Back from Brazil, I sense a very heavy luggage, not because of the genuine acai bracelets, the splendid Brazilian architecture catalogues or some of course Hawaianas. It’s a big jewel, for which I didn’t even had to pay any extra- tax: the Brazilian spirit.
The main purpose of my trip was the wedding of my dear friend; gorgeous and young South Brazilian together with the prince of her dreams, starring in a movie of 700 guests, dressed in a Vera Wang creation, up on Mr. Louboutin heels. Glamour met white orchids on a river bank in Porto Alegre and while violins sang at sunset they said a happy and loud “yes”.
Elegantly dressed, the Brazilian society was celebrating and I strangely didn’t feel like a stranger. Spending two weeks with them before the wedding let me inside the preparations for the big event and also inside their daily life. It seems that the sun that is heavily triggering Brazil’s earth during the year manages to beautifully tan their skin and gets deeper gifting hearts with generosity, modesty and joy, independent of the social class they belong to.
After the wedding I switched into the tourist mode and went on exploring its first and second capital and best beaches area: Bahia & Rio de Janeiro. I left the luxury zone and “the other Brazil” came quickly to meet me the moment we stepped out from the beach resort: “Hello my friends! How are you? My name is Daniel!” The tall and dark barefoot Bahian that was running after us out of nowhere had broad smile, curious eyes and fit body: “Where are you going? Diving? Caipirinha? Fresh fish food? Need a hotel? Anything you want just ask Daniel. I know everything here.”
As a matter of fact even if you put nothing but flip-flops and simple clothes, Bahians have a sharp smell for tourists and you don’t even realize how you end up giving them money or buying them food or bear, but yet remaining with a trace of their smile on your face for a long time.
Somehow we started to look for Daniel every day at the small beach restaurant he was working. He was preparing a Caipirinha and a sea-food soup that we quickly voted “best”, served together with funny life stories on an endless energy tray . Even if obviously money-oriented, Daniel loved the ocean and the tourists and had an easy charming way of drawing people into his boss restaurant. One evening while sipping a Caipirinha together, he suddenly opened the menu and said in a quiet unusual voice:” Ma’ friends, look how much is “aragosta” here. Expensive! This is an expensive restaurant, do you understand?! Sssst! But you come with Daniel, I prepare fresh aragosta for you at my house, eight reali a plate. And next time Daniel has for you beautiful villa also.”
As we were leaving the Bahian beaches zone, it was no time left to try Daniel offers, that beside food and villas included other attractions at completely different prices and conditions. I felt like another Brazil was lying under the one we were standing on, two worlds that had in common only the palm trees and the ocean. Daniel was one out of many that took people from one world to another, and it’s still to be discovered how real, exotic, or dangerous the hidden one is.