November 11, 2016
Because we had eaten such a large meal at lunch, none of us was particularly hungry for dinner. So Carlos and Eliane took us to a fancy mall around 8:30 pm, to look around and eventually get a small bite to eat.
Patio Batel was nearly deserted when we arrived and parked the car in a reserved spot.
We went up several stories on escalators to enter the mall.
There were poems printed on the empty walls in spaces not occupied by store fronts, written by curitibano poets, an homage by Patio Batel.
A giant Christmas tree towered over an atrium which we looked down on from above, under which ran a little kiddie train. There was another ride of hanging baskets, which had wheel controls to make them spin as they whirled around, but it wasn’t really fast.
Patio Batel had many expensive clothing stores and most of the mannequins’ outfits didn’t much appeal to me, but a few were nice – anyway, they were Versace and other high class designer clothes. Too high class for me!
We took the escalator up to the next level. At the end of a hall was a large bookstore! (A rarity in the U.S. these days, it seems.) There are sections for fiction and non-fiction, Brazilian literature, foreign literature in translation, and a section of foreign literature in its original language. Dale perused the English titles in this section, while I asked Eliane’s advice to pick out something interesting but not too hard or too long in Portuguese. I bought Cidade by Nelson Rodrigues, one of the best Brazilian authors in Eliane’s opinion.
Another store had a different layout than I had ever seen before – a largish room with small stands of merchandise by different vendors, many of them handmade. One of these had hanging miniature pine trees with their root bases attached, wrapped in threads to keep them together. Another claimed her wares were all by local artists – there were colorfully designed cloth napkins, coasters, mini notebooks, tablecloths and other things. Many of the stands sold clothes, displayed on racks. In the back of the room a jazz band was playing.
A glass case held headless mannequins, some made up to look like wedding cakes with female torsos attached.
With a few exceptions, most of the stores were already closed.
When nature called, Eliane and I headed toward the restrooms.
Finally we were ready to have something to eat and drink.
We eventually made our way to a Portuguese coffee shop that sold small pastries, both sweet and salty, next door to a tea shop, where Eliane got a natural tea in a pot with a timer to indicate when it was ready to drink.
Carlos, Dale and I bought a few different pastries and Dale and I shared a Guaraná Zero.
The entire mall was closing up shop – except for one or two restaurants that stayed open later – when we left around 10 pm.