It’s still the little things…

Netherlands-SpainOn the World Cup schedule this is listed as a rest day so I took their advice to heart and did very little. Had some feijoada for lunch at the nice buffet across the street, finished reading Voltaire’s Candide and successfully concluded my souvenir shopping.

It’s still the little things that trip me up here, even after nearly a month in Salvador. While the drivers are very aggressive and consider the lane markers to be mere suggestions, at least they drive on the right like we do in the States. Yet in Shopping Barra, the mall that’s just a minute’s walk from my apartment, the escalators are installed “backwards”. Each bank of escalators has two tracks one for people to get onto to go up or down and the other for people arriving from the other levels. My instinct is to get onto the right-hand escalator since I drive on the right but then I run into people getting off that escalator. It’s the left escalator that takes you somewhere.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned that the water from the tap is not considered drinkable. While I can’t find any explicit prohibition, everyone here either drinks bottled water or water that’s gone through a filter. Apparently it astounds Bahians when they see American television or films with an actor drinking straight from the tap.

And my final thing tonight, the Brazilians are a very affectionate people which is very nice. I am greeted by my female friends with a discreet peck on each cheek and there’s a lot of pleasant hand on arm contact which has kept me sane as a primate but it doesn’t stop there. I have seen plenty of romantic young couples in public kissing with mouths open and I assume tongues engaged. None of the locals seem put off by it but it’s one of those things that gets the attention of a northern boy like me.

Tomorrow the quarterfinals begin!

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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