Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When you least expect it...

Cruising to the park this morning, I approached Largo do Machado. Largo do Machado is a decent sized plaza in between Laranjeiras, Flamengo, and Catete. 

I was not stoked when I saw two homeless people chatting at the corner where I had to cross. Let me explain...

Be warned that I am going to make some HUGE generalizations here. 

There are different categories of homeless in this city. You have the not really homeless but poor and asking for money. You have the mellow homeless who will talk to you but, as the name suggests, are mellow and non-threatening. You also have the independent homeless who are just doing their thing and minding their own business. They will occasionally stop you to ask you something, talk to your kid, or give their opinion. 

And then there´s the homeless person I saw waiting at the corner. They are the ones that are younger and kind of unpredictable.  Sometimes they are on drugs... 

I know, I sound square. All young people are hoodlums and on drugs!! But seriously, if you´ve ever seen a real glue sniffer hanging out in the streets down here, you know what I mean. It´s different and not kosher in any sense of the word!

Anyway, They call you Tia or Tio (Aunt or Uncle) and actively (I really mean annoyingly) beg for anything or everything. I´ve had members of this group ask for the clothes off my kids´ backs.  I´m like, dude I know the shorts are cute but they aren´t going to fit you. 

So I continue and ready myself for a potential encounter. I tend to get them a little more often than most as I´m an obvious foreigner.  How can they tell you ask?  I do not know!  I´ve always figured my white pasty skin, lack of ass, and English speaking children would help me blend. 

Well, right away the girl comes up to me and points at my kid´s shoes.  Great, she´s going to want the littlest´s shoes! 

Nope, I was totally wrong.  She wanted to point out that my littlest had lost one of his shoes.  Actually, I had already noticed earlier that he had taken it off and thrown it into the basket under the stroller.  I explained this to her and thanked her for her concern. She then turned to me and said something along the lines of 'No problem. Losing a shoe is a bitch'. 

Damn good point!

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