February 19th, 2007

(no subject)

As a tourist, I see different parts of a country than if I lived someplace. I managed to spend almost three months in Brazil without seeing anyone's home. In the last three days, I went to four houses. I managed to catch almost the entire economic spectrum, from lower class to upper class.

The lowest class house had three rooms and no doors on the inside. Three people slept in the bedroom. There was also a small yard. The house was a very public place; friends, neighbors, and lovers were almost constantly there. People would stop by an just talk through the window. It had a pleasant feel. The other thing that stuck out to me was how people ate. People didn't use anything but a spoon while eating bisteca (pot roast). I admit that I never managed to see anyone actually eating the roast, but at the end of the meal, no one had any roast left on their plate.

I slept in one of the middle class houses. Other than the furniture looking and feeling different (the furniture here is much stiffer than varieties in other parts of the world), I could have forgotten that I had left the US. It was amazing how much more comfortable the house was than my cheap hotel.

The upper class house had a nice interplay between inside spaces and outside spaces. I've seen similar architecture in Florida. It was also the only place with A/C.