Tuesday, February 21, 2012

There is No Such Thing as a Small Time "CARNAVAL"

This may be hard to believe, but last week I left Rio de Janiero (pop: 6,000,000) for small, elegant Ouro Preto (pop: 66,000) because I thought I might escape the mania of major Carnaval, that week-long celebration of song, dance and drink that leads up to Ash Wednesday and (presumably) forty penitential days of Lent.  I love a party as much as the next person, but I had a heap of work to do -- research for a new book -- and limited time.  And I had ignorantly underestimated how completely the country closes down during the entire week before Mardi Gras, and celebrates every day.

Every corner I turned in Ouro Preto, however, I found Carnaval!

The kids had just seen the giant puppets.

Many historical houses are missing their chamber pots 

Lots of dancing

So I figured, if you can't escape it, join it.