Friday, December 14, 2012

Foz do Iguacu, Brazil... Is There a Doctor in the House?

After returning from visiting Iguazu Falls I met a nice group of doctors staying at the hostel. They were from various countries, but were interning for a few months in Marilia, Brazil... Sabina (Hungary), Sanja (Croatia), Lukas (Slovakia), Ozga (Turkey), Tasa (Croatia) and Seda (Turkey). We had an interesting discussion about health care systems, global politics and US foreign policy.
And then a few of us decided to go out to a local club. This club was playing a style of music popular right now in Brazil called Sertaneja... it is kind of like Brazilian Country music.
Most of the clubs in Brazil charge a cover charge that can be anywhere from US$10 to 50. The docs and I really did not want to pay a cover, we just wanted to check out the music, the people and the club. But I had an idea... I asked the owner of the hostel if she could do us a favor and write us a special note. Basically the note stated, "Please, These girls and guys are doctors helping a hospital in Marilia, Sao Paolo. Please extend them courtesy. - Grasiela". Well, the note worked for the girls, but not for us guys. The girls got in free... us guys had to pay... oh well... it kind of worked... a 50% discount.
The next day the group of doctors decided to do a little site seeing and invited me to join them. The first stop was to a Buddhist Temple. What... a Buddhist temple in Brazil? Yeah... there is actually a pretty large population of Asians in Brazil. This temple was constructed by the local population of Chinese. Well, I've seen many temples in Asia, but for the group of doctors from Eastern Europe it was a new experience. I'm not Buddhist, but I did try to explain what I know about some elements of the Buddhist temple and religion.
 A sitting Buddha, standing Buddhas and Temple
 Buddhas gesturing the symbol for teaching.
 A gesture within a gesture... what does it mean?
 Sanja gesturing the symbol for teaching
 Reclining Buddha
After checking out the temple, we visited the Itaipu Dam from the Brazilian side. Similar to the tour of Itaipu Dam on the Paraguay side, there was a bus that drove us around the facility.
 The tour bus took us to some different vantage points.
We saw some water being released. For me it was pretty much the same tour as I had seen before from Paraguay... only this tour cost about US$20.
Later that evening, the group decided to venture out to another club that was playing a different style of music. This club was playing a style of music called samba rock. Lukas and I spent most of the time just hanging out watching the people. The girls spent most of their time trying to fend off the local guys from asking them to dance. Still... a good time for all.
Another cover charge... another note. This time the club charged us a US$15 cover charge, but gave us some vouchers for US$15 worth of drinks... so it was a wash. 

It was fun meeting and hanging out with the doctors... good people.

The next day I would depart from Foz do Iguacu.

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