Day 3. No play role in vase – Não jogue papel no vaso
Kris blinked his eyes and looked around without comprehending. His brain felt like it was made of cotton wool and he had no clue where he was. He discovered that he was lying on the seat of a coliseum like structure, tiled in blue and white, but where he was, he had no idea. He quickly scanned his pockets for his valuables: wallet, cell phone, cigarettes and lighter, and heaved a sigh of relief when he discovered that they were still on him. He took his cell phone from his pocket to check the time and discovered that it was 8.30 in the morning. Shit, shit and triple shit!
What the hell had happened? He had no clue. He remembered climbing into the van the night before and then… nothing!
“Shit!” He cursed again as he climbed unsteadily to his feet, his head rocking and rolling like the waves on the ocean he could see in the distance and his tongue felt like the brown scum that formed on the ocean’s surface where the waves crashed in the waiting rocks.
He was supposed to be on his way to the Rodoviária by nine and it looked like he was not going to make it. He shook his head to clear it and took stock of his surroundings, stumbling in the direction of the main road which was fortunately right next to where he had crashed. He heaved a sigh of relief when he spotted a van destined for Ipanema and gratefully climbed aboard, although he was somewhat perturbed that all the seats had been taken and he was therefore forced to stand, his head and shoulders bent uncomfortably in the cramped conditions.
Some enterprising entrepreneur espied a gaping opportunity in the mass transit system of the city, with the buses crammed full of people like a pot of hot feijão, and many people left stranded when no more could be squeezed aboard, the enterprising entrepreneur rightly concluded that he could make a profit by putting vans equipped with bench seats on the busiest bus routes and offering a slightly cheaper fare with greater comfort than the hot, cramped conditions on the buses. The prefeitura – local council – was not impressed with this innovation and outlawed it when it was discovered as there was no profit in it for them. A fine was mandated and the Polícia Militar was empowered to enforce the law. Unfortunately, due to the innate corruption within the police, much of the ‘fines’ made their way straight into police pockets. Finally, in frustration at the lack of funds flower into city coffers and councillor pockets, and, realising that the vans actually aided the city transport situation, they were legalised and duly regulated and taxed.
As the crowded van pulled out, Kris’ mobile phone sprang to life and beeped, announcing an incoming message. Awkwardly, in the cramped conditions, he managed to fish it out of his tight pocket and was not surprised to see that the message was from Tanja.
– Hi Kris. I am at the bus station. I see you in Angra –
Damn, she was there early, he thought and at this moment he was doubtful if he would make it to the bus station in time to catch the ferry and his blood pressure rose, causing his dulled brain to throb painfully. Being a Monday morning, the narrow streets were virtually at a standstill with the massive flux of commuters, this, despite the fact that the normally bi-directional dual carriageway had been temporarily converted to a one-way street to facilitate the flow of early morning commuter traffic. The van inched slowly forward and his blood pressure rose higher and the ache in his head pounded in unison with his heartbeat with every second the van crawled along the street.
“Come on, you fuckers,” he demanded of every vehicle that kept him from the hostel, but it was all in vain. The van had nowhere to go and no way to progress until the car in front moved and that one could only move when the one in front of it moved and so it progressed up the line.
He soon discovered the reason for the traffic snarl. One of the lanes was blocked by two blue and white Polícia Militar vehicles; one in front of, the other behind the ruins of a motor cycle and its former rider. It was obvious that the ambulance that could be heard in the distance would not be taking him to the hospital.
This didn’t surprise Kris in the least for he had seen the way the crazy motor cyclists weaved their way in and out of the traffic, seemingly oblivious to the risk they ran. From what he’d seen, Kris had come to the conclusion that road rules were no more than mere polite suggestions here in Rio.
The distance of less than three kilometres took almost one hour through the slow traffic and Kris soon realised he could have walked the distance in a third of that time and was swearing furiously by the time he got back to the albergue; he still hadn’t even packed his bag and was in desperate need of a shower to cleanse the dust of the streets from his skin and hair and shake the fog of his hangover from his harried mind.
