Curupira – Chapter 8

Chapter 8

kelly22José and Adalto were the first to get to the airport. When they got there, they saw a beautiful Japanese girl roaming around the place as though she were looking for something. Since José couldn’t see a lost girl without trying to lend a hand, or a lot more than that if he could, he went up to her and asked.

“Hey, can I help you?”

She gave him the once-over, then glanced at Adalto, looked back at José and said, “I’m going to take a plane to the Amazon with a bunch of students. Do you have any idea where they are?”

“Oh, yeah, “José said, “I’m one of them; it seems we are the first to get here. But you don’t go to Ferraz, I’d have noticed you there for sure, so would you mind telling me who you are?”

She gave him the once-over again and then said, “I’m a Rede Globo reporter; I was assigned to follow the school group. Since you’re one of them, I’ll be seeing you a lot, then. I’m Fumiko.”

yawning

She held out her hand and they both shook it. Fumiko had just started her career in journalism, so as a cub reporter she was always assigned the humdrum tasks. Maybe many wouldn’t regard a trip to the Amazon jungle as tedious, but she did. She wanted to get into investigative journalism and go deep into the underbelly of the city to smoke out some crooked individuals. And there was no scarcity of corrupt people in São Paulo. Globo’s head office was in Rio de Janeiro, but Globo was all over the map, making her debut in São Paulo was nothing to sneeze at.

globoThey noticed there were two guys with Fumiko. She told them they were her crew. They’d handle the cameras and stuff. It wasn’t going to be a big operation, so Globo figured three people would be more than enough. What could happen to a bunch of kids in Manaus and surrounding areas? Nothing to write home about. So maybe they wouldn’t even use the material, but who knows, the kids could get robbed along the way, she thought, and then laughed inwardly, but a flimsy giggle escaped her lips.

They looked at her askance and she said, “Sorry, something funny just crossed my mind. Don’t mind me.”

José answered, “Do share, I’d like to laugh, too.”

“Nope, maybe later, so have you guys eaten anything?”

vitaminasThey went to a snack bar and ordered some food. José had eaten something before leaving home, so he just ordered a vitamina—a fruit juice usually made with avocado, milk, and papaya, but they can include other fresh fruit. In Brazil, fresh fruit juices are usually cheap and you can get them practically anywhere. Adalto ordered fresh squeezed O.J. since he’d eaten as well.

“I’m famished,” Fumiko said and asked the waiter if they had Feijoada. The guy answered nonchalantly, “It’s Saturday.”

feijoadaThat answer would have baffled any foreigner, but Fumiko was Brazilian. In Brazil, restaurants, snack bars and practically any kind of eatery, served Feijoada on Wednesdays and Saturdays. That’s a tradition observed virtually all over Brazil. Feijoada is a Brazilian stew of black beans with pork and other meat and vegetables, served with rice.

“Three Feijoadas Completas, please.”

A Feijoada Completa is a big portion of Feijoada with everything included. Usually, one Feijoada Completa is enough for 2 or even 3 people, but as Fumiko said, she was famished and her crew looked like they could eat a horse as well.

“Bring three batidinhas, please.”

batida_limaoBatidinha is a shaken drink made with cachaça (sugar-cane alcohol), lemon  and sugar which accompanies a Feijoada free of charge, at least the first shot, if you want any more, most places would charge you.

José got a load of the batidinha and Fumiko smiled crookedly. “Are you ogling me or the batidinha? Anyway, I know you’re just 17, so no batidinha for you.” She said that and touched his nose with the tip of her finger.

“But we’ll be 18 in two months, come on, give a guy a break.” José pleaded.

Fumiko retorted, “No way, drink your juice, fellows.”

She was very nice and lively and behaved as the reporter she was, very inquisitively. She probed into their lives, attempting to learn as much as she could about them. But they did manage to squeeze in a question or two about her. She was a Sansei, which means her grandparents were Japanese and her parents were Nissei, their parents were Japanese. Actually, her mom was Japanese; her daddy was of Dutch decent. She had 3 brothers and one sister and was the youngest in the family. Two of her brothers were married to “Brazilian” women and one of them to a Japanese one. Sometimes they speak like that. As lots of people call them Japanese, they sometimes call non-Japanese “Brazilians”, but of course, she was as Brazilian as all of them, she couldn’t even speak Japanese.

areia-caminhaoShe was a bombshell. Unfortunately, José felt he was “little sand for her truck”, which means in Brazilian Portuguese that he had the chance of a snowball in hell to get into her pants. But you can never blame a guy for trying. She was out of his league, but maybe she liked to play in the minors every now and then. José could bide his time as always and poke around to try and find a chink in her armor, they all had one. He’d been tall and male enough for plenty of older women ever since he was 16. You never know whose pants you’ll end up into. The game is not over till the fat lady sings, that was his motto.

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