Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The beginnings....


We finally left in the same fashion as characterized by the last few months. Backward steps mixed with spurts of great fortune. All day was spent weighing and perfectly packing our 4 large bags so as not to be fined heavily for a single pound we didn’t actually need. When we checked in that never even crossed the Canadian Air representative’s mind. Ugh, all the shoes and shampoo I could have probably found room for! She didn’t so much as glance once at the scale!! But she did seem to pay attention to other details, like the order of my husbands name. Its simple, Richard A Pearl. He was booked in the system by his company’s travel agency as Alexander Pearl Richard. That is a big problem when the rules are rarely bent at the security check point. She basically said, well its up to their discretion as to whether or not they will let you through and if they don’t well you will have to get in touch with the travel agency tomorrow and get this fixed. Hahaha, if only you knew the ease in which THAT would happen. Well stroke of luck, they didn’t seem to care either.  If it were really necessary I would now get into finer detail about the last month of hellacious issues we’ve had just trying to book the tickets so you could truly appreciate the relief of walking through security… but it doesn’t matter at this point, what matters is that I, Jana Pearl with my husband Alexander Pearl Richard made it through successfully!  =)

So we only had 60 minutes in Toronto to catch our flight to Sao Paulo and the O’Hare flight was delayed 30 minutes. Of course it was. When we landed we made buddies with the flight attendant who cleared the aisle at landing so we could be the first off the plane. We ran an olympic sprint to passport control at 955 with our flight scheduled to depart at 1015. We were then met by a Canadian Air official who politely said to follow her as they were holding the plane for us...Well how generous, we felt so important! Still running we made it and were surprised to see such a crowd?! Well they had in fact delayed the plane, for other reasons and so really they held the plane for everyone.  The official just smiled, just another silly moment to make us appreciate how lucky we were to be sitting on that plane!!!

11 hours, lots of ridiculous turbulence and 6 episodes of Mad Men later, breakfast was served and we landed. Standing under the carport at the rental car agency Alex tried to convince me that after only an hour of practicing a stick shift in Chicago he was ready drive us into the city. We stalled three times trying to leave. Rarely am I proven right but this one was obvious and hilarious. I was really scared though, I’ve read too many expat blogs about driving in Brazil and I had hoped to ease into it. Sweaty and nervous I battled with the motor bikes, ignorance of rules and horrendous traffic. We rented a GPS which we couldn’t have survived without however even with it, the lady would demand a left and we were presented with three variations on a left so it took about two hours to drive 18 km! I learned how to put the car in reverse in front of 10 car salesman, while they watched and laughed at us as I tried to turn around. (trust me it was tricky). Then I got it, pulled out and went the wrong way and had to turn around again on a steep sloped road and was literally so close to hitting a parked car Alex had to get out and push me… ohh I wish I was exaggerating!  I may have won the road battle today, but my scars and a few stressful tears cast glim victories ahead.

So with that we arrived, settled and celebrated at a Churrascaria, an authentic version of an American Brazilian steakhouse. Caipirinhas made fresh in front of you and lots of yummy newly found comfort food.  What.an.adventure…


Pictures attached are views from our hotel and the pool which Alex bragged to his mom he would be lounging at all week. Hahaha… 

8 comments:

thetaoofme said...

Congratulations and welcome to Brazil!

Jim said...

Birth by fire. Welcome and good luck!

Blakely said...

so freaking hilarious. now that you're actually there safe and sound... good luck with the apartment hunt. I imagine this won't be the last funny story you have to tell. love you both!!

Erin said...

Congrats for making it to Brazil! I'm so proud of you! Good luck these next few days!

Fiona said...

oh my. :)

Deborah said...

Jana: I have a really great friend in Sao Paolo who could maybe suggest ways to get about finding stuff in the city, if you need it. I met her here in London, and she speaks really good English. Let me know if you need her for any advice! Best of luck. You're going to have an AMAZING time. Brazil is FANTASTIC!!!

Jess said...

I love it and I love you! Enjoy it all.

Linds said...

Hehe! It's only funny after the fact... but it's a good 'first day' story. :)

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