“Is it gonna be cold?”
“In the plane? You have your jacket.
“Not the plane, the city!”
“No, why would it be cold?”
I explained Mark the concept of Northern and Southern hemisphere but this is irrelevant, we’re flying West, anyway.
I don’t understand why he’s assuming it’s going to be cold.
And apparently, Mark doesn’t understand why I find his question puzzling.
“Well, yeah. Froze. Frozen is cold.”
“Oh, I see! No, it’s ‘Foz,’ not ‘froze.’ It’s the name of the city, short for Foz do Iguaçu.”
Makes sense now. Misunderstanding cleared up.
This is our new route after the change of plans—the first stop is Foz do Iguaçu, at the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
Curitiba Airport is dead quiet. Checking in and getting boarding passes took less than two minutes and there’s no one in the sanitários femininos, which is rare because no matter where I go in the world, I have to wait in line to go pee in public bathrooms. Women have to empty bladders more frequently than men—or so I figured because I’m always looking for a bathroom while Mark and Feng seem to pee twice a day, like an afterthought. The things you notice when you spend 24 hours a day with your loved ones…
Outside the terminal, a handful of passengers “boa viagem” each other and a lone businessman borrows my lighter.
We go through security.
“Do you want a drink, Mark?”
“Where did you get drinks?”
Feng shrugs. “I brought them, there were in Mark’s red bag.”
“You went through security with drinks?”
“You went through security with three lighters!”
I’ve been well trained by fear mongering North American airport security government organizations. By now, I’m completely convinced that the world’s security depends on me chugging any bottle of water I may have before security, just to buy another overpriced bottle of water once at the gate. Damn. I should have remembered that South America is more flexible, TSA rules don’t apply here.
We’re flying Azul again, so I suspect we’ll have snacks for dinner tonight. We fly whatever airline is the cheapest and doesn’t schedule flights in the middle of the night—Lantam to Antofagasta, Air Canada to Buenos Aires (we used Aeroplan points), Azul to Salvador de Bahia, Avianca back to Rio, Gol to Florianópolis … and now we’re back with Azul, so far my favourite. Staff is friendly, we get free drinks and snacks, planes leave and arrive on time. They have good deals too and no, I’m not being paid to promote them.
The entertainment system is basic—“this is NOT a touch screen, Mark!”—and all the channels show movies or series dubbed in Portuguese. I watch Brazilian news for a few minutes and I’m surprised to see that I actually understand pretty much everything. The focus is on the onda de violência in Rio and President Temer’s decision to deploy military to police the city. “This is not going to end well,” I mutter to myself, because as far as I know, guns versus guns never has a happy ending where one camp just go “oh, fuck it, you’re right, let’s just stop that madness!”
I switch to CNN, the only channel in English. I haven’t heard about Trump lately and I didn’t miss it. The latest school shooting in Florida is being discussed, and by “being discussed” I mean that one side wants more guns and the other wants less. Glad to see absolutely nothing changed up North.
I’m sick of gun problem talks, in Brazil or in the US. I close my eyes while Mark is whining because THIS IS NOT A FREAKING TOUCH SCREEN!
When I open them again, we’re flying over the Atlantic rainforest, which is a bit of a shock because just an hour earlier, we were over Curitiba, which is anything but tropical. All I can see is patches of green and red clay.
Looks like the pilot is trying to find a place… ahem, without trees. This is going to be one of these airports where you get off the plane and walk on the tarmac to the terminal, I can feel it.
Welcome to the jungle, baby!