When Things Go Wrong

I’m noticing a pattern my first week in Brazil.
Don’t make plans.
It seems as if every time I make plans with my classmates, nothing goes according to them.
There are a few reasons for this.

  1. Brazilians never operate on tight schedules.
  2. We never bring enough money.
  3. The weather never cooperates.
  4. Divine Intervention
Number one became evident last night (or, actually, this morning around 1am) as my friends and I went out to eat at a Creperia and Bar called, La Bouche. We ordered our drinks and crepes at once, and waited.
And waited.
And waited.
At least forty five minutes had passed before we received our first drink, first! Out of four! I began to wonder, what if we had a plane to catch? What if something important was happening that we had to do? WHAT IF?
Nonetheless, we got our food eventually and it was worth the wait (sort of), but when we wanted more food, the idea of waiting even longer made us lose ourĀ appetites.
Number two is the reason we ended up going to a crepe restaurant, after wanting to go to the gay bar next door. We never bring enough money. The door charge was 30 reais, about fifteen US dollars. However, after visiting several restaurants throughout the day, we were low on change and bills, and the prospect of spending 30 bucks at a bar, didn’t seem too tempting, no matter how fun it seemed. As an American, I suppose, I hate having a lot of cash on me. Too many bills equals more opportunities to lose them or get robbed, and I’ve developed a distaste for cash. Here in Brazil, to save money from fees and money exchanges, I need to use cash. Problem is, I look at the Brazilian Real like the US Dollar, and think, “Oh, two twenties, two tens, and one five and three 2s should be enough.” (That’s 8 bills, equaling about 30 US bucks). As a result, I continually overestimate how much money I have, and never bring enough.
Number three…. You see, as I sit here typing on my computer, I keep looking out the window at the sky. I want to go to the beach today, but it’s partly cloudy with a 60% chance of rain. When it rains, everyone goes inside here in Brazil (there’s a joke that Brazilians are made of sugar), and the only folk who would be out on the beach would be me and my robber. Not a pretty picture. This happened the last time I wanted to go to the beach, and I really don’t want to keep missing my chances! If it rains, I’ll cry, for certain!
Lastly, number four, the deus ex machina of plan building, Divine Intervention. Yesterday I was going with friends to a local coffee shop. When we arrived, the menu had sticky notes all over explaining that the coffee machine was broken…. so they wouldn’t be serving coffee. I told my friends that this was a sign from God, that we needed to go eat Feijoada.
And we did.
And it was awesome.
So if you wanna make God laugh, tell him your plans, and he’ll explain that he’s got something a little more interesting in store for you, after he’s finished laughing because he already knew the coffee machine was broken.

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