So the city recently built a new road. It connects our bairro to a previously mysterious region of the city. Hard to explain, but the point is, I decided to go for a walk yesterday to see what was in the mystery region. I'd never been over there before, because, well, I didn't know it existed. I didn't know it existed because (a) it doesn't have much more than houses and little bars and no one I know lives there and (b) there were few ways to get into it so it wasn't like, an area that I'd drive through while trying to go somewhere else.
So yes, while Alexandre went to watch the soccer game with his friends (borrrrriiinngg), I went for a walk in the mystery region. It was only 15 minutes away, but it really felt like another world. I mean, I know I always complain that I live in a small country town, but I kind of exaggerate. I have a mall and internet and McDonald's and all that. This area REALLY felt like a small country town.
Most of the roads that went off of the new main road were just dirt roads. There were quite a few empty lots, but in the Brazilian sense of an empty lot, not the American (or at least Californian) sense. In a Brazilian empty lot, the grasses are knee-high, there are wild banana trees, with fronds decomposing all over the ground, and there are disturbing bug sounds making their way out of the brush. Damn, I hate bugs.
And the funniest part? Many of the empty lots had been trimmed down and filled with chickens left to roam and graze. (Talk about free range!.... do chickens graze, Michelle? Do I use a different verb?) I imagine that the people in the houses around the empty lot let their chickens run loose in the lots. But I mean, they have value, right? I can't believe no one steals them. There were even big roosters, and some little baby chicks! *so cute!*
I'm not really sure if chickens are aggressive, especially if they have their babies with them. And the roosters were BIG. So I kind of walked in the middle of the roads.
Some of the lots had abandoned, rusting cars, but less trash than I would expect.
People-wise, there was the typical Sunday afternoon porch lounging. Adults sat in their lawn chairs drinking beer while the kids played soccer or rode their bikes in the street. Adults gave me polite olás and the kids gave me funny looks. (Yes, I know, I'm tall and white. Thanks for reminding me.) A couple of houses had some little portable radios out on the porch, playing the game or the ever-popular sertaneja music, but most were content with their own chit-chat and the ambient birds and bugs. Some people had their chickens roaming around on the porches around them.
What is it with the chickens? Do they kill them, or just use them for eggs? If they kill them, WHERE do they kill them? Only some of the houses seemed to have enough extra land around them to properly and sanitarily (not a word) kill a chicken.
I wandered around for about an hour, but didn't want to start seeming creepy, so I made my way home.
That's it. That's all there is to my story. Nothing particularly profound or funny. It was just interesting that such a different community exists only a few minutes away. Plus, I'm hoping someone can explain the chicken predicament to me. (I know it isn't really a predicament, per se, but say that out loud to yourself: chicken predicament.)
I'll try to go back this week and sneak in some pictures!