As the suns sets on Sampa, I reflect back on my beginning with this Big Pineapple, as it’s perhaps the sweetest and certainly the most poignant memories of all my dozen years living here. It was the power of love that brought me. The single most powerful force known to mankind.
Back-story: A girl from Sao Paulo was traveling with two girlfriends in the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) of the Dutch West Indies and I happened to be on “C” island (Curacao) working on a project to design, develop, license and launch the first on-line casino, or at least in amongst the first 100 (Note: this was a new gold rush). She was staying with her friends in the same hotel on Curacao.
I first saw her from across the hotel lobby and fell in love at first sight, it hit me like a ton of bricks and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it….
In this abbreviated rendition I’ll fast forward the year to say that we “re-connected on Curacao, six months later”, followed by a three month lapse and a “bring the girl to meet the family” in Canada, where my love landed in Vancouver for a month of mid-summer madness, covered hundreds of miles of British Columbia and visited every single beach in Vancouver, from Wreck Beach all the way to Horseshoe Bay, then a magical tour of the Okanagan (interior BC) with an ecstatic welcoming committee from my tribe, as the whole world adores Brazil.
After the Canada tour, we both knew that we were destined to keep going towards each other. The power of love was intense and totally irrefutable, it wasn’t just lust, or imagination, it was real and it was way too powerful to explain in words. All that I knew, is that there was nothing in this world that could, or would, stop me from seeing her again. We needed to meet half-way, in Miami, which is exactly what my plan was, from the very beginning when I laid-eyes on her, I wanted her on the beach in Florida, living with me.
Six more agonizing months go by and finally it’s my turn to meet her family. Uh-oh, boy meets girl’s Mom and Dad, yikes! But I was un-daunted, the power of love had a grip on me like a fuckin GPS signal, I was tuned-to-it. So I arrived in, you guessed it, Sao Paulo, Brasil about mid-December of ’97 and it’s hotter than Haiti (Note: I’ve not been to Haiti yet, it’s just an expression) and I’ve come from the great white north, however since I had so many months to think about this trip and was laid-over in Miami (my second home, as I’ll explain another time) for a month on my way to South America, also because I knew enough about every family member in her tribe, I was able to arrive bearing meaningful gifts but nothing I was to give would ever come close to what I was about to receive.