“Good night Mark, you gotta sleep now.”
“… Because it’s way past midnight and we have to get up early for the bus.”
Montevideo to Chuy was a five-hour ride, followed by the Chuí to Pelotas four-hour trip. This is our third long-distance bus trip in three days.
“Porto Alegre. So be nice and I promise, tomorrow I’ll take you to a place that has been on various lists of the most dangerous cities in the world for years. Sweet dreams!”
After our visit last year, I filed Porto Alegre in my “interesting place, just don’t get killed there” folder. It’s on the way, may as well stop there again for a few days. Why not, right?
It’s going to take us three hours to get to Porto Alegre. I don’t even need my Kindle or entertainment, I’m planning to sleep for most of the trip.
“No tablet. Sleep. Find a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Dodo.”
And for the second time in a row, I manage to do what I could never do when Mark was a baby—I put him to sleep, just like that. His head in on my lap, his right hand kind of hovering over my right boob. I close my eyes as well. I fall asleep easily in buses, especially when I decide that it’s the perfect time to doze off and rest. We don’t often get that chance when we travel.
Yes, Porto Alegre is on the way—but on the way to where? I mean, it’s the closest city to Pelotas—still a three-hour bus ride, though—but where should we go after?
Feng and I have been discussing it for a few days now. We’re going to spend the rest of the trip in Brazil but it’s a huge country and we’re not sure where to go. There are many roadblocks—distances, the upcoming carnival, popular places where we can’t get an affordable hotel room…
I’d go anywhere, really, but there are pros and cons to everything. Feng does research at night while I hover around and make some food, pluck my eyebrows or tidy up my backpack. Mark watches TV—he’d better be fluent in Spanish and Portuguese soon—and occasionally says something really deep (“wow, the world is a big place…”) or demands a drink.
It’s a smooth bus ride. Roads in Brazil are very good but drivers tend to speed. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m in a sequel to Speed right now. It feels like we’re going fast.
I open one eye and I stare at the sticker on the back of the bus driver’s cabin—“Say NO to crack.”
I promise myself that whatever happens in Porto Alegre, I won’t do crack. Not that I ever wanted to—I’m really not into drugs and Porto Alegre doesn’t strike me as a place where I should become an addict. I mean, I walked around Porto Alegre at night looking for a gas station, it was challenging enough—I don’t want to ever have to look for a drug dealer.
I close my eyes again. I’d better sleep now, I want to wake up before we enter the city. I remember the skyline is pretty impressive, I want to take a picture.
I don’t mind not knowing where we will be two days from now, a week from now, three weeks from now. I don’t need that certainty.
We’ll be somewhere, travelling. It’s all that matters to me.