as they wanted to and not disturb anyone else. They also had a prime position on the beach that made the most of the surrounding landscape. The waiters (many of whom surely must have been gay), and all of whom were very attractive, walked around wearing ONLY swimming trunks (the teeny tiny kind that shows everything), and some swim boots, and I was surprised (and elated), to see that whenever they felt like it in between taking orders they would simply dive into the sea and go for a nice swim in the sea! The girls were wearing swimming costumes too but they didn’t look as good somehow, lol.

During the lunch, suddenly a group of waiters appeared with what at first looked like a cake (with candles on!) singing happy birthday to Josh! I really wasn’t expecting it at all and when I asked around I found that one of our friends had organised it knowing how hard it was for me to find a birthday cake in Trancoso (it was a sticky grated coconut which was very delicious). I was very touched that they had gone to such effort for us.

Afterwards one of our other friends called El Gordo, the restaurant I had booked for his birthday meal, and changed the time of the reservation for us as Josh was insisting that he needed a nap before we went out that night as he was feeling so destroyed from the night before and we couldn’t converse with them in Portuguese in order to change it. Despite me booking it early so that we could see the beautiful views surrounding the restaurant before it turned pitch black as was the norm at around 7:00 pm,  I wasn’t going to argue with him as I was feeling pretty destroyed myself! I thanked all of them very much for being so awesome and we left them to go for a snooze before the main event!

As we walked back to our apartment we spoke about how how lucky we were. 

How easy it would be to get used to this and forget how good it was for us to be able to have this experience. To be in such a beautiful place as this. Just watching the way the light hit the water was a joy, the unbelievable blue of the sea that was always so warm, clear and ready to swim in, happy people playing beach games and all of the lovely people we’d met on our journeys so far. To be able to not just sample this new culture but to really immerse ourselves in it us such a special priviledge. To taste the food, drink the drink, hear the music and go where the locals go. And all without rushing! without being on a timescale. Without worrying that we had a flight to catch or anywhere in particular to go. What a sweet and wonderful thing this is. And how very lucky we are. No, we didn’t want to take this for grated at all!

Feeling refreshed and ready to have a great celebratory meal in a lovely location we got dressed and went to the restaurant. Again I hadn’t told Josh that we were planning on going there so he was pleasantly surprised when we walked into El Gordo. 

It was a very classy restaurant, which had a prime position on the Quadrado where the colourful wooden tables decorated with flickering lanterns overlooked a beautiful pool area with elegantly white drapery and a panoramic view of the valley and the picturesque beach below. Through the reflection in the window I saw the exceedingly handsome American news anchorman Anderson Cooper, who I knew had a home built here in Trancoso. Sitting in the same restaurant as us with his husband, there he was in a private room decorated as a treehouse connected to the main restaurant, wearing his trademark black rimmed glasses with those distinctive piercing blue. 

After weeks of Josh and I listening to the Trump impeachment saga play out and watching Anderson’s increasingly more apparent exasperation about this diabolical and utterly hideous president being able to do and say whatever he wants and more then get away with it, he looked very much at home and relaxed here in this tropical and unassuming environment. Good for him I thought, he deserves it just for being an American! lol

Thankfully Josh’s dish was good according to him but unfortunately mine was not. For my main I tried one of their “Portuguese dishes” – a codfish gratin which was not nice at all. I was a little suspect about how good it would be when I ordered it since when (apart from Nando’s) do you ever see Portuguese food on a fine dining menu? I rest my case.

And unfortunately for me it was not only not very nice – it was far too salty (they seem to LOVE their salt here), there was too much fish in it which had no flavour and was too dense, and the cheese as with most of the cheese that I had tasted here, simply wasn’t up to par. The cheese here has no flavour! None. Even the Parmesan is mild. And I do love me some cheese so this is a huge disappointment.

