February 21, 2007
I wanted to check out more of Fortaleza, so today I decided to head to Praia do Futuro, the "Beach of the Future." Once again, I couldn't figure out the confusing city bus system, but luckily somebody at the bus stop told me which one to take.
As soon as I boarded the bus, I wished I hadn't. It was crowded beyond belief, none of the windows were open so it was hot as hell, and there was only one door so it felt claustrophobic. But the worst problem of all was that the ceiling was so low my shoulders were touching it. Normally wherever I go the locals laugh at me when I won't fit somewhere because I'm so tall, but this time they had horrified looks that said "Oh my God, he's really in pain!" The one thing I noticed while looking down at everyone with my kinked neck was that none of them had even close to the same dilemma as me. How could it be that nobody is over 5'6" in this crazy world of ours? After awhile, a seat finally freed up and a lady made me sit in it out of sheer pity. My neck was no longer in pain, but of course the same thing couldn't be said about my knees.
When I first laid eyes upon Praia do Futuro, it became immediately obvious that it was different from the rest of the city beaches. It was clean, empty, and big waves continuously crashed upon its shores. Along the shore, there were restaurants and hotels with hundreds of empty chairs outside. I figured that it either only filled up on weekends, or it really was meant to be used in the future.
Tonight I got together again with Marcelo for dinner. We had pockets of bread stuffed with meat, cheese, veggies, etc. called pasteis. They were a lot like empanadas, but I was ensured that they were somehow different. We finished the night at an ice cream place that offered over fifty flavors, including an unbelievable selection of tropical fruits. Marcelo has an extensive knowledge of Brazil because he has lived and traveled through so much of it. He also lived in Indiana for awhile, so he actually understood what I meant when I talked about the cold weather back home. I don't normally like to visit cities in South America for very long, but I sure am enjoying Fortaleza!