05 October 2015

On NOT Going to the Beach

Which way do I go?
There are a number of people who seem to be a bit puzzled, and somewhat skeptical, if not out and out suspicious of the fact that Mark and I live at the beach and yet don't go to the beach. The conversations on this subject always take the same form. People start by remarking on how very white we are, and how we must have to take some strong protective measures against the sun when we go to the beach.  Oh, but we don't go to the beach, we say. You don't go to the beach? they ask, aghast. No, we say, We don't. In fact, it was at that point in such a conversation that a fairly aggressive interlocutor said, If you don't go to the beach, you should move to the mountains!

What is going to the beach, anyway? In some ways it could be said that Mark and I go to the beach all the time. After all, we live right on the beach. Our veranda and our terrace look out at the beach, and down in our little park we sit just above beach level. We walk down the beach to go to the various stores and restaurants in the neighborhood. We pick shells off the beach to use in various landscaping projects. And it's not as if the entire town of Búzios is at the beach every single day. Most of the year-round residents are busy working, and are hardly ever seen at the beach (except for those early-morning/late-evening joggers and walkers).

So why do we live here? It's not so hard to fathom. There is something profoundly peaceful in gazing out at the water every day. There is something deeply primal as we listen to and even move with the back and forth of the waves. Come on down, join us in our park, and you'll figure it out in a nanosecond.

Dear readers: I know I've only barely returned to blogging, but after this post I'll be taking another hiatus. We've spent four years together, and I've enjoyed your comments and your loyalty. As we say here in town, See You in Búzios!


  1. Hi there! I am a Brazilian living in Bangalore, India, and teaching Portuguese. One of my responsibilities here at the language institute is to write some articles about Brazil, introducing the Brazilian culture to Indian citizens, as we plan to launch a website in January. I would like to feature some interviews with expats in Brazil and would like to know if you have any interest in answering a few questions... If so, could you inform an e-mail address so we can discuss further? Thank you!

  2. Hi Barbara.

    I learned about your blog today by my wife's recommendation. I've only read this very post so far. Your writing and pictures are just beautiful.

    I have such an admiration and passion for the US and I love to travel to there when I can. It is so pleasant to become aware of an American getting a kick out of my country as well.

    Both the photos and your writing about your life style bring a hard worker in the rat race like me such a peace of mind. I feel like retiring already.

    I will get there. Only 25 to 30 years left!

    All best wishes to you. By the sound of this post, you won't be writing again very soon. But as I said, I've just found your blog, so I probably have lots to read here before I can demand more.


    1. Thanks so much, Renan, your comments are very much appreciated. Hope you continue to enjoy back-posts of the blog! I see that you, too, have blogs, and I'm eager to take a look at them. Tudo de bom, bjs

  3. Hey Barbara,
    I hope you are doing great in Brazil,
    My name is Pravin and I belong from India.
    Your blog keeps on enlightening me as i have been reading it for a while. I would love to meet you when i come to brazil in July.
    Send me your email addresss. mailpravink[at]rediffmail[dot]com
    Tudo de bom, bjs