Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vendedors Ambulante (Street Vendors)

There are many poor Brasilians in Southern Brasil. Most of them are poor not because they don’t want to work, but because jobs are scarce. They are an industrious and inventive people, who won’t take “no job” lying down. They will do whatever it takes to feed their families.

One of the most common sights you’ll find, especially during the holiday season on the beaches are street vendors (vendedors ambulante). They carry anything from fruits and vegetables to sunglasses, to beautiful hand-made jewelry, toys, etc. Anything that can be carried on their backs, on their bikes or on their hand-crafted carts will be offered up for sale to anyone taking the time to listen to their sales pitch.

I once had a guy selling ice cream treats right next to my café, where, of course, I also offered ice cream for sale. But I didn’t begrudge him because he needed that money to feed his family. I stood there and watched--me with no customers and him selling ice cream right and left right under my nose. But it did not make me angry. It made me happy that he was going to have rice and beans on the table that evening. That is the Brasilian way.

Til Later, Tchau!