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Published: March 21st 2007
I am in TefÃ©, Brasil, in the Amazon region. It is a city of 50,000 people, which the locals call small. But compared to most of the 'citiesÂ´that I saw along the Amazon, TefÃ© is quite large. IÂ´ve been here for almost 3 days now, waiting to be whisked away to my jungle trek in the Mamirau Reserve, and have to say that even though this is a small town, my stay has been quite pleasant. In fact, I already have a routine here in the morning.
I start my day (usually quite late) by going to the same pastry shop every morning. They actually have black coffee which makes me so happy, but I did get a strange look from the owners when I asked for cafÃ© negro! I also order a roll with butter (standard breakfast fare) and then I try a sweet pastry, a new kind each day. The owners seem ok with my many questions and lack of knowledge of Portugese. I ask about the type of pastries, the fruit juices, etc. and even have them spell out words for me so I can learn more quickly. The one gentleman told me that I would
Vultures on the roof
Tefe has vulture problem the same as NYC has a pigeon one!
learn Portugese very quickly if I stayed in TefÃ©. ThatÂ´s probably true since no one speaks English or Spanish. But as similar as Spanish and Portugese are when written, Portugese sounds much different. For instance the number 10 is dez in Portugese (diez in Spanish) but when pronounced is desh. This makes for a beautiful sounding language but one where I canÂ´t make out a word!
I found an outdoor theatre here with a beautiful view to the Amazon, and perch myself on the stage everyday to take in the sights. ItÂ´s quite different here that I actually can have some quiet time to myself. No one comes up to me (or has even whistled at me) and I am wondering if it is just because that aspect of Brasilian culture differs from the Peruvian one, or if my days on the ship sleeping in a hammock has rendered me unworthy of catcalls. Either way, I have had lots of time to write postcards and relax in peace.
Tomorrow I leave for the jungle, and will hopefully have many pictures of monkeys when I return! I might even know more about all the different types of fruits here
I caught these two peering into my hotel window!
(there are so many!!!) IÂ´ll keep you posted.
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