Monday, May 7, 2007

The Spirit of the Carioca

This weekend I did my favorite of all favorite things to do while in Rio, I walked around the lagoa on Saturday morning, and from Ipanema to midway down Copacabana on Sunday. There is so much to see that I never feel the distance or the heat. I see all that is the good in Rio. The spirit of the Carioca. Don't get me wrong, I still do not understand the full Spirit of the Carioca, but I can see and appreciate important parts of it. The patience with their children, the open joy at the sunshine and sea, the non-judgment of their neighbors (You have to be American to see the 'live and let live part', we Americans are so very much the conformists.), and 'their feel free to be me in a small bikini no matter what my body type' attitude.
I had to smile at myself, while I thought these things during my walk. I look so 'gringa' even after 4 years here; nice sturdy shoes for walking, coordinated walking shorts and comfortable T, bib cap and, of course, a fanny pack. Mine is not one those horrible hip enhancer fanny packs. It is a small over the shoulder camera bag, but the idea is still there. Oh, the smile - I do have a hidden spirit of the Carioca invading my body - don't tell anyone - but under all of the practical 'gringa' clothing - I was bra-less.
When I can walk around the lagoa wearing my designer tennis and a small bathing suit, I will know that I am finally found home. GingerV

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