As already mentioned, cosmetic surgery might be as popular here as it is in the Middle East. Blown up mouths, tits, and asses. A hyper-pornification of the female body is everywhere you look.
In the MENA region, asses are not yet a thing. But breasts and lips and all face things are.
Men too, by the way, but to a far lesser extent. The Brazilian version of ‘beach body’ is the thing, and at any given moment, every workout / gym situation we walked past was filled to the brim.
As common as the surgeries are the homeless, visible on each corner, where at about every two blocks are people sleeping on the street. They are beneath relatively clean blankets, with very little other possessions (unlike in North America where you often see people with grocery carts). When asked to leave, they roll up their blanket and move on. One young man, I have seen him asleep at three different locations in as many blocks.
In his 20s. Asleep at all hours of the day. I hope that whatever the need is for him to stay awake during the nights will one day pass.
Though I want for you to see and appreciate the beauty of Brazil, it cannot be scrubbed of the glaring poverty which still exists in every corner. For example, every night we walk past several street vendors selling popcorn and candy from carts. These men appear exhausted and beaten down. They should be retired and safely at home. But we, humanity at large, we continue to fuck up and let one another down. It’s hard for me to look them in the eye, because I am ashamed of how we have failed so many.
We visited the Cathedral Metropolitana De São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, the main cathedral in Rio. I would really like to lie to you and tell you it is beautiful, except it’s straight-up ugly. Brian described it perfectly when he said it looks like a temple where human sacrifice happens inside, and bodies are laid out on the outside. It’s worth a visit if you are inclined to seeing the worst of brutalist architecture. Like, if the bad guys won in the Hunger Games and they built a cathedral, this would be the end product. We visited their ‘art’ area, full of riches.
I will never understand a house of worship which is not built for warmth, comfort, and peace. Never.
I will also always struggle to understand how any house of worship can stand so comfortably filled with kilograms of gold, and of solid silver, and art works, when literally there are homeless individuals asleep at its gated doors.
We made our way through the Lapa area, which I absolutely loved. It is so colourful and vibrant there, with every single wall under some kind of gorgeous graffiti. I have taken too many photos of graffiti to post normally so I think I’ll have to make them a story of their own on Insta. I’ll see.
Before spending around three more hours walking Copacabana, we visited the famed Escadaria Selarón which is as vibrant as the rest of the country. There are ceramic tiles from all over the world, and some very cleverly installed, the greater and intended picture only visible if you stand at just the right angle to see several steps and ceramic tiles aligned. It really is a beauty that should not be missed.
Brazil is photogenic from any angle.
Today, I am grateful for:
1. Netflix streaming so smoothly with little internet strength.
2. The new muscles discovered in my glutes courtesy of yesterday’s hike.
3. A completely healed toe, finally. This thing was broken or fractured or something painful in California on July 30th, and it is only these last couple of days that I can move downwards in prayer without feeling a little pinch.
Rio de Janeiro | Day 327 | October 23, 2019