Am in Salvador.  Everytime I’ve met somebody in Brasil, they’ve asked if I’ve been to Salvador yet.  Now I can say yes, and then respond to the further couple-dozen questions it entails.

Yes – it’s the oldest city in Brasil.  Yes – it was the capital for 200 years or so.  Yes – it’s got the largest african influence.  Yes – it’s a musical mecca.  No – I haven’t gone dancing.  Yes – I went to a Candomble ceremony.  Yes – interesting, but repetitive.  No – beaches were pretty average.  Yes – a heap of hawkers.  Yes – very annoying.  Yes – historic centre pretty cool.  Yes – nightlife is ridiculously long and intense.  No – didn’t like it when guy telling me he had The AIDS asked for money for food, then snatched rest of cash out of my hand – and refused to give it back, pretending to be angry because I didn’t want to pay for his ‘medicine’.  No – I don’t think there is a medicine for The AIDS.  Yes – I think he did use the term “The AIDS”.  Yes – did watch some Capoeira.  No – it was shit.  Yes – they did ask for money, and got angry when I wouldn’t give a ‘donation’ for the second time.  Yes – I thought I was going to have to give a demonstration of drunken brawling vs Capoeira.  Yes – festivals constantly, including one tonight (something to do with museums?  Told by AIDS man that there would be a good Capoeira demonstration here.  Hopefully by same crew that they & I got mutually angry with this afternoon.)

Any more questions?  Hopefully leave tomorrow.  But lady who conned me into overpriced ‘trip’ to see Candomble ceremony (no, not going to explain – look it up) reckons buses to my planned next stop are either early in morning, or late at night.  And only a 4 hour trip or so.  So – either have to get up ridiculously early, or arrive in town in middle of night.  Might break up this 4 hour trip a little, and go to town where the old ladies roll Brazil’s best cigars in the basement of some old building.  I’m certainly sick of Salvador’s hawkers, ‘offical tourist vendors’, beggars, and young girls wanting me to go drink with them.

So, skipped old lady who talked me into overpriced Candomble wanting to walk me around town today – and probably gonna skip her offer of an organised trip up the coast, and then the next day a sailboat around the harbour.

In other news, have been mistaken several times for a german.  But never for a scot.  Make of that what you may, Nathan and other doubters.  Although – to be fair, I resemble an albino a lot more than I did when I arrived.  A lot of sun here.  And the strawberry in my hair has never liked the sun too much.

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