to give you an idea of how dirty i was… i didn´t even bother to take my shoes off when i took a shower just now.
i think i am ready to talk about carnaval. i feel like i´ve ridden the bull and can tell the tale.
today i feel like a survivor.
at the same time, telling it is like reliving it and i suddenly feel exhausted.
carnaval started on thursday last week. (thursday and friday were work days, monday and tuesday are holidays.) today is sunday. i´ve gotten a bit of carnaval every day and each day has been a little different. first of all, salvador has three carnaval parade routes. our apartment is centrally located, two blocks from the thick of it though it sounds like its below my window.
thursday, friday, saturday… progressively fun. the ultimate street party. thursday was just a preview. we bought some beers and got acquainted with the way things work. there is a mac truck covered with speakers and topped with a band. there are hired hands to that carry a rope barrier around the truck. this is the party space for people who paid to be in there. they are identifiable by costume which the buyer alters for personal flare. then a support truck, another mac, follows. its equipped with bathrooms and beer. the whole roped affair is called a “bloco.” people pay anywhere between $40 – $400 USD depending on the band playing on top to hang out within the rope. its supposed to be safer within. i doubt it. i´ve concluded that paying to be in a bloco is a big waste of money. its great when groups of people make their own costumes cause that´s really the fun of it.
friday night we headed into pelourinho to see olodum. then pelourinho sucked us in further and we spent the night dancing with aliens. there were some great moments… the couple kissing and being surrounded by skirted men chanting, liz losing control of her limbs and falling down a hill, the Nevada drinks, molly´s alien friend…
saturday was the greatest. we all went out with our neighbor fernando, to look for a band on a cd i bought. we didn´t find it but we then headed back toward campo grande. dancing all the way. stopped in the plazas for food. we had a little dance party with a group of baiana ladies. they were DRUNK and getting down! they got a kick out of us i think cause they kept pulling us into their circle and then directing us how to dance. one wanted me to really get down… to the ground. she showed me how and she was like an 80 year old woman in a giant traditional white dress. we stumbled home. (boys punched. matt said he feels people checking his pockets)
sunday. till tonight i had been in crazier crowd situations. i´ve been in some pretty hairy mosh pits over the years. i started to think, sure, this whole carnaval thing is pretty wild for the common citizen, but i´d seen worse…
well… let me retract that claim.
mother, turn away from the computer screen…
tonight was a city wide mosh pit of 2 million people. there is nowhere to go for relief. not even within the roped blocos.
at some point i stopped worrying about my money (only carry $10 anyway) and concerned myself with my well being. then i stopped worrying about trying to stick with my friends… then i stopped worrying about my feet and the most disgusting pools of scum that i was pushed through… then i stopped worrying about keeping my clothing intact…
all that was important was survival. and finding my street. after i lost my friends one block from home, i spent two hours trying to get there. stuck in the tides of people and blocos i was directed past my exit twice. doing loops around the block. i could hardly tell where i was cause the city was transformed with decorations. (more to tell… check back)
its scary out there.
thank god its been raining to keep the temperature bearable.