férias = vacation
In keeping with the traditional string of appropriated playtimes: Christmas-New Year's-Férias-Carnaval, we seized the opportunity to go to Fortaleza, about a week or so before Carnaval.
Fortaleza is the fifth largest city in Brazil, and the capital of Ceará. It reminded me of a mesh of several U.S. cities. It was like a mix of New Orleans, Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas - in a racing video game. (A game that must not have been invented, yet. I tried finding a good example, but it just hasn't been done. Think Need For Speed meets Frogger, with Tetris-like qualities for the lanes... or something.)
One of the things we couldn't get over was the traffic! It is absolutely insane compared to the traffic here in Goiania, which up until this trip, we thought was pretty wild. Can I reiterate that it was like a video game - level 11? There were intermittent tankers, donkey-pulled carts, bicyclists, motorcycles, pedestrians, fancy cars, and dogs that randomly entered, weaved, came to a halt, cut through, or stopped sideways in whichever lane you chose to drive.
Then I started seeing the signs around town...
Do you have panic attacks, trauma, phobia or insecurity while driving?
It can be overcome!
Call Gerardo Filho.
That never failed to crack me up, and it helped my man to see that it wasn't just my own humble opinion. Whenever we had a near miss in transit I would quote the sign, or offer to call Gerardo.
I did note the lack of signs near the airport. Perhaps that would be too much, too soon for the tourists. I wouldn't be surprised if the city told Gerardo that he may not freak out the new arrivals with his signs.
Once we got to whichever beach we were headed to, the R&R could begin. There are several beautiful beaches outside of Fortaleza, and along the far end of the beach in town called Praia do Futuro, which will require a post dedicated to those alone.
We'll get to the nitty-gritty on the sand & surf soon...