Carnival 2014 is over! Phew! So how did it go? Well, I had a great time – it didn’t rain and we went to some really nice blocos on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I’m afraid that 3 days solid partying is about all I can manage nowadays. When Tuesday came around I found myself longing for a quiet day on the sofa!
As usual, I was snapping away with my camera, always on the lookout for some inventive fantasia or other fun sight. Here are some highlights:
Carnaval do Lixo
But what will Rio Carnival 2014 be remembered for? Well many have dubbed it Carnaval do Lixo (Carnival of Rubbish) due to a strike by the Garis (street-sweepers). I have seen large piles of rubbish on the streets in the past (with so many people there simply isn’t room for all the rubbish to go in the trash cans) – but previously you would also see an army of orange-clad garis working through the day and night to clean up. By Tuesday and Wednesday it looked like we were in the middle of the apocalypse.
I’m still trying to make up my mind on this strike. In general I’m inclined to by sympathetic to the garis – they have a tough job and it seems that a lot of people treat them with a lack of respect. But this strike was not sanctioned by the Gari union which was already in negotiations with the government to increase the salary and benefits package of its members. From the start of next month, Garis will be getting a starting package of R$1,224 per month, plus dental insurance, double pay on weekends and holidays, R$16 per day for lunch and a 13th, 14th and 15th salary at the end of the year!
With rain falling right now and the forecast saying it’s going to continue right through the weekend, everyone is now fearing an almighty (and revolting) mess of rubbish, sewage, flood water – not good. Looks like the rest of us will be returning to work (and down to earth) with a thud! I’ll leave you with a happier memory from when the sun was still shining and the carnival bands were playing.