International Drunks in Bahia

After that wonderfully safe night exemplifying the side of Bahia we were hoping not to see, we were inclined towards sitting pretty in the hostel until we departed the next afternoon.  With one day left to kill, I decided to enjoy it by napping in the hammock in the courtyard.  Sometime late in the evening I was woken up by a vaguely familiar face asking me if I was Risa.  Slightly disoriented (get it?  because I’m Asian and not in Asia – disoriented!) I realize that it was Louco, CIA’s friend that I had met in Rio.  We had set plans to meet up in Bahia and he agreed to come to Pelourinho for the night to drink with us.  Sweet.  Although I expressed concern for him getting home later on in light of our wonderful experience the night before, he assured me that he’d be fine since he had spent his first night in Bahia driving around with random locals he had met at a gas station that were driving into the favelas to look for crack.

As they say, first impressions are important, and in all fairness this was my second impression of Louco, but I had deduced 2 things.  One, I was in over my head if I was expecting a normal night out.  And two, he’s one of those crazy people you can’t resist hanging out with because although you see trouble on the horizon you know at least it’s going to be an interesting night.  Those kinds of people are awesome – the world would be terribly boring without them.

In true British fashion, the first order of duty as soon as Louco arrived was heading to the hole in the wall store next door that sold beers 3 for 5 reals.  Our first two rounds of beer were quickly exhausted (mostly by Louco) and he went back to get the third set on his own.  When he came back he threw a stack of condoms on the table where we were all drinking.  I don’t think I signed up for the England/Germany gangbang…what the fuck is this?  Apparently the guy who ran the store after seeing Louco and I consume 6 beers in half an hour and come back for 3 more assumed how the night would progress and wanted to make sure everything went smoothly.  But seriously, a handful of condoms??  Easy killer.

After having a good amount of beers, the eight of us decided to grab dinner at a random local restaurant which apparently surprised Louco because “You look like you’re high maintenance.”  Really?  Because I’m pretty sure I just slugged back beers that were about $.50 USD.  Anyway, we picked a local restaurant down the block so a) we wouldn’t have to walk far to get home and get robbed again and b) because wanted to get back to drinking as soon as possible.  Which is quite difficult when the waitress can’t figure out your drink orders (vodka com tonica, cerveja, and caipirinhas??) and opts to serve all the tables that came in after you and forget about your table until closing time.

Fearful that the beer man would close before we’d be able to stock up, Louco and I ran back to the stand and in our best Portuguese attempted to order 70 beers which after a lot of gesticulation, was finally accomplished.  I bet the owner didn’t realize when he slipped Louco the condoms that I was such a willing participant in the “get the girl drunk” scheme.  On the brisk walk back, fueled by liquid courage, or an I don’t give a fuck attitude, or the suggestive power of the beerman’s condoms, Louco bluntly asked me to come back with him to his apartment that night.  Ummm….nope.   A “nope” which elicited the response, “Well then since I’m your guest, I’m going to act up and embarrass you in front of your friends.”  Great.  This is going to be an interesting night.

About half an hour after we got back for a total of 2 hours of waiting at the restaurant, we finally got our food – at which point I was already tipsy and not all that hungry.  Back to the drinking.  But first, cigarettes were necessary.  And seeing as the Europeans smoked about as frequently as they breathed, Louco got challenged to get a new pack and ran off into the distance…and by into the distance I mean into the square where we had almost gotten robbed the night before.  And disappeared for more than 10 minutes.  And it was nearing the witching hour.

Despite not planning on going home with Louco, I did like him and did feel semi responsible for his well being since he had come across town to meet me.  Even if his goal was to embarrass me in front of everyone, I didn’t want him getting mugged or killed or any of that fun stuff.  See I can be a caring person sometimes. So as everyone walked back to the hostel, I put my stuff down, switched from heels to sneakers and went to jog up to the square to try to find him.  And fortunately I also got a chivalrous German bodyguard to come with me, because, really what good is a 48kg Asian girl against crackheads?

When we got to the square fortunately there were still some police out and I attempted to ask in Spanglugueselish if anyone had seen “mi amigo com la camisa verde de futbol – ele fala ingles.”  After twenty minutes having no luck finding him, although my horribly constructed sentence seemed to be understood, we told the cops that if they saw him to send him back to our hostel.  As we were about to walk back, this crazy looking kid that we had seen around everyday asking us for money came up to us and told us in Portuguese that he had seen our friend running into the favela and he would show us how to get there.  Oh fuck no.  Sorry, Louco, it’s been real, but I’m not chasing you there.

Hoping the kid was making shit up so we would’ve gone to the favela and gotten jumped, we headed back to the hostel, and hoped that Louco had just been drunk and went home – and not into the favela in search of his friends from the previous night.  As soon as we got back to the hostel Louco popped up in the kitchen with everyone else.  What. the. fuck.  Oh well, at least that was good news.

Now that everything was settled, it was time for my favorite game.  No not kings, I mean international drinking with intelligent people from around the world.  No seriously, while I’m fairly stupid and have nothing to contribute when conversations get too smart, I do really enjoy listening to everyone’s input and hearing international perspectives on different issues.  Including popular drinking subjects like bailing out Greece, which nation has the best private banks, the history of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers (and fuck you England),  legacies left by empires and everyone’s favorite game, which country is the current world super power!

What I really mean is smart articulate guys with foreign accents are really hot.  And what I got was 4 solid hours of intelligent drunken international political debate and conversation between 5 Germans, 2 Canadian born Sri Lankans and one very loud Englishman.  Good times were had by all. And even when everyone shit on America, I never thought I’d find myself defending the good ol’ USA, but I did, and the Canadians were actually on my side.  Thank you eh?  And so ladies and gents, this being one of my favorite nights thus far this is one of the many reasons I am a huge loser.   But I did really like the conversation.  Well and the drinks.  And the company.  And the intermittent drinking games.   And the fact that the conversation was good enough that Louco forgot about his plot to embarrass me and instead spent his time standing up for Great Britain.  Phew.

At around 4am after the hostel manager had told us for about the billionth time to shut the fuck up because normal, not drunk people were sleeping, we decided to call it a night.  Louco headed home – alone, and between us, none of us have any idea how he got home but I did get a ummm…nice drunk facebook message the next morning when he arrived safely.  The rest of us headed upstairs and as I went to brush my teeth I realized something…it was almost sunrise…and I had stayed up all night and earned a sunrise!   Not wanting to go by myself I ran into the German room (learn to lock your doors when there’s a drunk Risa around) to see if anyone wanted to stay up with me and watch the sunrise.  Fortunately, I was able to bribe one of them since I still had cigarettes, so he got to smoke and I got to stay up and take pictures of a sunset well earned.  Everyone wins.  Great finish to a great night.

sunrise over Pelourinho
sunrise over Pelourinho

*and if you’re wondering where the pictures from the sunset are…don’t go swimming with your iPhone before you upload your pictures or backup to iCloud

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