Josh had a steak, which came with risotto and he really enjoyed it so I was happy about that at least. For dessert I ordered the Tiramisu, but it was perhaps the worst (or one of the worst) Tiramisu’s that I have ever tasted. I mean I’m even comparing that to the delivery Tiramisu’s that I’ve had on occasion. Really. It had no body – it was almost completely flat, the cream wasn’t creamy, and I couldn’t even taste any sponge or the alcohol in it – infact the only thing I really did taste was the coffee powder sprinkles on top! Bloody awful I tell you. I couldn’t believe that this was the kind of food that they were serving celebrities and the like and this was supposed to be Trancoso’s best restaurant? Get outta here!

On the other hand Josh really enjoyed his dessert. So who knows what’s going on in that kitchen!

Josh and I at El Gordo

Christmas Home from Home

We had been invited to spend Christmas day at the home of our newly friends, the gay couple who had a home in the hills. The Brazilian and Dutch men had built their home themselves with the help with another local builder, the Brazilian husband of another British woman we’d met. The British woman, like Susan, arrived in Trancoso a number of years ago and fell in love with the place and after meeting her Brazilian husband a few years ago they set up home together, bought some land and are also planning on building their own home here. We were reliably told by our Brazil Family that our hosts home was beautiful and judging by how highly creative and passionate they both were we could well believe that this was true. They were artists. The Brazilian was a great painter with a dramatic flair for colour, and the Dutchman who was a school teacher back in Amsterdam where he still spent half the year, liked to paint too. Together, they were commissioned to create 1,000 paintings inspired by Trancoso in Europe, which is how of course they discovered the place only to decide promptly upon arrival that they were moving here!

Being in an exotic location on Christmas day was definitely a bit of a treat. Though we had spent Christmas in a foreign country a few times before, it had always been just the two of us which had been perfectly fine with us but it was also nice to do something different this year.. Christmas back home was always a joyous and noisy affair spent alternating between my adorably loud and boisterous family and Josh’s quieter but also very lovely, fun family. So to have Christmas away from the over commercialised, cold and gloomy environment of the UK on occasion was very refreshing indeed, especially now that it was essentially a Brexmas Christmas! In other non European countries like Brazil, Christmas wasn’t really a thing and so we put our time to best use by spending the day on a glorious (and largely empty) beach.

All of the dinner guests had been asked to bring a dish along with us so I set about making some Spaghetti Carbonara and Spicy Portuguese Rice to go with the rest of the dishes that people were bringing.

Since it didn’t feel anything like Christmas day I decided that I wasn’t going to bother making anything typically Christmassy and in anycase we were in Brazil, not England – they probably had never even heard of pigs in blankets or onion and sage stuffing!

Getting to their villa was no easy task. Indeed, shopping for the ingredients for the dishes I planned to make was no easy task. We had to go to the Shopping Centre, which was located a knackeringly 25-30 minute walk away in the intense Bahian sun, to do our shopping and then try to explain to the people who worked in the Supermarket in broken Portuguese that we needed them to deliver the shopping to us at our residence which had no actual address. 

Yes, these people liked to do things the hard way. Rather then providing a proper address like any other normal person would, they liked to operate within this vague zone of describing where things were using landmarks. In this instance the landmark we had been told to give them by our Airbnb host was the pousada on the corner of our road “La Refuge” but the shop workers only looked confused when we told them this and we were finding it increasingly hard trying to communicate to them where it was.

In the end after 10 frustrating minutes of trying to describe to them just where our place was, we gave up and called our Airbnb host. Thinking this would be easily resolved by someone who could speak the native language fluently, we were surprised when even she struggled to communicate with them. After around 20 minutes of waiting around whilst the shop workers passed the phone around to each other with confused expressions on their faces, we finally got a thumbs up from them, meaning (we hoped), that they knew where to bring our shopping. 

We were completely out of food in our apartment but that wasn’t what worried me the most. What worried me the most was that we were out of water, and since we couldn’t drink the water from the tap, that was a very big problem if they didn’t deliver it to us later that day. To make sure that we didn’t miss the delivery we told them to give us 30 minutes to get home which was just about how long it took us to navigate the steep, dusty, uneven streets in the heat.

