Here’s my second post on Brazil. This one is Salvador. Notes:
There are a lot of things I din’t take a picture of because I was enjoying them instead (or was advised to leave valuables at the hotel)
I hope you enjoy this post. I could work on it forever but of course time is limited.
Don’t forget you can click on the pictures to enlarger them so you can get the full effect!
Playing soccer with some guys on next to the beach. I played soccer more times in Brazil than I have in the past five years. This time we played a game that was essentially monkey-in-the-middle. The group stood in the circle passing the ball to each other as the person in the middle tried to get the ball (all he had to do was touch it). The people in the circle could not touch the ball more than two times before they passed it or they became the “monkey”. If the monkey touched the ball twice than whoever’s pass was intercepted on the second touch became the “monkey”
In the picture below I’m the monkey.
A picture of the guys who played soccer…
The girls were sitting down playing guitar and singing. I asked could I play with them…they didn’t understand but eventually they figured out what I was saying. Then I asked them to sing and play while I played . The girl standing up in this picture sat down and sang/played Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. At first I was just enjoying her performance, before I remember I was supposed to be playing along. It was already near the end of the song and boy was I rusty…
A hotel back in the village near the beach.
In another part of the village I watched a mother sitting down with three children (two playing at her feet and one laying on her lap). Then she said something in Portuguese and I heard a noise behind me. I turned around to see this little girl coming to join the family.
This is a special place that many have probable seen without realizing. Michael Jackson recorded a video for They Don’t Care About Us with the world famous Salvador community group known for their drummers. Here’s the video.
To my left (just out of frame) is the balcony Michael Jackson stood from in his video. There is currently a cut-out of Jackson on the balcony. Here is a video of it where a guy gives a little bit more info. In less cool news, I was also told that in days of slavery the rich would sit on the balconies (to my left and right along the buildings). They would watch slaves be punished as entertainment as well as auction for them from there.
My roommate (center) took a picture with guys practicing Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that incorporates dance. Oftentimes people do it with a partner as if an acrobatic waltz. The art takes an incredible amount of control and balance. There are no customary steps to follow. Participants watch either and respond accordingly.
Here’s a little video of another group of guys doing Capoeira in the square.
A girl in my group too this awesome candid photo of a boy leaving an alleyway. I love the richness of color in the picture. I thought I’d throw this in here.
The Church: Nosso Senhor do Bomfim
NoThis church was built by Portuguese sailors who survived a tropical storm. They built it as a than you to God. You can see one of my professor’s profile to the left.
Me outside the church in front of a fence of fitas. Fitas are ribbons people use to make wishes. You can also tie them around your wrist. It is custom that you make three knots and make your wish. When the fita falls from your wrist naturally your wish will come true. If it is deliberately removed your wish will not be granted. If you want to know more about this church I highly recommend you read this blog post on the church. It is a little lengthy but it’s worth it. It provides a lot of information I didn’t get while visiting.
Barra is an awesome area of Salvador where blocks of the city along the beach has been blocked off so vehicles cannot travel through. Because of this, its many bars and the lively culture, it’s pedestrian-friendly and a great place to party. With that said, the pictures I provide below are during a low time and around Barra’s lighthouse.
This man was making jewelry for sale.
There is stereotype that Brazilians area lazy. Even ‘lazy’ Brazilians say the people of Salvador are lazy. Francisco, our Salvador guide who received his Ph.D. at my school, told me this is a myth. “We aren’t lazy, we just have different values. We move at different pace but we get work done.”…With that said, workers bathing in the shade was a common sight around construction sites. Many times there were more workers resting than actually working. It was hilarious to consider how workers in the United States would be reprimanded.
Out in the city
This is a picture of the horrible traffic in the city. This is the only picture I have of it. Brazil’s traffic was crazy in general, but Salvador’s traffic was especially intense. Believe me when I say that each time you make it from one destination to another is nothing short of a miracle. In addition to the roads being highly congested, the driving style is incredibly dangerous. So much so that it’s pure entertainment simply sitting on the side of the road and watching people drive. The close-calls offer as much suspense as any movie I’ve seen.
With far less exaggeration than you could imagine, I can genuinely say Salvador has almost as many buses as cars. Below is a bus stop at night time and as you can see, it’s packed. They are always packed.
A picture of the city at night from the top floor of our hotel.
A meal from Papi’s. I never found out the real name of the restaurant, or if it even had one. I call it Papi’s because of the owner, a real-life cartoon character. He and his wife were like a television couple. Papi, the constant jokestar and his wife the stern figure to balance his exuberance. There food was my favorite on the trip. The food was both the best tasting and cheapest (what more can you ask for?). It is hard to tell how much it is since it is packed into this container but trust me it’s a lot. A full platter costs 9.5 Real (about $4.18 at the time). I couldn’t even finish the food in one sitting…I tried more than once.
..Well that’s it for now. I hope there was an awesome thing or two for you to enjoy…until next post!