As quickly as he could, he stuffed a few meagre belongings into his rucksack, save the few items he would need to take a shower, shave and make himself presentable for the new day and the journey in front of him.
He amazed himself when he checked the time on his phone and saw that he had achieved his objective in less than 15 minutes and didn’t even give a backward glance to the albergue as he made his way to the bus stop. He fired off a quick message to Tanja letting her know that he was on his way, but would possibly be a little late.
The bus to the Rodoviária arrived very quickly and was easy to spot as it bore its destination in point form letters on the front and Kris paid the cobrador the R$2.50 fare and pushed his way through the roleta – turnstyle, entangling himself and his bags within its mechanism before finally falling through it and taking his seat. It was now 10 O’clock and he was desperately hoping that he could get to the bus station and arrive in Angra before the final ferry departed at 1.30 pm, although he was totally unaware that the bus station lay on the other side of the city and providence was not to be on his side.
His eyes suddenly flashed open. He had been dozing on the bus and now noticed that the bus was just pulling into the Rodoviária. He thanked his lucky stars that his psyche was alert enough to wake him at the most propitious moment and he stumbled through the exit to the awaiting ground beneath him. He soon found the counter he was looking for and purchased his passage for the journey to Angra Dos Reis. The bus left at eleven. He checked the time and saw that he had but barely a few minutes to wait, but unbeknownst to him, the buses took account of the predilection for Brazilian passengers to present themselves beyond the last minute and they always left five minutes beyond their stated departure time, so he had an extra five minutes to wait buried in his own thoughts.
He made his way onto the comfortable coach at a few minutes to eleven, keeping his rucksack held tightly to his side, not trusting the contents to the lower storage compartment of the bus where it would be out of his sight and therefore beyond his control. He bore in mind a story he had heard from one of the residents of the hostel who had related a sorry tale of his laptop being stolen sometime between him lodging his luggage in the lower storage and his arrival at his destination and then being totally helpless to do anything about it beyond noting the conspiratorial conversation between the police constable and the cobrador, suggesting a certain complicity. In no time at all, the gentle motion of the vehicle caused his eyelids to droop and although he kept blinking them open, they were getting heavier and heavier until they reached the point at which he could no longer summon the strength to open them and he slept.
His senses alerted him to his imminent arrival at Angra. Looking down at his phone he saw that it was now 1.25 pm and he realised he would be too late to take the final ferry. He was crestfallen. What was he to do in Angra for the rest of the day? He didn’t even know if there was a hotel or guest house in the town. He sent a quick message to Tanja explaining his situation. She responded almost immediately, letting him know that it was no problem, there was a catamaran to the island at four pm. He heaved a big sigh of relief as he disembarked into the unfamiliar bus station and stole a look around him. He had no idea where the port was and decided to take Tanja’s advice and flagged down a taxi.
The port was a short distance away and he very quickly secured his passage on the next catamaran, leaving at four. He still had over two hours to go to the departure so he decided to head to the closest supermarket and purchased a few latinhas of beer and some cracker biscuits to help him pass the time.
Not surprisingly, he dozed off in the warm sunshine as he waited for the ferry, but was pleased that his inner senses were still wide awake enough to awaken him from his light slumber with sufficient time to compose himself before the trip to the island.
The catamaran, like much of Brazil’s extra-urban transport was quite new and in very good condition. It is a shame that the same could not be said of the main transport routes as the conditions of many of the roads was diabolical, being full of pot holes that had no doubt grown there years before. Kris joined the rapidly growing throng of island residents, laden with their purchases from the mainland, hugely outnumbered by tourists, both national and international. Slowly lumbering forward, he finally shuffled along the gangplank until he reached the sturdy steel deck. The catamaran was surprisingly spacious and he soon found his way to the bow of the twin hulled boat. It was not long before all the passengers had embarked and the vessel cast off with a shrill toot of its horn.
