So I got really busy and then went to sleep in Mark's A/C'd hotel room, so I wasn't able to post anything here. Why not post two days in one then?
YESTERDAY, ALL MY TROUBLES...WELL YOU KNOW THE SONG
So yesterday I spent most of the day trying to work through getting a Brasilian SSNish, and issues with the apartment.
Before anything, I went with my realtor to see another apt...which conceptually is good, but in reality--a mess. Even more so of a mess than this one. And the guy living in the place was doing the HARD SELL...i hate that more than the realtor doing it.
After that, I went into Ipanema to get a Brasilian SSN number, which they call a CPF number, and apparently need it for everything here. To get it, you have to go to the Banco do Brasil...and you get a chance to talk to a guy that takes your information and then he passes you to another woman that give you a NUMBER, in which you then are told to go upstairs and wait until your number is called. You then pay about $3 to process the number, and then you are told to go to another building tomorrow and you will GET the number, but not the actual card...that will be mailed to me in about a month. This first process of paying took about one hour. This kind of gives you an idea of the bureaucracy in this country.
Spent some time again with the realtors...going over some issues, and resovled to get some designs done on the new apt by Thursday.
I was able to squeeze in an hour at the beach too, which is always nice. I'm gonna miss those squeezed in hours at the beach.
BEST NEWS OF THE DAY
I slept in Mark's second bed in PURE BLISS. Almost 9 hours of chilled ecstacy. :) (oh and sleeping pill to get me there).
A lot of the same.
After waking up and having he free continental breakfast at the Mar Palace Hotel :), I made my way up past the apt I'm looking to buy...just to get some good viewpoints. I walked on the street behind it which one side as planned developments, and the other side of the street sweeping up the mountain is a favela--shantytown. As I got almost to the top, I saw a HUGE presence of police, like over 100 police with there lights, cars, weapons. I thought I might be walking into a drug bust or something like that. T
Then I saw TV cameras and thought, Oh, I must have just missed it. Which gave me a sigh of relief, but also a wisp of envy that I wasn't gonna see/witness the action. (I found out later in the day that the Mayor of Rio was doing a public appearance to announce that they driven all the drug lords and violance from the favelas, and it was a sign of working together to make Rio a better place to live. Darn it, it would have been fun to see him).
I continued through the large gathering and circled around the mountain to try and get better views of the apt. I got some, but with my cell phone camera, they are horrible. Not good.
So I then found my way back to my hot apartment, took a shower and after a little relaxation, headed by to Ipanema to get my CPF number.
MAYBE THERE'S ANOTHER NEEDLE, ANOTHER HAYSTACK
When I got off my bus (which I am paying with all my extra small change--I have a lot to get rid of), I saw a real estate agency and on a whim, I went in and asked about purchase and rent. This office just did sales, so after some details, He took to see some places very close...they were OK, but really, not spectacular...by any stretch...and not cheap...$500,000 or so, for three small bedrooms on a busy street.
Brasil real estate is really getting pricey.
So then I stopped by the bank again to ask about opening a bank account--pretty much IMPOSSIBLE to do with just a tourist visa.
Then off to the Federal Agency to get my CPF #. After taking my number, I waited another hour to spend 3 minutes with a girl that essentially printed out my number--why they couldn't do that YESTERDAY, who knows, but I guess it's not THE PROCESS.
By now it's 2:30 p.m. and I've only had my free breakfast to keep me going. So knowing I had to be back in Copacabana for a meeting with the architect/designer, I grabed a BIG MAC and thought I'd eat it on the bus ride down.
After boarding the bus, and trying to find my free coins jingle jangling in my pocket at about 40 MPH across bumpy roads, I was able to pay my fair and head to the back of the bus to eat.
Imagine trying to eat a hamburger and fries on the roller coaster at Lagoon. YES, I mean the roller coaster. That's about what it is to eat on a city bus here. I'm lucky any food actually made it into my mouth...but I was soo hungry, I fought hard and won. My hunger was satiated for a bit longer.
MOVE THAT OVER THERE, NO, OVER HERE
We spent two hours with the architect/designer mapping out the specs of the exiting apt versus the plan of how we want to modify it moving forward. It's a small space, really, and to look at it now...it's HORRIBLE. But I think it has potential...I really do.
I should be able to see the design tomorrow at 5...so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
As my realtor, Thiago, the Designer, Luis, and I walked back to the realty office, Luis commented on how cool the apartment could be...and the point he liked the most was the ART THAT WAS THE FAVELA across the way on the mountain. I gave him a funny look, and he said, Yes, in it's own way, it's very magical and beautiful.
And yes, in a way, it is that. At least that's how it will be listed in the sales brochure when I decide to sell it. (You tell me...does the view out my furture window look like Art to you? In the aeiral view, it's the favela on the bottom left creeping up the hillside and the other two are various parts of it--day and night. The night view would be close to what I'd see out my window.)
BACK TO HEAVEN
I'm back in the oven now, typing this, but about to head to CHILLED HEAVEN...with a free breakfast. Ahh, it's good to have good friends that are willing to put you up. Mark is one of the good friends I've made while here, and very glad I did.
Until tomorrow. After tonight, just two more days here. :(