Monthly Archives: December 2011

Acai addict

I hereby admit I am an addict… An acai addict. And because of my recent acknowledgment I decided to learn about my drug.

Fact, numero uno: The amazingly healthy acai berry has been used among tribes of the Amazon people for thousands of years, as a cure for various illnesses. But it was firstly “discovered” and introduced to the rest of Brazil in the early 90’s. Now it’s trending among upscale fitness-fanatasts in Hollywood and alike.

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Milk and crackers

Last night, Alef (a friend from Fortaleza) and I packed his car full of milk and crackers and drove around Salvador to hand out to the misfortunate. To kids who are born into a lifetime of struggle in the street… My idea of christmas is simple: It is too love others and to be with people that you love. And most likely you are loved in return…

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Whiff of cruelness

Freaky, freaky, freaky. Ok, let’s rewind here. I was a bit disappointed in Itacare and left to Barra Grande (with bus and ferry). I wanted to go to this amazing secret 40km unspoilt beauty of a beach (thanks for the advice André) to go scubadiving. But the boat needed to the divespot was appearantly under repair for yet another week. So unfortunately no coral-dive for me… Anyhow, it was well worth the trip. And my hike with a speedboat back, was a little peace of backpackin’ San Tropez; sunbathing on deck with dancemusic pumping from the speekers. On the peer I met a Brazilian and a spanish guy, living in the inland nature-reserve Chapada Diamantina. They could tell me that they had just left Itacare and that they didn’t like it there at all.

The guys told me a history that is not mentioned in the tourist-brochures, of slavery and slaughtering. It was once a notorious hideout for pirates. And hundreds, thousands and millions of african slaves were taken to Itacare after the nightmarish voyages on slave ships, to be sorted for perpetual bondage or killings…

With the creepy whiff of the cruelness of colonialism, I took the nightbus and ferry back to Salvador again.

PS: Most of the pictures are taken from the bus, from my windowseat.20111218-080002.jpg20111218-080026.jpg20111218-080042.jpg20111218-080116.jpg20111218-080131.jpg20111218-080144.jpg20111218-080151.jpg

What rhymes with ‘cliché’?

André and Itacaré. And André tried to convince me that Itacaré had become so touristy that I shouldn’t go. But I had to see it for myself. My romantic vision of picturesque beaches, Virgin Atlantic rainforest, surfbreaks, mellow hippies & surfers and a beautiful little village could only be dismissed by me… I’ve heard that you can’t force a donkey to do (or avoid) something (s)he doesn’t want. Hrmfff… So I went. And allthough nature and surfbreak remains the same, with many true souls, it is a feeling of a dense energy and a forced hippievibe here. Some are just a bit fake.

And hey, is there a Bob-Marley-look-alike-contest going on? Competing under the parole: “We’ve turned our backs to the shitty society, and wanna stay backpacked, dreadlocked and unwashed 4-ever!”

The touristy Bob Marley’s are surfing, skating, zip- and slack-lining. Talking about life, love, vegan food and ecofriendly stuff, allthough they flew inn with carbon-dioxide-emissioned longhault airbuses. But it is definitely a mix here, between these cliches and the real deals. And a lot of good things happens here too. For example yesterday’s reggaefestival at one of the beaches… After my swim, I was hanging out on the beach as the sun was about to set. I listened till I was musically content. I read my book till I was read and then I went to a baiana (Bahian aunt) who feeded me till I was fed, with a local dish rhyming with André, Itacaré and cliché: Acarajé (bean and shrimp fritters).

I’ve started to get a cold, so I praise thy lord and Bob Marley that I’ve been the only one around in my 8-bed-dorm-room during the two previous nights. Now, off to some new destination… But what is the lesson #14 learnt today? Well, I’d better listen to André.











Cityslicker for a day

Thanks for a bunch of fresh’n fab memories Maggie and mummy… I found it really sad to say “see you soon” and turn away. But I will return, soon… And the feeling of allready missing you, the rest, and for the first time in years; a Norwegian traditional, cold, greyish (let’s face it, not white) christmas, is a really good feeling. I have so much to appreciate at home…

But also here. And the “walkabout” continues. After a two hour flight from Fortaleza I reached Salvador, the Afro-Brazilian former capital of Brazil. I had been Facebook-introduced to Karen, the sister of the wife of the brother of my friend Rikke. Puh! And Karen (a fellow Norwegian) studies dance and music in Salvador. Since I arrived really early and didn’t know whether I would stay or move on the same evening, I asked if I could leave my stuff with her for the day. She and her very friendly flatmates (Fatima from the US and Brazilian Milena), warmheartedly welcomed me. Milena, a litterature- and arts professor in Salvador (previously at my favorite Uni, UC Berkeley), is now on leave to develop a Govermental project with the use of arts in the fight for social ills. Fatima researches the prison system over here and she could tell some hardcore stories of the conditions for the inmates. No education-opportunities, nothing to do, two small meals a day, 8 people in a single-room, 400 people in a 50-people room, gangs, rapes, riots and so much lice and bacterias that she (or any other outsider) can’t touch anything in there. Cause if she does, she’ll get sick. Really sick. Fatima is writing an article about how little the world knows of their countries prisons and that we need “incentives” to care. Fatima therefore wants to reveal some socioeconomic factors, in an attempt of opening our eyes. And she’s trying to get the article published in the States. A country with 25% of the world’s amount of inmates. Crazy huh? Boa Sorte (good luck) with this Fatima! And Milena. And Karen. Impressive hard-working, friendly girls… Thanks Mark Zuckerberg and Rikke for the intro, and also Eduardo (a Brazilian I met 10 minutes in a Kilroy travel-fair in Oslo) who also FB-introduced me to his friend André. André lives in Salvador and works for the Brazilian energy corporation Petrobras (the largest company in Latin America by market capitalization and revenue).

They say about the Bahians (people from this area -Bahia), that they will invite you to stay in their house, but they won’t give you the adress… André is originally from Rio, and he gave me his adress.

And he offered me a bed. Pluss he offered me to pick me up with my luggage at Karen’s. I went for it, and he turned out to be a really cool guy. His appt in the bohemian area Rio Vermelho (housing also the famous musician Gilberto Gil, the man behind Girl from Ipanema) was amazing with so much selfmade art. His group of friends are all surfers and artists, and his brother appearantly just finished a long fat surf- and streetart-trip in Europe which is now being edited into a movie. I truly enjoyed a day and night in Salvador, hanging out with these cultural interesting people. A break from fishing-villages and talk about wind and kitesizes was definitely not a bad idea. I’ll come back to more stories and impressions of this historical city when I return, but I left the following morning (yesterday) to Itacare, a 6 hour ferryride and bustrip later. This is a place I’ve wanted to see for a long time. A famous paradise of a surf-spot. But I think I’ll quite quickly check it off my list and move on. I’m craving more city-life… And I was really inspired #13 by the four people I met that cityslicking day. Their stories, their goals, their drive, their lifestyle and their hearts -treating me like an old friend, making me feel at home in this big, and actually really dangerous, city.

PS: Karen is the treehugger…