Landed in Fortaleza as scheduled. Here was on of many moments of truth. My second luggage had things that might be questioned by customs (I got prepared for that though, but still they might want a bribe – Latin America where the rules are flexible, right?).
Landed, and both my suitcases were on the belt.
Went to nothing to declare, but was rerouted to the things to declare corridor. With totally bored and unemotional face I started putting everything on x-ray scanner. Customs officer was as bored as I tried to look like, and without asking me any single question about why I have a window, part of doors etc in my luggage let me go.
Picked up the taxi and went to the apartment. It was already 9,30, and my last meal was a sandwich with cheese at 6 pm in the airplane (I completed it with some sausage brought from Poland though).
I met the neighbor – Juliano. We spoke about the area, and he handed me the keys. Very nice guy, indeed.
Went to eat something, but the prices were beyond reasonable in all restaurants nearby. Decided to hit the market, buy a steak and make a meal at home.
In there I met a brazilian girl. Got a situational opener about the cash register. We spoke less than a minute, and she was all happy to exchange numbers and meet in the future (welcome to Fortaleza, if you need anything, you already got a friend here).
Now this is an attitude, and one of the big reasons why Brazil is a place to be for me.
I was lucky again. Minutes after I came back to the building, it started raining. Heavy.
Ate my steak, unpacked things and soon it was after midnight. I didn’t get a proper sleep during last 4 days, so even more surprising was the fact that I couldn’t sleep. Woke up at 6, did my thing to calm down, but still, was too excited to go to sleep. At 7 am hit the pool (yes, in the building), and made a video. Here it is.
It was still before 9 am, and I was done with shower and breakfast. Days earlier prepared the map, so knew where I was going.
Bad luck was the rain though. It was pouring heavily. And they told me that it virtually doesn’t rain in May and June here.
After a day of running around, and getting properly wet (but not totally, thanks to the Julianos umbrella) went to the supermarket. The sky has opened, and the streets were flodded. Thanks to the geographic situation, everything was going down the streets to the sea, but still, it was massive.
In the shop I almost got hit with falling shelf (the thunders and lightning were very heavy). Tropical rain fall my ass!
Got on with my business and came back home. Old friend of mine came to visit, and we spoke about the ol’ times within dinner.
Next day was no better at all with the weather. I couldn’t even see the building 3 blocks away, so heavy it was getting.
Still, got my shit together, and hoped that my shoes won’t get ruined. Kept on grinding.
It was mostly good, although didn’t manage to meet the key contractor, since he had to go into the field because of heavy rain and energy cut in the construction site.
I got home, did my gym, ate generous double steak lunch and went for more meetings. So far it was easy, since every company had HQ in 1 kilometer diameter from my place, so even if I didn’t manage to get with a “suprimentos responsavel” it wasn’t much time waste.
It finally stopped raining. Got to one more place, and on my way back I hit the construction yard. Got all the info from the guys working there and decided to hit on that company next week.
Sun was setting, and I decided to hit the beach. Changed my clothes and feeling free bird went down on the beach. Found an interesting item on the way: Bought some brazilian nuts around 20% cheaper than in the shop, and to my dismay saw that acai, the legendary brazilian evergreen snack, costs 10+reais. I believe 2,5 years ago it costed like 5-7 depending on the quantity.
The beach pics and selfies never grow old 🙂
Kept on walking, and saw the painting that I fell in love with. The price was of course taken from the moon, but I couldn’t stop watching. 650 RS was waaay out of what it should cost.
Then the guy took the piece of paper and wrote 150 RS. Maybe it was him mumbling before. Now we had some negotiations ground. I remember speaking with my dad, who paints as well, about the value of mere material in Poland. For the painting big like this, it would be around 50 RS, and I believe Brazil would not be much cheaper. And it was reflecting Brazil in several colors and dimensions. Made my mind.
I offered 80. The guy was going 130, 120… Ok – 100 without the frame (didn’t need that since it will be packed in 3 weeks anyways). Finally, after long self reflecting he agreed. But before that I told him that I have zero RS left on me (spent on nuts), and we can meet here tomorrow – just give me your phone #. He said he didn’t have a phone, and tomorrow was going to Jericoacoara. Good salesman. He kept asking which hotel I stay in. Told him several times that I live 20 minutes by walk from here. He was like no problem, I can walk with you. Hide his other paintings and off we went. While walking, he kept nagging about the price and trying to squeeze more – that it is so uncomfortable walking, he will have to take the bus back, so lets stick to 100 RS. I laughed at him and said 80 is all. You can go if you don’t like that.
He kept walking and also nagging. At some point I got serious and with my laser eye contact told him, very slowly “Nao aguento so uma coisa – quando algum troca as regras de jogo durante o jogo”. He said that he was reasonable person and understood. The rest of the way was going without any further haggling. Asked him to wait in front of the building and got the cash. 80 + 2 RS for the bus, let be my lose :).
It looks beautiful on my wall, it really does!