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Day 70: Blumenau

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Priscilla Falaster, embodiment of the South Brazilian model.
Michael Palin - BrazilOne of Giane's finds is Priscilla Falaster, born in Blumenau of second-generation German immigrants and fiercely, if inexplicably, proud of the town. Priscilla has the tall coltish looks of a classic model, with long reddish-brown hair, freckles and a slight Mick Jaggerish fullness of the lips. She's particularly in demand in Argentina and Tokyo. Like her mentor Giane, she's down-to-earth, happy to sit and talk to me in the unglamorous surroundings of a pavement cafť in the busy centre of town. She recommends the sugar cane juice. Giane sits a little way off, casting an agent's eye over the afternoon shoppers of Blumenau.

It's not just the strong, long-limbed figure that Priscilla has inherited from her parents, both of whom still speak German Ė 'I speak it only so-so,' she says apologetically Ė it's also a hard-nosed sense of realism. Her mother insisted that she kept up her education and in between modelling assignments she's studying to be a pharmacist in Florianůpolis. Though she thinks that, after seeing Gisele BŁndchen's success, 'everyone wants to be a model', she credits BŁndchen with having shown that being a model doesn't necessarily mean you lose your independence.

'Now they see you can have money and security and a real life.'

Most of all, though, she wants to sing the praises of her birthplace.

'It's so beautiful. The buildings and the culture.' When I ask her what it is that
makes people come here in search of beautiful women, she replies quite positively 'German civilization.'

I know she doesn't mean this to sound the way it does, but I also know what she means.

Giane returns, smiling cautiously. She's given one card out, and she thinks she's found someone rather special in Blumenau this afternoon.

Later we eat at what we are advised is the best restaurant in the Blumenau area. It's run by Neapolitans and serves delicious Italian food. Back at the hotel I have to look at the map just to remind myself that I'm still in South America.
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The glamorous world of international modelling. At the street cafť with Priscilla and Giane.
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  • Series: Brazil
  • Chapter: Day 70: Blumenau
  • Country/sea: Brazil
  • Place: Blumenau
  • Book page no: 292

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  • Sightseeing
  • Day 5 
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day 18 
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