Once the catamaran had hauled its hull around the harbour, it headed towards open water and Kris climbed as far forward as he could. There were two strips of webbing either side of the bow, but the steward warned him to keep his feet on solid steel. He may not have quite felt like performing the scene from The Titanic, but for reasons he was not able to understand his mood was incredibly light and he discovered that he had a grin plastered across his face. The cold grey cloud of gloom that had been afflicting him had, for the moment at least, lifted.
As the craft rounded one of the many islets that peppered the ocean, Kris was stunned by what confronted him, for there, looming in the distance like a lone leviathan was a huge behemoth that, from his perspective, had no place in this otherwise pristine paradise. The sight angered him although he was aware that big business would always prevail over the priorities of the populace and serve the needs and greed of the minority in the short term at such a huge cost to the next generation to come. He averted his eyes from the monstrous offshore drilling platform, instead concentrating his gaze on the remainder of the spectacular scenery that surrounded him, although his grin had now transformed to a grimace. Fortunately, the serenity of his surroundings soon cast the grimace to the recesses of his memory as he put to the backburner of his mind the blazing beacon to what he felt was the evil that had befallen this beautiful and bountiful blue ball that hung suspended in the vast blackness of space.
When Kris caught sight of Ilha Grande itself, his heart sang and his soul soared. It was much prettier than he expected and looked to be an island paradise, completely blanketed in luxuriant, verdant forest, with tall coconut trees closer to the shore. Before he knew it, the catamaran had docked at the main jetty of the tiny Vila do Abraão.
Tanja had sent him a message saying that she would meet him at the pousada she had booked and given him the address and directions and he briefly wondered if he would be able to find it without resorting to petitioning the islanders for directions, but was not unduly worried as he felt certain she would be there to greet him when the vessel made landfall. He was relieved to discover that his recently returned instincts had not left him as he spotted her smiling face in the sea of people preparing to board the last passage back to the mainland mixed with those disembarking the catamaran.
They greeted each other in typical Brazilian fashion with a warm, friendly hug and a kiss on the cheek, which in retrospect must seem surprising for both of them as neither was accustomed to doing this in their native countries, but it just felt so natural for both of the new found friends.
“I didn’t think you would come,” she told him sincerely as they strolled down the jetty towards the beach front.
“Why would you think that?” he enquired, genuinely puzzled. “I told you I would come.”
“Well, you know…,” she said shrugging her shoulders. “People, especially travellers, make all sorts of promises and such…”
“Normally, I’d say trust your gut instincts,” he replied laughing. “But I think you need to develop yours. I always trust mine and I’m usually right. For example,” he added. “I had a gut feeling you’d be here to meet me and here you are.”
“You and your mumbo jumbo,” she said with a wicked gleam in her eyes and a narrow smirk on her lips.
He narrowed his eyes and squinted at her, giving her a sideways look, acknowledging her playfulness.
“Any idea what the time is,” she asked soon after as they trod the path to their chosen pousada, wanting to verify if he did indeed have a knack for knowing the time.
“About eight minutes past five,” he told her.
“But that’s what you said when I asked you yesterday,” she protested.
“That’s because it was and is,” he told her pulling he phone out of his pocket and passing it to her without even giving it a sideways glance to confirm his prediction.
She took the proffered phone from him and checked the LCD screen.
“So, what time is it?” Kris asked smugly, knowing from the expression she reflected that he had been right.
“Eight minutes past five,” she told him reluctantly. “How the hell do you do that?”
“I dunno,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders. “I just know. It’s like I’ve got an inbuilt clock.
She shook her head. This Kris was certainly strange, she thought to herself, he was unlike anyone else she had ever known.
“I thought you’d want to be in the same dorm as me,” she told him, changing the subject. “If that’s not ok, I’m sure you can always change. They’re not very busy at this time of the year.”
