Friday, February 20, 2009

The Bikini Lady From Sao Paulo

The women at my MIL's gym like to reward themselves for all their hard work by congregating outside to gossip immediately after an exercise class.

They bring little cups of coffee from inside and pull out cigarettes like they're going to die if they have to wait one more minute to have one. When the coffee is gone, they drink regular Coke from two straws, eat potato chips from a communal bag and smoke more cigarettes.

It's the funniest thing I've ever seen.

By the time everyone says goodbye about an hour later, they're probably worse off health wise than when they arrived!

Today was no different. Except the Bikini Lady from Sao Paulo came by with her giant bag of little bikinis. The women quickly swiped all the cigarettes and Cokes off the table and started going through the bag with excited high pitched squeals.

(The masseuse is the woman on the right in white. And, yes, I had another massage today, with reflexology!)

My MIL kept holding up the smallest sizes, which looked like they could fit Gabi, and tsking that they were just too big. She finally found two that she liked and then settled back to ooh and ahh amongst a sea of voices yelling So Cute! and Get That One, It Looks Delicious!

By the end the table looked like it had been mauled, but everyone was very happy, including the Bikini Lady who had sold quite a few bikinis.

Since I'm showing you the gym, let me take you on a little tour of the club.

It has a lovely chapel, near the snack bar, in case you have a sudden need to be close to Jesus and The Mother Mary.

The view from the Chapel shows off the covered basketball court on the right, and to the left is the park that I take Gabi to while my MIL is in her exercise class.

I think I called it quaint when I mentioned it the first time. You can see why. It's like traveling back in time! Most parks in Brasil are made of wood. At the beach they are entirely of wood, but here in the club's park, there's a bit of metal, too. Not many kids come on site anymore, so they haven't kept it up.

On the way out, the view from the front door is so pretty. The club is on the water and you'll often see people crossing the street with the club's kayaks.

I'm not sure where anything else is, like the pool, though I hear often hear splashing. I might go poking around the next time I'm there.

On an entirely different note, I'm heading to my BIL's beach house in the middle of nowhere for FIVE DAYS. It seems that my family likes to escape during Carnival, so the excitement I had when I found out I would finally get to see this great event in person was all for naught!

We'll be on some island halfway between Santos and Rio, and I'm told we're lucky to have electricity there. I'm imagining something really primitive! I'll tell you all about it when I get back.


  1. That is such a funny 'routine' but you can just the friendships they have formed.
    Neat club--and can I say I am so jealous of these pics! It looks so beautiful!

  2. LOL! You are too funny! The smoking bit does drive me crazy here. I got so spoiled by so many smoke free environments in the States. Recently we were at a Sushi restaurant eating raw fish and someone right next to me pulled out a cigarette and started blowing smoke all over my fish. Gross! I hope Brazil will start taxing them soon because that will be a deterrent - knowing Brazil which is always 0 to 80 overnight, they'll probably start taxing them at 500%!
    Have a great time for Carnival! (Trust me, you're better off far away from the drunken nonsense...)

  3.'re going to miss Carnival! My BIL was a missionary in Brazil. He said that during Carnival, the missionaries were on lock-down in their apartments the entire time - the streets weren't safe...or very conducive to missionary work. ;-)

  4. I am cracking up at the idea of the smoking (well, eeeewww, but still), the chips, and the Coke drinking after exercising! And then? Bikini shopping.


  5. I do often cry out to God while working out. The chapel would be perfect :)

    And the smoking. Ugh. It's the same way here in Europe. Even on the train they jump off at each stop to smoke. It's like they can't wait 10 minutes. Crazy.

  6. Your story about the coke, chips and cigarettes brought an immediate image to my head. Have you ever seen the movie "Troop Beverly Hills"? The girls go in front of the gym to sell cookies and are soon making huge sales. LOL

  7. We have been to bikini ladies in Brazil! My daughter owns several that are really only appropriate to be worn in Brazil. The thing I love about Brazilian women is their great self image and lack of inhibitions when it comes to their bodies. EVERYONE wears bikini's. Its just all out there.

    Have fun on your island. I too think you are best off avoiding carnaval.

  8. Laural, I think you will be going to Ilha Bela, if I am right you will like it. It is a little far from normal life but it's a beautiful place. I used to go there on the weekends with my parents. The Beaches there are waaaayyy more beautiful than the ones in Santos. If it is Ilha Bela...

    I love the pictures, thank you for sharing them. I miss Santos so much... I can see my Guaruja to across the ocean in the pictures, yay!!!!

    Have fun!

  9. I had a friend in college that used to sell bikinis too!! I have to say... I love Brazil, but I'm really not confortable with the size of the bikinis! I like to cover more of my body than the bikinis allow here! :P


  10. OMG Laural...
    Your posts are always so humorous! I love how you can exercise AND pray all in the same building! LOL. The smokes and chips are classic irony too. Love the pics too! I'll keep reading of your exploits in Brazil! I'm in rainy SoCal with a bad cold this week-ugh! Miss ya!

  11. You. are. hilarious.

    It is a wonder that with all the chip eating, Coke drinking, cigarette smoking, they can fit into those itty, bitty bikinis.

    The gym chapel is cracking me up too!

  12. No electricity? Good luck with that!!

  13. I've been loving your Brasil posts. Gabi looks SO cute in her summer dresses and bikinis! Good luck on the island. Can't wait to hear about it! Oh, I also want to hear more about the preschool!

  14. sounds like my kinda workout. it would only be better if i could smoke inside the gym while getting a massage. anywho, bring me a tiny bikini will you?> Ive been meaning to stop eating anyway.

  15. Lol! That reminds me of when we lived in Turkey--the smoking, the Coke, the chips.

    And I was cracking up at the bikinis, lol! They looked pretty cute!

  16. Can't wait to hear about your time at the beach house!

  17. haaaa i hope you enjoyed the Reflexology :) Such a relaxing moment.


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