Fisherman near mi casa, Buzios, Brazil
After three months, I have returned to the Brazil – the one that remains after the lights have been dimmed on the world’s biggest party and the tourists have gone home.
In the article “Walk Like a Brazilian”, I wrote that my search for home was almost over, but would not be complete without a look at South America. Last February I visited Argentina ( “A Backwards Glance”) and then moved on to Brazil.
I fell for two beachside communities in Brazil then – Buzios and Parati. I never made it to Northeast Brazil, which is the culturally rich part of Brazil that calls out to me loudest. But I had only three weeks, so I put Bahia, Recife and Fortaleza on my “next time” list.
It is “next time”. I am in Buzios, Brazil this month and will head to northeastern Brazil next month.
February 2004 or how I got to be here….
The moment I stepped into the Aquabarra Guesthouse in Buzios after a chaotic, convoluted trip from Rio, I was home. Everything from the Asian-influenced, hand-crafted design of the home, to the folkloric art on its walls, to the world music playing throughout the house and grounds, to the achingly beautiful views, to the Spanish-speaking Argentines living there and their visiting friends, were as if I had hand-picked each one.
Buzios with a year-round sunny climate, close proximity to Rio de Janeiro, and it’s Spanish speaking (my second language) Argentinian expatriates just might be the fit I’ve been looking for. I even found an ocean-view lot for less than the price of a garage in San Francisco. But before making any definite moves, I planned to return when the tourists were gone.
San Francisco was harder to to leave this time.than ever before. I had begun new friendships including a romantic relationship, and increasingly, the City feels like home. The tide of panic-stricken jobless technology workers and in a domino effect, many other unrelated jobs, had swept out of San Francisco opening the way for its current incoming wave of bohemian artists and literati – Now THIS is the San Francisco I remember and love. But in many other ways, the conflict remains. (Read “Torn Between Two Lovers”). Great city, wrong country, etc…
In short, it hasn’t left me, this attraction to a life lived simply but well under a tropical sun in a community of artists, literati, and spiritual seekers from around the world.
Come along as I take a look at the expatriate communities along the coastline of Brazil, north of Rio de Janeiro.