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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Carnaval 2008 begins

Meet Tatiana my Portuguese teacher and Paulista, her namorado. They invited me to visit the VILAGE samba school in Nova Friburgo on Friday night.
This was an effort to help me 'integrate' more fully into the Brazilian culture. Saturday morning I woke up barely able to move. (and I only drank 1 1/2 beers- can you imagine how the rest of them felt.)
I was scheduled for a spinning class at the gym at 10:30 but I had danced until 1:30 in the morning (more like just moved because I can't do that circle movement of the feet thing, that would make my big b.... jiggle and sway from side to side.) I woke up not knowing if I could sweat for the Goddess of fitness on the bike for hour. (I did it with grace if not full energy - my Baptist upbringing demanded that I meet my obligations if I was going to party so hardy.)
This feeling brought to mind, and helped me understand (no-No not fully understand, but at least empathized with) the work slow downs that happen in Brazil from now until end of Carnaval.
One thing I have to say is that Brazilians know how to have a great time, let their hair down, go for the pleasure of the moment - leave all their problems at the door.
Can you think of any other cliches that apply?
I was invited only to the Friburgo Samba school's warming-up party but from now until the Carnaval parade on FAT Tuesday, these Friburgenses, this Brazilian sampling of young and old, rich and poor, will show up at this big warehouse after eleven pm nearly every night, to practice their dancing, sing their new Samba's words until it is etched into their brains, and generally work themselves into a beer induced frenzy in preparation for LENT.
Whether they believe in the denial of Lent or not, I am positive they believe in the release of the BIG PARTY called carnaval and who needs to work during the next two plus weeks anyway.

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