I'm lucky that I partnered with a Brazilian. It's not just the fact that visiting family means visiting Rio. It's also all about the World Cup. At World Cup time, it pays to be on the Brazilian edge of things.
Yesterday, after Brazil beat Australia 2-0, I was walking to a nearby market to pick up some groceries. Still with my Brazil t-shirt on, I didn't think much about what it meant until a man stopped me. "Brazil! They won today! Are you from Brazil?" I explained my family connection and he smiled, "I am from Mexico. Brazil makes every Latin American proud to be a Latin American. They are the best." And he kept walking. I got to the market and a woman stopped me, in full chador. "Brazil 2-0, they're going to win the World Cup! Someday Africa will be strong, too, but there are so many Africans who live in Brazil, I vote for Brazil!" I bought my salad greens, cucumber, bread and fruit and headed for home. Outside of a church a few blocks from my house, a Nigerian family in full dress clothing were heading for a van. "Are you from Brazil?" they asked. Again, I explained my family connection to this Nigerian family in front of a Christian church. My lesbian family connection. "Oh, that's good. You are lucky to have family in Brazil." And then one of the men proceeded to break down the morning's game with me, going over every goal two and three times. "Brazilian soccer players are the best. They never stop, the whole game, they keep running. Everyone else stops. They are like dancers."
It's a good time of year to be married to a Brazilian.