He let her know that that was fine and enquired about the hostel. He was surprised to discover that the cost per night was the same as the dive he’d been staying at in Rio, but also included breakfast. He was even further surprised when they arrived at the hostel a short walk later and found their dorm was a smallish room with enough space to easily accommodate two pine bunk beds, but also had its own en-suite bathroom with toilet and shower. The air was thick with the acrid aroma of mofo − mildew − as you would expect in in such a humid and damp environment.
As she had arrived a few hours earlier, Tanja had already chosen a top bunk and made herself at home, so Kris took the one beneath her and unpacked a few things that he would need for that night and the next morning. Once settled, he decided to visit the bathroom and freshen up after his trip. The sight that greeted him caused him to laugh uproariously.
“What’s so funny?” Tanja asked, intrigued.
“Come here and have a look at this,” he called out from the bathroom.
She soon squeezed herself in with him. “What is it?”
He was still chuckling as he pointed to a sign next to the toilet.
It was written in both Portuguese and English to accommodate the local and foreign visitors, and Kris could understand what it said in Portuguese, but if he was unable to speak it he would have been totally flummoxed by the English version.
– Não jogue papel no vaso – it ordered, which was clear enough, but in English it dictated – No play role in vase –
The sign had obviously been translated by someone who spoke no English and who had clearly used a dictionary or translation program, but to make matters worse it had also been professionally printed and laminated. Presumably it was being proudly displayed in every banheiro in the guest house!
Kris could understand exactly why it was written like that – the Portuguese don’t use the auxiliary verb do like the English, so Não should be translated as Do not. The verb jogar, jogue in the imperative, can be translated as both play, as in a game, and throw. Papel is literally paper, but can also be translated as role, such as a role in a film; no is the prepositional equivalent of in plus the definite article the, but they had obviously ignored that in the translation and vaso was what they called the toilet bowl, but it can also be translated as vase.
Kris wondered how non-Portuguese speakers would react to this sign. It reminded him of a menu he had once seen in a pizza restaurant in Herculaneum in Italy. There, someone had done something similar with a menu and had proudly printed it on A3 paper and also laminated it. Kris had laughed so hard when reading it that he had tears streaming down his face. He was especially delighted with the translation for Spaghetti Putanesca, which he had been reliably informed was a favourite dish with the local putanas – whores –hence its name. This had been so carefully translated as whorish noodles! He couldn’t remember the Italian name for a chicken dish with a more puzzling name in English, obviously it was pollo something, but the English had certainly been memorable. Intriguingly, it was called fiddly opening chicken. Priceless! He had had to try his hardest to contain his schoolgirl-like giggling all the way through his meal, often being unable to do so, occasionally erupting into stifled mirth as he struggled against the flow. He had felt that it was such a pity that the menu had been so large and unwieldy otherwise he would surely have sequestered one surreptitiously on his way out.
“Yeah, I saw that,” she said, the humour obviously lost on her or since past. “But you should see the signs in the kitchen,” she added.
“Oh come on show me, then,” Kris urged her, behaving like an eager little schoolboy, anxious to see them. This light, comic relief was exactly what his soul craved.
“Come on, then,” she said and led the way the kitchen.
“Now what does that remind you of?” she asked pointing at another professionally printed and laminated sign.
– Joga-se o resto da comida na lixeira – was the version in Portuguese. The English however, was much more sinister. – It throws the rest of food in bin –
“And that one,” she said pointing to another sign near the sink.
– Lava-se as louças depois usa – It washes the dishes after use –
“Wow, spooky,” Kris said. “It puts the lotion on its skin!”
“That’s exactly what I thought when I saw it she said.
“What’s this place called?” he jokingly asked, “Bates’ Silent lamb motel?” They both laughed at his macabre sense of humour which was in stark contrast to the first day they had met.
“Come on, let me show around the island a bit and I’ll tell you what I want to do while we’re here.”
