EL BLOG #11 22 April 2007
Richard writes the latest blog, from Brazil

Hello again. We played football again this evening, once the sun had set and it was starting to cool down a bit (though it's still hot!). We only had 9 people due to the extraordinary amount of things to do in this city, but about 5 minutes into the game a local lad turned up and we asked him if he wanted to make up the tenth player. Sure enough, Piedro joined in, and was soon running rings round the opposition, just as you would expect a young Brazilian footballer to do. His most ridiculous trick involved balancing the ball on the laces of his boot, then lifting it up and over Dermot, our production manager and semi-pro goalkeeper, while everyone looked on in amazement. To be fair, some people did get the ball off him a few times, but he was clearly a talented lad. Then his two (older and better) pals turned up, and soon enough we had a full game going. It was probably the kind of thing you imagine might happen when you go to Brazil - have a kick about with some locals, they turn out to be really good - but you never expect it to actually take place. It was a right laugh, and only the call of food and drinks put an end to it (not to mention our total lack of fitness). Luckily, Scott managed to play the entire game without injuring anyone too. And yes, Tim really did play, though not in goal this time.

I've just got back from a night out at the Porcau bbq - a restaurant/festival of meat cooked on skewers. You may guess that this was not my choice of restaurant, but veggie food is hard to come by in a continent dominated by meat. Luckily I don't mind being surrounded by carnivores - there were all kinds of dishes to be had, from sushi to chicken hearts (I hear both were excellent, as was the lamb, apparently). Basically, you arrive in a restaurant, get some salad from the buffet, then turn over what looks like a red drinks mat to face green side up, and that is the cue for waiters to swarm the table, each armed with a Crocodile Dundee-style knife, and a skewer of some kind of flesh, until you turn the card back to red side up. It's amazing to watch them cut slice after slice so precisely, and delicately lift the bits of meat onto people's plates. I'm not sure our security enjoyed the presence of all those very sharp knives, but they were probably too busy eating. I had risotto, in case anyone was wondering, though I began the meal with the hottest pepper (tiny, yellow) that I've ever had. I probably should have checked first, but I ate the whole damn thing, and then pretty much caught fire. Only Rob's mineral water saved me.

Tomorrow is sightseeing for me, and fishing for the others... it's almost as if being vegetarian doesn't fit with the touring lifestyle of Keane! I'll send some photos through when I get them developed - unlike Rob's hi-tech Nikon d40, I'm still going with films, though I'm rapidly running out. It's been an amazing tour so far - so colourful and happy and loud. Bring on Mexico!

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