Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekend music, sports and food

30 October 2011

On Saturday I spent most of the day relaxing.  Some more pics from the garden.  This is a tall, tropical looking plant with large leaves like ginger, but the flowers are like nothing I've ever seen.   Shiny on the outside and orchid-like on the inside.

 I saw this odd thing on the ground which resembled corn on the cob and went to investigate.  It turns out it's a fruit, the like of which I've never seen.  I was sorry I hadn't checked it out a couple of days earlier when I had first seen it, as it was pretty overripe by the time I got around to it.

It's a tropical air plant (epiphyte) and grows up in a tree.  Check out this Wikipedia entry, as Monstera Deliciosa is only one of many interesting names for it!  The entry also has some better photos of the fruit.
 The little hexagonal tiles on the surface separate and pop right off when the fruit is ripe (you can see them laying around where I slipped some off).  Inside, where the corn kernels would be on an ear of corn, are small nodules of fruit which look somewhat banana-like in color and texture.  The odor is even more tropical, and I'm told that the flavor resembles a cross between banana and pineapple.  There are two more green ones still on the plant, so perhaps there will be a chance to actually taste it.

I went out on Saturday night to a local dance club called Moove with some of my awesome Brazilian friends and danced for hours.  The occasion was to celebrate a friend's birthday, and there was a live rock band called "Acusticos e Valvulados" from nearby Porto Alegre who were quite good.  The lead singer really worked the crowd well, and the bass player reminded me a bit of Mick Jagger.
Unlike in the US, the club didn't even open until midnight.  Then there was some loud house music until the band got started at 2:00am.  The band played until about 3:30, and I called it quits around 3:45, to the dismay of my Brazilian friends, who would continue partying until breakfast time.  As it was, it took me all day Sunday to recover... I don't know how they can get along on so little sleep!
Photo: Juliane Mai
Photo: Juliane Mai
Photo: Juliane Mai
On Sunday afternoon I went to meet some Brazilian friends and ended up at Bar do Primo, a sports bar and restaurant, to watch the soccer game.  This bar is frequented by fans of the Gremio team so the bar was filled with fans wearing striped turquoise, white and black jerseys. The game was significant due to the defection of a (formerly) popular player to the other team, so the atmosphere was unusually tense.  The fans in the stadium could be heard chanting "traitor" whenever this guy got the ball.  Wouldn't want to be in his shoes!

At the bar I had my first "Xis" (pronounced "sheez").  The name is apparently a short form of "cheeseburger", but it has neither cheese nor burger.  It's rather a round sandwich filled with all kinds of things, grilled flat, and eaten with knife and fork.  Mine had linguica, ham, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, peas and a fried egg.  It sounds like a strange combination, but it was delicious!

Both outings were very helpful for me, as there were no other native English speakers present and I was able to manage simple conversation in Portuguese with my very patient friends willing to repeat things for me.  I can't discuss philosophy, but at least I can manage the basics now.  Definitely a confidence booster!

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