Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fiera Sao Joaquim

August 9-I woke again at dawn, restless full of odd dreams. holdovers from kptsd, dengue fever hysterical paranoia, fantasies of new digs in NYC and other scatalogical images. Watching gymnastics and dozing until Michele is fully awake. We had arranged with Mercado Levy to reserve a rotisserie chicken last night. I ate some granola, dressed and went out for the chicken and some fruit.
.......still fighting this flu that wont seem to quit. today we set out late, 11's to investigate feira Sao Joaquim. The market sits just east of the ferry dock to Itaparica. We arrived at the end of their day, it seems that everything closes early on Sundays in preparation for beach, family, ceremonies and rest. We did get a good view, some snacks and trinkets at the market, before it closed around 12:45. It was just enough for me, since I still am not fully myself. This market is cut from old cloth. Hardware, food, clothing, pottery, prepared foods, lottery tickets, all parts of all animals, live poultry both for eating and Candomble rituals, twined and wrapped ashes for cleaning teeth, Orisha beads and Exu's sacred waters and Cachaca. Our eyes are continually assaulted by the festive colors at every stall, Men scurry quickly with wheelbarrows weighed down with cases of vegetables, arms laden with gourds or printed cotton shirts. I begin to detect all of the implements, foodstuffs and paraphernalia necessary to maintain one's commitment to their terreiro and spiritual practice. Uncertain of my place in this cosmology, I choose a few things. Black-yed red beans, some smoked dried shrimp, malagueta peppers in vinegar and rappadura sugar. I didn't figure out the vegetables quickly enough. Some things were packed in larger quantities than i wished for, obviously for the week's family supply. So, no quiabo (okra), greens, iame, etc. Soon come.
Now hungry, we stop and grab a full tilt acaraje, (hot sauce, quiabo ragout, stewed camaro, and aipim puree) a perfect hearty snack for less than a slice of pizza in NYC. Finding our bus we travel up to Cidade Alta in search of Goya Lopes shop, a possible rendezvous wiht Bigge and hopes of locating Dona Mae Detinha de Xango, another friend of Danny Dawson and the creator of exsquisite Orisha dolls. I misunderstood the bus stops and we end up closer to Lapa then Pelourinho. Walking back through the backalleys and slums that do not bely the heritage of the district we find people at rest, some congregating in bars and barracas to wile away the day. We are always able to find graffiti wherever we end up. 10 minutes later we arrive back in the Pelourinho and stumble into the side entrance to a Igreja da Ordem Terceira de Sao Francisco. As we walk in, we overhear a "guide for hire"
discussing the elaborate mural on the cieling. I start taking pictures, como sempre, only to find out that no photography is allowed, only video. And unfortunately, I don't know how to operate the video side of my camera.The cileling is painted n a multi-point perspective. The guide says that it includes horizontal, vertical, axiometric, illusion of motion, 180 and 360 degree perspectives. The painter a Baiano, apprenticed in Italy, before creating this work which is alleged to be world renowned as an ideal example of plateresco style. I am tempted to join the tour, but realize that my energy will probably flag before the tour gets into full tilt. I make a note to return to this church as well as the one adjacent to it, Igreja Sao Pedro dos Clerigos, ( a wacky Roccoco layer cake). Within a few blocks we encounter Goya Lopes shop on Rua Gregorio Matos. I realize that this is a key locale in the hood, since it is just up the street from Biggie's place, Oludum;s headquarters, and 2 of the key capoeira academies.. The fabrics are quite well done, and have much more character than many of touristy tchtockes that we have previously seen. We both see eyecandy, Michele had hopes of cashing in on the 30% discount offered today for Dia de Spice, but her credit card did not work in the Banco do Brazil. Back on the bus, we head home stopping for a few veggies We enjoyed a quiet satisfying meal on the terrace on the eve o sunset. I followed my rituals and downloaded the day's images, editing a few, and proceeded to recline and consider how to begin this blog. Right now, I am feeling like the flu is finally leaving my system. We watch a fascinating documentary on Amazonian tribal practice and the city lights begin to sparkle.

No comments: