Monday, 1 February 2010

DIARY - BRAZIL Maringa

Trivia - Which city is in two continents?


FRIDAY 29 JANAURY – I usually wake when I hear Abigail arrive and chat to Kilda but today find I wake at ¼ to 10.  Abigail has been out since 5am getting in line to get her son Gabriel a national identity card so he can go to a different school.  Only 80 are issued each day whilst 1000’s wish to apply.  She arrives back around 11am having been the first to get one.  I join them for a drive to the new school to register.  Kilda takes me to a couple of fruit and veg markets to explain the different produce.  She buys some “xuxu” which Abigail will puree with flour and bake in the oven.  Another person in the store obviously speaks English and understands what is happening because at the checkout she asks Kilda why she is buying “xuxu” for us as it is like a “hole in the wall” and tasteless compared to others things she could have
bought!  At another stall Kilda asks for “pinha” a kind of fruit that looks like a mini artichoke.  She asks the stallholder to pick some good ones for her English friend who has never tried them before and he jokes that he could give us anything as we would be none the wiser.  Abigail cooks up the “xuxu” in a kind of soufflé and it is very tasty.   Kilda is joined by Gu for our drive to Maringa.  Unfortunately it is raining for most of the journey but we arrive in sunshine at the tree lined city.  Fernando meets up with us and we follow him to his home.  He lives with his parents but his Mum is away in USA for the birth of her first granddaughter.   His Dad Valdevino speaks no English but seems pleased to have us as visitors.  Bruno his brother speaks quite a lot of English and is a computer programmer.  Early evening Fernando takes us for a drive around the city.  There is a magnificent modern cathedral with the highest spire in Latin America, around 400m.  The nearby park is closed at the moment as the resident wild monkeys are sick but we walk part of the perimeter and are amazed at the sheer number and age group of people using the outdoor gym equipment.  We return to watch some TV before Fernando heads out for the evening, at 11pm!
MARINGA, COUCHSURFING WITH FERNANDO

SATURDAY 30 JANUARY – Well the rain has caught up with us again.  Fernando was out late last night but when he gets up mid morning he cooks us our second breakfast of delicious banana pancakes.  He takes me to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for a curry which I cook on return home.  In the evening we are joined by Fernando’s brother and his girlfriend Isabella and his friends Pamela and Aniston for curry night.  Afterwards we introduce Fernando, Alisson and Pamela to “Arsehole” which they really enjoy.  Again just before midnight Fernando and his friends head out for the evening.
MARINGA 2, COUCHSURFING WITH FERNANDO

SUNDAY 31 JANUARY – Wonderful sunshine for a change.  When Fernando returns we head off to the bus station to book our onward journey.  Although we hate night buses it makes sense for us to take the Maringa bus leaving just after midnight and arriving in Iguacu at 7am, R$67 (£25).  Fernando shows us many other areas of the city including a nice park dedicated to “Lourdes” and a street lined with an amazing amount of clinics covering all ailments.  On the fringes of the park the monkeys are out playing and although signs forbid it many people are feeding them so we cash in on the opportunity to take some great pictures.  .  At one stage a car pulls up and the passenger window is open and a monkey immediately tries to get inside and freaks out the occupants.  Other people give the monkeys food then make a quick run to get in their cars.  Actually it is almost as funny watching the stupid people as the monkeys!  Valdevino cooks up a delicious lunch which we eat with the family in the outside area.  In the afternoon Fernando, Bruno and Isabella join us playing “arsehole”. 
BUS TO FOZ DO IGUACU




Answer - Istanbul in Turkey has spread to both sides of the Bosporus Straight and thus spans two continents.

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