He readily agreed so they locked their dorm and left the key with the plump Brazilian woman at reception who greeted Kris in poor English, gratified when he responded in Portuguese. They chatted for a few minutes and she made enquiries of him and his intentions, both here on the island and with Tanja as well. Typical, Kris thought, all women loved to gossip and wanted to know everyone’s business. After explaining that they were just friends here to explore the island and enjoy all that this paradise had to offer, the pair headed back to the praia, which was less than a five minute walk from the pousada.
The principal town on the island was little more than a handful of streets and it would be impossible to get lost in, Kris thought to himself, no matter how much cachaça he’d had. There were only a few people on the hard-packed dirt streets, which would obviously get hugely crowded in the high season, and the local dogs wandering freely appeared to outnumber the people. They looked to be of all breeds and sizes, some with collars on, others without and Kris wondered whether they were strays, although they seemed healthy and friendly enough, not bothering the people that walked the streets and beach.
Tanja stopped at a dive shop displaying a large map of the island. She explained that the majority of the island was a nature reserve and private vehicles were strictly verboten, for this reason the only way to travel the island was either by foot or by boat. The terrain was rugged and walking would be a tough and challenging chore. The map displayed the various routes to different parts of the island and the estimated time to walk there and back. She showed him the principal destinations she had chosen and the days that they would go there.
Had she been his girlfriend and the situation with his heart and soul normal, he would have none of this. He was the man and no woman would dictate what was to be done; that was his job. But the situation was not normal and he was not his usual self and thus was quite happy, or at least content enough to let her make all the decisions for the moment until he orientated himself.
She indicated a beach called Lopes Mendes as their destination for tomorrow, a rugged three and a half hour trek, and announced that they would be leaving straight after breakfast, spend a few hours at the beach and then return in the mid-afternoon.
Kris shook his head. “It’s not gonna happen,” he stated solemnly and flatly.
“What do you mean?” She asked and Kris noticed a barely perceptible flash of anger pass her eyes. “You don’t have to come with me, but I’m going,” she announced defiantly.
“Don’t get me wrong, I wanna go tomorrow,” he told her sincerely, “but it’s not going to happen; at least we won’t be going straight after breakfast.”
Her forehead furrowed into a deeper frown. “What are you talking about?” she demanded impatiently.
He lifted his eyes to the clear blue sea of sky above their heads, currently devoid of even a wisp of cloud.
“It’s going to rain tonight,” he announced with complete certainty and it’s gonna rain all night long, but fortunately it’s gonna stop late morning,” he told with complete certainty.
“Oh, you’ve seen the weather forecast then.” It was a statement, not a question. “You can’t trust those. I had a look at four different forecasts on the internet yesterday, from four different sites and they were all different.” She seemed relieved that she could so easily explain it.
Again, he shook his head in negation. “No, I haven’t seen the forecast, but mark my words, it’s going to rain tonight,” he stated with absolute conviction.
“You and your Fox Mulder stuff,” she gave a small laugh, but it seemed to him to be forced. “I told you, I’m a scientist and don’t believe in all that stuff.”
“And like I told you, I’m a scientist too and my experiences have taught me to trust myself, even if I have no way to rationally and scientifically explain everything.”
“Ok, ok. We’ll see. Tomorrow is another day,” she said dismissing the subject.
Kris was happy to let it drop; he had no desire to prove himself with words, results spoke far louder, but he really was amazed by people who refused to accept the reality of their experiences, trying to find some rational justification. How could she be so dismissive of him after all that had transpired between them? He was reminded of an ex-girlfriend who behaved in exactly the same dismissive manner.
They had arranged to go out one night and he had arrived at her place to pick her up. As usual, she was nowhere near ready when he had arrived.
“Make yourself at home,” she had told him. “Put the telly on or something, I won’t be long.”