Another cause of concern for us, and a major one judging by how much of it we went through because of it’s highly addictive nature, was Acai, which we bought multiple tubs of but now every single one of the Supermarkets in the area had completely sold out of! Neither one of us could live without Acai we had decided, and now that we had discovered it’s fresh and tasty delights, we were completely hooked. We had even started searching for it back in the UK so that we could be fully stocked all year round. 

This delightful Amazonian berry was delicious and went with everything. It was sweet (but not too sweet), and people here had it both to accompany savoury and sweet dishes. We liked to have it as a smoothie, or as a bowl, with banana and other fruits, granola and coconut flakes. Alot of places served it with honey but it didn’t need to be sweetened anymore, it was sweet enough. Perfectly sweet actually. We had bought another brand of Acai recently (before seeing that it was made by the quite dodgy Nestle company!), and in comparison to the other locally made brands that we’d had, concluded that it tasted horrible. It was far too sweet and it tasted almost synthetic. It was nothing like the natural Acai berry.  I knew that we needed to find some proper Acai soon because Joah and I had already started to get withdrawal symptoms, lol.

Thankfully, after about an hour someone turned up at our place with our shopping, but because of the extremely vague nature of the directions (and despite him talking to a local to refine it), the driver still went past our place TWICE. Just shows you how impossible the task would be if we would have to give the directions ourselves, as if the owner of the property, a local who can speak the language cannot do it, then how the hell could we be expected to?

Coconut Chips and Acai – a few of my favourite things

Now here we were in one of the most exotic of locations in the world about to spend time with new local friends we’ve made in their beautiful home on Christmas day!

We felt very honoured to have been invited and were excited to see their home. Since it was clearly a mission to get a taxi here since nobody knew where anything was, in order to get a taxi one was expected to walk to the taxi rank in order to hail one (which kind of defeats the purpose of getting a taxi does it not?), alas as I’ve said, things can be a little backward here! Our Airbnb host actually had to go on her scooter to the taxi rank in order to get a taxi driver to follow her to our apartment to pick us up and take us to our friends home. I hope you’re following! To me, such a thing was utterly ridiculous alas this was the reality of living in this location. Despite it being a very small town and people knowing each other, the taxi drivers used landmarks to find peoples homes, most of which were built from scratch and had no door numbers so were almost impossible to find.

Once we had been picked up (food and drinks and a Panettone in tow), we were taken up the ridiculously bumpy and steep hill to their villa which was hidden amongst the densely packed tropical jungle. As soon as we arrived we started hearing dogs barking behind a HUGE ornately carved wooden door so we guessed that we had arrived as we knew that they had 3 dogs. A couple of seconds later out came our friends greeting us with huge, welcoming smiles on their faces. They were still dressed in their day clothes though and despite us arriving much later then we said we would they of course told us that we were early! We followed them in, through the utterly stunning tropical gardens which felt like a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the busy and getting busier town. A stunning variety of exotic, colourful flowering trees and plants adorned the gardens, with coconut and palm trees planted throughout. It was hard to believe this was not a hotel/pousada let alone the home of just 2 guys (oh and 3 dogs and 29 chickens, we can’t forget them now can we?). But it really was something. Like an oasis of peace.

When the guys had originally told me that they had 29 chickens the very first thing I asked them was did they smell as I know chickens to have a distinctively “off” musty smell and I could imagine that the heat only intensified it, but when I asked them if they smelt, they said no, they did not. They told me that because their grounds were so big (their plot was 3,000 sq metres!) with no nearby neighbours, the chickens truly were free range. These chickens could roam and range til their hearts were content and now that I had seen it for myself (the chickens did have a pen but it like the whole property was huge), I could now confirm that not only did these chickens not smell at all (I couldn’t even detect a whiff of an unpleasant smell), but they were infact living a very good life indeed! Not to mention the dogs, who were roaming around the stunning property like they owned the place, and perhaps in some ways they did, lol.

