Eat Your Heart Out


This blog entry about the events of Friday, February 06, 2004 was originally posted on February 08, 2004.

DAY 111: On my first day in Campo Grande, I was totally confused with the Portuguese language and just said “sim” (“yes”) to everything.  Being in the Pantanal for three days with mostly English-speaking tourists, I didn’t get to practice much of the new language, so when I got back to Campo Grande, not much had changed.

I allotted myself the day to just run errands before hopping on a night bus to Foz do Iguaçu.  The first order of the day was laundry.  I brought my load to the laundry service next door.  The man, who spoke a little Spanish, told me it’d be done in “dos horas”, but when I went back two hours later he said, “No, dos horas.”  I didn’t know if he was telling me it’d be done at two p.m. or at twelve (which sounds like “two” sometimes), so I just waited until four to pick it up.  It was done by then.

MOST OF THE DAY I spent in air-conditioned internet cafes, but managed to walk around and get some sun at a free samba concert in the Praça Coelho.  A live band played on a stage while passers-by couldn’t help but stop and dance for a while.  I took a photo of the band, prompting a shady guy to approach me. 

[Something, something,] he said in Portuguese. 

“Uh, nao,” I said.  I thought he was with security or something and wanted to confiscate my camera for taking a picture of the band.

[Something, something,] he said, this time with his index finger going up and down — the international hand gesture for “take a photo.”  I eventually figured out he wanted me to take a photo of him dancing to the band (picture above.) 

FOR LUNCH I WENT TO A NICE OPEN-AIR RESTAURANT with an aroma of sizzling meat that was to hard to pass up.  Without knowing what it was, I blindly ordered the coraçao de frango, which was listed on the specialties section.  It came on a plate next to a basket of bread.  Oh, little cut up sausages, I thought, and ate them with the toothpicks they had been served with.  Tastes like pork, I thought — “frango” must mean “pork.”  As I downed the really tasty meal, I looked up the words in my dictionary to confirm I was eating little pork sausage tips. 

coraçao: n. heart
frango: n. chicken

I continued to eat the barbecued chicken hearts, content that at least I was finally eating something other than the usual greasy sandwiches I’d had in Brazil thus far. 

I WAS BACK BY THE BUS STATION in time for my 7:00 bus, but the bus agent told me they were running a couple of hours behind.  Luckily the Aussie girls Jackie and Storm were having a cocktail at a nearby sidewalk cafe and I joined them for caipirinhas.  Kate the Aussie and Cesar, the Brazilian guy who worked in the tour office and booked my Pantanal trip, joined us, and we chatted about Brazilian food and tourism.  During the beginning of a round of beers, my bus arrived, so I quickly chugged my full bottle.

“That’s very Brazilian,” Cesar said.

“No, that’s Australian,” Storm said.

I slammed down the bottle on the table triumphantly when I finished in about ten seconds.  “No,” I declared.  “That’s American.”  On that note, I got my bags and went off to my bus and rode through the night. 

So there, Australia and Brazil, eat your heart out — or at least try one of the chicken ones.  I’m telling you, they taste like pork.

Next entry: An Episode of E.R.

Previous entry: Standing Room Only

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Comments for “Eat Your Heart Out”

  • Woohoo, First!

    Lovin the posts, keep up the good work.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  06:47 PM

  • Boa tarde.
    Little chicken hearts=gross.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  07:18 PM

  • there’s no way those things taste like pork. I am suprised you didn’t think they were lil penises when served them up.

    btw, that guy does look shady.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  07:30 PM

  • mm, those sound good. i actually like chicken hearts. but then again, i like tripe and snails. maybe they taste like pork cause it had the bbq flavor to it.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  08:02 PM

  • yeah, you show them how to down a beer!  woohoo…wheat would be proud…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  08:04 PM

  • Maybe that Shady guy heard about the TRINIDAD SHOW and wanted his 5 seconds of international stardom!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  08:41 PM

  • I ate the guinea pig/cuy in Peru but somehow chicken heart seems more disturbing…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/09  at  02:22 PM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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Next entry:
An Episode of E.R.

Previous entry:
Standing Room Only


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