Thursday, February 23, 2006

insert expletive here

Salvador, Brazil

The OC got robbed... again. At this point, it's getting kind of tiresome.

It had been such a lovely day, too. I had met two Belgian girls (Joanna and Anne) in Capoeira class, and they happily accompanied us to the beach, where we spent the day eating fried cheese, swimming, and building sand castles. We capped it off with some dinner and dancing within the nighttime confines of Pelourinho, Salvador's well-policed tourist district. There was beer, caipirinhas, french fries, whitebait (Mike's favorite), humorous street kids, impulsive Carnaval purchases, sweaty reggae dancing, and more beer. All of the ingredients of a perfect night were there, and everything was right with the world.
When the reggae club closed down around 1am, we had a brief pow-wow to decide on our next destination. We made the wrong choice.
Some guy who was coming out of the club saw our initial confusion and helpfully pointed us in the direction of another reggae club that was still open. Given our previous experiences with some of the lowlifes of Brazil, I wasn't really inclined to listen to or trust the guy. But, the club he was pointing to was less than a block away, and still inside of that magic white line that separates Pelourinho from the rest of Salvador (They literally have tourist police on every street corner, making sure nobody messes with the gringos or their money). So, we merrily skipped our way to the new club, and mounted the steps leading to another teefing.
The inside of the club, which was on the second floor of a crumbling stone building, wasn't very attractive. It was relatively bare, decorated only with peeling paint and graffiti. The music was blasting in the front room, and in the back, they had a bunch of the ever-ubiquitous plastic chairs and tables, along with some faded pool tables. It wasn't the nicest bar I had ever been to, but it definitely wasn't the worst.
After getting over some initial nervousness, we gladly fell into the rhythm of the joint, and had ourselves a grand ol' time. We played some pool, drank some beers, and had some more sweaty dancing. It was fun.

In the middle of getting jiggy with it, I felt a tug in my left pocket. I always keep my camera in there, folded up in a carrying case, attached via a metal chain to my belt buckle. Occasionally, the chain gets caught on stuff, so I absentmindedly reached down to make sure I hadn't snagged somebody. And I felt someone's hand.
I looked up to see three dudes crowded around my left side (It's hard to give an exact number, because the place had gotten pretty crowded, but three is a nice number, so I'm sticking with it). My camera chain was stretched taut, disappearing into the midst of their hands. There was another sharp tug, and the chain snapped. They immediately split up and tried to disappear into the crowd with their ill-gotten gains.
I chased after one and spun him around, but he innocently shrugged at me, and I could see that he didn't have the camera. I quickly switched targets and tracked down yet another thief with empty hands. I continued to fruitlessly search through the dance floor for about a minute before I gave up. I could barely remember their faces, and they had surely passed the camera on to some other accomplice. One more camera down the drain.
That was pretty much the end of the night. We left shortly thereafter, and briefly flirted with the idea of finding another place to go. It's probably better that we decided to just call it a night, because I was not in the mood for any more partying. Or stealing, for that matter. We walked the girls home, and then went to bed.

At this point, I'm done with Brazil. Were going to Carnaval because we've already paid for everything, and it would be stupid to miss the biggest party in the world. But, once that's done, I'll be happy to leave. There are a lot of cool things about Brazil, and maybe, in time, I'll remember it fondly. But, right now, all of the soul and beauty of Brazil is being eclipsed by a huge, larcenous scab.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, no pictures of naked Belgian chicks?

2/24/2006 7:52 PM gmt

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't mean to be redundant...but...sorry to hear about that. Why are all the instructions in spanish?


2/25/2006 2:38 AM gmt

Blogger jason said...

> So, no pictures of naked Belgian chicks?

That was, in fact, the moral of the story. I´m glad at least one person is paying attention.

3/02/2006 12:36 AM gmt

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, sorry you lost your camera but I'll be even more sorry if you caught something. Hope you had good rain coats.

3/03/2006 9:15 PM gmt

Blogger jason said...

We didn't have the top of the line raincoats, but they were functional.

3/06/2006 9:18 AM gmt

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry for your camera
but didn't you learned that you are not suppose to leave stuff in your back pockets? that is the easiest way for stealing

and I'm hundred percent sure that you will change your mind after carnival

believe me

3/05/2008 10:22 PM gmt


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