It turns out that 75% of the clothes I brought are completely useless for here.
Some are too tight: Have they shrunk? Have I expanded beyond the strength of my old clothes? Is it the effect of the heat and the extra salt they put in all food here, or just the logical conclusion of three months of anarchical eating and no exercise?
Supporting the "heat and salt" theory is the fact that I have even removed my wedding ring since my fingers get swollen in the heat.
(Note: This is the surrogate wedding alliance, the real one, which has some diamonds, was left in England, deemed to dangerous to wear in Cidade de Deus surroundings.)
The rest of them either they are too thick, or made from the wrong material (polyester!!!!!!), but for whatever reason they make me feel hot and sweaty all the time, regardless of their length. And don't even get me started on face sun block!
Anyway, I decided I had to take some action. The sales have started here and
despite my lack of (female) friends, I have gone on a bit of a shopping spree.
I decided however to buy only cotton (with a little bit of spandex/lycra for fitting).
I have found this material, that feels a little bit like that of a fine t-shirt, called "viscoseis great. And it is the fashion in Rio this summer. So I ended up with 3 new dresses, two skirts, 4 spaghetti strap tops and one pair of trousers all in this material! They been put to the test since, and they are really fresh and flattering. This was Monday.
The irony is that now that I have finally found my shopping inspiration, I have no money left.
On Wednesday, I went out to but some bread (actually some nice pastries that Dr. O is hook on), and on the way from home to this bakery, I spotted a handbag, and fell in love instantly.
It was on the sale, and it was the last one! (In fact as I enter the shop a woman was taking the last one in RED, but I think I prefer it in this colour).
Dr. O had promised to buy me some sunglasses, and ironically the price was almost identical, so I rushed back home (securing the sweet cakes, after all a proof of how nice I am with him) and ask him in my sweetest voice if we could not exchange the present and buy this handbag right now. After all, I had already told them to save it for me, and that I would come back later on the day.
He said yes, so I went back, money in hand -well, not literally, it might be a bit dangerous to do that in Rio.
Yesterday, I was only going to the market, with the last 50 reais from my grant, to buy the usual fruit and veg, plus some fish...when I passed this bag shop, by the designer Gilson Martins. It always attracts me, and I already own a bag from that shop, but it stayed in London.
I saw this bag in the window, and thought it could be a good gym bag. It had a small discount, and the sales assistant convince me with the argument of paying in easy instalments with the card. So I said yes, and ended up with it.
(Note:The image on the bag is the famous mountain PÃO DE AÇÚCAR and it's cable car. The mountain you can see behind the bag in this photo, is as you should now by now, Dois Irmaos, visible always -except in case of heavy fog-from my window.)
With this new found motivation (in the shape of a bag) I went to the gym yesterday and actually enjoyed it!
The other thing I bought this week, was at IMPA, where I intended to buy an Ergodic Theory book, which in theory was selling for 10 reais (2.5 pounds). Since at that price no book would last very long, they had ran out, so instead I used my money to buy an IMPA T-shirt. The lady asked me what size I wanted, and then upon learning it was for me, eyeing me up and down, concluded: "Size Small would be good, since you do not have much boobs."
Now that would have never been said in (politically correct) England!