The house also was stunning, it had a panoramic wrap around ground floor balcony which housed an abundance of beautiful artefacts, vintage chairs and tables (many of which they’d made themselves). A long stone bench with decorative throw cushions and an abundance of hammocks tied up between trees and hanging lazily from the ceiling completed the homely, colourful and bohemian styled home. It was gorgeous. The kitchen was large and open, perfect for entertaining, featuring lots of paintings and artwork hung on the walls which they told me that they had made themselves. The home felt very personal and intimate,and felt very comfortable, and they had spent many man hours not just decorating it themselves but actually making things there such as the gigantic wooden door we had come through when we arrived. Like most of the houses here, it was outdoor living to the extreme. It was both inviting nature in and incorporating nature into the design.

The shower room and sink was located in a beautiful outdoor tropical rainforest area that they had made themselves with a beautiful stone freestanding sink. It was both natural and elegant. I wasn’t surprised at all when they told me that they occasionally had the odd frog in the bathroom area as it looked like it was an environment where a frog would be very much at home! I wasn’t sure how much I would be able to take of this “outdoor living” as as beautiful as it was I wasn’t well equipped enough to deal with the abundance of wildlife that such an environment attracted. But I did acknowledge it’s beauty.

I never forgot the Balinese styled home we stayed in in Bali, that we eventually had to leave after being under siege by every and any unwelcome creature in the natural world. Bats, giant snails, worms, geckos, mosquitoes and cats made their way into our “open living” home with a casualness that neither of us were feeling. We had no choice but to leave – they had taken over. 

Their home had no doors and or windows, just holes cut out of the concrete providing a stunning view of the surrounding jungle. On the first floor was their King sized room complete with mosquitoe net (it wasn’t just us getting bitten then), and then the piece de resistance: A roof top lounge area where they’d put some blankets and pillows down for us to watch the stars later. 

The stars here in Bahia, were a thing of beauty. They were close and bright enough to see flickering in the night sky each night and it was a beautiful and magical thing to behold. This was where we had also been invited to spend our New Years Eve, bringing in the end of the year with our new friends whilst watching the surrounding fireworks from the whole of Bahia. What a joy.

Dinner was a wonderful affair though it being so hot none of us ate very much. We didn’t even touch the spicy rice that I’d made as we were all so full even after hardly eating anything at all. Dessert was a refreshing and delicious caramelised banana with ice-cream. We had fresh Caipirinha’s made by Fernando, and too many beers to drink. Being there, listening to traditional Brazilian music, on a Christmas night that didn’t really feel like Christmas, with such friendly and welcoming people in such a unique and beautiful environment felt very special to us. That night will stay in our memories for a long time.

The following day was the UK Christmas Day where it IS a big deal. We got home really late after having a long, leisurely dinner, lots of drinks and then retiring to the rooftop to watch the stars. So we weren’t feeling in the best of conditions when we woke especially early to call both of our folks. We called Josh’s family first, and I was feeling so bewildered and groggy that I could scarcely talk, but of course they were there, Christmas jumpers and all, sprightly as you like because they are 3 hours ahead and it was Christmas Day there, something they had all been anticipating in the UK for the entire year! Whereas we were devoid of energy and it didn’t feel anything like Christmas where we were. Nonetheless they were in good spirits and very much looking forward to the feast ahead.

Then I called my family, who weren’t likely to be eating anytime soon. I enquired about my new nephew (almost 2 months old already!), and my niece, who was now sleeping in her glamorous white bed looking like sleeping beauty herself. I hadn’t seen her (or my nephew for that matter) on Facetime yet but now that I could see her sleeping there I was in no doubt of what a huge beauty she was. She was utterly stunning, looking like a little doll – completely serene wearing a little teddy jumpsuit, delicate features resting with her little balled up fists on either side of her. A beauty indeed. I spoke to my brother and sister in law about how it was having her in their lives so suddenly and they confirmed what I’ve always known: that it’s bloody hard! Alas, I’m sure that they will become accustomed to it. After so long of it being just the two of them, now to suddenly have this tiny helpless being, that they had an indescribable amount of love for, to take care of and care for, must be alot to adjust to. But I was in no doubt that they both had what it took to devote themselves to bringing her up well, and as for me, well I just couldn’t wait to rain down an abundance of kisses and cuddles on her! And I looked forward to doing the same to my nephew too who I’d heard was getting very big!

