Huddled in the shade of the vine covered entrance to the restaurant, named Ramma, along with a long line of customers, patiently waiting to pay for the health conscious fresh food, we just had for lunch, I fumed with irritation about how slow every transaction in the steamy metropolis of Salvador, Bahia, seemed to take. The lovely preparation of diverse offerings, that I had relished only moments ago, had faded with the onset of my New York impatience. Calmly listening to my piqued rumblings was my luncheon companion, Carson Phillips, who had just engineered the signing of a contract, to have my work represented in Brazil by the famous Paulo Darze Galerie. A followup meeting the next morning with the noted David Bastos architectural firm, required a presentation in Portuguese be prepared in the waning hours of the day.
My hubris in thinking I had no time to waste in a line, where the single smiling cashier, engaged in polite conversation with each customer before me, should have faded in the quiet calm that existed all around me. I remember thinking that Salvador would be a better place if its residents were more conscious of others' time, if they would cut some of the red tape and layered processing and conformed to a more American model of efficacy. In my mind, a New York minute would not hurt the city one bit.
That was until I got to where my CD had to be assembled and printed and found that none of the files could be opened because of an incompatibility in software. After many tries, including running back home to retrieve my own computer and re-formatting every image three different times, we finally found a solution. After struggling with the issue for over three hours, the calm leisurely attitude, I had complained about earlier, turned out to be a cultural Godsend on that late hot summer afternoon. The tech guy, never grew impatient or bothered by the time it took to make it work. As the sun disappeared and the evening lights and sounds came alive, it made me realize something very important....patience is a grace you give others that makes your own life easier. My laments about how long things took, has been replaced with an appreciation of how the Brazilians spend time with friends, neighbors and passersby, sharing moments of joy that creates a sense of community and continuity with all.
We have had many opportunities to see the beauty of life in Salvador this trip. Now we are in Rio visiting friends. Below are a few photos of our time in Brazil.