Shot of Brasilia
Iâ€™m not sure if anyone noticed or not, but Iâ€™m sure itâ€™s not the first time a traveler has killed the power to part of the hotel. I donâ€™t know if the person who cam up with the idea for electric showerhead didnâ€™t get the memo or what, but let me tell you right know, water and electricity do not mix kids. This isnâ€™t the first electric showerhead Iâ€™ve encountered on this trip, but this is the first time I decided to see what it could do. Unable to read the Portuguese above and below the little sliding switches I was unaware that if with the wrong flip of the wrong switch you could be fried. As I slid one of the switches to the left, there was a loud POP as the fuse was blown. Now mind you, I am naked, in the shower, drenched in eater messing with this hodgepodge of an electrical showerhead. In my defense, I was unaware that those switches would actually blow fuses. As the water quickly became cold I knew I had done something wrong. Getting out of the now freezing cold shower I dressed and went to breakfast where my father already was. Upon exiting our room, passing the bronze statue of a naked woman, I could not help but notice that the lights in the hall way were off. I contribute the loss of the hallway lights to my scare with the electric showerhead. After a meeting with my father over cold meats and bread for breakfast we decided that weâ€™d take a cab over to the huge shopping center on the opposite side of the airplane that is Brasilia. Our driver, Paulo had pointed out the shopping centers to us on the pervious dayâ€™s tour. Evidently the one farthest away from the Hotel Casablanca was the shopping center of choice. Upon entering the mall both my father and I were amazed at the sheer size of the shopping center. There was three floors, with a basement level floor for parking. Each level was connected by escalators and elevators. Wondering around in the mall we were able to see the outrages prices that are paid by Brazilians who want to dress American. There were Nike shoes that were upwards of 400 Reis! Thatâ€™s nearly $200 American! There was also a brand of clothes that I wish I could have bough ten. Taco was the brand name, and there were shirts, plain and simple that just said, TACO, across the chest. Of course they werenâ€™t going to have anything in my size. I decide to actually spend some money on me for the first time on the trip. We had seen a music video on MTV Brazil while in Manaus
that both my father and I really liked. I had written the name down in my Lonely Planet Travel Guide for Brazil, â€śNando Reis.â€ť I was now on a mission. I went into the music store in the mall and asked in my best Portuguese if they had Nando Reisâ€™s new CD. I must have not been pronouncing it right so I had to pull out the old pen and paper and wrote down the name. Nodding, â€śYes, yes, of course,â€ť the young man took me over to a rack of popular Brazilian CDâ€™s and right there, in the top ten selection was Nando Reis, Sim E NĂŁo, CD. On the cover was a really colorful picture of the anatomy of a seashell. Buying the CD for about twenty US dollars I was satisfied that I was able to now leave Brazil with Brazilian music. Next on my list were Cuban cigars. American contraband at itâ€™s finest. After a little misunderstanding with the price of the stogies the shopkeeper had to call in a teenage girl to help translate. She was rather short and almost reminded me of a punk chick. She referred to the cigars as â€ścigarillos,â€ť which, for some reason, I thought was cool. What originally I thought was four dollars a cigar turned out to be forty dollars a smoke. Walking out the of store I was bummed that they were so expensive and I sure wasnâ€™t going to spend that kind of money on cigars. Then it hit me. Why not? Youâ€™re in Brazil, splurge a little. So I did. I bought three Montecristo Cuban Cigars, handmade in Havana, Cuba, for a whopping sixty US dollars--thatâ€™s a 120 Reis. The smell of the cigars were sure potent and I could not wait to take them home and smoke them with my friends. The remainder of the day was spent in the hotel room, relaxing from the three hours spent in the shopping center. Later the night I decided to walk over to the shopping center on our side of main drag. It was surprisingly only a few hundred meters away. I spent my time in there, without my father, looking at mostly the same stores that we looked at previously. After eating a Big Mac from McDonalds I decide it was time to head back, and call it another night in Brazil.