The following day we woke up and were on our balcony and suddenly we heard some chirping coming from the trees surrounding our chalet and then we saw them: Monkeys! We’d been previously told by our Airbnb host that there were lots of monkeys in the area and they liked very much to jump through the trees, run on rooftops (which we’d definitely heard), and even come into the chalet, but apart from one time where we’d seen a small family of them because food was being left out for them by the tenants below us, we never saw any monkeys. But this morning we saw a big group of them, many of them babies, and all of them adorable, playing and jumping through the trees and one even jumped on our roof and poked his head down out of curiosity to get a better look at us and like the cheeky monkey he was, to see whether we had any food for him – he even put his hand out to request food! What a cheek, lol.

I was simply delighted to get to live amongst these beautiful and highly intelligent animals, our evolutionary cousins and to see them up close and personal without having to pay to see them or make them do stupid tricks like so many questionable people like to do in other countries and places around the world. I can imagine that they might be a bit annoying if there’s a large group of them and they are hungry because they are intelligent and brave enough to go into people’s homes and take what they want but they will find no food left out in our apartment trust me!

Cheeky Monkey 

Pataxo Indians are the indigenous Indians that inhabited Brazil before the Portuguese came to “explore” it, force them out of their native lands and kill and probably rape their women. They have largely gone from the state of Bahia but the ones who do still live here live in their rural lands still in the traditional ways. They have to learn to live here amongst this strange new world though and many of them straddle a life living as a Pataxo Indian and living a modern life, and this is never more apparent then with the Pataxo Indians who walk around Trancoso wearing their traditional clothing including a grass skirt, feather headdress and painted bodies. Of course clothing aside, many of these men (I hardly ever see the women), are stunning looking, with chiseled handsome faces and muscular bodies, primed for hunting. The problem is that some of them (one guy in particular) that I keep on seeing he hasn’t yet decided which way of life he’d like to live. I see him with his red painted body, huge feather headdress, barefooted on the Quadrado trying to chat up foreigners and on more then one occasion I’ve seen him in the cash point in the Supermarket!

I’m not sure why I’ve got such a problem with him using the cashpoint, afterall he needs funds (though I admit I did wonder isn’t he supposed to forage for his food or something?), alas perhaps to me using a cashpoint is the ultimate sign of modern living, even more then him trying in his extremely poor English skills to chat up the foreigners.

A Pataxo Indian should not be using a cash point, I’m sorry. 

Sushi Samba

We decided to go for sushi as I really had a taste for it and most of the restaurants were packed full of diners. I was glad that we had arrived in Trancoso weeks ago (almost 4 weeks), as it was steadily getting busier and busier and the contrast was like night and day. Even during the daytime the Quadrado was packed. And don’t even get me started on the beaches! Now that we knew alot of the business owners in the area as we passed by we would usually wave to them as we went, but now we couldn’t even see them in their establishments it was so busy!

Thankfully we were able to get a table at the sushi restaurant and we had a lovely meal there, and then went to our favourite creperie to see our French lady friend for sweet crepes. The combination couldn’t possibly have been better. Afterwards we were strolling back home through the Quadrado until suddenly I saw our Dutch friend wandering towards a band who were setting up in the middle of the square. As soon as they started playing I saw his distinctive 6’5 frame bobbing up and down with his gigantic arms and hands dangling down like a puppet as he danced (very badly) to the music. Nobody else was dancing mind. But the band was good and he was having himself a good ole time. He was adorable. So of course we went over to him and then in a matter of minutes his husband joined us. It was just like old times!

