Friday, January 2, 2009

Naked guy

Just when I think I've seen everything and that nothing more here could surprise me, I see something that is just unbelievable.

Today I left my house at about 6AM to go teach an early morning class. There is a hill from my house down to the bus stop that goes along the border of a favela (slum). I generally avoid this hill because of safety concerns, but will walk down it early morning since usually everyone is still sleeping.

Anyway, at the bottom of the hill there are two ways you can go to get to the bus stop. One way passes the entrance to the favela and the other goes around a building so that you can avoid the entrance. I usually go this way to avoid the favela entrance. Today though, I got to the bottom of the hill and was looking at both routes and noticed that the non-favela route had a naked guy standing on the corner. I was faced with the decision: favela entrance or passing the naked guy. Which is worse?! i chose the favela entrance route. I just didn't want to walk anywhere near the naked guy.

So I walked the favela entrance route with no problems, got to the bus stop and was waiting for my bus, when I saw the naked guy walking along the street that runs parallel to the street I was standing on. Now let me say that this guy was absolutely naked and carrying nothing. No shoes, no underwear, no backpack or bag, just walking along as if being naked on the street was a perfectly normal thing to do. He also looked like he was flying an invisible kite....he was making arm motions that suggested this.

I want to point out that while Brazilians are a very laid-back and relaxed people in general, they are pretty conservative about nudity. Foreigners who think it's all free love and partying on the beach and who take off their tops to go topless swimming are met with strong stares and usually someone who quickly goes over and tells them to put on their clothes. It's just not accepted here to be naked in public. And yet here was the naked guy walking along like he did it every day (maybe he does?!) and that it was no big deal.

He passed by and my bus came, so I don't know the fate of the naked guy. But it was certainly an interesting thing to wake up to.


Mrs. S said...

Oh my goodness!! Im not sure what I would have done if I had seen a naked guy. Try really hard not to stare I imagine!! How crazy!!

Rachel said...

that's totally gross, but kind of funny! i've seen some people high off their asses doing crazy stuff here in Rio, but thankfully never naked.