We're headed out of town tomorrow. The team will be having a retreat at a beach house later this week and we're headed out there a couple days early to just relax. Russ and I are the only ones on the team who haven't taken any vacation time. The plan for today: go to Portuguese class, go to the mall and/or grocery store to buy last minute things for the trip, go to team meeting, come home and frantically pack, go to bed. But as has happened so many times since we've been here, our schedule changed.
I noticed the bus was much emptier this morning as we headed to class; I figured it was because we were a little later than normal. I noticed a grocery store was closed; I guessed it might have gone out of business. It wasn't until our teacher, Jaci, arrived that we found out what was going on: it's a holiday! Again.
Last Wednesday was a holiday. It was Dia das Crianças (Children's Day) and Dia da Nossa Senhora Aparecida (Day of Our Lady of Apparition). Technically the holiday is for Nossa Senhora but everyone uses it to celebrate Dia das Crianças. The stores and banks were closed. The movie theater was open but used this opportunity to charge us an arm and a leg. It was nice to have a day to relax when we knew we didn't have to be running around town because running around town would get us nowhere since everything was closed.
But today...today we needed to get stuff done. Apparently it's Dia dos Comerciantes- if you look at the beginning of the word, you can kind of guess what it means. Today is the day that people who work in stores take off. No commerce today! This is the kind of holiday it would have been nice to know about beforehand. The mall? Closed. Grocery stores? Closed. Our plan for today? Out the window.
So now we're at home. It's good--there were plenty of things we needed to do at home--but we really needed to get some shopping done as well. We'll have to try to go tomorrow before we leave town. Unless there's some other holiday we don't know about.