Jake and I are living in an area surrounded by schools and universities. Most classes finish around 10 or 10:30pm, so the main strip is just lined with buses to take students home to surrounding cities, and all the restaurants are alive with antsy, hungry young people, fresh out of class.
There are a couple of things to note about Brazilian culture:
-the main meal of the day is at lunch
-some lanchonetes (snack restaurants) only open at 7 pm, strictly to accommodate the night culture
-dinner might consist of a hamburger, no fries (purchased at one of these lanchonetes), pizza, or left-overs heated up from lunch
-the dinner hour could be anywhere between 7-9pm, so people like to lanche in the afternoon before it's time for dinner, and after 9pm if they didn't get a chance to eat dinner (like if they were in class)
Our classes hours are 9-10pm on Tuesday, 7-9:30pm on Wednesday, and 7-9pm on Thursday, so Jake and I often need to eat after class since we teach through the dinner hour. We could just heat something up at home, but it's more fun to get a snack from the lanchonete.
Last night we ate:
Hamburger with egg and cheese: $2.50
Hotdog with ham and cheese: $2.00
People, our meal cost only $6.50, and they were good sized portions! This is merely one of the reasons Brazil is amazing-the food is just incredible, and so cheap.
We made it just before the university rush, so by the time we left, the restaurant was filled to the brim with people getting their hunger on.
As we walked back up the street, we saw people waiting for their buses, purchasing food at little BBQ stands, as well as at other food carts along the way.
I keep thinking about how, back home in Canada, everything starts to close up around 9 or 10 at night. The cultural difference is astounding, but exciting, too!