Last night our hostel had organized an excusion to see one of the samba schools practice for Carnivale. There are many schools in Brazil - each school competes during Carnivale. Our school was called Viradoro. Carnivale is in February but I guess they practice for months ahead. We got on a bus at 11PM and went way, way across Rio in the dark to some sketchy neighborhood. It was in a big gymnasium/dance hall type of place and a few thousand Brazilians were all dancing. the band started and everyone had to get out of the way. Kathy and I wandered upstairs and found some box seats, (owned by different groups of people, I guess, just like at a baseball park) . I asked one of them if we could come in and they let us. We got the best view of the band and the dancers. It was so loud, lots of percussion to accompany the one song they practiced over and over and over. After hearing it about 20 times (with corresponding hand movements), we could sort of sing along:
...Brasil! Terra de encantos Mil
Em Que a miscigenacao,
Alterando os conceitos, incentiva a criacao,
Vindos de alem-mar, nao poderiam imaginar...
No, I didn´t memorize the words. They passed out sheet music.
Eventually they let everyone else join in and it was a big dance party with cheap beer and frightening food for sale (I had some meat on a stick! yum) You would think I had learned my lesson with the scary street food but I don´t care any more.
the people in our box were nice and insisted that we be in front for the best view. They tried to teach us to dance a little bit. I´m really bad at samba. I try to copy people but Kathy says that I end up looking like I am doing the running man. Anyways, I hope that Viradouro has a chance at taking away the title from beija flor this year! (When carnivale comes, I can look it up on the internet). I bought a ghetto-looking Viradoro tank top too that has their symbol on it, a crown with two people shaking hands.
We got home at 4AM.
Today I just messed around the hostel and went to the beach one last time. It was so hot, I think the hottest day yet. Once again I played in the waves with little teenage boys trying to body surf.
OK, now for my Brazil recap!
Funny things about Brazil
teeny, tiny waxy napkins
thin, crinkly plastic cups
men in speedos and a t-shirt, walking around
the thumbs up sign everyone does
having people laugh at me when I say "no falo portuguese"
lots of cutting in line. you snooze, you lose.
the lispy way people talk with the "sh" sound
Things I love about Brazil
people seem so happy
the strong drinks
People are stylish and suave, even when they are wearing crazy clothes
Brazilian pop music!
The unexpected rain forests and beauty of the country
Chicken pastels at the beach in Morro, even though they made me sick.
Mangoes and Pineapple
cold Brahma chopp, our favorite beer
the mosaic tile all over the beaches in Rio with the mod designs. Lots of cool mosaic sidewalks in all Brazilian towns
My favorite beaches
Morro de sao paulo beach #2
Mendes Lopez beach if it hadn´t rained
Brazil, I´ll miss you!