A Travellerspoint blog

Macumba and a gay bar

Ricardo met me at the bus station again and we headed straight to the Macumba church. They were having a gathering to communicate with spirits via special medium people. It didn't cost anything, so Ricardo said I should ask one of them a question.

A woman came over with a clipboard and told me I could talk with a certain balding bearded man, sitting crosslegged on the ground, comforting a visibly distraught woman. He was all dressed in white and he wore all sorts of imitation gold jewelry. At least seven giant rings with huge plastic stones were on his fingers, and at least three gold necklaces with huge links reached his belly.

He sipped from a glass of red wine and spread a white cloth in front of him, scattered with coins and trinkets. I remember one of them was a metal bicycle keychain, I don't know what all these things signified but it made him seem more legitimate. A woman placed a small wooden stool in front of me and I sat down on it, hovering above the him. The woman was also all in white, with a red sash slung around her hips. She would be my interpreter.

The man looked at me with impatience, and I suddenly wanted to turn around and go home, feeling like an imposter. I didn't have any faith in spirits, there was no reason for me to be there except to observe. I didn't think I should get involved. I told the interpreter that I didn't have any problems, just that I felt directionless. I was pretty sure that the man had sensed my lack of commitment to his faith, and he almost rolled his eyes as he listened to the woman in white tell him what I said.

He answered that he couldn't tell me my mission, because it's everyone's mission to find their own mission. He wanted to know about my job and hobbies, so I told him. He said I should become more religious, and write about my travels more. OK thanks for the insight. I was hoping for something a little more detailed, but I wondered if I would've even listened if he did have something specific to say.

The man angrily thrust a small white candle into my hand and told me to light it at the feet of the statue of Jesus outside. I was meant to pray and ask Jesus my question, instead of him. NOW! GO NOW! he snapped.

He abruptly changed his soft demeanour and I became a little frightened, put my sandals back on and scurried out the door. I was accompanied by another woman in white outside, where they watched me place the candle on the shrine. It would have been nice to have a minute to think about my question, but it wasn't going to happen.

Ricardo went out for a smoke and I chatted with a shaman woman who was overly excited to meet me. When Ricardo came back, we watched the mediums bless an antique wagon wheel. They adorned it with colourful ribbons and danced around it, casting positive energy its way. The owner of the wheel would proudly display it in their home and hope that it would bring them good luck.

From there, we went to a crazy gay bar, where I ordered the most expensive drink on the menu. It was 30 reals ($10). I thought it would be like a long island iced tea, but I ended up getting some sort of crazy giant drink that the bartender tried to make me down all in one go right in front of him. I got angry and said that I wasn't a child and didn't do this anymore. I told him I didn't know what sort of drink I was ordering, and he should let me just drink my crappy drink in peace. He finally let me, but it took a long time.

I let Ricardo fraternize with his people while I stayed out in the smoking area practicing my Portuguese. A woman I introduced myself to got a little friendly and I had to tell her "no gosto meninas", she left pretty fast. Then, I started talking to the young gay guys and they were quite friendly. A really creepy drunk one that looked like Justin Bieber came over at almost the same moment Ricardo did. Ricardo tried to kiss him without even introducing himself at all, but he got rejected, and then we left.

Macumba group

Macumba group

The macumba shrines

The macumba shrines

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.