Carnaval on TV
Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil
(Disclaimer: I really should give more space to Carnaval, I know; but the REAL, everyday, black-beans-and-rice family in Brazil experiences Carnaval like many of us in the US experience the ball drop on New Year’s – on TV.)
For months all these schools have been meeting at nights and weekends perfecting ostentatious floats, costumes (or lack thereof), and their walking/dancing choreography. Before each school gets started, the reporters go up to all of the main people and ask them questions about stuff I don’t understand, while I just sit in my folding chair propped in the living room wondering when the real thing is gonna get goin’. Then finally, finally! the first school is ready.
1:10 a.m. Beija Flor‘s music leaders – a gang of about 15 guys in a side staging area – are belting out their chosen musical chant/song thing that they’ll repeat for the next 40 minutes, while the mob of people in crazy outfits – orange, yellow, and white – start their presentation for the crowd amassed above. You’d think hearing a song over and over for 45 minutes would be rough, and you’d be right. But the parade of color is enough to compensate.
|One Last Shot|
2:15 a.m. The shame of drooling in front of scantily clad 7-inch-tall dancers and the shame of actually turning off such a magical spectacle collide, and I’m caught in the gooey middle. After contorting my face in self-disgust, I decide to give in to my tired eyes and reach for the power button. The room goes black, and I zombie-walk to my bedroom, the buzz of the still-hot TV fading away and the images of those misplaced jewels burned on my brain.
I’ll sleep well.