Saturday, May 19, 2012

First Attempt at Solitary City Exploration

Well, I never did get to teach this week. The students had a last minute rehearsal called for a performance they gave today at a local rehab center. I believe I'll start Monday, but who really knows? I've been told that the students are very excited to begin class. That makes me feel hopeful. I might be teaching everyday except Sunday. It's a bit intensive, but the weekday classes are only from 1-2:30. The Saturday class sounds a bit daunting, as it's schedule to be from 8-noon. That seems like overkill, so I'm going to try and talk to my elusive boss Adriana sometime this weekend.

So Friday, having no plans, I decided to venture out on my own to crack the bus system. It's pretty complicated. There are a lot of routes and different price levels of buses depending how much you value air conditioning. Probably the trickiest part for me so far is that you can't buy tickets on the bus. You have to buy them or charge money to a card at random kiosks throughout the city.

I decided to go to Bosque dos Buritis. Finding the right bus stop and number was relatively simple: just mapped it out using Google and then found more information on Goiania's bus website. Finding tickets on the other hand was a bit harder. I went to kiosk after kiosk on my way to a bus stop in Praça Universitaria, but they were all out of tickets. I'm not sure how that works. I asked for directions a lot, and thanks to the chapter in my Complete Portuguese book that I finished before leaving the apartment, I actually found my way to a shop that still had some tickets. 

Props to me because Praça Universitaria is kind of a war zone right now considering they tore out all of the sidewalks. You have to hop, skip, and jump your way through uprooted slabs of cement, large piles of debris, and insane, incoming traffic. Besides learning such urban skills as these, I've also become much better at crossing at roundabouts. It's probably more accurate to call it dashing. Don't worry. I'm being careful! 

The park was pretty. Lots of forested paths, lakes, and relaxing places to sit. I read a bit there and then checked out the small Art Museum that was also conveniently inside the park. 

I made the spontaneous decision to walk home instead of ride the bus (which turned out to be an excellent idea because all 027 buses that passed me were packed). It wasn't so far, maybe a mile, and I stopped at a small café along the way to have a coffee (pre-sweetened, like the chai in India) and a pastry. I don't know the name of it, but it was filled with frongo (chicken). Was a total of R$1,80. That's a dollar. 

Walking home really helped me get my bearings. There was some neat art on the way home that I got to inspect more closely too. Cute mermaid! She has a brunette sister on the opposite side.

I passed through Praça Civica where the government buildings are and then walked done the long avenida leading up to Praça Universitaria. I hung out there, attracted initially by blasting Beatles tunes and numerous groups of students relaxing over a beer or soda.

I ended up staying for an hour or so because a drum line type group showed up. Combined with the extremely pleasant weather, it was a perfect way to end my first work week here in Goiania!



  1. Sounds like a good excursion exxcept for the war zone construction and crowded buses. I would have been all over that walk back, as long as you felt safe. Can't wait to hear how the teaching goes on Monday when you finally start. Hope it's a good group! I head back to Seoul tomorrow, and my mission is to buy an iphone case...yep, finally using one! Love you.

  2. Hello Darling!

    Good for you for getting your local area bearings! As chronic walkers,
    Rick and I applaude you. It helps to be familiarized with the map,
    busses and walking paths. I look forward, as you do, to hearing about the school sessions. I am sure when you finally meet with them,
    the students will eagerly soak up the good information you
    have for them. It is so cool that you have been to London
    too! Funny how things come together. Stay safe! Lots of love,

  3. Hey Lauren! You have great instincts. Your preparation combined with some spontaneity (and comfortable walking shoes) resulted in a fabulous the Brazilian Way! Sounds like a successful first day of city exploration on your own. Have fun...We are thinking of you every day...Lots of love, Beckie & Dad

  4. I wanna go! I LOVE the street art!