He was highly dubious; he knew her too well. He had seen her change her outfit ten times or more before finally settling on the first one she had put on. He switched the T.V. on and chose something that he knew she would like rather than something he would enjoy. He really had little interest in television and was only concerned with distracting himself until she was ready. He flicked through the channels until he found one showing an ice dancing competition. Knowing her passion for dance, he left it on that and sat down on the couch. He watched the contestants coming out one by to do their warm-ups before they performed their rehearsed routine in front of the judges.
As he watched, his mind wandering, not really paying attention, he was suddenly hit by a powerful image. He clearly saw the girl who had just entered the ice arena falling backwards and landing flat on her ass. It was like a video clip being played in his mind, it was that vivid. He had been so intent on focusing on this internal imagery that he hadn’t noticed that she had come into the room, hands full of her make up kit and had positioned herself next to the couch in front of a tall gilt framed mirror.
“Hey,” he said excitedly when he finally noticed her. “See that girl there, she’s gonna fall flat on her ass,” he told her with complete conviction.
“What?” she asked distantly, focusing instead on applying her war paint.
He repeated his assertion and she asked how he knew and when he explained what had just transpired, she simply dismissed it as mere fancy. She had yet to see his precognitive powers in action as they had been slowly dwindling somewhat from their previous peak and the couple also hadn’t been going out with each other for long.
The girl he had seen was the third contestant to perform her routine and his ex was finally ready to leave as the skater hit the ice.
“Sit here and watch this,” he told her, indicating the space next to him. “And then we’ll go, ok?”
“OK,” she said, secretly quite happy to do just that.
The dancer performed her routine with supreme grace and style, with nary even a misstep. After about three minutes of a near flawless performance she turned to him with a smug expression on her face.
“Well?” she asked triumphantly. “I thought you said she was going to fall?”
Kris’s bubble burst and he stammered that he could be wrong, but at that moment, exactly as he had foreseen, the dancer lost her footing and slipped, falling backwards onto her ass exactly as he had predicted.
It was now his turn to feel smug. “I told you she was going to fall,” he crowed victoriously.”
It was now her turn to be crestfallen as she struggled to find an explanation.
“Er, em,” she stammered, before finally finding the answer. “You’ve seen this before,” she declared.
He looked at her with astonishment. “You what…?” He asked incredulously.
“You’ve seen it before,” she replied confidently.
“You know my feelings about dancing and you choose to believe that I sat down in front of an ice skating competition and took so much notice of the competitors that I could tell you from memory which one had fallen?” he asked in amazement.
“Well, that would explain it,” she told him folding her arms across her chest, indicating that, for her, the subject was now closed; she had the answer and was satisfied.
Kris let the matter drop. He knew from experience that when a person needs to rationalise something to satisfy their own world view, it is pointless to argue or try to convince them otherwise.
Back at the pousada, they were greeted by a tall, good looking negro with long braided corn rows who displayed large ultra-white teeth in a huge open mouthed smile.
“Marlon,” he said introducing himself, shaking their hands and giving Tanja a traditional kiss on both cheeks.
The couple introduced themselves and responded to his questions, giving a brief biography of themselves, but when they asked questions of him, he seemed to be a little reluctant to give much. He explained that he had only been working at the pousada for a few weeks, but was enjoying the tranquil atmosphere of island life.
Kris couldn’t quite put his finger on what was bothering him about this handsome man, but he didn’t trust him; he got the same feeling from him as he got from smarmy sales people. Tanja, on the other hand, seemed to be completely under his spell, rapt in his every word.
Kris’ mind wandered from what Marlon was saying, concluding that this man would have a great deal of success with the gullible single women who visited this island paradise. His wandering mind was soon brought back to focus when he realised Tanja was asking him a question.
“Huh?” He asked, having no idea what she had asked.
“What do you think?” She asked and he was grateful that she qualified her question a second or say later. “Do you fancy pizza for dinner tonight and listening to his friend singing traditional Brazilian music?”
“Sure, yeah, why not?” he replied, not having a better suggestion let alone other plans.
