Sorry for the delay, anyone who is reading this. (Bueller. Bueller? Fry? Fry… anyone?)
The picture situation still isn’t happening so I am forced to bore any readers left to tears with words only. The worst thing I have ever seen is pretty dramatic though – and pictures really wouldn’t be appropriate. At a bar in Ipanema, affluent Zona Sul, a woman was standing drinking. It’s one of the “dirty feet” bars which are really just street bars, but even so, she stood out for the fact she wasn’t wearing any shoes, and put a cigarette out with her bare feet.
Closer up, she had very red eyes and was clearly out of it completely. Her mishapen top was covered in stains. I was informed by my friends there that earlier that day she had gone into Cantagalo after drinking a bottle of cachaca. Although her family is rich, she has a serious drug problem. She commenced to have sex with 10 (yes, 10) men in return for drugs, a deal which they must have stuck to judging by the state of her. Some of the residents of the favela had pity for her, some said they only had disgust because she had money and options, and the, er, incident was conducted in full view of teenagers wondering by. I can only wonder at what kind of man is happy to get involved in that kind of liason.
While there is a huge class divide here, there is a surprisingly high level of mobility. This includes down as well as up.
More cheerfully, the days are getting hotter and I’ve got used to life in the hills of Santa Teresa. I have tried to ignore two sightings of white people with dreadlocks, a sight I never enjoy, and relish the views from the terrace outside my window, with Cristo to my left and Sugar Loaf (and the ocean) to my right. So many people live in apartments here, but when buildings are close together like that, they can become oppressively dark and gloomy during the day. Even the sighting of a plump mouse hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm, although perhaps that is because it could never get close to being the worst thing I’ve seen this week.