Saudades de Outorno

Steven Schwab - Brazil


October 22, 2015

Currently, I’m sitting at a bus stop on the wrong side of the street in the pouring rain dreaming of the crisp autumn air, colorful landscapes, apple and/or pumpkin everything at home in Connecticut. Well, most of those things are true…

I am sitting at a covered wooden bus stop (which happens to be adorned with a flowery crown and a stray flyer or two) in the quaint praca (square) of Garopaba, SC, BR – a small, surf town I’m happy to call my new home. I sit flanked on either side by native strangers who flout their easy mastery of Portuguese (the language I never stop trying to understand, learn, and hone) with their nonchalant, rapid, and easy responses to questions that my mind must toil over for more time than deemed appropriate in a conversation to dissect, translate, and formulate a response.

I, too, am on the wrong side of the street, not that there is really a right side (Well, there is if there is a left side of the street). It’s the wrong side of the street because the bus I need to catch to my temporary home away from home in Macacu will arrive in about one hour and ten minutes on the other side of the street. The stop over there isn’t covered. In fact, it’s not really a bus stop in regards to what I consider a bus stop. Well, the bus stops so it is a “bus stop.” But, it’s more or less just a long metal pole with a tiny blue plaque that features a caricature of an even tinier white bus (the bus I’m waiting for is green by the way). So, as I’m suppose to be catching the bus on the opposite side of the street, the right side of the street, (depending on where you are standing of course), suffice it to say, I’m on the wrong side of the street.
Next, it is pouring rain! For the past week or so and the next week or so, it will rain on and off while remaining overcast. It rains quite a lot in Brazil as I’ve learned recently. To think everyone (maybe even including myself) thought I’d be tanning and hanging out at the beach for a large part of my stay in Brazil. But, guess what! I’m not … or at least not yet.

So, since all of those parts of my description were true that means that I’m not currently dreaming of the fall wonderland unfolding without me at home in Connecticut. But, that is not to say that I don’t miss it…

For the past few days, I’ve been yearning for the changing of the seasons – a hot, bright summer into a cool, crisp, and colorful autumn. My newly reinvigorated addiction to scouring Pinterest recipes, my friends’ Instagram posts, and my body’s internal calendar reminding me that it’s time for some pumpkin pie are probably to blame for this…

More accurately though, the relatively cool temperature here (it’s been in the 60s lately) and the few particularly cooler mornings (last Monday morning the temperature was probably in the 50s) made me expect to see leaves transforming into yellows, oranges, and reds, falling listlessly off of tree branches, and waiting for me to trundle past – the leaves beneath my shoes crunching as I walk. Instead, I’ve seen some new flowers bloom – some deep red others light purple. I expect the bugs to finally buzz away but all they do is remain – sometimes launching themselves at the windows, endeavoring to steal the comfort of our bright lights. Although the temperature confuses my body now, I’ll certain be missing the cool mornings come January.
It doesn’t help my wistful, longing thoughts that I’ve eaten a lot of squash lately (much to my tastebuds’ approval). The other day while working at my apprenticeship at Dom’s Natural Organicos, one of the employees was cooking a giant pot of pumpkin (abobora) with cinnamon and coconut. The sweet, enchanting smell of the cinnamon brought memories of my father’s pumpkin pies to my mind. All I wanted to do was to make a giant pumpkin pie with the entire pot of pumpkin but figured it’d be best if I didn’t although I did express my love of baking pumpkin pies to that head chef, Dona Rosa.

So, as this post would suggest, paying attention to the things around me in the present is what I endeavor to do to not get lost in the drifting, complex thoughts that haunt my mind. Even if that means writing a story about sitting at a bus stop – so be it. I’m certain events in my near future will change so that I lose these constant, thoughts. Although my mind wants to make a million pumpkin pies and go apple picking, it’s probably better to pay a little more attention to the little things around me so that I don’t get lost in the imaginary kitchen in my head.

Steven Schwab