Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ring around Posadas

What a weekend! So Sunday morning started pretty normally in my new diggs and I woke up early so that I could get to church early and send Devin a message because she's a super cool chica... However I did not take into consideration the difficulties I would face when trying to open the lock on the fence to get out and on my way, but let me rewind a second.  When we looked at the apartment every single one of us had at least 3 minute attempts at this lock and fence combo and nobody succeeded for at least 10 minutes, but then afterwards we found out it just needed a little push when turned to unlock and you were golden. My first entrance and exit went without any problems I even re entered like a pro however I put the lock on at an angle which is apparently a no no which I'd come to find out in the morning.  So here I am trying at first quietly so as not to disturb the guy that lives down stairs to open this thing and be on my way, enter the key slight push and turn to open... Nada... Not even a budge.  Ok that's fine so I guess I gotta use some elbow grease which I'm cool with maybe it needs a harder push we try this again and again getting overly aggressive at some points muttering things under my breath kicking (at this point being Quiet has gone out the window, like maybe I should have) I do in fact start sizing up the gate and other surroundings to see if I can get out another way... About 20 minutes has gone by... Finally out of pity or wanting peace and quiet out comes Martín, my downstairs neighbor, I let out a sigh of sweet release and great him with my now famous "turns out I don't know what I'm doing sorry" look on my face.  He pleasantly greets me and tells me not to worry that the lock was a tricky one, and goes to open it for me... Still nothing... Ok so maybe I created this problem but at least I wasn't this dumb American who couldn't turn and open a lock because he went to work another solid 15 minutes changing from my key to his with the same results I had... None.  Finally he retreats into his apartment, "is he done" I think to myself, "has this lock beaten two of us and dictated that today I stay home and not go to church?" Never fear he returned in a jiff wielding a hand saw in his right hand and stated to me it was his back up plan.  He sawed off a piece of fence so the lock could be at a level angel tried to open it again and boom open, we were free.  We exchanged thank yous as well as formalities and I noted not to put the lock on at an angle in the future.  I was finally off to church however rather than being 20 minutes or so early which was my original plan I now was probably going to be late which isn't the worst thing because I was pretty sure I had the same service the previous night and I had a fun story I could tell in my less broken more glued together Spanish.  After service it was back over to the brazilians house for lunch which I think is going to be a weekly thing and I'm not going to lie I truly hope it is they are super great and cook like champions.  We hung out and ate and talked at the table for a while like old friends including some neighbors who came over this Sunday about everything from pop culture to politics (Obama) to music and how Americans owned a lot of the tv channels here which is why the shows are mostly in English which I found pretty interesting. Like 50% of the things they watch are in full on English with Spanish subtitles including Big Bang, house, 2 1/2 men, movies and more.  After lunch I tried to help clean but was swiftly stopped by Brazilian mama (Rosi) as well as the neighbors so I adjourned to the living room with the kids to watch tv and check up on some Internet happenings i.e. falcons game and some other sporting news.  I spent the whole  day there and while Rosi and Carlos siesta'd I chatted with their daughter and boyfriend about all things including lacrosse which blew their minds and what soccer teams I should really be fans of, they say boca but I'm staying true to river.  When night came I joined Carlos for the nightly walk of their dog, Thomas the sharpee who one day will be my friend, and afterwards they took me home.  We talked of lots of things like why i decided to to this my tattoo and Nick among other things he told me of his family in Brazil and showed me their hood. It was another great Sunday and I look forward to doing it again.  Monday came and it was my day off so I decided today would be the day I explored the new area of the city that I was in.  Though first before everything closed on me (I may have slept in a little) I went to the grocery store to get some stuff for the apartment and kitchen so I could start cooking and finally stop eating out since I now had my own kitchen and means of cooking.  I picked up the essentials some noodles, rice, fruit, spray, tp, everything. An apartment needs and I was on my way.  I can't get any meat unless I plan to cook it that day because I don't have a fridge or anything to keep it cold, also I only have pots no pans so can't really cook meat too easily ... for now I'll stick to deli meats.  Came back set everything up and organized which I'm not sure why cuz I'm sure in a week everything will probably be everywhere but it was a good effort.  I was ready to explore (or so I thought) I gathered some things and my water bottle and I was on my way, first things first I decided to find the coast and walk up that bad boy.  On my way I was confronted by various obstacles including construction zones, mean dogs, no entry roads, among other things but finally made it to the coast in basically one piece.  It was pretty sweet there is even a beachy area right about where I would enter when construction is done so that's cool cabanas and umbrellas and whatnot, also there is a big walkway area for those who come down to jog and walk the coast so I started walking.  Some of the cool stuff I quickly found was what looked to be gym equipment they had like an elliptical, shoulder press, bicep curl, pull up, etc all made out of metal and no weights to add but still pretty cool and pretty free maybe I'll put these to use on some future off days and times but for now I kept walking.  After investigating each machine I made it down a ways. I past lots of people and saw lots of pretty cool stuff (pics on facebook) including the other side of the water which is Paraguay, some cool street art, a giant indigenous hunter/fisherman statue and more.  I kept walking and walking and realized an hour and a half had passed I could see the end and knew that it was just the border patrol and I didn't want to go there with a lack of full confidence in the language.  So I decided to walk up towards the inside of the city and explore that way as I found my way back, this idea sounded great in my head.  Downtown areas of cities are tricky because they all look pretty similar which gives you a sense of false confidence and security like you've been here before, after a few turns this way and that with no more coast in sight I quickly realized I had not been here before. I reached for where my pack pack usually is and realized today I just brought my water bottle so no local phone and no map of the city, it was time to test my metal.  I started walking and walking in what I felt like was the opposite direction of the way I had used to get there and after about an hour realized that due to some bonehead turns and routes I was passing buildings I had already seen, I had done a big ol loop for about an hour... Score. Ok well now we know which Way to go and not to turn, I was off again and not to outdo myself did separate loops at least two more times, by now it was dark and harder to find my bearings.  I decided maybe I should try and find the coast because that is a straight shot I can't screw up, however with hills and loops I was as close to finding the coast as I was to finding my apartment. Finally after a big hill I saw big buildings and what looked like the center, I thought when in doubt walk towards the big buildings because that's where the city is, and after about another hour I felt like I was getting close. Looking at street signs to see if I saw anything that resembled familiarity out of nowhere I was at the pharmacy right by the church. I couldn't tell you how I did this but maybe God was done watching me play ring around posadas and I was glad for it.  I found my bearings and went to a cafe to sit and relax a minute and use some wifi on my phone because they let all people use theirs and watched the river game which I didn't know was on tv.  5 or 6 hours later and I defiantly did some exploring and adventuring and I think I know the town better now or at least more of which roads go which ways in and around the city.  It was time for me to head home because Tuesday was back to work and my dogs were barking.  

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