June 16, 2012
All goes smoothly with my trip to Petropolis. [Sorry to be so long to continue my tale, but I had a deadline to meet today that took all my creative time and energy. So to return to the present tense... ] The bus trip takes an extra half hour because of traffic, but soon we break free of Rio and are winding up into the mountains. Paulo meets me at the bus station, and it turns out the guitarist for the roda is on the same bus. We drive to Itaipaiva, where Mario is beginning a weekly Choro roda in his store, the Culture Emporium. Mario was one of the organizers of “Momento Rio Bandolim,” the festival I played in back in November. The roda is small, but fun, and we are all treated to a feijoada before we begin. This is a typical Brazilian week-end meal, a stew of sausage, beans, and vegetables served over rice, with greens and orange slices on the side. It’s fun to play with Paulo, and also for the first time with Yuri, the pandeiro player on the CD session for Paulo-and-my Choro book. Afterwards we talk, have a drink and then Paulo drops me at the hotel Mario is putting me up in, so I don’t have to run right back to Rio. It’s a “farm hotel,” which turns out to be more of a dude ranch. My bed is huge and luxurious, and the shower stall would literally hold a dozen people. I have a drink, eat a sandwich and watch soccer in the main house, having a good conversation, in Portuguese (!) with a man waiting for his family. And perhaps the best treat, back in my room when I turn out the light it is totally dark and completely quiet. I do not miss Saturday night in Rio one bit.