This is a city where people care. They care in a way that makes you sometimes want to run away screaming. But you learn a lot with all this unwanted, but adored, advise.
Today I was scolded because my long legged toddler's feet were somewhere near the ground while sitting in his stroller. Shocker. I was told I should do something about that because he was going to hurt himself. Being tired and cranky I just mumbled, rather loudly, in English and went about my way. His feet were a decent distance from the ground and no where near the tires! What was I supposed to do, cut them off?
What did I learn from this? I learned it's best to smile and speak in English when people are being overly anal.
That got me thinking about some other life lessons I've been taught by nosy-ish people on the street.
When my oldest was a baby, I would take him out for morning and evening walks to avoid the summer heat. I was constantly harassed for two things: 1. taking my son out in the heat and 2. not putting socks on him. It made me wonder: if it's too hot to take him out, does he really need socks?
I learned that you can apparently get frostbite on your toes at the same time as heatstroke. Only in Rio de Janeiro.
This last experience was rather charming. I was walking with my two boys to the pool one morning and a man selling globo in the middle of the street yelled to me. I turned a little warily. In my experience, these guys aren't usually complimenting my shoes, if you know what I mean. But he surprised me by calling over "Miss, it's very hot today! Make sure you give your boys A LOT of water. They need a lot of water on a day like this!"
I learned that water is good and that most advice is actually coming out of concern. It was very sweet of him to make the effort.
I could go on and on but I think I'd start to sound cynical and I'm make some of my dear Brazilians sound a little crazy. What experiences of unasked advice have you had? Which ones have stuck with you?