It’s not as simple as sitting on the sand and swimming in the ocean, trust me.
Before going to the beach
Gather family members, relatives and friends. The more, the merrier!
- A pair of Havaianas, the iconic plastic sandals feito no Brasil
- A bikini with a string bottom for women, shorts for men
- A ball (because who knows, with a bit of practice, someone could become the next Pelé!)
- A cooler filled with beer cans (Brahma, Skol, Antarctica or Quilmes)
- Your mate kit (thermos of hot water, bombilla and gourd) if you’re from Rio del Sul, visiting from Argentina or simply acquired the taste for the bitter beverage
Take your car and drive to the nearest beach. Don’t bother checking your mirrors, stopping at red lights, or slowing down when turning. You’re protected: you have a crucifix hanging from the dashboard mirror and a decal of Jesus on your bumper.
Park as close to the beach as you can. If you bump into another car, check the licence plate. One of these damn Argentinian tourists? Don’t worry about it.
At the beach
Take a seat on a plastic chair, rent a parasol and order some food. Something light, maybe, it’s very hot. Fries with grilled sausage and meat? Sounds good. Now open a beer can.
Beer isn’t doing what it should. Hail the cocktail cart—it’s about to roll on your feet, anyway. Get a proper drink, something with vodka for instance.
Kids are nagging you? Hail the guy selling beach toys and buy them a buoy. Should keep them busy.
Hungry? How about a hot dog or a churro? Shrimps on a skewer, maybe? Argentinian friend, we have empanadas for you, filling explained in lovely Portuñol. Boiled corn with your choripan sandwich? No worries, here they come!
Eat and watch people. Watch people and eat. Repeat. Don’t get mixed up and start eating people, we aren’t barbarians, there is enough meat on the carts to satisfy your carnivore cravings.
Maybe you’ve just realized that your bikini is so yesterday. Get up and go check out newer models from the bikini cart.
Take a dip in your water to show off your new bikini. Take a buttie—a selfie of your butt.
Water was salty. Need another cocktail. Or maybe a juice?
Tide is going up but it’s all good. We have at least fifty centimetres of dry sand left, no need to move. Why should we? Nobody does!
This is the conclusion of a depth study of Brazilians at the beach conducted over the course of several hours at Praia de Canasvieiras. Peer review was skipped—if you’re Brazilian, feel free to correct me!
Praia de Canasvieiras is about 25 kilometres north-east of Florianópolis on the northern part of Santa Catarina Island. It’s a popular destination for Brazilian and Argentinian families who come to enjoy the beach and the town with “moder”n (read “tacky”) tourist “facilities” (read “lots of bars and souvenir shops”).
The sea was calm and the water hot so it was perfect for Mark who could play like if he was in the bath.
However, the beach wasn’t exactly what Feng and I were looking for. The narrow strip of sand—a couple of metres, at most—was jam-packed with people, chairs, parasols and dozens of carts and vendors selling booze, food and clothing. Forget about ice cream on the beach—you could order an entire meal cooked from the cart, like grilled meat with veggies or fish!
As impressive as it is from a technical point of view, we didn’t do the beach the Brazilian way and skipped lunch.
However, the beach was a perfect opportunity to observe people and take pictures (me), check out women in their bikini (Feng) and drop a churro in the sand (Mark).