Ilha Grande

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My cheese-bread rolled over the small table where we were sitting at the outdoor cafe, I looked at him and quickly grabbed it and put it in my mouth. For that split second he thought that I would give up on that piece of  bread rolling on a not well sanitized table, and he would score an extra piece of the total number that had been split equally between us. But not today, not this time.

It was a late breakfast type of deal, we had left the island without any meal in the morning, in a hurry to hop on the boat that would take us back to main land and hopefully catch the bus for a three-hour trip back to the city.

 

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We were sitting by the road at that simple cafe/bar establishment waiting for our bus that we knew little about, watching stray dogs walk by so slowly that sometimes they would just park their bodies under the nearest tree and take a nap. Locals were dressed in shorts and sometimes no shirt. The heat was already catching up at 8:00 am and it was clear that not everyone needed a full attire. Some people were going to work, some were just going to get their fresh baguette for breakfast, and some had nothing else to do besides shaking hands and catching up with friends.

We drank our cafezinho from a tiny little cup with its matching saucer and ordered a few cheese-bread to eat, something simple and fast. We knew we had to keep an eye on the bus stop, hoping we would not miss the right one that would take us home.

He says that he loves to travel with me as my ability to speak five languages can get us by and we can figure things out as we go. I always enjoy the fact that he trusts me to guide him through roads less traveled, through crowds that speak unfamiliar sounds, and places that feed his love of people watching.

At the bus stop we set on a short concrete wall feeling the heat of the day and talking. No internet service, no distractions from the real world, just raw life in an unfamiliar place. Once in a while a bus would come and I would jump to its door asking the driver if that was “the one” to take us home. The drivers kept saying “NO! It’s the next one.”

He was getting worried because whatever time was printed on our tickets didn’t match the schedule of the buses. The place had people coming, boarding, leaving, and we were still there. Everyone seemed calm, so we learned that numbers on a paper meant nothing besides and estimated time. Then we finally boarded.

Trips like this are the ones that get our shoes dirty, our stomach hungry, our skin tanned. our brain stimulated. Trips like this take us to the essence of life and we learn that if we want to live in freedom, a lot needs to be left behind.

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