HSBC, “the world’s bank”: EXCEPT WHEN THEY’RE CLOSED.
Archive for June, 2012
It’s winter here in Rio de Janeiro and just shy of beach weather. Temperatures are in the 70s and quite a bit of rain, interrupted by the gloriously tropical sunny days that Brazil is known for.
But in Rio you don’t have to be heading to the beach to wear flip flops. In fact, flip flops might just be the national shoe.
I have been amazed at what Brazilians can do in these flimsy strips of rubber.
I’m living in an old part of the city that has colonial-era houses and cobblestone streets. Cobblestones could more accurately be named “hobblestones” : not easy to walk on, and even harder in the rain. But even so, Brazilians in flip flops regularly pass me on these streets.
And I’m wearing sturdy Dansko sandals.
Here are some other things they do in flip flops:
Run for the bus (ever tried this? Very difficult. Toe cramps!)
Do dances that require fast and nimble foot work—like samba and forro.
Climb ladders and scaffolding.
Lug heavy things up steep hills.
Go to work (as in, office work).
Walk with canes.
Hustle themselves and their small children (who are also wearing small flip flops) onto a careening form of public transit.
Styles varied with the differing placement of the toe strap, as subsequent civilizations preferred using different toes. The Greeks for example made use of the big toe; the Romans, the second toe; and the Mesapotanians, the third toe. These distinctive, physical entities were recognised and captured in Egyptian statues, and this was thought to represent the celebration of other cultures.
Read more of my travel writing!
–How I moved to New York City after growing up on a rural island in Canada (posted on joellehann.com/journalism)
– All you need to know about Montreal´s underground art scene (published on Fodors.com)
–My family´s relationship to curry stems back to my mother´s childhood in India (published on The Paupered Chef.com)
–São Paulo´s little film school that is changing how film is taught (published on Janera.com)
–Brazil´s influential international literary festival, F.L.I.P. is worth knowing about (published in Poets & Writers magazine)
Enjoy, armchair travelers!in Travel.