Monday, February 7, 2011

The statue of Cristo Redentor - Christ the Redeemer - in Rio de Janeiro

The benefits of being a mid-level maritime officer are legion, but having lots of shore leave isn’t among them. Luckily there are also the members of the crimson choir, one of whom won’t be missed and can be sent on errands; i.e. go shopping for shampoo, razor blades, condoms and occasional photo shoots if the enticement of the port of call warrants such an endeavor.

Rio certainly does. My homie Ludin has a steady eye and promising feel for composition. He also has a mirror reflex Canon of unclear origin, but wherever he purloined it, we’re not there now, and I confidently send him on a reconnaissance mission towards Rio’s signature statue of Cristo Redentor – Christ the Redeemer – which has stared vacantly over the town from the top of Corcovado Mountain for eight decades now.
It’s a little after breakfast. I tell Ludin to don his civvies. “Taxi up, taxi down,” sound my staccato commands, while shoving three twenties in Ludin’s shirt pocket. “Ten minutes to shoot it. You should be back before coffee time.”

Later that evening Ludin waggles back on board. He’s wearing someone else’s shirt and is pulling Johnny Walker vapor trails. When he’s done explaining how his taxi had sprang a flat tire, how he was held up by the local gendarmerie after an undisclosed misunderstanding, and how he had lost his way back to the ship when he couldn’t afford his taxi ride back anymore, we tie his camera to the computer. Out roll close to two hundred photo’s of dazzling Brazilian beach babes, also revealing Ludin’s uncanny creativity in selecting focal points and zooming talents. Cristo Redentor is in there too somewhere. “Made by French guy,” Ludin exhales and unfolds a crumbled and sweaty promo flyer, “By guy named Paul Landowski.”
“Yeah, that sounds French,” I admit.
“Design by local guy name Heitor da Silva Costa. Stone come from Sweden.”
“Is now one of New Seven Wonders of the World.”
“Wonder why. Are you going to go back to work anytime soon?”
“But I haven’t had coffee time yet!”
“Ah well, see you tomorrow then,” I say while behind me the storekeeper quietly begins to cast the two hundred Brazilian babes into an everlasting slide show.

Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain, Rio de Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer - detail
That's what it looks like when you're there...
Ludin was assigned volunteer duty and spent the next day cleaning filters...

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