November 26, 2008

Feira Livre

I love the fair. Love it love it love it.

These pictures are old, (it’s been too rainy to have visited the fair recently, but I always wanted to get around to posting them.) These were taken one gloriously hot day when I wore a big hat and carried a large straw basket, just like you should do when you go to the fair.

The big fair is on Sundays. Everyday throughout the week there are little satellite fairs all over the city. And then on Sundays they all come together to form one endlessly long, double-rowed banquet for the eyes and tummy and imagination. A banquet that knocks on the door of your heart and asks nostalgia (saudades) to come out and take a stroll along the river.

Oh that river, that strange brown river that flows in triumphantly from the sparkling green hills around the city and then seems to slow down and hang its muddy head in shame as it chugs along past the train tracks and through the forgotten, industrial landscape that lines the valley in this, the lowest part of the city. The part with the glorious past of textile manufacturing where you can still find some beautiful old buildings that have now been converted into tire shops and Pentecostal churches, tile factories, and food distribution centers - where in the mornings you can see armies of pushcart popsicle vendors file out in formation with full carts on their way to conquer the city.

And it is here on Sundays that the fair takes over and winds its way for a mile or so along both banks (the official food fair on one side, and the very strange, very surreal junk fair on the other – I’ll have to get back to you on that one.) And it is here you can find a bounty so ripe in form and color that you get giddy and a little drunk on the possibilities and end up buying four different varieties of bananas and more pineapples and sour sop and papaya than you could possibly eat.

mandioca

There are piles of cassava.


oranges

And oranges.


cana

You can get juice squeezed fresh out of sugar cane.


melonssquash

And pumpkins and watermelons.


tomatoespina

Tomatoes and pineapple.


jaboticaba

Jaboticaba by the bucketful (remember those?)


meattruck

And meat. (Always meat in Brazil)


scrap metal

Random bits of scrap metal. (He some how migrated over from the other fair on the other bank of the river.)



balloonies

And balloons, for the kids (and for silly, sappy girls like me.)

3 comments:

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

how very lovely......and delicious.

I can't wait until you get back to us....you know, on the OTHER side of the bank.....

lovelydharma said...

Oh thanks Maryam! I certainly will!

tcm said...

Love the blog - writing and photos. Have bookmarked and will be back! Any objections to being on my blogroll? Keep ironing that underwear, now...