Brazilian Notebook: “Rebolar”

May 17, 2012

Mural from library at Instituto Brasilia - Estados Unidos CENo time for the ocean today, as we worked our way through Fortaleza with engagements at three educational institutions. But first, breakfast at the Hotel Luzeiros. Every morning I eat a new fruit. Guava — pale yellow skin, rosy flesh, chunky tan seeds impossible to chew. You send the whole delicious thing right on down the alimentary in hopes it travels through without commotion. Small bananas with the flavor of five bananas compressed into one velvety sweet/tart pleasure. Mango, papaya. The green lumpy fruit with a name I have not yet taken into my extraordinarily limited lexicon of Portuguese. Obrigada, I can say, the most necessary communication for a traveler: “Thank you.”

A man passes by my table in jogging shorts and t-shirt, glasses on an elastic band, carrying a whole green coconut in his hand, lifting it to drink the chilled liquid inside through a straw. Electrolytes someone says. If you are tired and hot, drink this. The man holds the nut like it’s a small baby balanced with tenderness and pride on his palm. This is what I see at breakfast with my “virginity of sight, or rather of observation” as Michaux says.

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