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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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from the front to the north, they unload into the spacious Customshouse, and from there take out a great deal of national produce. This task, as well as the transport of Customs items to the nearby storehouses, also occupies here, as in Rio de Janeiro, a considerable number of almost naked blacks, who walk, letting out rhythmic shouts. Open shops patent all European goods in profusion; They are quite assorted, notably from English farms, hats, cutlery, French fashion articles, German linen, hardware, Nuremberg products, and Portuguese coarse cotton fabrics, especially multi-colored scarves for the neck. Also European foodstuffs, and cod, the main article of North American export, are abundantly exposed for sale. The few pharmacies look alike in the facility, like those of Portugal, and are copiously provided with specific English and miracle remedies. Some small bookstores, in which one looks for the productions of Brazilian literature in vain, do not give high opinion of the studious habits of this busy commercial square. More numerous are the shops where cutters and jewelers offer to sell the multicolored stones of Minas Novas set in buckles, brooches, earrings, combs, etc., and gold and silver chains of different sizes. In fact, these trinkets are quite rough and tasteless, besides being badly cut stones; however, they serve the taste of the inhabitants, who overuse them. Part of it is bought by the sertanejos who visit the capital, another is destined for black women, especially the slaves of the rich sugar makers, when, in Sunday elegance, they enhance the luxury of white cassia skirts, adorned with beautiful lace.

Lacey outfit from Bahia

A few steps further we found the fish market. It is not as abundantly stocked as Rio de Janeiro, and, with its unclean appearance, does not invite the susceptible European to visit it. Wherever he turned, he had offended his sense of smell and decorum among the gatherings of the people on the beach. In contact with the various human races, the European has to set aside certain prejudices.

Fish market

Embarrassed and tired, we crossed through aisles of mulattoes, who clutter the street sitting on low benches, busy with tailor work; and we arrived at Praca do Comercio,

Praca do Commercio

there finding European neatness in the artistically decorated rooms that boasted precious wood panels. However, we were surprised to see so few people gathered there, even at the time of the stock market operations; Brazilian traders are not yet used to making common transactions in the Praca do Comercio room.

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