“He says they are planning to have a little party on the beach later with a fire, some music and a few drinks. Are you interested?” she enquired.
“Sounds like a great idea,” he told her, “but as I told you before, it’s gonna rain tonight.”
Marlon laughed. “No man, it not will rain tonight,” he told him. “Look at the sky!”
“We’ll see,” Kris replied dubiously, simply leaving it at that.
“If there anything you need, just let me know. I happy to help,” Marlon helpfully informed them and bade them adeus.
Kris had had nothing to eat all day save for the packet of crackers he had bought at the port and suggested they go to the shop to get some snacks and maybe a few cold beers. Tanja readily agreed.
They returned with some more crackers, bread rolls, ham, cheese, tomatoes and a few other things to make some sandwiches, a dozen beers, a bottle of cachaça and a 2 litre bottle of cola to mix with it. Kris had explained that this would be for the beach party later that night, but he sincerely believed it was not going to happen and he would be quite happy to drink it, party or not.
Marlon had given Tanja the directions to the pizzeria that he had recommended and they found their way easily, it was only a tiny town after all. They ordered a large pizza with four separate toppings, frutos do mar and calabresa chosen by Kris, rucula e tomate seco, and mussarela by Tanja. The restaurant was not busy, with only one other couple there, but that was hardly surprising as the island was quiet, this being off-peak season and the couple watched Marlon’s friend, squeezed into a small corner with his acoustic guitar playing some songs that neither of them had heard before. His playing was passable, but it seemed that he had yet to master singing and playing at the same time. Perhaps he had yet to even master singing!
The singing friend of Marlon didn’t raise Kris’ opinion of Marlon one iota; rather it reinforced his first impression. And when the pizza came, all the sparse ingredients obviously piled on top of the pre-cooked pizza base, his first impression was further reinforced, and Kris however, kept his thoughts to himself. At least the beer in this restaurant was cold, he thought wryly as they shared the pizza
With the unsatisfactory meal concluded and the woeful singing not yet finished, the couple had no real desire to stay in the restaurant, opting instead to go back to the pousada. The sky was jet black and whereas stars were once visible an hour earlier, nothing could now be seen in the dark heavens, Kris noted ominously, and there was also a subtle shift in the air since they had entered the restaurant; a damp breeze had sprung up and the previously still, warm air was now significantly colder, much cooler than it had been at any other time since Kris had arrived in Rio.
As the pair made their way back to the pousada, their feet silently padding on the packed clay road surface, a slight sprinkling of rain began gently descending from the heavens, increasing in intensity with their every step. The couple hurried their pace and by the time they reached the wooden gates of the pousada it was raining heavily.
Kris was tempted to say there, didn’t I tell you, but kept his thoughts to himself. Tanja however was silent, but his prevision of rain was turning over and over in her mind along with everything he’d previously said as well as the string of coincidences that had occurred since the couple had first met.
“How did you know it was going to rain?” Tanja finally asked, once they were inside the warmth and relative dryness of their room. “You saw the forecast, didn’t you?”
Kris was used to this. Since childhood people had often accused him of lying in connection to his premonitions and knowing. He drew a deep breath before he calmly explained.
“I told you that I didn’t see the forecast,” he said patiently, “and I’ve also told you that sometimes I just know things. I’ve got no control over it; I just know things sometimes.”
“So, is it going to still be raining tomorrow?” she asked, reaching into the small refrigerator, removing two cans of beer and handing one to him.
“Well, it’s going to rain all night, but I’ve got a feeling it will clear up in the morning,” he told her optimistically, opening his beer and taking a deep draught.
The rain was now very heavy and beat a constant staccato on the roof; so much for the beach party tonight, Kris thought with a sardonic grin.
Although there was sleeping capacity for four people in the room, due to it being low season, Kris and Tanja were the sole occupants as they settled into the bunk beds for the night earlier than they had planned, but both grateful nonetheless.