Monday, April 24, 2017

Whores and Humans

Sometimes work and life mix up in just the right ways. My workmates wanted to take me out to dinner in Recife before I would start working and I said yes. The goal was to go to a place that was close by, just in a town a bit over from Recife, so we met outside the hotel and the plan was for them to drive me. 


We drove up and down dark roads and I got a bit of a tour of Recife and the history as we drove. Old history. Buildings older than America, beaches that were once safe and are no longer safe because of the warm weather and pollution. Sharks come up to the beaches and people are asked not to swim anymore in the warm waters. There are new buildings on the beachfront full of Chinese home owners who who are buying up property in Recife. 

The drive was winding, past a road where the prostitutes gather and take johns into the shady brush scrub right off the beach. They tell me about everything, from seedy to historical, they do not sugar coat their city, it's beauty, it's horrors. 

Up a winding road we go towards the restaurant we are looking for, suddenly unable to move, the streets were fully of people. People in various states of undress, drinking, laughing, making music. 

"What's happening I asked?"

My colleague speaks in smooth Portuguese to police officer directing traffic at the end of one of the rows. 

"Unbelievable." 

"What, what?"

"It's Carnival, they are preparing for carnival already! It will be months before carnival time, but already they are outside." 

Getting to the restaurant turned out to be impossible so in the end we ended up at a little mall on the beach, eating seafood and watching the moonlight over the ocean as it lapped against the shore. We laughed and enjoyed the food, the humid night. We laughed at the seediness of Brazil. The happiness of it. It's so interesting here, in this city, fully of frenzy and life. I'm starting to fall in love with South America in ways I could not have understood. 




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