26 de jul de 2011

Traveling

Lost in translation. Or a literal equivalent that is slightly unsettling, like two clocks ticking out of sync, or a picture hanging crooked on a wall.
As great as POA (Porto Alegre) may be, everyone always seems to want to get away from it, at least for a short time. ‘He’s traveling this week’ or ‘I will be traveling then’—I hear the word in this context on a daily basis.
But for me, ‘traveling’ brings to mind backpacking through Europe, or hiking around South America—something longer, more involved, perhaps even exotic. It’s not a visit to the seaside or a weekend in the country. I anticipate tales of foreign adventure, to find the topic is merely a visit to a relative in Curitiba or a beach house in Torres.
(Of course the pedant will say that ‘traveling’ denotes the act itself, and of course this is true, but you and I both know that is not the spirit behind its use in general conversation.)
Regardless, the weather has turned momentarily glorious, and the winter break is upon us, so we might as well do some traveling. (When in Rome, and all that…).
Up the mountain to Gramado we go. My in-laws have a history here, and I first knew it many years ago, before the expensive shops, restrictive parking and indulgent hotels. I prefer Canela these days; it feels more relaxed, and I’ve always liked the name.
And there’s a Festa Colonial! Who needs overpriced gift stores when there are homemade jams and local products? When there are artisan craftspeople and lively musicians? When you can sample creamy chocolate, cinnamon cachaça, freshly-pressed fruit juices? Where the steaming quentão (a kind of mulled wine) is elegantly-spiced and silky smooth (unlike a sickly-sweet syrupy version I had last month at a Festa Junina).
We had dinner at the festa—there are several caseira restaurants set up in the feira hall itself. Traditional, local, hearty dishes, served with a welcome as warm as the iron pots atop the wood burning stove. We bought jams and juices, chocolate and cachaça, and local wine, so pungent and grapey it was almost unreal.

Traveling? Yes please. I know there’s no place like home, but it is wonderful to get out and about now and then, even if it’s just a quick trip up the mountain.

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1 comments / comentários:

Virginia, we, gaúchos, are privileged with our relief.

The Serra is piece of paradise. And the main food is "café Colonial". There are everything: Breads, cakes, "cucas", pies, sausages, salts... A food festival!

Hugs!

P.s: I'm learning English.

 
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