Soon they had us going over to the singer who was about to perform outside The Coffee Bar telling us that she was a very famous singer in Brazil. Neither Josh nor I knew ANY Brazilian singers let alone ones who were famous, but apparently this woman was the real deal and we could soon attest to that as we saw that once people realised who it was who was singing they starting crowding around her, filming and taking pictures of her. The music was Farro, of which she was the Queen of, a typically Brazilian style of music, that sounded very folky and had alot of hand clapping and dancing that accompanied it. It wasn’t really my cup of tea (I much preferred Bossa Nova), but there was such an amazing energy in the place that I was just happy to be there. 

There was lots of touching, hugging, kissing between people, everyone was having a great time and indeed I felt very much a part of it. Here was a group of people utterly elated to see this star whose name I found out was Elba Romalho, and their happiness was infectious. Our friends starting talking to people, and in turn then so did we and soon we met this lovely girl called Joanna from Sao Paolo who pretty much invited us to connect with her as soon as we visited her hometown!

For the purpose of our Brazilian friends back home, I got a picture with Elba as I knew that they would be super impressed that I had a chance to meet her and then we all floated over to the other live band who had been playing such good music earlier on. We danced the night away, met some other people, danced some more, and I genuinely couldn’t be happier in that moment. The energy was electric, the location resplendent and there was magic, love and friendship in the air.

I couldn’t possibly wish for much more then this. 

Me with the Brazilian Farro Singer Elba Romalho 

Naked (Sweaty) and Afraid

Unfortunately our popularity with the locals has come at a cost.

Wonderful as it was to be able to meet so many lovely and interesting people in our travels that we would undoubtedly remain in contact with and come back to visit, we were now being invited to so many places and events that our bodies simply can’t catch up. If we weren’t meeting up with people then we would bump into them walking down the street and then another late night filled with dancing, music and laughter would ensue and there was simply nothing that we could do about it. However, it’s our Airbnb host that’s the worst.

Seeing or hearing from her was almost becoming a daily occurrence. Despite the fact that she didn’t even live nearby she would turn up for the silliest of reasons and then try and engage us (me in particular), in a long and drama filled conversation, which ultimately followed an invite to this or that event, beach or home. And since we largely worked from home we couldn’t escape the woman, plus she was doing our washing so we couldn’t be rude to her, lol. It had nothing to do with whether we liked her or not (of course we did), but I was getting the distinct impression that she (who was English) was thoroughly enjoying having some English speaking company around as other then that she was largely surrounded by Brazilians who though friendly, could be a little unpredictable. But it was now getting out of control. When we knew we were going to be at home we had began hoping that she didn’t turn up as then she would disturb us whilst we were trying to work and it was very hard to get rid of her!

The morning after our Sushi Samba night we were especially tired as it had been yet another late night socialising with people that we hadn’t planned and both of us really hadn’t had a chance to catch up with our sleep. Our bodies were telling us that we needed some slumber! But sure as not we could hear her fussing outside our door no doubt hoping to wake us up so that she could engage us in a day long conversation. We had already declined a number of invitations for this reason – we were getting “partied-out” and needed some just the two of us time. We were not used to all of this and we don’t like to overdo it – we like to balance the equilibrium and these people (her in particular) were putting it out of whack with their constant social invitations! 

After we realised we could delay no further we eventually went out onto our balcony after having washed and dressed and as expected there she was ready to gossip away. Eventually she did leave though and then it was all quiet again.

She told us that we had been invited to Capim Santo on NYE by the Brazilians, the restaurant we had gone to for our friends birthday dinner, which was also the restaurant that had a “friends of Capim Santo” only invite list of which we were not on because a) we didn’t live there and b) we had only been there once. But since we were friends of people who had been invited a pass had also been graciously extended to us which was an honour indeed. All we had to do was bring 2 bottles of champagne with us.

