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Brazil

Day 24: São Luís

 
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With the car park in the background, a seller of pretty much everything you need demonstrates children's kites.
Michael Palin - Brazil'If the girl has a big bum we call her melon-woman. Watermelon-woman if she has big hips, and if she has a good shape, pear-woman.'

Beauty criteria are always interesting and I'm fascinated to hear from Augusto that it is the strap marks from a bikini that drive Brazilian boys wild.

'All the girls in São Luís like working out to wear bikinis and to go out at night to the reggae and show the "shadow".'

The more marks on a shoulder the more desirable is the bearer considered. Equally curious are the number of women to be seen on the beach applying a white, soapy solution to their arms and legs. This is, apparently, a form of bleach which will turn the hairs blonde.

Taking all this in at the end of the day over prawn empanadas, a plate of carne de sol – dry-cured beef – and a couple of caipirinhas, I reflect on English versus Brazilian attitudes to the beach. For us it's a luxury, for them it's a necessity.
 
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Boys and a football. The irresistible Brazilian combination.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Brazil
  • Chapter: Day 24: São Luís
  • Country/sea: Brazil
  • Place: São Luís
  • Book page no: 110

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