Saturday, December 25, 2010

Feliz Natal

Mother remarked that we've never been to a country this undecorated for the holiday season, and she's right. In many commercial districts around the world, impressive tree decorations and shimmering LED lights have become a central element of the winter streetscape. But here in Rio, apart from a few store displays and some lights strung up in the city's department stores (known as shoppings), even the main downtown boulevards and shopping districts are almost entirely free of snowflakes and evergreens. After all, December here means 80 degree weather and the beginning of summer.

Inspired by this northern- and southern hemisphere holiday season dichotomy, below is my random list of "You know you're in Brazil when..."

1. Orchids thrive year-round on trees along the street.

Who needs evergreens in December when there are orchids and palm trees?

2. There are juice bars on every block.

Abacaxi, açaí, acerola, banana, laranja, limão, mamão, manga, morango e mais

3. Garage doors are made of tropical hardwoods.

Really random, I know. But I am weird and pay attention to these things.

4. Yes, the picture you see below is of a shop selling meat on one side, Havaianas on the other side.

No additional comments necessary

5. Futebol is a national religion.

Even the anti-underage drinking campaign posters reference penalty cards.