Wait! Don’t start yet! Put some –appropriate- music on first!
There are some trips more intense than others. They seem like big oasis in the desert of life and fill you with light, like, opening a door with the sun as your neighbor! So there are some people. You think of them and smile, because you have a sweet feeling like hug. Because their touch was hot, their look pure and they were laughing so loud that caused an earthquake of joy! Because once they took your hand and showed you that there is another way, different than the one you know and with which you have become accustomed. Because once in a while, they come to remind you that in life there is a dose of fairy tale, that sometimes something happens that you never thought it would happen to you. As that afternoon, that I received in my e-mail box a plane ticket for Brazil and a message to accompany it. “A gift for you, and a greater gift for me…”
It was in early July of 2013, a cool Parisian dawn, when I entered the plane of Tap Portugal destined for Fortaleza, a city north of Brazil, where I arrived almost in the evening. Leaving the airport I felt heat and humidity. My snow-white skin (thanks to Paris with its clouds) was as a fly in the milk (or is it the opposite?) among the swarthy Brazilians. Fatigue confused with my enthusiasm, I lost sense of time, I watched around me like a spectator in the film, yet helpless to act. But in fact I never had to do it. This trip was like dancing tango. They took me to the dance floor for a dance I did not know well, but I didn’t need to know the steps. I stand in front of my partner and he led me to the most charming places of his city…
Fortaleza is full of contrasts. One moment you see huge skyscrapers and the other whole slums. Very rich or very poor, two distant worlds, living side by side.
In Fortaleza I loved the warm people that look so much like Greeks. Because they laugh out loud, they eat like there’s no tomorrow, because they talk intensely, passionately, because they may be more hospitable than the famous Greeks.
I loved the odd but delicious food.
The tropical fruits.
The coconut water, my favorite Agua de Coco!
These sweet bites (Ι left Brazil with 5 kilos+).
The rides with cute donkeys on the beaches.
Low prices on havaianas. Thongs have been bought for five years!
The Brazilian dance Forro, that combines samba and salsa that I enjoyed at the club Arre Égua. Young and old dance it non-stop!
The Coco Parc, that contains various endemic and threatened species of plant and animal life, it is considered the most important part of Fortaleza’s natural and ecological heritage. Environmentally, it serves to reduce air temperatures in the city, and also forms a basin which prevents floods at times of high-rainfall.
The restaurant Coco Bambu, with delicious food and tropical decor.
The Beach Park with water-slides among coconut palms!
The ice-cream sellers, passing by the beach, so we don’t have to get up from the sunbed, but also the vendors with the fabrics and baskets full of shells that sound like the sea.
Markets with traditional products.
That some Brazilians are like Aris, the Greek God of war (or like Khal Drogo!)😉
The ice cream shop 50 sabores. Fifty ice cream flavors and I am in paradise!
The crabs served on the beach that we break with the special hammers.
The vast sandy beaches with coconut palms that are like paradise on earth! Praia do Futuro with the famous barracas (the Brazilian beach bar), the Iracema with the famous club Pirata and Cumbuco beach with white sand!
But the thing I loved most was that in this house where I stayed for 13 days, it really felt like home and its people like a second family. And of course, I loved that every morning before I even get out of bed, the richest breakfast was waiting for me on the table, next to the tranquility of a small pool.
In Brazil, however I couldn’t have some things that until that moment I considered obvious. And somehow I appreciated the opportunity that I have both in my country and Paris, to walk alone without fear, to get out whenever I want. To drive with open windows and my hand out without fear if someone puts a gun to my head to steal my car. To swim in the sea, even in the deep… to stare through the sea and see all its inner beauty and the sparkling sand like some magical aura.
In Fortaleza impressed me that Brazilians do not swim in the sea but only in the pools and that all female Brazilians (absolutely all!) wear a Brazilian swimwear, even those with extra weight without any compunction! That they eat rice, along with pasta and legumes (!?!) and that they don’t have wither clothing (Because they always have summer!). That they have housekeepers, who work 8 hours and then leave. A real pleasure and relaxation from daily routine household that only “eats” our time. Ah and of course the moto-taxi! Tariffs on a motorcycle!
The most intense moment of the trip was the day that necessarily I left at home mobile, money, my sunglasses and every jewelry that I wore and went at a favela with a guide (my guardian angel) a Brazilian inhabitant. But this is a whole chapter…
When I was writing this text, I didn’t want to finish it, just as I didn’t want to get to an end my trip to Brazil. Because by writing it I experienced once again each of the 13 days of this stay, 13 unique days with special moments, those I bring into my mind every time my thought gets poisoned by bad behavior and words of my daily life. Because I close my eyes, I travel there, a feeling of serene intimacy fills me, I smile and every time I know that once I danced this dance, I will never be the same again…
Ps: This post is dedicated to my friends who were worried about my peculiar trip to Brazil, that there they will kill me, rape me and make me a whore, take my organs or kidnap me to ask for ransom, but for the first time I dared to hear only myself, my intuition and my heart and I experienced the most beautiful, full and intense journey of my life!
If you follow me on Instagram (@polinetta_) you might also noticed some of these photos that are always on my happy dreams…
Arre Égua, Rua Delmiro Gouveia, 420, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brasil
Coco Bambu, Rua Canuto de Aguiar, 1317 – Meireles, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brasil
50 Sabores, Av. Beira Mar, 2892, Lj 01 – Meireles, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brasil
All photos taken by me
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