Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ch-Ch-Check It Out

Today was a beach day, which means I don't have much to report. Some floating in the ocean, some reading, some roasted cheese-on-a-stick (I don't really have to go into details on that one, do I?).

So just some observations:

Geckos: There are geckos here, or at least some small lizard thing similar enough to geckos. I've seen them in the apartment a couple times. I am a big fan of geckos - I have one tattooed on my right hip even. I think they're awfully cute. In other countries I've visited where geckos run rampant, I usually see them: a) scurrying across the floor so you have to wear shoes so you don't step on one in the dark b) decorating the walls like a spider, sometimes moving, sometimes pretending like you can't see them. Here, they look at you funny. I've seen at least two varieties - one just plain and brown colored, the other a bit more fancy, with a colored tail. Both behaved the same way. I spotted them, but they had already spotted me. They stared. I stared back. Then they started to scurry - but slowly - all the while keeping eye contact with me. They moved sideways - or rather, forward, the top of them still turned in my direction. (Actually, it reminds me of a scene in Trainspotting when Renton (Ewan McGregor) is going through detox, and Tommy shows up to tell him he's got AIDS, and in Renton's stupor, it seems as if Tommy slithers along the wall on his way out.) It was like a cartoon. But a very cute cartoon!

Meat: I'm a fan. But in my excursions out for steak, not once have a received a steak knife. It's butter knives all the way. Perhaps I look dangerous? I mean, you never know when the kooky American is gonna take a swing at you. This hasn't really been a problem except for last night, when I had my carne do sol, which is a salted beef. That means it's about a step removed from jerky. You get a large portion too, so try cutting that with a butter knife. On a plastic table. Well, I'm just surprised it didn't fly off the plate and nail a server in the head accidentally. I thought about picking it up and going all caveman on it, but I didn't want to cast Americans in a bad light. Ahem.

Brazilian bikinis: A week before I left on this trip, I was in San Diego visiting my Dad. He helps at this nursery on Saturdays, so I stopped by to say hello. The owner, Mr. Cordova, said, "So you're going to Brazil! Well, you won't need a bikini there!" Ha ha, that wasn't creepy. Nor was it true. I have not seen a single topless woman on any beach I've encountered on this entire trip. Granted, I still have a few days to go, but I was under the impression that Brazil was the land of naked beaches - so where are they? Not here in Salvador, evidently. And for all the sexy people, I'm quite surprised. Hell, most of Sydney was topless when I was there back in 2007... Now the bikini is standard for every female of every age and body type. I think I've seen a single one piece bathing suit, most likely on a tourist. I saw lots of them on mannequins in the mall, but nobody's buyin'. And those bikini bottoms? Yep, mostly Brazilian cut (wonder what they call them here?), meaning a string up the butt with a patch if triangle fabric just over the crack. But, honestly, most of the women I see wearing them can (excuse the pun) back that ass up.

The tan lines aren't a problem either. I saw a great ad where a woman liberally applies her sunscreen, and later checks her tan line from her bikini strap near her neck, looks into the camera, and smiles seductively. Then you see her at a party wearing a strapless dress, tan lines fully exposed, and she gets checked out by a hot guy which causes her to do her saucy face again. I believe the message is: No Skin Cancer Risk = Sexy!

There is something to be said for beauty of all types here, something easily forgotten in L.A., even though I am fortunate to hang around with a group of wonderfully normal people who are not involved in any of the Hollywood ickiness. But it permeates... L.A. could take a lesson. A lot of it is in the way people carry themselves; it's really refreshing - so laid back and relaxed about it all. People are healthy and live fully.

The entire U.S. could take a lesson - learn to relax people! It's just life.

Do I need another drink? Perhaps I just got too much sun. Heh heh heh.