Today was a Sunday, and other than the ringing bells which we hear in the morning on certain days (presumably a call to prayer) most people stay at home – the streets on Sunday are pretty bare!
Still, we decided to make the most of the day and left the apartment for a walk down to the stadium where we had planned to meet André ealier in the week. As we walked down the hill we heard what seemed to be huge crowds of people cheering and singing to extremely loud, instrumental music. Curious, we weaved through the numerous popcorn, acarajé and sucos stalls to the ticket barriers to get a closer look, and discovered that a large Catholic mass was taking place. Coach-loads of people with religious t-shirts on were filing in and out of this massive sports venue – it was almost odd to see such a large gathering, not only because a religious event of this scale is perhaps more unusual in England, but also because of the silence of the streets surrounding it!
We continued walking round the stadium to a large lake where it was also extremely busy. Not only were the local tourists here for this event picnicing on the grass, but street vendors were selling breakfast foods to families who had come out for the morning, and there were even clowns walking round with balloons advertising the circus next to the lake.
Ollie let me have a go using his SLR (for the fellow amateurs out thwre, nothing about it (apart from the light metre) is automatic, so you have to set and work out everything yourself. It definitely takes skill, let alone patience, and I have no idea what my photo of Ollie will turn out like! Hopefully those that Ollie has taken so far though will be much more exciting and interesting to look at in comparison with a typical digital camera, and I’m curious to see what my illustration will add to them.
On the way back we spotted a Candomblé procession playing music and sprinkling petals as they descended down stairs from a church. Dressed all in white, men and women, the old and young were all singing and chanting as they crossed busy roads and passed local cafés where older men were already drinking cerevajé. It was certainly a strange sight!
Hungry, we found a rare open bistro and got the most delicious fresh orange (laranja) juice and bread rolls before heading back to the apartment. Ollie decided to stay in and look at some possible future dallying (and by that I mean courses and jobs!) whilst I went out for a long walk, getting heckled in Pelhouriho where obviously the post office was closed, walking up the main streets near our apartment, back round the lake and finally to the supermarket where I topped up our popcorn and mango supplies.
I returned, looked at some application dates myself, and done thinking with reality we headed out to the bar-filled road next door for caprihinas and shrimp moqueca. Maybe we’ll start bringing our Brazilian Portugeuse / English phrase book out again, both of us have had our fill of moqueca for a while!!