Friday, March 4, 2011

Rio de Janeiro's Traveling Pit Crews

I obviously love many things about Rio de Janeiro. Love it! But there's one thing that has always struck me as really freaking cool about this city. 

No, it's not the beer, the hot bodies, the sun, the amazing meat, fresh juices, or the fresh scent of urine.  Although those are all quite lovely.  

Nope, it's something so simple. 

You know when a crappy car breaks down in the street.  There it is, stopped and people honking.  Well in Rio de Janeiro, pedestrians come running to help. I'm not exaggerating, any able-bodied man will bust out a little hustle and help the driver push his car. It's almost as if each car has it's own pit crew following it around the city just in case.  

How freaking awesome is that! No one likes a car sitting in the middle of the road, nor do they like to be stuck in one.  It's community problem solving at their best. Quite often the people just help move the car out of the way, but I have also seen people push a car as far as a city block to a gas station.  

If that's not awesome, I really don't know what is.  

And I just saw it happening, yet again. I was waiting for my ever dawdling senior doorman to come open the gate when a taxi just didn't move with traffic. It took one honk from the car behind it to get people to run over. A moto-delivery guy, a Botafoguense, and a doorman were the first ones on the scene. 

That's when my ever efficient doorman finally decided to work and buzzed open the garage gate.  He was chatting in the parking area behind the building. Glad to see my need to bring my groceries inside my apartment didn't interrupt his conversation. 

Anyway, that's just a picture of Cariocas. They are really helpful people. They stop to push your car, help women with strollers get up and down stairs, and give us ladies an ego boost with hisses. Ok, maybe that last one isn't any help but I'm sure they feel they are doing something good. 

What good deed do people of your city do regularly? 


  1. The Dutch are the most individualistic people in the world. Therefore I cannot think of anything.

  2. Rachel,

    I watched in the news yesterday as Gil and I had tears of pure emotion. A man had a heart attack inside a store in rural Indiana, a lady inside the store immediatelly got down on her knees and started CPR until she was exausted, another man picked up the pumping of the man's chest, soon, there was a line of 24 volunteers from the surrounding stores and from the street just waiting to take over the chest pressing to keep the man alive.
    The helicopter from the closest Hospital took 96 minutes to arrive and the volunteers kept the man alive the entire time just by intense chest pressing.
    The rescue workers were really impressed and said the man only survived because of the complete strangers who jumped to the chest pressing until exaustion and took turns until paramedics arrived.
    This is when I realize why I love the US so much, this people are frigging awesome!


  3. Wow Ray that is amazing!

    One time in Macae after I walked to the grocery store it started raining really bad. A guy pulled over and asked if I need help or wanted a ride. I was so amazed that someone would even care that I didn't know what to say. I ended up thanking him but turning down the offer. Good people are everywhere and I hope that everyone has the eyes to look through negativity to appreciate acts of kindness with an open heart! Love feel good posts :)


  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I left my ipod classic in a paper store. I walked a block away and a young girl came chasing after me like crazy. Then when I saw what was in her hand I was shocked. I couldn't believe I left it in the store. I was so great full. She refused any money for a reward and I couldn't stop thanking her. I know that she didn't make a lot of money and how fast she came after me, her only thought was return what I left. I still think about how kind it was and prefer that paper store in my city. It has great service and is insanely busy.

    People are super willing to give directions in the area. A lot of people will even say "oh follow my I am going there and I will honk the horn when we get to your exit" or something like that. EVERYONE does this. It's really nice. But you probably wont get the first reaction nice, for some reason people are always being asked to buy this or buy that, sign up for this or sign this and give me money for this or that. Yeah but once you say I need directions there is an instant change.

  6. MMMmmm fresh scent of urine! How I love you!

  7. Well, it's said that mechanics in the States feel like it's their duty to pull over when a car is stopped on the side of the highway.

    On the flip side, there's the whole bystander effect (aka Genovese syndrome) that says you do nothing because you think someone else around you will do something.