. It's been a long time since I posted, but before the hiatus broadens so that I begin eyeing the Blogger interface with the same guilty countenance I have when I meet friends I have neglected for long, let me make a little post about Carnaval. Truth of the matter is that I don't really like this time of folly and overcrowded highways, especially when the thermomether has climbed to the upper 100s and when perched there, the marker grimaces and throws you raspberries saying that it simply won't come down. Two nights ago in Piracicaba we had to sleep under damp towels to cool down, never mind the ceiling fan turned on at full throtle.
But Carnaval is here or so I am reminded by the kiddie activities going on. Since no Carnaval is complete without a costume, the Young Mermie and I went shopping for an outfit last week. Since the reais are clinking ever more slowly in my bank account, we went to Fradinho's Presentes, a cheap neighborhood store which attires itself according to the seasonal mood. When it's Halloween, this gringolandia fest that only in the past 10 years has been celebrated in Brazil, Fradinho's is all about skulls and witches. Easter? Bunnies and chocolate eggs galore can be acquired at discounted rates Fradinho's, which also possesses a bootleg Barbie line that's the envy of the street peddlers of Taiwan. But I am sure that the readers are more interested in the trinkets that make up a traditional Carnaval stash of goodies.
I bought the Mermie a bisnaga d'água, um martelo sonoro, confete, serpentina in addition to a white and silver ballerina costume at an astounding size 8 (the Mermie is 3 years old, but tall and chunky and getting chunkier). I think I was probably much more excited than the Mermie about the Carnaval Day at Tartaruga School, because I sent her dressed in full regalia and with the martelo sonoro in hand one day before schedule. Hmmm. Very interesting indeed, considering how one of my earliest memories is going to a day trip to the zoo, packed with a special lunch box containing boiled eggs and all of my animal figurines, only to discover that the day trip was supposed to be the next day. I remember feeling quite dismayed at my mom's lack of attention to the kiddie agenda and protocols. Luckily, the Mermie has less regard to conventions than I did, because the teacher reported she was only too glad to parade in the sandbox with her dainty ballerina outfit while the other kids wore their drab navy blue uniforms.
The next day we improvised another costume for her, this time, a pink ballerina tutu with a Little Mermaid maillot, not as dashing as the first one, I'm afraid. So now she has two costumes to choose from when we go to the Clube Athletico Paulistano
Matinée Ball next Fat Tuesday. The Hairy Hungarian and I will be also attending the Monday Ball at the Paulistano, not that I care much about these balls, which only remind me of the drunken Carnavais of my teenage years. But the Hairy Hungarian is a foreigner and has no recollections of the follies of yesteryear and he likes to party hard, even with a busted knee.
The good thing about Carnaval is that it lasts only five days. I couldn't take the continuous broadcasting of the desfile de escolas de samba, with that poor sound quality that makes every samba-enredo sound the same, although watching the naked girls is fun
, I admit it.
What I really like about Carnaval, however, is neither the excitement nor the glitter and masquerades. In the days preceding and following Carnaval, what I really love is looking under bridges and overpasses for the carros alegóricos. The escolas de samba many times lack the space to store them, so they are left unattended under bridges, the costumary home of the homeless. You can spot them along the major thoroughfares or in forgotten alleyways, shining like a miracle under the scorching sun, never complete and admirable as you seem them on TV, but rather downtrodden or half-built, the matte ossature showing through the sparkles of illusion. At once an augury and a summation of the euphory on the streets.
Labels: Kids, Minha_terra_tem_palmeiras