The Flora


Do flowers give off a stronger scent when it’s their ‘mating’ season, or is there no specific time for pollination? Can anyone give me a little information about how they work? We spent the day roaming the gardens and I left with more questions than when I entered.

Like, do all of the smallest orchids smell so fragrantly? I wanted to shove them up my nose, I was so happy.

Don’t miss the garden while here. Look up when you hear noise; it’s likely a small monkey with fanning ears, eating a jackfruit.

I keep expecting to hear the athaan (call to prayer). There is something about where we’re staying that reminds me of my patrilineal grandparents’ home in Gaza, so I am a little thrown, in the best way possible. It’s the wool cushions, that with humidity and sand in the air, smell a very particular way. Home can be found in so many unexpected places, can’t it?

Unlike home, Ottawa-home? The police vehicles here all move with their lights flashing. It’s jarring if this is a signal that something’s going down, as it is for us in North America. Here, the signal for that is sirens, not just lights. Brian and Natty will have to reorder their brains when they leave Brazil.

In the Lagoa (meaning lake) neighbourhood, I noticed they have multi-level above-ground parking which has become unusual to find (by my eyeballs, but maybe they are still a thing?). Most interesting is that all of them have hanging foliage all across, so it’s only when you look closely that you notice they’re in fact parking garages.

A small and beautiful deception. Just like the orchids which they attach to almost all tree-trunks here and which I originally thought were naturally growing from the trees themselves.

Like I keep repeating – I don’t know how I have made it this far, still alive.

Today, I am grateful for:
1. The extraordinarily good weather we have had while in Rio. Originally, we were told to expect three days of rain. But no.
2. Just really all of the food.
3. NEMA bakery (R. Vinícius de Moraes, 110) where I literally just had the best margherita pizza ever. Their thin crust to sauce (I like a little extra) to salty cheese ratio is PERFECT. Fresh basil. Add chilli flakes. I would have posted a photo but I ate mine too fast to stop and capture. I want to stay longer to eat more of their pizza.

Rio de Janeiro | Day 328 | October 24, 2019

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