Saturday, February 6, 2010

The End of Carnaval

Carnaval begins on Thursday. My wife's birthday falls on the day before Carnaval this year. My wife is one of these Bahianas that lives for Carnaval- it's her favorite time of the year, and she spends every day, and every night, out on the street partying and taking advantage of what is the largest street party in the world. She has every night planned out- where she's going to be, what band, or bands, she wants to hear, who's she going to be with.

These plans were rapidly coming together when this morning they all went to hell. I was just getting out of an ill-planned Saturday morning pre-school-year parent/teacher meeting when I got a call from my stepson- Evani needed to go to the hospital. She'd fallen down on the stairs and cut her foot.

I instantly dropped all my planned back-to-school post-meeting shopping and dashed back to the house. She had a deep cut between her big toe and her... next biggest toe... does that toe have a name? The pointer toe? As well as being concerned I was also confused as to how she'd managed to cut herself in that way on the stairs, and although there was a fair amount of blood on the stairs where she'd stepped after cutting herself I couldn't find any bloody edge where the cutting would have occurred.

A bit confused about where to go as we have a relatively new health plan and haven't used it for emergency room visits, we spent most of an hour in the car trying to get her treated. Luckily she wasn't in much pain. Traffic is bad here at the best of times, but now with Carnaval looming it is worse. This city takes a whole month to get prepared logistically for Carnaval, and all those preparations are now in high gear- parks are getting walled off, huge bleachers are being erected, and temporary structures abound wherever there is an open stretch of pavement. These include police stations complete with little cages to lock drunk violent people into, fire stations, medical stations, etc.

When we finally made it to the hospital we were confronted by a sign reading "Emergency room very full. Expect to wait a long time." Or something to that effect. As I was getting ready to settle in for the long wait, we discovered we were in the wrong place: we needed to go down the hill to the orthopedics department. We climbed back in the car, didn't have to pay for parking as we'd only been there for five minutes, and drove down the hill. Hmm- free parking space out front. Hmm- virtually empty waiting room. Hmmmmm five minute wait and we're already talking to the doctor! He orders an x-ray and Evani is done so quickly I can't believe it. No broken bones, and he takes her off to clean out the wound and stitch it up if necessary, while I wait with Lucas. It was necessary- three stitches. He also solves the mystery of how she got cut- turns out she didn't. When she fell her toe got caught in the railing and was pulled so violently to the side that it actually tore the skin between her toes. We got out of there in less than an hour, and I joked that she was lucky she hurt her foot and not some other part of her body.

When she fell, the first thing Ruan my stepson said was acabou Carnaval, or 'Carnaval is over'. Then he wanted to know why she wasn't crying. Lucas apparently laughed. Evani is not laughing, but neither is she crying. She's had some bad luck at Carnaval time, a couple years ago she got a very nasty stomach thing that pretty much did her in for the whole week. When we got in to talk to the doctor, one of the first things I said was "She wants to know if she can pular Carnaval." Pular means 'to jump' and they do a lot of jumping during Carnaval- the musicians are always exhorting everyone to sair do chão, or 'leave the ground.' Turns out Evani won't be doing much of that this year. She should be able to do a low-key Carnaval, finding a quiet spot to watch where nobody is likely to step on her feet. There are these elaborate platformed structures called Camarotes which put you at the level of the musicians on the sound trucks - some of them even have clubs and internet access and I even heard of one with a pool inside- she can do that. But no six hour slogs behind a trio this year.

I told her think of how much money you'll save! Participating in a bloco, and doing that six hour slog, can cost upwards of a hundred dollars, and if you do it several times during the week, it can get very expensive.

She's taking it surprisingly well.

So that's how my day got turned on its head today. I've been wanting to write a post, or posts, on any of a myriad of topics that have nothing to do with injuries. And I actually did so. But I'm not going to piggy-back it on this post, I'm going to give it its very own post, and I'm going to publish it tomorrow, or the day after, to maintain the illusion that I actually maintain this blog.

4 comments:

Stephanie said...

My goodness! Poor thing, I'm glad she's alright! Falling down the stairs can be a lot more dangerous than a tear (*shudder*) on the foot. Though any pain in the foot is awful because of all the nerve endings. Ouch! Hope she heals quickly!!

markuza said...

Thanks Stephanie- that's what's so weird, is she didn't feel hardly anything despite all those nerve endings. So far she's doing fine.

Fabio Bossard said...

Hopefully she will be able to pular carnaval. It is longer there than in many parts of Brazil. She will recover right on time.

Everytime you say "sai do chão" I remember some micareta singer screaming to the audience: tiiiira o pé do chãããããõoooo!!

andre said...

Bummer. I hope you have a great time even with a hurt foot. Carnival is also my favorite time of year. We got off to a great start with the Superbowl and a fabulous parade when the Saints came home, but our Thursday parades have been cancelled due to freezing rain. Shaping up to be a slightly more subdued carnival all around. Aren't the camarotes alot more expensive than the blocos? May you hear great music and pass a fabulous time anyway.