Copacabana beach is most famous for what goes on along it’s sand and the bars by the edge. Football, volleyball, caipirinhas, samba, the list goes on. But it is, after all, a beach, there is water. Waves. The water is algae green, making it feel somewhat unclean. God knows how many pollutants you can’t see are also hidden in that green. The waves are huge. There are no surfers because the beach is too crowded, there’s no space. Further up, on Ipanema beach, a few surfers fight for waves in one section. Copacabana has the poor man’s surfing. Body surfing. Ride the waves with just your body. A lot of kids come down from the favelas to enjoy it, and they shoot across the water like bullets. It’s thrilling and dangerous.
On my first day there I went swimming with my sister. The waves were too strong for her impractical bikini, and she had to give up. Coming back, we saw an attempted robbery, one woman chased another until she dropped whatever she had stolen. It was just one on one at that point. However, when she kept chasing, the other women’s friends gathered together to protect her. On the waves and on the sand, there was always an element of danger lurking.