21st of February 2003 – Day 4 (contd)/ Day 5
Was again deciding on an early night, but again better judgement failed me. There was a trip from the Hostel to a hall where a samba band were having a final rendition before Carnival. The bus was leaving at 11.15pm, and to tell you the truth, when I think of samba, nothing comes to mind except shuffling of feet. After having a few beers on the steps of the hostel, I was persuaded to go, as I may not be in town for Carnival, I decided to go. It was 40R return by mini bus (which including the 20R entrance fee to the hall ). Many informal groups or neineighborhoods get together every weekend to rap on their own samba rhythm. These groups gave rise to bigger bands called @blocos@ for Carnival, whose name points to what part of the city they are from. Their pre-Carnival rehersals are very popular. We went to a neighborhood, with a reputation as a great bloco.
There were hundreds of people outside the hall, drinking, eating and dancing. I was going to say the night was hot with anticipation – it was. We got in and there must a have been 5,000 people inside swaying. They had developed their own rhyth, or song (with lyrics) for the parade, and everone was singing and dancing to the same rhythm all night. They had 5/6 singers doing relays with the singing and opposite on a balcony were about 100 people with drums, chims (making hella lot of noise), and all the crowd were tuned into it, beacuse this was their bloco, there creation. It was like supporting your local team – everbody was really into it. About 15 people from the hostel with and everyone had a great time. Beers were 2.50 R each (Bramhna) and we got back to the hostel at 4.00ma. I was exhausted.
21st of February 2003 – Day 5
Got up at 11.00am. Met a guy that was was going to see a game at the famous Rio soccer stadium – the Maracana. We are going too a local derby – two of Rios teams from the premier division – Botafog VS Fluminense. They expect 60,000 people at the match.