AND BY CIVILIZATION, I MEAN A PLACE WITH (SOMEWHAT BETTER) WIFI AND AN AIPORT. We are back in Manaus, the big port city in Brazil from which everyone enters the Amazon. We spent our first night here too, before heading to the jungle. The room is so small that when Anthony’s in the shower, I can lay on the bed and put my feet on the glass door (see full picture above). Which he finds charming. Tomorrow at 4am we fly out to Rio, so we’re turning in early. There’s not much in this town, sadly, but we did find an amazing soup stand in the square (yes there’s a square) serving my new favorite thing ever: Tacaca (pictures here). It’s like a miso vegetable soup, mixed with my mom’s amazing filipino sour soup, only the vegetables are just mustard greens, and the soup has a ton of salted shrimp with the shells still on. I watched everyone else eat the shells so I did the same. And you eat it all with a really long toothpick. I thought the woman at the stand was handing me chopsticks, and when I opened the paper, I worried maybe I was missing a stick. But no — you just get one stick and the end is pointy. I don’t know, I didn’t ask, mostly because I don’t speak Portuguese and also because I was too hungry to question it. I just took the hot broth of goodness that’s served in a coconut shell-looking bowl and sat on a bench in the square and inhaled it. I’m actually in the hotel room right now, getting ready to go to bed, asking myself if I should go back for another bowl. The vegetarian, aka My Husband for you first-timers, got the soup too — I just asked (mimed to) the women to please hold the shrimp. After dinner we walked around town and sat out on the terrace of our glorified hostel (this is payback for me saying I’m never staying in a hostel again and that I served my time in college). Now I’m in bed listening to a Brazilian reggae band playing outside and the church bells ringing over the band every 30 minutes (because every square has a church). The town isn’t so bad after all. And I actually am a fan of this hotel and would recommend it to anyone: perfect location, cool people working and a beautiful rooftop terrace to look out over the square and watch the people down below. It’s just that the rooms are miniscule. Casa Teatro Boutique Hotel. Boutique is Portuguese for really effing small.
OK I must sleep before I go back for more tacaca. Night.
Where we stayed in Manaus:
Casa Teatro Boutique Hotel
Where we ate that we loved:
Tacaca de Gisela (soup stand in main plaza)