Destination Rio de Janeiro, the third travel to the former capital of Brazil.
Enrollment for the cultural biennial, organized by the Brazilian Student Union.
Day 2, 10 am
At about ten am, our jolly bus driver Eduardo stopped the bus, in front of the huge arcs of Lapa, in Downtown Rio de Janeiro. These arcs form a real aqueduct, which transported water. Since decades, a tram uses the rails on the aqueduct on its way to the cozy district of Santa Teresa. We regularly noticed the tram, which is already a museum piece. It must be interesting to have a ride with this antique tram….
We were advised to leave our luggage in the cargo compartment, but that we should carry our hand luggage. Like tame geese we waddled out of the bus, on the way to the enrollment center, where other students already were waiting in long queues. We walked together to the enrollment center, because we all needed to be registered in order to be allowed to participate in this biannual cultural event.
It is easy to imagine that this enrollment center was a center of confusion and chaotic scenes. Imagine this: students arrived from ALL Brazilian states, by bus or by airplane. Everyone is tired after the journey, and now everyone had to bear more patience for the enrollment process. But a warm sun caused a sunny mood among the students. Some student groups danced spontaneously their regional dances, students from neighboring states joined spontaneously. Dancing brings people together.
For me, it was very interesting to witness these different dance variants. Music was made with a variety of instruments that were carried by the students. From guitar to berimbau, from triangle to tambourine to drums. There was even a very skilled violin player who drew a lot of attention. A Brazilian Nigel Kennedy? For me, it is amazing to notice that so many Brazilians play music instruments. Most of them play the violão, the acoustic guitar. I am also amazed by their creativity when they are able to use a PET bottle as a drum, or make rhythmic sounds with two simple wooden sticks. Much different from the upside sown bucket that I have witnessed at some crazy parties in the Netherlands. On such nights, the bucket was also very useful for those vomiting drunks… It sounds very weird, but I haven’t noticed many vomiting drunks at Brazilian parties…
The enrollment center was located in Fundação Progesso, a historical building that was painted in sky blue and green. Three counters were set up for the enrollments. Our leader, Jader, entered the queue and less than an hour later, he returned with a bunch of tickets and wrist bands. The tickets were for the evening and night shows in this building. The wrist band was fluorescent yellow, and was our entrance ticket for other attractions and for the entrance of the faculty buildings in Rio. The wrist band showed the logo and the name of the event. We had to wear these bands all time, the safety system made it difficult to open it with ease. However, I found a way to open and close it with some easy. Very suitable when I was about to enter the water.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
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- A Foreigner in Brazil (20): MAY 2006. Bairros in Belo Horizonte (MG) (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)