The Ben From Brazil
Latest Update: October 17, 2006
By Ben Marcus
8:52 RIO TIME TUESDAY THE 17TH OF OCTOBER PORTAO B7
That was quick, now I am leaving. I think I am at the right gate. My flight is 7452 but the board says that flight is going to Buenos Aires. I am assuming it stops in Sao Paulo.
Got up early and packed and took a taxi to the airport that cost about R$50. Traffic wasn’t too bad and I got here in time. My bags are lighter because I gave away most of the books and magazines and other stuff. I think they are calling my flight. Or maybe it is late. My flight out of Sao Paulo leaves at 13:15 so I have time to kill. Just need to remember to get my bags in Sao Paulo.
Romeu said he might meet me there, but probably not.
I get to LAX at 3:00 local time which means it’s going to take me about 18 hours to get home. But I have work to do. I wonder if I remembered to download all the chapters from Slim’s book that she wants me to proof. Ooops, looks like I didn’t even with all that sitting around at the mall.
Sorry about that.
I hope I am in the right place. People seem to take delays in stride here.
Not too much happening so far. Sent emails to Roberto and The Champ this morning and then I had to get going. I can’t find a $100 bill that I had in my wallet but I might have cleaned it out when I dumped a bunch of papers into my bag.
13:24 I THINK TUESDAY THE 17TH OF OCTOBER, 2006 OVER BRAZIL, FLIGHT 0700
Made it. Yay. There was a bit of stress at the Sao Paulo Airport. My itinerary said I departed at 13:15 for Panama City so even though the flight from Rio was late I figured I had plenty of time. I had to go upstairs to some obscure corner to find a cash machine and then I bought last-minute presents for all the good girls and boys and forgiving landlords and such.
So I sauntered around and bought a pao de quiejo and made it to Gate 16 in time, but then I looked at the time on the boarding pass and it said Embark was at 11:54 and Departure was 11:59. Shit. It was already noon. I got in a long line at security, stressing that I was going to miss the plane, wanting to get home and get back to work, worried that I would have to ask someone to buy my Lotto tickets for Friday and Saturday, wondering if Romeu would come and pick me up and just pissed that I had blown it, or the person who printed the itinerary had blown it. I was sure I had missed the flight as a I stood in line for almost half an hour. I got through and made it to Gate 16 and tudo was bem.
What had happened is someone had drawn a circle around the gate and the departure time so I could only see 115 and I assumed the other digit was a 9, when really it said PM as in flight leaves at 1:15 PM, the same as 1315.
So that got the heart pumping por nada. I sent a few emails and the flight started boarding and now we are in the air en route to Panama City and Lady Q is handing out towels and I have some decent presents to give to people when I get back.
I should be reading Atlas Shrugged and/or proofing Slim’s Maid Marian book, but I didn’t download the chapters and I am going to continue brainstorming the big production I am going to bring back down here in about a month.
For now it has the pretentious name of THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE KNOWN WORLD, AS IT RELATES TO HE’E NALU
I just looked at my files and realized I didn’t finish writing about yesterday, so will do that now as I know you are all hanging by a thread.
19:00 MONDAY THE 16TH OF OCTOBER, 2006 THE RUBRO CAFÉ
I am the King of All Media, at least in Brazil, anyway. Just finished showing a bunch of surf movies in an upstairs room and standing in front of cameras for WooHoo TV and a show put on by Rico de Souza. Not sure that I accomplished anything here, but people seemed to like all the movies I showed.
I showed Surfando Antes Dos Anos 50 first, stopping it and starting it and talking over it as I went along. I talked about Marilyn Monroe and the Pacific Fleet and wool and all kinds of things that hopefully interested some people. That went okay and then people wanted more so I showed the Tom Morey Noseriding Contest and flipped through that quick, then showed the 1966 Duke all the way through and people seemed to like that, then I asked it they wanted more and they did so I showed the 1976 Duke and they liked that. At the end there were a few stragglers who wanted to see on of the bootlegs, so I put that on and then went out to be interviewed by a guy from WooHoo TV. This is channel run by a guy named Ricardo Bocao who has been doing Brazilian TV forever.
