…and what I am needs no excuses – the beginning of Gloria Gaynor’s evergreen is the perfect intro to this post, which deals with my perspective on the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, an extremely gay event.
Gay in every sense of the word.
Carnival in Brazil – yay or nay? Spoiler alert: I am what I am, and what I am is not a person who likes carnival. Anywhere in the world.
However, I don’t like carnival.
You might think I’m just a pathetic loser with no sense of humor whatsoever.
But that’s not true. You can ask anybody who has known me for five minutes. I am great fun and ready to say the darndest things.
I’m just not the dropping pants-falling water buckets-smashing cream cake-red nose-funny hat-kind of humorous.
And I detest crowds. Even if I would participate in a freedom march, I’d prefer to march by myself than in a crowd. But especially vinous party crowds give me the creeps.
I do like the carnival-ladies in the micro sequin bikinis shaking there not so micro behinds. I like the drummers drumming with vigor. But this takes place only at the Sambadrome where the Samba schools compete.
The real carnival is a bender at every corner in the city.
I’m actually not that crazy about ridiculously accessorized drunks. Nowhere in the world.
Carnival Equals Carnival
There is a carnival in Germany, too. Fortunately, it’s outsourced to the Rhine-Main-area so you can give it a wide berth. Surprisingly, the German carnival is pretty much the same thing as the one in Rio. Hordes of disguised drunks are stumbling and staggering through the streets. Their make-up is slowly dissolving, they are bumping into each other and blocking roads.
Since in Germany it’s cold at carnival season, they mostly cover up – big thumb up!
In Rio, it’s 32 degrees Celsius at 9 p. m., so people walk around basically naked.
It’s only February and I’ve had my share of bare chests for the rest of the year.
The Brazilian macho’s favorite costume is a skirt. Skirts seem to be the most hilarious – or maybe coolest – thing a man can wear. I wonder whether the Scots are aware of that.
You might think at least the music is rhythmic and Latino and hot so you cannot stand still.
Well, it’s not, take it from me.
Some tacky techno-merengue-mix-songs are blaring from boom boxes and the crowds are blaring along. My Portuguese is sufficient to understand that some of the lyrics must be quite X-rated.
Makes me wonder whatever happened to Barry Manilow’s Lola, the showgirl, with yellow feathers in her hair.
The worst thing is that as people drink a lot, nature calls. And as soon as they hear it calling, they open the door naked. Metaphorically and unfortunately literally.
The sharp stench of ammonia is everywhere; sometimes mixed with the stink of vomit.
This makes me think of another song, the first big success of one of the earliest hip hop bands, namely Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. In their greatest hit The Message, they were angrily singing that….people pissing on the stage, you know they just don’t care.
Furious Five – that sounds pleasantly grumpy. I think I would spend a great carnival in the company of the Furious Five: We would drink just a bit, maybe get a hit or two from a spliff and roll our eyes on all these self-proclaimed clowns.
We would use the mobile toilets that are everywhere at people’s disposal – and I bet the Furious Five would keep their shirts on.
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