The wonderful and perverse thing about my carioca friends is that most of the time they seem to want to torture me. Rather, if I announce that I don’t like something – Roberto Carlos, jaboticaba, strange animal parts, Brazilian baked goods – they will go out of their way to provide me with more in the hopes that I’ll change my mind. You’d think it would work the opposite way. “Oh, you like popular music from the 20s and 30s? Come to [insert show here]! This is so great, we can explore our mutual interests!” Alas, those reactions are few and far between. The extent of this can be perfectly expressed by the ratio of the number of chicken hearts I have eaten to the number of Noel Rosa listening parties I have attended (but, then again, you can’t divide by zero).
And I will freely admit that it has not been all bad. I still regard Roberto Carlos with a mix of horror and fascination (and am now fearing that this post will lead to me being dragged to see a Roberto Carlos cover band); I have yet to try life-changing jaboticaba; and I would really be okay not consuming any more chicken ventricles. But let the record show that I have now had excellent bolo in Brazil.
But I find myself wondering, in the vein of the Uncle Remus stories, how far I can exploit this cruel-but-kind tendency. Let’s try this: hey, guys, you know what I really hate? Antiquarian Brazilian bookstores. God, they’re so awful, I would really throw a fit if someone tried to take me to one of those. And if someone gave me tickets to see João Gilberto in the Municipal, I’d haul off and punch them in the nose. That guy is the worst.
[sits back and waits]