Today marks that hafway point of Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife's solo trip to Brazil to deal with family issues- we're both struggling but looking forward to the reunion now, but damn, it's a strain. She tells me that it's 104ish during the day and humid, and nighttimes are a misery. This is a bit of an eyeopener for me, as her city is on an arid plain.
...but looks are deceiving, I suppose, for the very gentle hills hide what looks like rain forest to foreign eyes, but in reality is just tropical forest, there not being quite enough rain for that. This is the time of year when rainstorms come crashing down the hillier portions of Brazil make the news when neighborhoods built on high hills get washed into neighborhoods built in low valleys.
When you get away from the tropical paradise portions of Brazil's coast, you're left with a third-world nation that runs from temperate to tropical, with pockets of wealth bookended by abject poverty; in a nation with no middle class, it's just another way of making do- things we don't think about- like my mother-in-law's apartment in a relatively well-to-do(ish) suburb of a medium-sized city where running water only happens every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
A far cry from the pictures you'd see in tourist traps, which, admittedly, exceeded expectations.
...or where my wife's cousin took over her grandmother's kitchen for the afternoon to cook a massive feast of ridiculous proportions featuring all the best cuts of meat- and this from a family who's annual salary equates to about 2 weeks of mine... and wouldn't take a single goddamned penny from me to help pay for the food I ate (unbeknownst to them, my wife will actually be showing up there this upcoming weekend with two $100+ bottles of scotch (her uncle and cousins are fans but can't afford it, and the swill that's even available in Brazil is total shit). Note the stove, which is a tiled table top with a car rim used as a charcoal grill. Also note the chunks of beef tenderloin cooking over it. I can't even afford that stuff to cook at home but once a year or so.
I haven't seen any pictures yet from this trip, but I'm assuming that I'll see my wife looking exasperated and sweaty but still beautiful. Without her husband there to insist on a hotel with AC, however, I don't expect that she'll look quite as composed as the last time when we went together.