Yesterday was our third Sunday in Brazil, and we’ve come to recognise that Sundays are extreme drinking days for Brazilian men. When we wander down to the beach, be it 9am or 9.30 am, bars are already packed and tables strewn with empty beer bottles! It’s incredible, and quite frankly puts us English to shame! I only believe that in this strongly Catholic country they all rush to confession at 7am on a Sunday morning, leaving them with a clean slate to carry on alarmingly! I of course am far more restrained than that, and breakfast beers seem even one stage too far for me. So far….
We’ve been using public buses quite a bit. They’re very cheap (75p a trip, no matter what distance, we took a 27km bus trip through the jungle to a remote beach yesterday, 75p). Now, when I apply for a new post back within the police in good old England, I have to complete a form, and evidence fulfilling several essential criteria (such as having 2 legs, no feelings, inbred laziness etc). I caught sight of the bus drivers application form here, and the essential criteria were as follows:
1. Have no concern for health nor safety at any time
2. Drive at insanely dangerous speeds at all times possible
3. Fantasise that on each trip you are competing against Ayrton Senna
4. Smoke crack and take LSD at every other bus request
5. Never ever show any politeness nor weaknesses to other road users or customers.
Absolutely mental! No wonder it’s so cheap! So yesterday’s bus trip took us to Praia Paraty-Mirim, through a rough jungle track. Would have been very uncomfortable for anyone with haemorrhoids. But then we ended up at a tiny little beach with just a couple of other people, and sea like a mill pond. The shore line was teeming with crabs, about 6″ in diameter. They looked menacing, but we soon realised these were the infamous Crap Crabs, so named because of their patheticness. Whenever we got within a couple of feet within them, they reared up on their back legs, claws snapping away at us….. and then toppled over backwards leaving them completely helpless on their shell! We were lucky enough to witness the start of a short session of Crap Crab Self Defence Class. It went a bit like this:
Chief Crab – (sergeant stripes across the back of his shell, slashed peaked cap on) Right, you ‘orrible lot. Shout your names out for roll call!
Chief Crab – “Freddy?????”
Chief Crab – “But you’re a frog!!!”
Freddy – “Yes Sir, but I’m a transgender frog, a crab born in a frog’s body, and under the Crustacean Equality Act 1976 you have to treat me equally!”
Chief Crab – (resignedly) “OK, but in future please try and at least make an effort to look crab like, and change your name to Christopher or something similar! Right, today we tackle the Crap Crab defence tactics! The procedure is, on advance of the enemy, rear up on your back legs and snap violently with your claws at the predator!”
All crabs – “Yes Sir!”
Chief Crab – ” And then, at the pivotal moment (quite literally) fall hopelessly onto your backs and ridiculously wave all legs in the air!”
Craig – “But Sir, surely this will leave us vulnerable to death and other nasty assorted demises!”
Chief Crab – “Don’t question my authority boy! This is the result of thousands of years of evolution!”
etc etc (Haven’t really thought how to finish this one yet)
Today it’s been raining heavily,though we’re still at a beach front restaurant in shorts and t shirts. The weather has made it necessary to shelter in various bars. Can you tell yet???