Wednesday, June 20, 2012


There are special rules that exist in the country of Brazil, in the state of Rio and in the city of Rio De Janeiro.  These are not rules that I have studied and figured out on my own but rather I have been taught these by hour host family Bruno and Tami, along with the missionary Kevin, his wife Debra and their niece from Frisco Sydney.  Also, the readers that we have had are willing to fill us in on little tid bits of information that will help us understand the local way of life. 


Traffic laws in general are more a suggestion and less an actual law.  There is really no enforced speed limit on the vast majority of the roads.  It is not like we are on the raceway but you drive as fast as you need to in a safe manner.  No one really cares.  Traffic lanes are there but they don't really matter either.  The general rule is "if you can fit then it is good."  One major item is that pedestrians DO NOT have the right away.  This is a very important.  The car, bus, truck and motorcycle always get the priority.  My favorite is the red light rule.  After 10 am which is when rush hour basically ends, the rule is that if you are at a red light and it is clear then you can go.  It makes no sense to Carioca (person born in the city of Rio) to sit at a red light and wait if there is no cross traffic coming.  I am going to start practicing this rule in Forth Worth.  The most interesting thing in Rio traffic is that there is no road rage.  In all the circumstances I have discussed, if you do happen to cut someone off or block traffic with your delivery truck or walk out in front of a car that is moving (slowly) then they let it go.  A simple honk of the horn can mean "hurry up", "please move" or "it's your turn".  Manners and friendliness supersede all other obligations. 


The theory that soccer or futbol is their passion here in Brazil would be a gross understatement.  It does not matter how old or young you are, rich or poor, athletic or nonathletic.  You have a team and you are loyal to your team.  Even more, the country has a law or mandate that Brazilian teams can only have a maximum of 3 non-Brazilian players on their team.  The people of Brazil are not only loyal to their team but the government makes it almost a law to be loyal to the players from their country.

The other night we went next door from Bruno's house to his parents home.  We went to watch the second half of the Flamengo (Rio) vs. Santos (Sao Paulo) game.  It was a close game and the winner was decided late by a penalty kick near the very end of the game.  When the foul was called in favor of Flamengo, Bruno's father (65 years plus) jumped (?) to his feet, grabbed one of the brothers Blake's age and began to dance around the room.  When the goal was scored seconds later the dance and singing began again.  Bruno being for another team sat there in disappointment at the fact that his fathers team won.  It is because of Paulo (Bruno's dad) and the younger boys living there that Blake has become Flamengo, along with Bruno's wife Tami.  Your team is your family and your team sometimes supersedes your family.  Interesting. 

To say that the laws of fashion are different in Rio would be another understatement.  In general clothing is more fitted or tighter here in Rio.  This is for men and women alike but primarily for women.  It is winter here in Rio, or it will officially begin in one week and since it was a cool 79 degrees today with 88% humidity it is obviously warm.  I am in a constant sweat, but I had two readers today come in to read in hoodies and comment on the cool weather.  If you are looking for a comparison to the states then think of Houston in December. 

So clothing is tighter and that is fine.  But the laws of fashion change once you reach the beach.  We spent a few hours on the beach at Barra (Baja) and Blake and Anna both noticed some interesting items, along with Shar and myself.  First, you do not need to be any particular shape, size or build to sport the string bikini if you are a female.  And the rule for all women is the smaller the better.  That is all I will say about that.  But I will say that I did have to "shush" both Blake and Anna Jo a few times as a wearer of these suits bent over in an interesting position and revealed more to my children then they wanted to see.  Second, although the board short is growing in popularity around the younger men, the most common swimwear would be the speedo.  This swim piece also does not seem to be restricted by the size of the man or the girth of his belly.  Come one, come all, the speedo is well and alive in Brazil.

I find the rules or laws of Brazil interesting.  Where they are strict in some area's they are loose in other, and when it comes to swimwear they are almost non existent.