Last week, a war started in Europe.
Last week, Carnival started in Brazil.
I can’t transition from pandemic to World War III that quickly. It feels like a bad dream—suddenly we’re talking tanks, missiles, hell, nuclear war, all that for what? Wasn’t two years of fighting a nasty virus not destructive enough? I’m watching fleeing Ukrainians, confused leaders, terrified and courageous civilians who just wanted to live in peace. I’m checking the news because hey, you got me at “nuclear weapons.”
I don’t have anything smart to add to the conversation. This is not a fucking football game where you’re cheering for a team. It’s madness at the top and misery for populations, plural.
Meanwhile, Cabo Frio—and probably in most of the country—came alive with festive atmosphere.
Okay, scratch that, it’s an understatement.
The city went nuts.
I swear Cabo Frio was a very normal city when I arrived. But 24 hours later, efficiency went down by 75% and population increased by 1,000%, please don’t ask for sources.
Technically, Carnival celebrations had been cancelled once again because pandemic so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Last year, Salvador was dead quiet during Carnival.
I quickly understood that cancelled or not, Carnival was going to happen. “Blocos de rua, não, mas blocos de praia tem,” explained a friendly, knowledgeable and already half drunk Brazilian. Okay, so no street parties, beach parties. Got it.
Indeed, on Friday, Praia do Forte was jam-packed, night and day. On Saturday… same. Sunday… yep, same. It was pretty impressive, actually, because we’re talking about a 7.5-kilometer-long beach here. I mean, look at the pictures.
And at night, the party was both on the beach and along the waterfront.
I haven’t seen that many people in two years and it felt great.
Carnival is both exhausting and exhilarating. Anything goes. You get used to seeing people wandering into supermarket in swimsuit and filling up entire carts with beer cans—most groups carry their cooler everywhere they go. You get used to long lineups for just about anything, to closed stores because hey, Carnival, to firecrackers, to the fact it’s perfectly acceptable to go to the beach at 4 a.m. just because. You get used to the mountain of beer cans, to the strong smell of weed everywhere you go, to sweaty bodies covered in glitter.
Carnival is a loud, messy, crowded and happy affair filled with sexual energy.
Carnival is about partying with perfect strangers, disregarding societal norms, and celebrating life.
But yeah, by day four of non-stop partying and drinking, the city is a bit of a mess. I mean, I got hit on by a 19-year-old at the shared Airbnb, that’s how drunk people get.
I thought it was over yesterday and I went to Centro to buy stuff. Ah, ah, most of the stores had signs saying they would be open but most were still closed—hangover?
Whatever. It was a great “cancelled” Carnival.
Why can’t we just party instead of going to war?