Why Frankie should not swear, again.

…Because you may get quoted, and then half the universe will know you swear, because the internet is forever.

So I’ve been whiling away my time at home, trying to convince myself that it is perfectly safe to go outside and get groceries by myself–still not convinced; that latent Tsinay cautiousness has me in its grip–and surfing the internet, as I am wont to do.  Mostly this involves patrolling Facebook for anything interesting to read or watch or whatever, which is how I found out that one of my co-interns has designated my (stolen) quote regarding pandas as a quote-of-the-day.

It is, and I quote, “Panda’s (bleep) racism; they’re black, white, AND Asian.”

For those of you who know me, you know that for some-odd reason (read: Authority Hoodie), I have come to be associated with pandas.  How can I not be, though, when occasionally I walk around looking like this:

Okay, no, seriously, like this:

And this:
And even this:

Hoodie from Authority Hoodie.  Price available upon request.
And yes, in case you were wondering: that is a Starbucks in the background, so I am wearing that in public.
Given my predilection for pretending I am a panda (say that ten times fast, I dare you), it came as no surprise that when we happened upon a bamboo grove in Parque de Ingá (yes, I went back there), I had to react with ecstatic glee at the fact that I would “no longer starve.”  Though, technically, it is impossible to starve in Brazil.  According to Wilson Souza, one of the AIESEC members here and our tour guide for the day, a Columbian intern recently told him that she’d have to be rolled home.

The Japanese Garden in Parque de Ingá.
LOOK!  BAMBOO!
The food is that good.  And this is coming from me, a notoriously picky eater.
By “we,” I mean myself and my co-interns, Matthias and Ciarán, who were given the Maringá tour (park + cathedral special) yesterday, which was a complete holiday here: no stores (well, almost none) open and everyone either at church or in their home cities or else, like us, wandering around the deserted streets wondering if they’d stumbled onto the set of The Walking Dead (another person’s words, not mine).  We were supposed to meet Klára at the park as well, but owing to the wonders of punctuality, plus how clueless I am with a washing machine, we were at least a half-hour late and thus didn’t manage to catch up with her and her host, Amanda.
Yes, you read that right folks: washing machine.  Frankie did her own laundry for the first time, and with more or less admirable results (meaning nothing got shrunk, stretched, or otherwise destroyed beyond repair).
Me, sporting the “Manang” look.

My first load of clothes!
Wilson has got to be one of the best tour guides ever, because unlike my first trek through the park, which involved going around in smaller and smaller circles, this one was pretty straightforward.  Quicker too, and with more rest-stops.  Also, I have discovered a new talent: I am the peacock whisperer.  Seriously, I can actually get those buggers to hold still for a photo.  It’s amazing.
Proof.  Look at him!  Isn’t he gorgeous?
After the park, we hung out for a bit (for some people, quite literally) at an outdoor gym.  Seriously.  It’s a workout room al fresco, with workout equipment made in the same way you’d make playground equipment for kids.  Since I was with a bunch of boys, inevitably there was some showing off.  Exhibit A:
That’s Ciarán.  What you can’t see is Matthias and I going “Ikaw na!” in the background.  Yes, I taught my co-interns #YouAlready.

Seeing as I’m kind of a dude, I tried to do the same…then I realized I was wearing a dress.  Not my finest hour, I can assure you.  Thankfully I avoided giving anyone a free show.  To save face, I whined (I can sound remarkably like a five-year-old) that I wanted juice.  Suco de laranja, to be exact.  I’ve become hooked on the Brazilian orange juice, and I have no regrets: the stuff tastes amazing.

Turns out Matthias was thirsty too, so Wilson led us to the one juice bar that was still open, despite the Good Friday Holiday.  My merienda (not a Brazilian word, folks, just so you know) was suco de laranja com morango, or orange and strawberry.

Not bad for 6.90 Reals (pronounced Hey-ice)!

We actually ended up sitting al fresco at the juice bar–a treat for my European co-interns since, according to them, it’s an opportunity they don’t get to exploit much back home, given the insanely cold temperatures.  As a girl coming from a country where yesterday, my sources say, we had a high of 35 degrees Celsius, I could appreciate the cool Brazilian breezes as well, so I guess you could say this trip has something for everyone.
After we had our fill of juice and chatter, Wilson led us to this obelisk in the center of town which marks the area where the Tropic of Capricorn bisects Brazil.  It’s a beautiful sight, except for the graffiti scrawled all over it.
We ended up walking around for a bit, enjoying the deserted-ness of Maringá on Good Friday.  (Darn, I miss Walkway in BGC.)
A tree thrives in the middle of a parking lot.  Only in Brazil, folks.

Maringá Stadium
Along the way, I kept finding these playing cards on the ground.  How’s my hand so far?
I got home at a little past six, which is extremely early by Brazilian standards, made myself instant noodles, left again for a party at Guilherme Cossich’s (known by his surname, to his friends), and got home officially at about a little past one AM.
So there you have it.  Yet another one of my days in paradise, recorded in excruciating detail.  I start work on Monday though, kicking it all off with a presentation I hope will be worthy of Team Commfusion (our BusComm class last semester).  Toying with the idea of making in a pecha kucha.  Let’s see if I have enough time to prepare.
~ NC
P.S.
They have no idea what Milo is here.  I am shocked.
P.P.S.
Hi, Miss Jodie!
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