Carnaval 2011

Now I know why it is called Carnival, because it is one huge side show with clowns, freaks and animals everywhere. Rio is electric with one street party after another, hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their minds. Guys dressed up as girls, girls dressed up as guys, others dressed as animals, angels, or costumes that have no description. The circus goes on any and everywhere; like a weird dream that makes sense in a strange kind of way. Singing, chanting and cheering can break out at any time, in the subway, in a restaurant or on the street. Street parties spring up everywhere with thousands of people letting their inhibitions go wild. We have found Rio to be a warm and friendly city, everybody is happy, helpful and the party never ends.

Lou and I have absorbed into the Rio lifestyle like a couple drops of water on a paper towel, jumping on the subway, visiting the local grocery store, dropping our laundry off. It’s easy to jump into a culture when you are living among the locals.

Yesterday we started with a street party in Santa Teresa and ended the night about 1:30am at a party on the Maua Pier. Everyone is in on the party, wearing everything from wings to diapers. They like their music loud, their beer cold and dancing the night away.

The anticipation and excitement seems to grow each day. Tonight is the beginning of the samba parades. We walked among the floats and watched the last minute preparations. Tonight is the night all the samba schools have waited for, eight months of work; tonight is the night we all have been waiting for the parades at the Sambadrome. Yahoooo!