The interviewer was not bad and we talked about everything for about 15 minutes, and then I sat at the Rubro Café for awhile as the movies finished. Then someone else wanted to interview me for Ricardo Souza and all I remember from that is we all agreed I was Old School.
After that we hung around some more and then we were both pooped so we drove back to Rosaldo’s house. I should say that driving with Rosaldo or any game Brazilian is an adventure, because they drive those little cars the way motorcyclists get around in Los Angeles. But we had no accidents and I will put PCH up against anywhere for sheer fear factor.
We came back to Rosaldo’s house and watched Surfers the Movie: Take Two. The woman from Elle Globo called and I sent her the complete Trunk It project without photos, which Barry had emailed me earlier. I told her when I got home I would send her lots of images to go with the story, which they might consider serializing over the summer, as it is about beach fashion for the past 100+ years.
The maid made some eggs and brought some cake and we ate and were pooped. Even Carioca get tired.
Then we both fell asleep on the couch and I went upstairs wondering where my bathrobe was as the maid had taken it to wash earlier.
By the way, Rosaldo pays $200 a month for a line in maid, who is there five days a week.
$200 a month?
And that was it for last night. I had trouble falling back asleep because I was worried about getting up on time the next morning and getting a taxi to the airport and having enough money and etc. I woke up tired which was good, because now I am going to sleep all the way to Panama City.
TUESDAY, 14:06 ON THE PLANE
Oh well, this foolish face will be appearing all over Brazil for the next few days, but I did hype the big presentation I am going to do in Sao Paulo, so I’d better make it good.
They are showing ads for Panama City right now which seems to be the Sodom of Central America. There are big fancy hotels and a Trump place and a casino that has poker and I’m thinking it would be fun to go tripping around to places and stay in fancy hotels and play poker around the world and just see what is happening.
Maybe some day. When I get back I have to round up money from various places and pay people for WET and other things and get back to business.
I still have to put stickers on 450 more issues of WET and get them in the mail.
Oh, the cab driver this morning had a visual DVD player on his dashboard and he played a U2 concert in Sao Paulo that was pretty good and made the drive easier. Along the way I filmed various scenes of favelas and le Blon, all of it with Corcovado overlooking.
Rio really is a spectacular city. Everyone should see it at least once. If by chance I do spend the winter there, I am hoping people will come down and go surf and eat feijoada and go to Porcao and live it up, because people in Rio do know how to live. Rio is unique, even in Brazil, but we have established that.
19:16 loca tome panama city
Running out of battery so have to type fast. Uneventful flight here. Watched Poseidon and that ;Lindsay lohan movie, in English. Took awhile to land because the weather was bad. WE circled a long time and I thought we might not get on the ground in time for me to get this flight.
Dindt have time to check my email in Panama City and I wonder how much life has changed in six hours. I smell bad and hopefully no one will have to sit next to me. I think it’s 4 or 5 local time so I should be home in 5 or 6 hours. Hope I can just sleep. This is getting kind of boring but I will be home soon enough.
Malibu Kitchen tomorrow, back to the routine, which is not such a bad routine.
The way to live is Malibu from Spring to Fall, somewhere else warm and with surf in the winter. That is how Janet and a lot of people do it, now I need to
19:35 MALIBU TIME, WEDNESDAY THE 18TH OF OCTOBER, 2006 MALIBU BEACH GRILL
Out of the whirlwind and into the tornado. Home and working. I am sitting at Malibu Beach Grill, about to eat one of their chicken breast specials and finishing this up before I start on the WCT profiles. Later tonight I have to go to Valley Village to talk to Robert about The History of Everything as it Relates to He’e Nalu and also pick up a check.
Been back less than 24 hours and things are busy busy busy. Where did I leave off the story? I will finish that up first.
Okay I wrote a little after leaving Panama City. We did circle for a long time before landing there and the weather went from spectacular in the layers of clouds to scary within the clouds but we landed okay. I wandered a bit looking for the Internet place but didn’t find it and got to Gate 14 feeling stinky and tired and hoping no one would sit next to me on the plane for my sake and theirs.
I tried to buy a bottle of water from the lady at the gate to pour all over me but she wouldn’t let me do it. I did buy some candy for the flight though, just to keep occupied.
