Archive for November 5th, 2010|Daily archive page

get on the good foot

In Braaaazil, Salvador, Sud America, tunnnneeeee! on November 5, 2010 at 2:15 pm

There are some Californian girls in the hostel and on their last night in Salvador they organise a night out to a club in rio vermelho, which is the modern party side of Salvador, lots of open air bars and clubs, all within a tightly packed strip of roads.

We all drink caiphrinha’s in the hostel and then load ourselves into cabs and head in the opposite direction to pelourinho, ending up in a wonderfully makeshift bar, which looks as if it’s made out of things the owners found lying around, the roof is open to the sky and when we arrive it’s pretty empty, but people keep coming and coming and coming until the place is packed.

Salvador is really humid and it’s soon a sweatbox and I’m glad i’ve nabbed a position in front of a big fan which cools me and dries my soaked shirt.

The female dj is playing lots of stuff, pretty much most of which I like, I’ve made up my mind I like her as a dj when she drops signed sealed delivered and the night gets better musically from there, she’s weaving old soul and funk tracks in with Brazilian stuff, which most of the crowd knows and sings along to and I dig it, I dance I sweat I enjoy myself and when the time comes to leave I don’t want to go.

salvador street party

In Braaaazil, Salvador, Sud America, tunnnneeeee! on November 5, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Every Tuesday down in pelourinho they have a street party, and we as a hostel massive head down there.

I’m not sure what to expect but I’m sure it’ll be good, Salvador is a place where music is all around. I went out on a boat trip earlier in the day to itaparica and on board the boat was a little three piece, drum, tambourine and  banjo, who sang all the way along on our journey, covering all the Brazilian classics, which a group of bods in the back knew all the words to and sang along with. When your sitting in a bar/restaurant if the big screen isn’t showing football it’s showing a DVD of some live musical performance. It I’d wondrous how music is such an integrated part of life here.

So on entering the old town and walking down the cobbled streets I wasn’t surprised to see the samba band drumming away, I was surprised to see that they were all women of differing ages, banging on the drums, dancing as they maintained their rhythms and generaly just having a gay ol time. He beats were strong and we stayed and watched the crowds gather, the drum troop took up the whole width of the narrow street so people had to edge round along the very small pavement.

It felt like they would drum forever but we had more to see, further along, down one street and up another a concert was ongoing. A stage had been set up at the base of a massive set of stairs, which was filled to overflowing with people dancing and drinking as guest performers came on and played a few songs, mostly reggae, covers and originals, but it changes as one singer band was replaced by another, but the music went on and on.

I bought beers off a man working the crowd with cold tins in his rucksack, and downed them quickly as I discovered I’d got a thirst on me. Stepping from side to side, looking round constantly at the beautiful people around me. There is something very alluring and comforting to me in that mélange of colours and skin tones that brazil throws up, dark with light eyes, light with dark eyes and a whole range inbetween.

Left the concert as it was still going strong and headed back upto see the last of the drummers. But the female band had been replaced by another band with half naked men behind them exhorting the crowd to dance, changing steps and arm movements and getting the packed street behind to follow suit, soon everyone else was as sweaty as the dance leaders themselves.  As the people stepped from side to side, bumped into one of the guy who’d been on the boat tour, he’d been filming the whole thing on a hand held camera and he took us on to another club round the corner, equally packed, with a stage set up and a band playing to the dancing samba masses.


In Braaaazil, Salvador, Sud America, travelling on November 5, 2010 at 1:45 pm

There is a feeling of lawlessness here in Salvador, much more than I felt in Argentina. Whether it’s the taxi drivers treating red lights as optional, or the persistent questioning of the down and out jewellery sellers, or the impassioned pleas of the little kids, it feels – not dangerous, just not as orderly I think.

The town itself, like my brief glimpse of brazil in foz da iguazcu, hints at a country more prosperous than Argentina, the roads are wider, better tarmaced, the buildings are bigger, the landscaping greener, the cars newer. The Brazilians despite the same sort of dictatorships and coups have managed to keep cleaning their house, to keep the infrastructure ticking over.

But I spent four days shuttling between the hostel and various doctors, and hospitals so I don’t have the widest view.

Last night went out to a capoeira performance and dance at a theatre down in pelourinho, the old town where your warned to take nothing but the money you need, and don’t wander off down the alleyways which line the squares. It’s all cobbled angled streets, with brightly coloured houses, 3/4 stories tall leaning inwards overhead. Music throbs from the shop and restaurant fronts, people in traditional dress try to drag you into their eateries, and I curse the fact I didn’t bring my camera. It is vibrant and loud and people still stare at me even here in brazil but it’s a shorter more appraising look, people also still think I’m American.

Look at some photographs of rio from the 50’s, compare prices on havaianas and try and drink the strongest caiparinha known to man. It’s a nice entre into Salvador and I’m happy to be out and about doing stuff.