Saturday, 26 June 2010

Not Another Friday.

BYesterday, there was Salgueiro, one of the best Samba schools in Rio, playing at the beach. The dancers and bateria were as impressive as I remembered them from February. There was also an air show, coloured trails of smoking planes making sketches in the sky. The usual beach vendors were in a fit, the music was deafening. And it was a Friday, glorious day and the beach was packed.

It dawned on me at some point that this a football game we're watching, just a football game. Why were there 30-50,000 people dressed like Carnaval, dancing samba on the sand, playing football and drinking beers and chasing kids and flirting? It was a Friday after all. But then I remembered, the schools close, the streets empty, the shops shut, the buses thin their routine and everything else stops when the Seleção is playing. The display was not impressive, the scoreboard showed a draw. Disgruntled, some started complaining and arguing, were prodded to take a sip, have a dive and come back from their friends, Salgueiro was still playing hard and a weekend was ahead. After a while I forgot myself what the question was. What did it matter after all?