Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cartoon 42: Bright Yellow and Orange Earthworms!!

Ya´ll know when it gets really hot in the summer and the earthworms  try to cross the sidewalk but end up getting fried on the way? So that happens to hot-dog-sized bright yellow and orange wormy things here in Rio!!! WHOA! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cartoon 41: Men with Wings...

You know all the super curvy ladies we see on T.V. in the carnaval parade of Rio  de Janeiro?  The ones wearing lots of feathers and doing incredible things with their hips?  Well I was here in Rio for carnaval and I didn't see a single one of them.  Actually yes I did but she had big broad shoulders and an adam's apple...

Turns out that that parade is part of a closed event that most Brazilians I've met here have never been to.  The peoples' carnaval in Rio is frigin' incredible. The entire city shuts down for four days of nonstop celebration (keep in mind that Rio is a big city of about
 6,000,000 inhabitants!).  Walking through the city streets you find these millions of people self organized into gigantic block parties with free live music.  Between these parties roam buses topped with rockin' bands followed by parades of all kinds of people dressed up in crazy costumes. The public transportation resembles party buses because there is always at least one group of rowdy partiers yelling and laughing and riling up the rest of the folks until the whole bus is singing the Carnaval anthems that everyone knows.  But it's not just all drinking and singing and smooching (although there is A LOT of that...I made accidental eye contact with a guy across the street and he took that as an invitation to come shove his tongue down my throat. He tried and he got shoved instead and then HE stepped back to look at ME like I was crazy!) Like I was saying, it's not just all that...there's also street vendors selling hot dogs topped with corn, olives, miniature eggs, tiny french fries, and pink sauce! Ooo and frozen mix drink popsicles YUUUUUUUUUUUUUM!!

 There were many things that really knocked me off my feet for what I imagine there social implications were. (After I'm here for a while I'll let you know how my understanding develops.) In all of the parts of the city I roamed to, I did not see a single police person!!! We are talking about millions of strangers going out all day and night to get muddy and sunburned and drunk (drinking in the streets is legal) and squuuuuueeeeezing together on the streets until we almost couldn't move with no third party to resolve conflicts. From what I saw, there wasn't a need. Here's to being empowered, whether by necessity or by choice, to resolve our issues within our own communities!  People in the apartment buildings poured water onto the grateful crowd below to help us cool off! Here's to getting soaked and not giving a crap if our clothes/hair/make-up get drenched!! The group of fabulous folks that received me here, few of them professional musicians, organized their own parade singing classical latin grooves over contemporary Brazilian rhythms. Here's to forgetting perfection and just rockin'! Last but definitely not least, I think the best part for me was that 85% of the male population was dressed in drag. And I don't mean your gramma's ol' baggy dress.  I mean tutus and angel/butterfly/fairy wings! I mean devils in red sparkly high heels! I mean liiiiiitttle bitty shorts on biiiiig buff men :) Dang that ish was cool.  Here's to equality in sexual objectification ha!

No but for real, here's to being able to make fun of ourselves and to laughing with strangers.  Here's to everyone singing in public and to baring our round bellies.  Here's to everyone picking up a drum or a triangle or stick and a bottle and being part of the music.  Props to Brazil, I have a feeling I'm gonna learn a lot here...