One factor of Brazilian culture I’ve always found puzzling is the napkin-dispenser paper napkin phenomenon. If you go to a café or a bar or a pizzaeria, you won’t recognize what you pull out of the dispenser. The napkins are thin pieces of waxy paper with little to no absorbency or wiping attributes at all. I don’t know if it is for economic reasons that version of the paper napkin is used, or if I just don’t know how to use it properly.
Today I saw the most bizarre version of a paper napkin. We were driving from Angra dos Reis to Rio de Janeiro and stopped for gas and a snack. Here, the paper napkins weren’t thin filmy remnants, but the equivalent of squares of copier paper. These had even less use for wiping my daughter’s face. I can’t imagine these were inexpensive to produce, as copier paper is rather pricey here. Luckily, I stocked up on hand wipes in the U.S. and had stuffed all my bags and purses with a supply. It is curious that no one has yet to complain… but me of course.