Saturday, March 26, 2011


When the plane is about to land I feel that “thing” inside of my heart. I can see the sun through the small and limited peephole near my seat. I follow the landing with emotion!

I can’t explain…my heart beats fast…something warms my soul right now.

Getting off the plane and gliding down the aisle and hearing: “Welcome to Brasil”, something agitates inside of me, a desire to smile nonstop.

I got in the Brazilian Only check line, proud to be in that queue. I show my passport and I’m motioned to go. That gives me the right to step in my Country’s soil. Blessed passport! I look for my bags, bumping into people and even saying “sorry” instead of “desculpa”.

The greatest happiness is, after going through Custumes, to go to the first bar to get a Guarana. I can’t relinquish this! I sip slowly this taste of Brazil. It goes down my throat, this familiar taste of my childhood, family and friends.

This time I’ve discovered that there is a bus that leaves Guarulhos airport directly to Sao Jose dos Campos. No one was waiting for me. I didn’t tell anyone I was coming, but my two siblings. I handed my bags to the driver and was about to get in the bus when he asked: “Lady, can you please write your name in the ticket”? This was new to me. I did it, got in the bus and to my seat.

From the window I kept savoring the landscape, every bit of it. So many memories from Sao Paulo, streets, sky that has a beauty you can’t compare, I don’t know but the Brazilian motion is different. A hubbub…a different buzz. An energy that rises like a little smoke.

I rest my head on the seat staring melancholic out the window. A mix of joy and sadness. Sadness to live away from my country…joy to be back.

The bus stopped to pickup passengers. Everyone that got in had something different to say to the driver and this made me think and compare how different things are here from the United States. Formality reigns in the States where in Brazil prevails a spontaneity that captivates me.
- “Sir, thanks for stopping! I thought I would never get a bus today.”
- “Good morning and thank you. What time we arrive in Sao Jose”?
- “Would you please stop quickly at Frango Assado”?
I closed my eyes concentrating in that language so familiar to me. There I was just like everyone in the bus. Nothing different from them. Same communion of feelings.

And the bus went through that so known landscape. Parts that I’ve never forgoten, was running through my head like an old movie.
Frango Assado and it’s delicious bread.

Kodak on the right. Johnson&Johnson on the left. Restaurante da Gruta and those divine salami and melted cheese sandwiches.

I stepped in my sister’s house and right away changed to my jeans and t-shirts. Barefoot reached into my bag for my flip-flops. There! The world could end because I was already happy.

And the days went by cheerful, soft, sunny.

The family gathers for a Sunday lunch. Hugs, joy, guitar music, singing, happiness.

Laughter, conversations, hugging and a delicious meal prepared by my dear Mada!

A lunch filled with warmth, genuine laughter and yearning.

Next day I left early morning for a walk down the street. What a pleasure walking on the sidewalk feeling the warm sun. Cars passing by, horns… the corner bakery, where I bought soda water. Went back to walk breathing all that energy.

Every day I was there, I tried all kinds of food from places that sell them by the weight. I can’t say which one was the best.

I ate “coxinha”…. too many times to remember.

Went to a farmers market, killing the nostalgia of that sight of stalls full of fruits.

Meeting my mother’s side family in Marilia city, where I was born.

(click on the pictures to enlarge)

Meeting my friends, the hugs, the emotion!

Such is my Brazil, full of energy at every corner. Can’t help but notice the rhythms of the Brazilian heart, because it beats hard. Stop! On the streets people mingle, the joy is contagious.

My Brazil, how I love you, with all the letters!

After I returned to the US, I became depressed for two weeks. I missed the streets, sidewalks, that blue sky, the heat in the streets, the freedom. The bodies seems to move in rhythm, there is no barrier. When I talk to people, the language comes from my heart to my mouth. I don’t need to think. Only to talk. Just let that magnetic wave to invade me.

I hug the street with my eyes, wrap all that green in my soul.
The agony inside of me knowing that my world is divided, and I’ll never be the same again.

But you, my Brazil, will always thrill me. In soccer, or carnival. Or in cyber cafés, in food, at the malls full of life. At the sidewalks, in the bus…tasting the most delicious coffee in the world, attesting life at every corner.

In the gaze, in the smile. In a hug.

Smile, you’re being filmed. You are in Brazil!

Mary Fioratti

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