Monday, March 30, 2009

Party in Belo Horizontes!

Congratulations to our friend Dü who just graduated (first in his class) from a Tourism program in Belo Horizontes. A big achievement deserves a big party.

Luiz and I traveled to Belo Horizontes to join in the celebration. Dü’s class has been raising money for a year to throw a HUGE party. Coat and tie and formal gowns were the standard for party-goers. The event was in a grand party space with wonderful food and drink.

To our dismay Luiz and I took our non-functional camera (as opposed to the working one.) Lesson learned. That camera is now in the trash. But, alas, no pictures.

What we loved about the party:
- Being with Dü and Carlos
- Getting all dressed up
- Seeing Dü and Carlos dancing to great applause during the “principals” dance
- The food was great – fancy finger food passed by eager-to-please waiters
- Spending time with Dü and Carlos’ family and friends
- The women looked AMAZING – dresses, hair, shoes…

What made us chuckle or frown at the party:
- Dü’s 33 guests shared a table with 12 chairs (before too long the music had us up and trading seats going to and from the dance floor)
- The party hall was NOT a non smoking area – it was FILLED with smoke
- The dinner was served at 2:00 a.m. (not a problem, just VERY different than would be the case in the States)
- Listening to the very talented band sing American standards with slightly off lyrics, like their version of New York, New York “I want to wake up in the city that has never slept.”
- The current Brazilian men’s tie fashion trend seems to be about a race to the bottom. Ugly, boring, stiff, shiny, diagonal stripes wrapped around all their necks. Yawn.
We left the party around 5:30 a.m. and crashed back at their house - along with 6 others in from out of town. After just a few hours of sleep we were up again with Carlos playing the guitar and everyone singing -- and ordering in a case of beer. While we kept the party going the housekeeper quietly cooked an amazing lunch. By about noon we were drooling over a table set with two roasted chickens, a pan of sausage cannellonis, a vegetable salad to die for and of course fresh beans, rice and farofa. Incredible.

One of my favorite bits from the long weekend was our going to an all-you-can-eat Japonese restaurant. Sushi!!

It’s always great to see Dü and Carlos. They are now planning to come to Niteroí for our birthday party in May.

I should add that Carlos has been losing weight like a mad man. He has lost over 100 pounds! He looks great and reports feeling even better. (The picture above is from 'before'.)

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