It’s been two months since
dad’s funeral and I’ve been back on the road since. First Cuba…
now Brazil… next Korea. I was just home long enough to do
laundry and I’m on a plane again. Some say that people
travelling around a lot either have identity issues and can’t
find a belonging anywhere or they’re running away from
something. Maybe I’ll figure it out one of these days. Twelve
hours later, we are in Sao Paulo.
Restaurante Huang Hei was hard to find. It’s three in the
afternoon, and we have just gorged ourselves out and the place
is about to close. We sit and chat a bit with our story subject,
Lee Ho Shau. He offers us Brazilian coffee. It’s heavily
pre-sugared espressos served in tiny paper cups and commonly
available free of charge from Japanese thermos to customers in
all restaurants. I love Brazilian coffee, but I wish they would
serve it sans sugar. It’s a diabetic nightmare and I’m trying to
watch my girlish figure.
After lunch, we wander around picking up ambient here and there.
A big-breasted cop tried to bust us for aiming the camera at
her. You won’t believe me, and neither did she. I was really
shooting the cityscape behind her coincidentally large breasts.
Once again our “fixer“ guy Cheuk comes through.
It’s day of the World Cup final and Brazil is expected to win
its fifth championship – penta, penta. Cheuk’s Japanese friend
Jun picks us up at the hotel this morning. He’s flopping around
in a huge green and yellow clown’s hat. He looks more like he’s
geared up for St. Patrick’s Day… but oh… green and yellow… the
Brazilian colors… right. We park at a designated corner and hook
up with Luis before catching the subway to Avenida Paulista. The
trains are jammed with screaming soccer fans.
As we approach the oversized LCD monitor in the boulevard, Brazil
scores and the crowd goes wild… beer bottles, champagne,
firecrackers and other more insane projectiles are flying above
my head. Where’s that safety helmet when you need it?
separated from Cheuk in the crowd. But I still have Luis and
Jun, which is more important. I’ll stick with them for the
morning. Jun is good for Luis. He’s a roly-poly six feet
something overgrown kid. Not your average Japanese. He’s right
in there… bobbing up and down huggin’ and kissin’ anyone
willing. Luis is more typically reserved Chinese… watching the
game on the giant LCD from the sideline. Maybe Jun will bring
out the wild soccer fan in Luis eventually.
After many projectile-dodging feats and keeping my camera dry
from champagne showers, Brazil scores their second goal. The
band behind us is blaring.
Eureka! Jun and Luis are
hugging and dancing like wild native Brazilians. It was over
just like that. But the party has just begun and will continue
into the week. Some mistook us for Koreans and congratulated us…
I guess for wiping out their competition. I wonder what it’s
like at home right now. My loft in Toronto is sandwiched between
Korean Town, Little Italy and Little Brazil.