I am in Foz de Iguacu, Brazil at a little hotel called “Foz Presidente.” The name sounds better than it really is. I had looked at the reviews and they said things like “avoid” and “the elevator doesn´t work” and “this is the dirtiest bathroom I’ve ever seen,” etc. But the university here booked it, and is paying for it, so I won´t complain–actually, compared to some of the places I have stayed in my life, it´s pretty nice.
One of the best things about any Brazilian hotel is the breakfasts! It´s well beyond cereal and fake oj of Best Western fame. Instead, imagine a row of fresh fruits–papaya, watermelon, pineapple, and bananas. There are also about 6 kinds of fresh juice–grape, orange, papaya, lemonade, etc.
Then there are the cakes and bread, eggs, sausage rolls, hot chocolate. Yummmmm! I love Brazilian breakfasts.
Things are a bit wild on our street because the president of Brazil is visiting–Lula. I don´t even know his real name, but that´s what he is called. He is staying at the luxury hotel next door. He spoke there last night, so there were tons of police and a long line of people waiting in the street to get in. I had thought about going in to Paraguay today, but apparently the bridge is closed because of demonstrations, so instead I´m going to walk aound and do some exploring.
Yesterday I went to a pretty disappointing zoo. It was free, though, so I can´t be too disappointed. It had monkeys, coatis, parrots, and not a lot of other things. And it was very quiet! I was only one of about 6 people there. Today someone told me it wasn´t safe to go there. Oh well! I sat for several hours in the peace and quiet and read my book (which is great, by the way–The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).
Last night we ate at a place called “Republico dos camaroes”–basically, the Republic of Shrimp. It was mighty tasty! I am definitely talking too much about food.
So now I am off to explore. Tomorrow I’m going to the nature preserve and Itaipu Dam, and then the next two days (when Paul is finished with work) we´ll explore the waterfalls on the brazilian and then the argentine side.
Paul´s suitcase just came this morning. Yay! He had to give his talk in the same clothes he had traveled in for 24 hours–and then wear them 2 more days! Poor Paul (and I hate to say it, but by extension, poor me). But when he gets home tonight he will find his suitcase.