Summertime and the livin’ is …?

5 Things that my first summer in Brazil has given me a new appreciation for:

1. Tile floors

When I come home all sandy, sweaty and/or dirty the last thing I want to walk in on or think about cleaning in the future is carpet.

2. Beaches

I was never much of a beach person. Maybe it’s because I was raised in the mountains. The nearest beach to me for a majority of my life was at least a five hour journey. Although, we did go occasionally, it wasn’t really part of my culture. I liked the way it felt to stand on the shore. I always described it as “feeling very small, in a very good way”. I also loved the beach at night with the sound of waves crashing and the mystery of what could be lurking in the swirling, churning darkness. However, other than those things, the beach to me was mostly a long drive and something that often looked very pretty in movies.
Well, all of that has changed over my last several months in Brazil. The beach is now the entry point to water, glorious water with it’s pockets of cool and a superhero like ability to refresh. The beaches that I have been to, for the most part, are beautiful here, absolutely breathtakingly, beautiful but that is not what gave birth to my new appreciation. In the heat, during a search for ways to cool down, I might just have been reborn into a beach person afterall.

3. Havaianas

Easy on, easy off and easy to clean. I haven’t worn shoes in months. I have the foot tan lines to prove it. In fact, I don’t even like to think about shoes right now it makes my feet sweat a little. I would go barefoot but… well …the streets and sidewalks are s*** ( literally topped with it at times). So, yeah the little pieces of rubber and plastic aren’t really that much protection but my little toesies breath free and feel the breeze. They are happy feet that have found their song.

4. Cold, Cold Beer

I know it’s actually supposed to be counterintuitive when you’re hot to drink beer but that’s exactly when it seems to taste so good and feel so right. Beer and I have been friendly before, we go way back but summer here makes all the ads about ultra cold beer and just the right temperature commericials with snow covered mountains, finally make sense to me.

5. Air conditioners, fans and shade

I think these are all pretty self explanatory. I will say however, that In terms of shade I have actually entertained the thought of walking around with an umbrella. What’s that you say? Umbrellas for shade are reserved for eccentric older women, even more eccentric celebrities and women in pictures and paintings older than your great grandparents? Think again my friends! A parasol … actually any umbrella will do…is genius! Actually I would carry around a tree or a whole forrest if I could at times.

If you haven’t guessed or sensed why i came to appreciate these 5 things, let me be more clear: It was hot in Angra! It wasn’t really the heat ( brace yourself for a cliche and several jokes’ punchline) it was the humidity. The air was thick, wet and stiflingly heavy.Often the humidity was 80- 90 some %. It didn’t start out that way but near the end of January, the atmosphere decided it was super duper sauna time. Maybe it was getting all worked out about Carnaval approaching ( I’ll tell you more about that later). All I know is that I’m back in Niteroi now ( I will also tell you more about that later). We’re in a nice little gated community with trees, trees and more magnificent trees. ” I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree”…or a blog for that matter. Ok sure, all these lovely trees, bushes, flowers and brush become a little Heart of Darkness jungly at night but I thankfully forget “the horror” during my wonderfully shaded days. Upon a hill, I now sit with a breeze, an air conditioner inside and time and the ability to think in complete sentences long enough to reflect upon what I’ve learned thus far this summer. Life is good great.

Wait, was that a mosquito? Was I just bitten five times in two mintues? Say what? I can’t walk to the stores round the block on flat roads? People don’t stop at crosswalks when I want to cross the street? People don’t stop at all? I have to scale a winding steep hill to get back home? And wait, what was that that just scurried under the house?

Sigh ….”You can’t always get what you want. You can’t always get what you want. But if you try real hard you just might find….”

To be continued…

2 thoughts on “Summertime and the livin’ is …?

  1. Actually the lyric is “….but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you neEEd!”

    In your photo, you don’t look old enough that the Beverly Hillbillies or the Rolling Stones would be in your cultural repertoire.

    Anyway, enjoying your blog. I myself am making the journey in July of this year.

    So, keep on blogging! (A little take-off on Rick Steves signature closing (Keep on travellin!).

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