The party explodes from the darkness like a joyous firework filled with food and music.
Dark dirt roads had stretched for miles. Suddenly, this.
Hats and dresses. Lights and colors. Twirling and dancing and singing.
A twelve string. An accordion. Voices singing harmonies with words everyone knows but I never will.
Smiling faces hand me food with names I can’t pronounce and flavors I’ve never tasted. Massive palm fronds cover tables with meat-filled pastries, chicken and meat in rice, on sticks, in soups.
Hot wine and cold beer.
I am wonderfully, gloriously, overwhelmed.
It’s a party that seems to exist outside of time. It would be the same in the past. It would be the same in the future.
There’s a legitimate realism here no tour, no tourist, could possibly experience.
I am a spectator, yet I feel warmly included and enthusiastically welcomed.
I don’t ask what’s being celebrated. In a way, I don’t want to know. In my mind, this perfect oasis in the Brazilian countryside just exists. And always will. Perhaps this is a special event, but in my mind, it isn’t. It is just Sábado.
It is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I feel alive.
I go for more cake.