In less than 20 minutes we can go from dry summer heat to flooded streets.
Summer is the rainy season here in Rio. This year, however, we have seen very little rain. That’s good news for the tourists who come here for Christmas, New Year and Carnaval. It is punishingly hot, however, for the rest of us.
The temperature this summer has been unusually hot – and dry. The rain is often the only relief we have from the heat. If it rains only slightly people will not even use umbrellas, they will just look upwards and smile into the falling raindrops.
When the sky really opens up all bets are off. Best to find a barzinho and settle in for a half hour wait until you can continue on your way.
The street in front of our apartment floods if the rain is too fierce. First the road fills with runoff. Then the sidewalk begins to flood. During really ferocious downpours the water rises to the point of invading shops and restaurants.
But it is so refreshing. The dusty streets are washed clean. The clammy air is scrubbed and chilled. Most importantly the temperature is knocked down 10 or 15 degrees.
I’ve come to love the rain in summer.