Ohhhh Sou Carioca…

March 28, 2010

Last night was unbelievably fun.  We had a couple of cold chopps at Jobi, our old favorite, where the waiter recognized me (I think as the gringo that never really left), and chatted with some Brazilians, and then headed to Lapa.  Laura, the little sister of a friend from high school is here on a Fulbright and lives pretty much under the Arcos, just down the street that gets super crowded on big nights.  Her apartment was beautiful and it was fun to hang out with other American girls.

We made our way to Carioca da Gema, which was quiet at first–the band had taken a break, but as soon as the diva-ish singer, a visiting act started singing everything picked up.

She was wonderful, and the band all had these wide grins on their faces, like they were in on the secret that they were in one of the best places in the world.  We made friends with Carlos, a Spanish guy from Valencia who was about our age, and danced and danced until we got hungry.  On our way out, around 3am, we ran into another friend and it was nice to catch up, to hear how Rio’s been for him since we left a few months ago.

There are a few things that are interesting, I think, to point out.  The first is the role reversal.  Brazil is still pretty much a patriarchal society, and also Scott was bolder about speaking Portuguese from the beginning, so I let him do a lot of the work when we were out and about.  Now that I’m just with Lindsay, who’s mastering the Portuguese basics of obrigada, desculpe and tudo bom, I’ve definitely taken on the boyfriend role, ordering everything for us, telling taxis where to go, fielding questions of all kinds.  It’s a funny reversal, and actually sort of welcome.  I also realized last night that while Scott and I spent a lot of time together over the last year in general, we obviously always went out together, so I had never been to Carioca da Gema solteira.  It was a different experience.  I accidentally made eye contact with Carlos, our Spanish friend, without realizing that to people who aren’t in relationships that this didn’t just mean, “hey, isn’t this samba club so much fun!  Isn’t dancing great?”  I’m  100% out of practice.  There was another guy who asked me to dance as I was totally absorbed in my phone trying to send Scott and Lindsay’s sister Jess a picture from the dance floor.  I was so flustered I very rudely said no.  Oops.

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