I overslept this morning and missed going on a ride with Paulo and Fabio. Iâ€™m a little bummed because we were going to take the ferry over to Guaruja on the other side of the river from Santos. The riding over there is much nicer because there are fewer cars and more rainforest. So, I went for a run on the beach, ate breakfast, then went to the appointment Fabio had made for me to get a massage!!
I was running late, but I needed to stop at a bank to change money. Fabio said that there were a bunch of banks in front of Patriciaâ€™s (the massage therapist) building, so I went in with my bike and asked, but was escorted out by a security guard. Then a woman came out to ask what I needed. she said the nearest place to change money was in the mall, which was 2 blocks down. I was already 5 minutes late, so I went into the building and valet parked my bike. Sort of. The Valet guy handed me a lock and let my lock the bike in the corner. Then I hopped in the elevator.
After explaining to Patricia that I would have to exchange money after and come back she told me to take off my clothingâ€¦
This is when I realized I was not wearing underwear beneath my K-Swiss board shorts. I mean â€“ itâ€™s so hot, why would I put on an extra layer? Normally in the US this isnâ€™t an issue because thereâ€™s a sheet and they just wrap it around you so that you can maintain some kind of modesty. Here, however, there was no sheet. My options were to get a massage through my shorts or lay bare naked on the table.
I laid down in my shorts, and immediately regretted my decision. My legs are sore, but she ended up spending most of her time working on my back and shoulders. Those were tight too, but my legs were begging for a rub down. Besides, modesty is so not me, and the nudity would have made for a much better story (Loren and Chris would have enjoyed it more anyway).
After she finished (45 minutes for 40 reais, which is a little less than $20 â€“ would have been 55 if Iâ€™d been on time) I walked down the street a few blocks to find the mall. After five blocks I didnâ€™t see anything that looked like a shopping center, so I went into another bank and asked for an exchange. â€œIt is at Canal 3 near the beach.â€ Now, I was at Canal 5 and they are each about 800 meters apart. They were actually directing me back to my hotel, about 5km away. I turned around, walked back another block, then went into another bank to ask again. â€œYes, go to the next street, turnâ€¦ ahâ€¦ [points left, i say â€œleftâ€ he confirms] then walk about four blocks, it is on the â€¦ ahâ€¦ leftâ€¦ side and there is another bank like this one at the entrance, and it will say â€˜exchangeâ€™ in frontâ€
Those are directions I can work with!! After that it was easy, I changed some money and went back to Patriciaâ€™s office where Francisco was getting a massage. I just canâ€™t believe how hard it was to find a money exchange!
While I was walking around I saw the garbage collectors. These guys put the New York City trash collectors to shame. They were running down the street â€“ three at a time running, one driving â€“ and grabbing bags from the sidewalk, then throwing them into the still moving truck. While they ran they yelled for people to move, and those that didnâ€™t understand (read: â€œBenâ€) were simply run over. The whole scene was awesome!