Okay, this is when I knew travelling would be a bit more stressful than being a beach bum. Actually trying to make things happen.
I'd heard of foreigners having trouble booking buses online because you need to input a Brazilian tax number (CPF) when you pay. I was keen to book in advance because Milena and I are going to Ilha Grande on Wednesday, straight after Carnival, and a lot of other people I've spoken to are planning to do the same thing. So my friend's mum booked it for me with Costa Verde and I gave her the cash. We had to provide our passport numbers, but because Milena was on a plane at the time we put my passport number in for both passengers. So tomorrow we're going to have to go and explain that we need to change that passport number, just in case they refuse us boarding to the bus on Wednesday. So fingers crossed we can sort that out. (My friend wrote out an explanation in Portuguese, so with any luck that will be sufficient).
And then I thought, okay, let's make this a productive day, I'll go and collect the Carnival samba parade tickets I ordered for me and Milena from Rio Carnival.net for this Sunday. I found the place without trouble and handed over my photocopy of my passport and the debit card I used to buy the tickets. The man disappeared for a second and then came back. He waved me over to the side and then said "There's been a bit of a problem". Right.
Apparently they are waiting for more tickets for Sector 8 (which I ordered because it's meant to have one of the best views of the whole parade) to arrive, so he offered me two tickets for Sector 7. Now I knew that Sector 8 was one of the most expensive sectors, so I told him that that wasn't good enough, and he insisted that the sectors cost the same. So I said I would return on Sunday, which is when he said they'd have more Sector 8 tickets. (I checked when I got back to the hostel, and did the sectors cost the same? Did they my foot.)
I asked the woman at the door when I left the collection point, and she said they might get more Sector 8 tickets tomorrow afternoon. Conflicting information! So I might go on Saturday during the day and see if they have any. But considering today is the first day we were able to collect the tickets, it's pretty poor that they didn't have enough for everyone.
My worry now is that they won't have ordered enough Sector 8s and we'll miss out. Of course I'll kick up a fuss if that's the case, and ask for more than the CD of samba music the guy offered me as a "present". But will I end up regretting not taking the Sector 7 alternative and cutting my losses, when I'm stuck in Sector 1? We'll see.
Anyway. Here's a picture of the sunset at Copacabana yesterday. That's just nicer in general.