Capim Santo was definitely the best restaurant that we’d been to in Trancoso. It was located off the main stretch so felt much more intimate and tranquil, was beautifully decorated, the food and service was great and the musician who had played there the night that we went was amazing. To think we would get to eat there on NYE amongst friends was the best possible way to bring in the New Year that I could have imagined!

As Brazilian tradition, everyone wears white on NYE and if you’re close to a beach then you go down to the beach and jump the waves 7 times to bring in the new year.

After dinner, the plan was to go back to their house to watch the fireworks and bring in the start of the New Year on the rooftop.

The Spider-Crab

We had largely gotten used to the family of crabs at the bottom of the stairs leading up to our apartment and who scurried away whenever we opened the gate to leave or enter but what I was not used to, and neither could I deal with, was a spider-crab. Josh noticed what looked like a spider near my suitcase which I had pushed underneath our bed because this place was severely lacking in storage space and I didn’t like clutter. But when he went towards it and it didn’t’ scurry quickly away and disappear into thin air as spiders are want to do he remarked that it looked very crab-like. I surmised that it couldn’t possibly be a crab as how would it have gotten in here and anyway this one didn’t look like the crabs at the bottom of the stairs. This one looked like a spider-crab!

That spider-crab has gotsta go I tell you!

Access All Areas

Somehow we have managed to find ourselves on the VIP list of Trancoso. The gay couple we know are very well established here and after living here for more then 11 years, they know everyone, the schmancy people, the dodgy people, the shop owners and the celebrities who live here and everyone loves them (which isn’t hard to do as they are so much fun and are so loving, sweet and generous).

So if we want to go to an event, much like that “invite only” party that we gatecrashed a couple of weeks ago or the “friends of only” NYE dinner at the best restaurant in the area, we get to go!

Well tonight after only going out for a pizza! we bumped into our beloved friends again, met some new ones and then the night turned into another riotous affair that went on until after 3:00 am the following morning, whereby we over to the Quadrado for drinks, visited our friends at the plant based restaurant, had a dance at the Tapioca stand, listened to some music outside The Three Amigos and then we gatecrashed yet another private opening party just by virtue of the fact that we were with them.

 At the party we were introduced to the owner of Diesel who owns the Uxua hotel and who lives there in Trancoso, we also met the wife of the owner of the restaurant Jacare, along with the owner of a boutique dress shop who was originally from Portugal, but spent 7 years in London and now lives here after finding that when she arrived she couldn’t leave (a very common story!) 

But despite the fun frolicks, it was the experience of how people treated me that night in particular that will remain firmly imprinted on my mind.

Apparently, according to our new group of friends, I am the talk of the town. People are apparently in awe of me and think that I am the most beautiful girl that they’ve ever seen! 

I have had lots of people come up to me telling me this since I arrived here, both in Portuguese and in English (Brazilians no less!), gay and straight, black, white, mixed or trans, whether on the beach, the street or the Supermarket and at this party that I have been left flattered almost to the point of overwhelm. To be complimented by Brazilians for me is the ultimate flattery, and from gay Brazilian men in particular.

 People here in Brazil have a habit of staring. They will just stare at you and feel no shame. At first, I really couldn’t understand what all of the fuss was about and it’s not my “exotic blackness” as I am definitely not the only black girl in town! Brazil has the highest number of people of African descent outside of Africa. Brazil is such a melting pot of beautiful blackness that I’ve ever seen in my life and these Afro Brazilians and indeed most Brazilians are very good looking people. Besides, these are not sexualised compliments being given to me, I know those kinds well, no, these compliments are coming from gay people as well as straight and men aswell as from women. 

Our gay friend told us that he is very much enjoying all of the attention he has been getting in Trancoso since being seen with me.

He was told by an admirer at the party that they thought that I was very beautiful because of the “light in my eyes”, so perhaps it’s not my beauty they are admiring afterall, perhaps what they’re seeing is something much purer then that: happiness.

We’ve got our white outfits and bottles of Moet ready as tonight it’s NYE! Bring on the good times!

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