Today I was standing in line at the Carrefour waiting to purchase my bottles of Itubaina (see Brazilian Challenge Day 67: Itubaina) when an older woman headed toward the end of the line, late 60’s to early 70’s, approached a man ahead of me in line, late 50’s. Sure, she was talking to him rather loudly and passionately, but Brazilians often speak loudly and passionately when describing how they like to take their coffee. So I didn’t think much of it. Until she slapped him. Shocking right? You might think that was going to be the top shocker of the day. Until he WHACKED her across the face in response.
I kid you not.
So people started to shout, including me. But when she continued to yell at him, and he pulled back both his fists in a move to slug her, I jumped ahead in line to approach him. My Portuguese vocabulary is not equipped to handle this situation, so all I could really say was “não faz esse” or “do not do this.” He stopped and the woman was ushered to the back of the line. Angry, I continued to scold him in nonsensical Portuguese about how men shouldn’t hit women. He tried to make his case, but I didn’t understand nor was willing to listen. (Though now, I’m kind of curious to know what caused this scene. Based on what I did understand, it was not over the last box of pão de quiejo mix, definitely something that occurred outside the Carrefour.)
Ok, yes, she slapped him. She shouldn’t have done that. But he hit her hard and then intended to beat her. And neither appeared to be of gangster origins. They both looked like upper middle class citizens. I know the Brazilian are passionate people, but…Whoa. Where was security, one might ask? I have no idea.
I’d never seen this happen in the U.S., although I’m absolutely certain it has. I just wonder what the crowd reaction would be. There wasn’t much movement in the crowd at the Carrefour, just a few outbursts and a lot of looking around at each other.
To top off my morning, after I left the store and rounded the corner onto the sidewalk, a man in a blanket jumped in my path and pulled out his rather large “equipment” and began to “operate” it quite vigorously.
I think I’ll be staying home the rest of the day today.