A geeft for you my friend
Trip Start Sep 2005
52Trip End Sep 2006
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Bahia de Salvador is the biggest city on the Northern coast. It's also the most interesting. It's the closest thing from Africa that you'll get to Ireland that exists in South America, if that makes sense. Because it was the main place for importing slaves, the place has a really african feel. Lots of drum music, afro-brazilian dancing dancing and capoeira, which is a martial art the slaves developed to defend themselves. Totally different to any other brazilian spot. It's one place that I had buy the T-shirt.
It's one of the last cities to benefit from Brazils economic boom and so it's still a bit in the doldrums. The guide boooks also warn that it's probably the most dangerous city in Brazil. Normally they say that if you dress like a local you don't stand out like a gringo, but Salvador is about 90% african so that little rule doesn't really work here if your irish
You just brace yourself and expect to be hassled. There's all sorts fraudsters. Kids that ask you to take them to the chemist so that they can buy some dried milk, which they sell once you go. Guys that give you a "free gift" of a ribbon bracelet and then hound you for therest of the day till you give them some money to feck off. The most intimidating are the Capoeira guys. It's really good to watch. They beat a big drum which is about as loud as a Lambeg, and to the beat of the drum do all sorts of shadow kicks to the head and chest, but never to the nuts. Once the drum gets louder and faster they really give it the welly, jumping up in the air doing reverse spin kicks to within millimetres of the other guys head. They are rippling all over with muscles, and if they catch you as much as looking sideways at them they charge you for the show. Even if you're in a restaurant on the other side of the plaza and they think you've been looking at them, or that they might be in a picture that you've just taken, they will demand money off you. Whose going to refuse? Though I suppose you could kick them in the nuts, they never practice for that one. Tell him "You know the rules, guard your tools", and run off, like you do in primary school.
When we first arrived we got seriously hassled by the guys with the ribbons wanting to be our "friends". Unfortunately I haven't learnt the Brazilian yet for "Get a Job". One guy just kept hounding us and then started shouting "F$%k Off" in a perfect Cockney accent. I wonder where he learnt that one. After you've walked around for a while they seem to recognize you and stop annoying you. But stil it's a hassle. It's a pity because it's a really beautiful city. Multicoloured houses in old cobbled streets prefectly preserved
My Brazilian is getting better at long last. I'd say it wouldn't take long to get the hang of it. I was in an international telephone place when a portugese guy came in and asked the brazilian guy behind the counter if he could speak portugese. The brazilian guy said that his portugese was so-so. (I didn't feel so stupid then). They probably use mostly the same words but the Brazilian pronunciations are totally different. It would be nice to learn but I´m struggling with spanish at the moment.