One needs to be there to better understand the song: “The Girl from Ipanema”
Rio de Janeiro: The Most Beautiful City I’ve Ever Lived in.
Ipanema beach. I’ll never forget my runs there.
In Rio de Janeiro, I lived in a small furnished apartment in Ipanema (I also
kept the apartment in Sao Paulo, as my wife and my son still lived in that apartment, although my wife Isabel came frequently to Rio), in a 2nd street to the famous beach, which had a boardwalk whose floor was covered entirely by whitish stones with black arabesques (Very Portuguese, as years later we saw a similar floor in Lisbon, during a vacation in Portugal), and which ran parallel to the sand of a beach always full of people.
By the wide boardwalk, which also has at its side a paved track for bicycles, running for the 3.5 Km of the beach, walked or ran at all times the “Cariocas”, as in Sao Paulo the “Paulistanos” called — almost scornfully — the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro.
The Cariocas seemed to utilize the boardwalk as a social tool, “to see and to be seen”, as it is always full of people of all ages, fat and scrawny, who without a hint of shame for their bodies, and dressed in minuscules tangas some men, or in tiny bikinis some women, walked up and down the boardwalk, only stopping to rest or to talk animatedly to some acquaintance, or simply to greet a friend or a neighbor.
All along the boardwalk, there were multiple kiosks in which to enjoy the fresh milk of a coconut, a cold beer, or other alcoholic drink, or simply to rest and sip a coffee in one of its chairs with a pliable table and watch the people
At that time, I jogged daily in the boardwalk (Later, to my regret because I liked jogging very much, I had to stop running as my left knee was injured), and I can assure you, male reader, that there wasn’t a better incentive to continue jogging — when one felt tired — than waiting there for the passing jogging of a young and pretty “garota” (As young and beautiful girls are called in Brazil), preferably scantily dressed (And there were plenty there!), and follow her steps with the same cadence and without stopping!
The continuous stress of my job at CG collected a toll on my health.
One afternoon I was at the office at CG, and one of the company’s doctors was taking my arterial pressure, as my neck and the base of my nape was hurting, for I had had a heavy day.
Alarmed, the doctor asked me to lie down on a sofa and placed a glycerin pill underneath my tongue, as according to his reading, I had my systolic blood pressure extremely high (at more than 200!) and was in real danger.
Just starting the following day and for two weeks, the best cardiologist in Rio submitted me to all kinds of tests, checking if I had a major blood vessel obstructed or any sign of another heart disease.
Fortunately, the doctors didn’t find anything.
The conclusion was that I had had “a pressure peak” due to the daily stress, I was submitted to.