Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A tale of 2 Cities in Joao Pessoa, Brazil

A tale of 2 cities is what I witness on my first full day here in Brazil. I arrived in Joao Pessoa, which is a gem of a city located on the Atlantic Ocean halfway between Natal and Recife. When I got here I was told it was a holiday, but I was like wait Brazil are not playing a world cup match which gave the rest of the nation a holiday. Turns out the street were empty as it was the celebration of St. John’s Festival, in portugese I think it is called O Maior São João do Mundo. Well this is a day where most of the stores in the city, including banks, malls, and pretty much everything is closed. When I checked into the nice hostel I’m staying at, I was told down by the beach I could find some food and few things open. So I went down and watched the second World Cup games of the day, Greece vs Ivory Coast was a great one, I was rooting for Cote D’Ivorie but I think they got screwed on a bad penalty call late in the game. As I was finished dinner, it was about 8pm and already very day. This is one think I have to adjust to here near the Equator it gets dark every day around 6:30pm. I was walking and looking in my phrasebook how to say “where is some live music” and was going to ask any friendly looking stranger passing my way. Well I got to Tambau beach and there was a huge stage setup and a crowd of people ready for the concert. I lucked into something I figured..

What I didn’t know is that almost the WHOLE town showed up, families with teenagers, kids in strollers, kids on shoulders, old couples, single teens just about everyone was at the beach check out the band. I watched about 90 minutes of it, and while all in Portugese it was obvious the act performing was well known, as the songs were sung by everyone. All the beach bars were setup and selling beers and were packed.

All in all it was a fun night, and I would say if you are in this area around late June when the festival is held by all means try to get up here for it. Its an easy 2hr bus ride from Recife that only costs 20 Reias, which is less than 10 bucks.

Thank you Joao Pessoa for a great live music concert, now for me its off to Recife tomorrow for the USA vs Germany game. I will be there and expect it to be one of the best sporting events in my life, and with the right result of a USA win or draw, our world cup run continues. Something that spain, italy and England all former champions can’t say as they are on an early vacation.

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