Nostalgia and emotion
How we miss a hug, walking through the streets of Salvador, a party …
It’s been another month since measures to control the new coronavirus began. Quarantine is an adaptation to a new normal. Lives on internet have become our concerts, conversation circles and lectures. Through the apps, the faces next to each other are now like our meetings with friends in Largo da Dinha on Rio Vermelho busy nights. Now, the encounters only happen when we meet someone in the supermarket. Shouting from the window: “Eu falei Faraóóóó!” (a snatch of a popular Brazilian song) turned to be the most affectionate parody to: “What’s up, man, where are you?”, a classic conversation between people who don’t see each other very often.
We miss walking the streets of Salvador. It is with this feeling that the City of Salvador, through the Secretariat of Culture and Tourism (SECULT), launches the campaign “Uma saudade chamada Salvador” (A nostalgia called Salvador). A series of digital content on memories from the capital of Bahia, published here on the website salvadordabahia.com and on Instagram @visitsalvadordabahia.
The goal is to keep the memory of Salvador alive for tourists and Soteropolitans. “The only way to visit Salvador at this moment is through memories. The purpose of the campaign is to sharpen people’s sensory and imaginary, in order to awaken good moments, making Salvador remembered and revisited. In addition, transmitting hope is one of the objectives of the campaign”, reinforces the Secretary of Culture and Tourism, Pablo Barrozo.
With the video, you can revisit the city, feel the sea breeze, and even smell the acarajé. A mix of feelings. A real emotion.
And what do you miss the most?
This year, there was no forró in the square and drinking liquor to celebrate São João. There were no majestic dances around the campfire at the Xangô fire festival. And what does the Soteropolitan miss the most? These people are so affectionate, that we risk saying that, first, they miss hugging, second, the parties, and third, the feijoadas, stews and crabs with family and friends around the table.
But Salvador is like this. Here, people miss the simple things, like buying flowers at Dois de Julho and walking on Avenida Sete. How we long to see the crowded Fonte Nova for a classic Ba-Vi game. To eat acarajé on the street, where the lines become meeting points. On Friday, the day we wear white, we long to go to mass at the Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim, to tie another ribbon, to ask for protection.
Walking in the fairs, Feira de Sete Portas, romanticized by Jorge Amado, or Feira de São Joaquim, with its moored boats and its traditional Sunday samba. Buying seriguela, cashew, mangaba, cajá, cajá-umbu, umbu, fruits that we use in the roskas, but that we also find in the ice creams of Sorveteria da Barra, Ribeira, Laporte (in Pelourinho) and even in the flavors of the famous liqueurs made by the nuns from Convento do Desterro.
From the walk through the Historic Center to the curdled cheese on the beach…
The good thing is that this nostalgia affirms how we like our way of being, our daily lives and our culture. Taking the phase of social isolation seriously, the city will be soon back to normal, and we will be able to transform each of these memories into plans. Like walking through the streets of the Historic Center, taking a fantastic photo from the balcony of the Rio Branco Palace with the Lacerda Elevator in the background and seize the opportunity to have a coconut maltado at the Cubana Ice Cream Shop. With any luck, coming face to face with the Olodum Block through the streets of Pelourinho and letting yourself be carried away by this musicality.
We miss passing by Caetano getting some tan in Porto da Barra, eating curdled cheese on a stick, sliced acarajé and capelinha popsicle on the beach. We miss a crowded beach on a “Segunda-feira gorda” in Ribeira, or spending the afternoon in Itapuã, enjoying the natural pools at low tide or practicing SUP on Rua K.
A boat trip, fish for lunch, a party in Rio Vermelho
Jumping off the trampoline in Porto and São Tomé de Paripe is already on the list. Then you can add taking a boat to Ilha de Maré just to take a picture at that little church in Praia das Neves. Or, who knows, gathering friends, renting a boat and stopping at Ilha dos Frades, spending the day at Ponta de Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe and Loreto.
We miss spending a whole day at Solar do Unhão and Gamboa. Relaxing on the pebble beach, eating a stingray moqueca in Dona Suzana or fried fish at A Novidade bar, or even taking a boat to Bar da Mônica and enjoying a cold drink and a swim in the sea.
We feel like strolling around, to take a picture in front of the wings mosaic in Rio Vermelho, a work by the artist Bel Borba, or at the sculpture Odoyá by the artist Ray Vianna, both on the same shore. Staying there just warming up, then going to how many parties the body can handle.
Oh what a desire to go out to eat
When all this is over, the food delivery apps won’t see us for a long time (lol). We really like to eat moqueca in front of the sea. If you are having lunch around Pedra Furada, you should end the day at Farol do Humaitá watching that spectacular sunset. Counting the days also to get a boat in Ribeira and go to Plataforma, in Subúrbio Rodoviário, to eat some delicacies there. Mouraria bars are on the post-quarantine wish list, which with their tables on the street serve, among many other things, lambretas – native clams from the All Saints Bay –and pastéis filled with octopus, aratu and crab.
How we miss a cultural buzz!
We’re longing to enjoy the musical program of bars and restaurants in the most charming neighborhood of the city: Santo Antônio Além do Carmo. And still be “de keke” * in the bustle that extends to the street.
Then we remember the gengibrinho and the cravinho, that classic ethyl combo for the evenings, and also the shows at Concha Acústica, Campo Grande and in the squares of Pelourinho.
It is definitely part of the list to watch plays at Teatro Gregório de Mattos, Vila Velha, Castro Alves and many other cultural spaces, and end the tour on a brilliant night of musical excellence at JAM do MAM.
A nostalgia called Salvador would be the musical vibration present in every corner, that smile of the encounter, the colors of the sky, the simple things and most of all our roots.
As that old cliché says: sometimes we value things more when we lose them. And now that we have temporarily “lost” the freedom to come and go, we will certainly appreciate even more every drum beat, every drop of palm oil, every sunset, every pedal ride in the heat of the seashore, every breeze with the smell of the sea that beats on our face. Salvador is made up of great celebrations and a lot of excitement, but also small details and simple manifestations of nature that warm our hearts.
By Fernanda Slama
Portal content coordinator
Note: Our sympathy and support for all the people who lost loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Slang – to be “de keke” * – in the context of this text means to be chilling with friends without many pretensions or plans; partnership.