In the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia, viewing, from the balcony terraces of Centro Histórico pousadas, the ships anchored in queue before their cargo containers are craned on to trucks and driven away into the night; and encountering the not unfamiliar co-localisation of poverty, insobriety and religiosity, with its share of beggars and prostitutes who´ve cottoned on that blue-eyed, fair-skinned exoticness (¨You is beautiful!¨) is potentially more lucrative than appeal to the keepers of all that horrifically icon-ised, gold-leafed gaudiness (at least in the short term); and trying to ignore that brand of English tourist that over-peppers rising intonations with ¨like¨, ¨totally¨, ¨so¨, actually¨; and becoming even more convinced, upon observing one worshipper at a very lively incense-drenched mass skip outside because she just had to take that call, that mobile phones are the rudest of devices (I wonder whether God was offended)….
I´ve kind of lost my thread… oh yeah –
Watching the world turn.
Talking of the highly revered, footage of the late, great Michael Jackson is on copious display here. Standing in a TV shop doorway, at first annoyed by the lip-synching sham of a relatively recent ´live´performance, I was transfixed by early Jackson 5 clips featuring his supremely talented young persona, and I´m moved by his passing – a feeling compounded not just by the fact that he has been a part of the soundtrack of my own life, but because I am in a place awash with talent and beauty and personality and kindness, as well as a degree of oddness and delusion and deformity; often living off its wits, exploiting tourist exploitation with the occasional hint of feral threat.
And my itchy ankles look like they´ve got measles; and I confess to a caipiroska-induced hangover; and I have seawater uncomfortably trapped in my waxy ears; which might – along with other factors to which I´m trying not to pay heed – colour the impending decision to stay a few more days. Because this is a great place in which to feel good; but not so for feeling bad.
Ships that pass in the night. Time for another caipiroska. Até logo.