A married couple did sit next to me on the flight and I got grumpy thinking it was going to be crowded and uncomfortable for all those hours. But once the flight got underway the woman moved to another set of seats and the man moved over and I had some elbow room.
I read some of Atlas Shrugged and now I am up to page 130 in a book that is like 1098 pages long and I doubt I will ever finish it, although it is good.
I slept pretty well on that flight and didn’t miss any meals and it was over pretty easily.
They put us on a bus at the airport and some dingaling with a cell phone was complaining and swearing out loud and all of a sudden Los Angeles was irritating, already. That didn’t take long. I got used to people having good manners in Brazil, and then I was back in the land of ignorant loudmouths.
Got through Customs okay and charged my cell phone as I was waiting for baggage. The guy who lives downstairs called me and picked me up and took me home and then, I was home.
It felt like fall. The offshores were blowing and the air had that snap and while Spring in Rio is nice, Fall in Malibu is pretty hard to beat.
I checked emails for about half an hour and I had only two phone messages and that reminds me, I need to call Dick Brewer. I tore apart all my bags and everything, looking for a hundred dollar bill that I remember having in my wallet but not spending while in Brazil.
I didn’t find it and stressed a bit about money. My landlord has been nice about me paying the rent late, but I don’t want to make it any later, so I fell asleep worrying about money even though I am owed thousands for various projects.
I went to sleep and woke up around 9:00 and got to work. I had money worries and asked the people at the website if I could get a check for that 20 most Influential Surfers thing. The Champ answered my interview questions and I sent him a few more.. Then I went for coffee with Pam R who is thinking seriously about coming to Brazil with me, especially if there is work.
It was nice to be back in Malibu, and back in the routine, which is a nice routine because I am pretty productive here and I need to be because I have a productive month coming up.
The website came through with a check I am going to drive to Studio City to pick up now, but they also asked me to do another job which is going to pay even better and easily finance my next trip to Brazil.
I am inviting everyone I know to come with me, and maybe that will work. This time I am going to do the trip to Panama City, stay overnight, play poker with drug dealers and other characters then fly out the next day.
In the next month I need to finish the History of the Surfboard Book, start on a book about surf stickers and patches that I have been putting off literally for years. I need to do that audio/visual presentation on the History of Everything As it Relates to Hee Nalu, I need to wrangle ad dollars for the second issue of WET and I need to launch SHACK.
For part of today I did my edit to MDR”S cutdown edit of Chapter Seven of the History of the Surfboard book, and then hacked down Chapter Eight as much as I could. I told MDR to read the final chapter in the meantime and he wrote this email:
Reading the final chapter, now I know you can write the perfect chapter, right to spec, needing little editing beyond some stylistic minutia!
And he’s right. I hammered the final chapter out pretty easily and did it in about 3000 words and I could have done the whole book that way and had it done months ago, but I didn’t know the whole story until I collected the whole story, so I had to do it the long way. Hopefully down the line someone will use that long version.
I still need to call Dick Brewer and send him those DVD.
I had lunch with Matt Rapf at the Mexican place that just reopened after the fire. We strategized about how to get his book published, which I think is funny because Matt knows several giant producers in Malibu. These are the guys that have literary agents all around the world waiting by their phones for them to call. But we decided on a course of action that lead us to New York and I sent a probe email this afternoon.
Matt’s book is very funny, he is just agent-shy I guess.
I worked some more in the afternoon and all of a sudden got inspired to write a story about Livin’ La Vida Carioca. I took my blog notes and rearranged them into a story that is about 2500 words long and fudges the truth a little as I didn’t go to Porcao on Sunday, as I say I did in the story.
I also got an email from one of the R’s in Brazil, telling me about a place we should visit when I come to Sao Paulo. I pitched that to Islands Magazine, and we shall see what happens.
After that I went surfing briefly at Malibu. There were some decent little waves and the water was nice although everyone was complaining about pollution. I wasn’t patient enough to battle at the top so I got some scrappers and came in and now I am at Malibu Beach Grill but I need to get going.
I just got an email from Rosaldo, making two corrections on the Livin’ La Vida Carioca story.
Done with dinner. Time to go to Valley Village and Studio City and get some things going.