The beach vendors in Rio were such striking figures. Under the blistering sun, they would walk up and down the beaches all day, selling their wares. Nic and I were working while we were there, but damn–there should be a different word entirely for the work that they do. Made me think about what drives human beings to do work, to be industrious, to create. A legacy, a larger societal contribution? Maybe. Duty? Maybe. Self-expression and creativity? If you’re lucky. Fame or infamy? Sure. Money? Definitely.
I’m fortunate enough to find myself in conversations where, when someone says they’re at a job “for the money,” it actually means “for massive amounts of money.” For some people, “for the money” means just being able to survive.
Just like most tourist areas, the contrast in Rio between The Well-off and Everyone Else was jarring. After all, we were in Ipanema. Every once in a while though, I’d be able to catch an angle, and the beach vendors looked majestic. Kings and Queens.
Speaking of Queens, I caught a particularly festive one in a fruit hat. Yes.