Thursday, 1st of March 2012
February: Tenerife & Mestre Ousado
The lovely month of February… We were meant to get new belts on Capoeira, but instead I decided we wanted to go on holiday in the sun… You were keener on a holiday than on another batizado, and we don’t have many years left together before you are grown!
We left an icy London behind and spent 7 nights in Tenerife, at a 4 start hotel called Bahia Princess, Half Board. Here’s my review of the place as requested by Thomson (the tour operator)
We were prepared for having to hire a fridge – which we didn’t – as we were half board anyway. But we weren’t prepared for the lack of plugs in our room. The only 3 available plugs were used by tv/fridge and lamp. The other lamps weren’t even attached to plugs, just holes in the wall! So to keep our phone, camera, laptop and kindle charged it became a logistical nightmare, we unplugged a lamp and the fridge we didn’t hire (after having to move a large piece of furniture out of the way to get to the plugs) and used those.All 4 star hotels we have been to offered many plugs! (I honestly never thought I’d go to a hotel with a plug shortage) and free wi-fi in communal areas (one in Berlin and another in Gran Canaria) but not BahiaPrincess.
It cost 1 Euro for 10 minutes on the internet… It did feel at times that the hotel was trying to make as much money as possible (6 euros for car park per night).Having said that, the food was great, and what a great thing not having to cook or chase good restaurants while on holiday! The entertainment ranged from unintentionally hilarious – in a Phoenix Nights way – to truly good fun. The in-house entertainers were lovely people and so were the restaurant’s staff and the cleaners. Overall it was a good experience! Another great thing was being able to go to Guayarmi Princess watch the sunset from their sea facing balcony.
We went on the ‘Teide by Night’ tour and that was our second favourite bit of the holiday – the tour guide was very good – our favourite bit was probably going up to Teide during the day, although I’d only recommend driving up there if you are feeling very brave, I had no idea it wold be so scary! (but fun).Our son got ill while we were there and needed quick access to his usual prescription. There was a doctors’ surgery 5 minutes away, we just walked in, got a prescription for 30 euros (It was a private surgery, so we had to pay) and went to pharmacy next door to get his medicine for 14 euros.
The above does make me think we really are spoilt, and those are all first world problems. The holiday cost a fair bit of money and we are truly privileged to be able to afford it, especially in these days of recession. You said no one else in your class had been on holiday this half term. I’m very thankful for all we have. Financial Security, health, family, love. All things so easy to take for granted, some people won’t even appreciate until they are taken away
All I’m saying is, programming was a good choice, career wise. I wonder what will be the ‘job de jur’ when you grow up… I guess being a doctor will always pay well, I think I’d have made a good doctor actually. There you go, mid-life crisis again. I keep thinking of all the things I could have been and done. Of what I’m good at and what I’m not. I’m so tired of my job right now. But I did really love it once upon a time. Working for a big company really takes its toll on you.
Photos here (first 4 sets, taken in 2012)
So we missed the grading but last night none other than Mestre Ousado (it means audacious) gave a workshop. You didn’t want to go, shame, it was meant to start at 7 and finish at 9:30, but in true Brazilian style it started at 8 and finished at 10:30. Probably for the best you didn’t go as you would have been very tired today.
Mestre Ousado was the first mestre to come to London in 1988, one year before I came over. He opened the first Capoeira school here, and then off he went to Singapore to open the first school there. He’s been instrumental in introducing capoeira to the world. He’s a living legend. He’s 65 years old, and I think your nana Cesca’s height! But his arms are huuuuuge! He’s incredibly fast and agile. Last night was a treat. In the end I bought his book: As asas do Mestre, and he gave me a Capoeira name. ‘Brasileira’ was just something my Mestre called me because he couldn’t think of another nickname, rather than anything meaningful.
The name I was given is by Mestre Ousado is ‘Risadinha’ which means ‘little laugh’ or ‘little smile’ – he said because every time I started speaking I’d be smiling. When I got home last night I was on cloud nine! What an amazing, special night!