I don’t know anything about Brazil.
Ok, I know they mainly speak Portuguese, and evolved from a Portuguese colony. I know that in Civ 5 the Brazilian player gets extra culture from jungle tiles. I know they just had a religious holiday of some kind, and that they were recently protesting something regarding gasoline.
But that’s it.
I’m so far out of my element here. I don’t know the history of this place. It’s lovely. I can simply absorb the beauty without seeing it through six different lenses of politics. Like a vacation. And, fuck, is it ever beautiful.
Photographers refer to magic hour. That period as the sun sets where the light is gorgeous and the photos go from good to stunning. You may have heard people talk about the light in Los Angeles or Greece.
The sky in Porto Alegre is exquisite when it’s cloudy. I haven’t seen the sunshine yet.
Lazar and I are here because the Fantaspoa festival is screening Ederlezi Rising. The organizers are very family style… I was picked up at the airport by a representative of the show instead of a hired driver, there are group lunches and activities, and the organizers are always willing to walk us from point A to point B.
My main contact, Joao, is tattooed all over with artwork from the festival’s history. He took us to a bar where the walls are covered in genre film posters and at least one table sports a layer of tasteful Playboy nudes.
It’s a joy to be around people who love what they’re doing so much. Who celebrate the creative work they love so thoroughly.
Depending on the geographical area, you might greet a person by hugging, kissing cheeks one to three times, or some combination of the above. Even a stranger. They aren’t forceful about it, but isn’t it nicer their way? Warmer than a handshake.
There’s something grounding about being embraced multiple times throughout the day. And these aren’t shoulders-first air hugs, either. The physical warmth and ease with contact reminds me of Serbia.
I don’t know anything about Brazil. But I know the people here are human and welcoming.
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Also published on Medium.