Thursday, January 27, 2005

last day

27 Jan 2005 Rio de Janeiro

I know you´ll all feel better knowing that your government is hard at work protecting you from Brazilian terrorists. This is the same government which, in an attempt to avoid racial profiling, is often seen strip searching little old ladies trying to get on a Southwest airlines flight to Cleveland or some other well-known terrorist hang out.

It seems that two mid-20´s Brazilian surfers complete with long hair, flip flops and surf boards landed in Miami. The word ´´bomba`´ in portuguese means ´´bomb´´ and it also means ´´pump´´. These two shady characters had a vaccum pump with them which is used to suck the resin onto the core of the board and prevent delamination. They obviously did not realize that they were dealing with a linguistically-challenged tiny minded dumb ass. When they mentioned the liguistic oddity of the word ´´bomba´´, they were immediately sent to jail where they stayed for 3 months. Finally, someone in imigration figured out how to use the dictionary and decided to deport them rather than keep them in jail any longer.
All righty then.
I went to a great small community samba school the other night. It was exactly the kind of scene that I love. Lots of kids, families and a great bateria. Unfortunately, I can´t tell you where I went. Lately, I´ve been catching some serious internet grief for giving away everyone´s favorite off-the-beaten path samba things to do in Rio. Some of the comments have been pretty nasty. It seems that some people want to keep Rio for themselves. I guess that maybe I should let go of trying to be the Rick Steve´s of community samba here.

Consider the following. Over the past two years, I´ve reported on what I thought were the coolest, non-commercial things to do. I´ve only scratched the surface but there´s still lots to choose from. In return, I´ll ask that, if you go to these places, you do so with respect. These people live here all year. They have almost nothing other than human warmth and Carnaval. If you are playing one of the bateria instruments, you may be taking it away from one of them or from a kid who´s trying to learn. Even in the blocos, rest assured that you are not going to be the baddest ass in the bateria. Everyone here can play. Most can play better than you. Trust me. Ask for permission. Move slowly. Be respectful. Samba is tribe. This is applied anthropology.

It´s better to be lucky than good. When crossing the street, be the rabbit. Don´t panic. Never go anywhere without your towel.
Fui, j