Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fire Roasted Chicken Hearts on a Stick and Other New Brazilian Loves

(Image was taken from Wikipedia - my camera couldn't capture the grandeur from my vantage point!)

So after a multitude of airport delays, changing from the international Sao Paulo airport to the domestic airport by way of crazy bus driver in a city of 18 million people, missing 3 flights to Belo Horizonte, and other general craziness due mostly to the fact that the air traffic controllers are on strike in Brazil, we arrived safely to the city that will become our new home! The Belo Horizonte airport is a little way out of the city so our first impression was not that of a city with 5 million occupants. But after a half hour car ride we began to see it . . . high rise after high rise nested among mountains for as far as the eye can see. Even now, sitting in my hotel room on day 5 of our trip, I look out the window and I am a bit overwhelmed. I have been to big cities, and I am used to high rises, but in the US we have this tendency to build the tall buildings in a localized area but here I must be looking out no less than 20 miles in each direction and seriously, the city just goes forever. It is hard to describe and I'm sure my pictures don't do it justice.

The first night Eric and I were taken out to supper by Andre, who works at CNH here, but will soon be moving to Italy for 2-3 years. We had our first experience with the Churrascarias. At these restaurants, waiters continuously make their way around the room and to your table with large spears of grilled meats. They offer them to you for your inspection and then if you desire it, they will carve off a hunk of meat onto your plate. They bring around everything from filet mignon, to pork loins, to chicken kabobs, to Eric's new love . . . Chicken Hearts. (I personally am rather unable to bring myself to put anything with arteries hanging from it into my mouth, but Eric is a little more adventurous and he gave them a shot and has found his Brazilian love!) Along with tons of meat (I bet you eat well over a full pound of meat before leaving that place!) they have a large buffet of salada which consists of mostly cold vegetables prepared many different ways. At the end of the meal they bring around a large cart of different desserts for you to choose from or you can take my approach and order the warm chocolate lava cake with ice cream - it's a little bit of heaven in paradise! And then there is Eric's favorite part: all of this comes to you for the low price of 22 Reais per person if you go to a really, really nice place (which converts to around $11 each.) Add a couple caipirinhas and a cerveja or two and you get an entire meal at a very nice restaurant for under $30 US and it is considered quite expensive here.

Yesterday I went apartment hunting, but that will be a story I'll have to type a little later. For now, I am heading downstairs to have some lunch and then I will take a little journey down to the mall for the afternoon.

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