Tuesday, 28 March 2017

LIFE IN RIO DE JANEIRO - A short story

I've been mulling over how to document my recent trip to South America. Instead of simply posting a few photos with captions, I'm going to use the photos as prompts for stories. 



They weren't getting any younger. Their money had run out again so her husband was out touting for any work he could get. She took the opportunity to relax and have a leisurely strip wash.



When her husband had cobbled together a shower, she had tried to show her appreciation, but she knew the contraption wouldn’t last. Sure enough, within a few weeks it had broken beyond repair. She didn’t mind. A basin of water had always done the job.


In just one month Carnival would be upon them. She smiled to herself. So many ways to make a bit of money during Carnival, even if they were rarely legal. Why should she care? All those rich tourists would be ripe for the picking.




Talking of tourists, she could hear another bus load winding up the narrow favela street on their way to see Christ the Redeemer, the mighty statue which had stood sentinel over the city since the 1930’s.




The tourists wouldn't see much of him in the mist and rain today, but the weather never seemed to stop them. 






She wrapped a raggedy towel tightly across her breasts and looked out of her window. The bus inched past her building.

‘Go on,’ she thought. ‘Have a good gawp at us.’ She smiled to herself again. ‘What you don’t realise is that we’re gawping at you and your ridiculous, empty lives. Lives so empty you pay good money to visit a statue you can barely see in the rain and take a look along the way at how we slum dwellers live. Do you feel sorry for me?

Hah! Well, let me tell you something – my life is richer than yours will ever be.’









The tourists always gave her a good laugh.









Thanks for reading my blog. Your comments are always very welcome. See you in a week or two.















32 comments:

  1. Great idea, basing a story on the photos. And the short tale was very enjoyable.

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  2. She's been haunting me ever since I took her photo... what was going through her mind as she looked out of that window? :)

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  3. This is a great story and I can see many think that way about the tourists. Knowing how scared of heights I am, I'm not sure I could go up there. I like those sad figures with the halos

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  4. Thanks, Birgit. I'm not great with heights either, but it was so misty I couldn't see anything when I looked down! :)

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  5. Lovely, and I can just imagine her thinking it as the bus passes by. Happiness is personal isn't it! Great photo's!

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    1. I know from living in Fiji that poverty has nothing to do with inner happiness, Yolanda. The serene looking lady in the window inspired the story. :)

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  6. A great story, Susan, that makes me feel a little uncomfortable about being one of those tourists.

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    1. Joanne, it goes with the territory. I try not to do too many 'touristy' things when I travel, but time constraints forced me to take the bus tour. It was out of my comfort zone so I think that's how the story developed in the way it did.

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  7. Interesting way to interpret your own tourist photos.

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    1. Thank you - I like to try to think outside the box. :)

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  8. The presentation of the photographs was interestingly done. I doubt I'll ever have the chance to visit Rio, but if she ever makes it out my way, I promise not to gawp at her as she goes past in her tourist bus.

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    1. Another take on Rio, isn't it? If you found it interesting I achieved my aim, Bun.

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  9. A great way to use your photos. I love stories based on pictures! A good one.

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    1. Hi Darlene - thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you liked this. :)

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  10. That was great! And I'm gilty of gawping - I love watching other people, peasants or lords.

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    1. Thanks, Liz. I think it's human nature to gawp! :)

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  11. Hello there and thanks for your comment on the low carb diabetic blog.
    Love how you've done this post.
    I enjoyed the read and the photographs.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks for popping by, Jan and good to hear that you enjoyed this post. Hope I'll see you again. :)

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  12. It's a powerful photo but I don't like to intrude on people's lives. Would she want to change places? I like your approach to the subject.

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  13. I think you have to take a view when photographing people, Jo. Whenever possible, I do ask - but the problem with that is that you only get 'posed' unnatural photos. She isn't in the first photo I took of the building, but came to the window when the bus drove past, so I concluded that she didn't mind being seen and photographed by a tourist.

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  14. Forgot you were on Blogger - had to switch to the laptop! Great story - i love the way you are taking the p out of yourself and th photos you took!

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    1. Thanks for looking in, Liz - and glad to see you 'get' my sense of humour!

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  15. This is simply great! As for your photos, particularly the first one, they say far more about the place than the normal 'picure postcard' ones can ever do. I need to do more South America. So far I've only ticked off Peru and Bolivia.Thanks for taking a detour via my little village of Amble Bay!

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    1. Thanks, Keith - glad you like this post. I couldn't face the changes to the A-Z this year, but I'm enjoying your theme. :)

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    2. The changes haven't worked. I'll drop out next year if they don't revert.

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    3. I have to agree with you, Keith. I thought I'd be able to find interesting blogs to visit but it's impossible to scroll through 300+ comments to find them!

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  16. intriguing and very interesting piece of writing my friend!
    thank you for such brilliant photos too

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    1. Thanks for looking in, Baili and many thanks for your kind words.

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  17. Great story and I like that the narrator can still be happy despite having so little.

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  18. Thanks, Patsy. When I lived in Fiji I saw what it is to be happy despite poverty.

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  19. Mmmmm... the divide... which side would you rather be on? ;-)

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  20. It all depends, doesn't it? It's possible to live very comfortably in the developed world but be extremely lonely and unhappy. On the other hand it's possible to live in poverty but enjoy the richness of a loving family.

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Thank you for your comment!