Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Bateria of One

Carnaval officially started on Friday and I started it off with a bang with Leonardo, his friend Renan, his dad, and a bunch of his dad's friends. They always go see the bloco Embaixadores da Folia in the center of town. It was fun to be with locals and get a taste of their version of carnaval. I wasnt sure how serious the bloco was musically so I strapped on my tamborim case just in case and it doubled as a purse.

Leo's dad was armed with a bottle of flavored rum and his own glass. He made sure our cups were full along the way but that we were also hydrating. The crowd grew quickly to a thousand people and we all just paraded with the crowd down the very long Avenida Rio Branco. I quickly noticed the effects of the rum refills. I was able to keep sober enough to keep track of my friends and my purse, and 'alegre' enough that I couldn't feel my hurting feet and that the pushing and shoving drunk revelers in the crowd didn't bother me. As fun a party as it was, I don't think I'd have enjoyed it without being a little 'bebada.'

The big truck had a Banda with horn players belting carnaval tunes. I kept listening for the bateria which is my main interest and I think there just wasn't one. At one point thanks to the pleading of our drunk contingent I whipped out the tamborim and played some dezenhos on my own. The crowd around all turned surprised at the gringa putting on her own mini parade and crooning all the words to 'E Hoje.'

By that point Leo's dad an friends had adopted a woman and her beer cart. They helped her push it along and she let them keep the rum cold in her ice. We all helped shout out 'cerveja gelada!' to passerby. The rest of the night was spent dancing in the street topped off by a banana, cheese, and cinnamon sandwich. Glad I caught some of the folia but looking forward to hearing more music this weekend.

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