Saturday, January 29, 2005


wsf 2: how i got here

I don't know how actual bloggers do it. It seems basically impossible to both do things and blog about them. I guess bloggers don't tend to do things. I'm hopelessly behind on things to say and this place closes in 20 minutes, but I'll do what I can.

This isn't even about the forum but it's a story I want to tell. I wanted to travel from Belo Horizonte south towards Porto Alegre, but because these places are so far from one another (like 36 hours) I could only get a ticket to São Paulo (8 hours). This was bad though, because I knew that getting a SP-PA bus was going to be a bitch, what with everyone in that city of 17 million coming down for the show. I had visions of being stranded. But on one of my bus's many stops we pulled alongside a delegation of charter buses filled with hip-looking 20-somethings in matching t-shirts. These kids were going to the forum, it was all too obvious. I envied them greatly -- a sure ride and good company. And then I had a rash idea. Why not try to talk myself onto their bus?

I just started asking, and after a few tries found one particular group who was into the idea of having a strange gringo aboard. So right before my own bus left the rest area I pulled my bags off and was smuggled aboard the new bus (they didn't want the driver to see me with my backpack). Within an hour the wine was flowing, the rock and roll was rocking, and I had a gaggle of new friends. Three hours later I was drunk and had a new girlfriend. This continued for the next 30 hours or so. I'm pretty sure I caught the right bus.

They were college students from the state of Minas Gerais ("General Mines"), all members of Lula's worker's party (which makes them hardline conservatives in the context of the Forum). I have acquired a lot of Minas Gerias pride in the last few days, and can now sing the song: Minas Gerais / A gente conhece / Não esquece jamais / Mina Gerais. Trans: Minas Gerais / People get to know it / And forget it no more / Minas Gerais. I'm currently camped with the gaggle of them. More soon.

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