March 12, 2007
Today was Olinda's birthday, yet another excuse for a party. I went to check it out at one of the main squares in town. They had the church decorated with large dolls, a stage set up for a concert, and a huge cake ready to be cut. About that time, I called the bus station to figure out when the buses left for Salvador. I figured there'd be a bus leaving at least once per hour all night, so I wasn't worried about not getting one. The loud music didn't help me understand the lady on the phone, but I was pretty sure she said something about 18:30. It was already 4:30 PM, so I figured I should go just in case.
I packed my backpack, took a bus into Recife, and found the subway station. I had to take two different trains at a busy time to get to the bus station. Along the way out of the city I passed all of those horrible slums again. I went back to the tourist information and found out that only one company had buses going to Salvador. I went to their ticket window and was told that indeed the only bus all night was at 6:30. The current time on the clock showed 6:23. The guy pulled up the bus information on his computer and there was only one seat left, so of course I took it. That was pretty good timing!
The bus was really nice and they actually played a movie. It was an old film from the 50's called Father of the Bride. For some reason the movie had English audio and Spanish subtitles, so most people on the bus couldn't understand it, but I had the advantage of speaking both languages and got it. Pretty much nothing happened in the movie, though, so I'm not sure why it was considered a classic. I kept waiting for the exciting chase scene or string of unsolved murders, but the plot was more boring that real life. Maybe I've just been too spoiled by our adrenaline rush culture to enjoy a classic.