Adventures in the Favela – Part 02 – Tania became a prostitute.
My girlfriend was from Florianopolis in the south of Brazil, a city known for good waves and beautiful women. She had come to Rio together with a friend, Tania. To be honest the night we met I fancied Tania, European look, blue eyes and big pectoral assets. Larissa was quieter, less sexual, but was more receptive at the Green Party’s party and we ended up living together.
Tania was a bit too sexual, every week she appeared with a new guy, waiters, tourists, surfers, rich guys, poor guys; she was very democratic. Both of the girls had come to town for the same job, subscription sales for a left wing magazine. Tania didn’t last a month there and without anywhere to stay, with drug habits, with great appetite and not knowing anyone in town she ended up in the oldest profession in the world; prostitution.
After she entered the trade the friends she brought to visit us in the Favela flat became more interesting. One day she appeared with two legitimate Italian mafiosi, a pale guy wearing a heavy ring and the other one was a huge guy with a beard, resembling the Trinity duo Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. They were cool dudes, they took us out for dinner and had loads of cocaine on them. The next week she turned up with a South African yacht man who was touring the world and who was relieved to find someone who spoke English and who ended up confessing to me in tears that he had fallen in love with Tania. Then there was Pierre Alain, a Swiss guy on a sexual safari through Latin America who ended up becoming her boy friend and a personal friend of mine to this very day.
One night she knocked on the door in tears saying that she had been thrown out of her room because of a drunken fight with the landlord and we invited her to come to live with us for a while. Because I was her best friend’s boyfriend nothing ever happened between us and I became a kind of paternal confidant who gave her a lot of “white nosed” advice. The friendship made me take her to work every evening, her “point” was a night club next to Lido square on Avenida Atlantica, Copacabana’s beach promenade, at the time its curb “the Calcadao” was the biggest open air brothel in the world. As a gesture of gratitude she paid for the gas money and constantly supplied us with generous small plastic bags of “powder”.
Tania had a talent for reading tarot card and was into Umbanda the Afro-Brazilian religion. She sometimes gave us sessions “incorporated” by a “pomba-gira” spirit; I can not remember her predictions but she did guess some pretty amazing things. Apart from her sessions, when she got drunk the pomba gira business got heavy, and stopping it was a problem. Things got worse when she started calling her work colleagues for card sessions and partying after work at dawn. Despite living on the border of the Favela I had a job and had to get up early to give English classes.
On one occasion she was going to travel that same morning with a suitcase I had lent her. She arrived with a friend at four in the morning and started doing her “pomba-gira” passes. That woke me up, pissed me off and I went in to tell her to cut it out because I had to work in a few hours time. The “entity” didn’t like that and started swearing at me, at one point she started calling me a dirty Jew, and that was it, I got my suitcase back and told her not to come back after her trip.
It took a long time for me to hear about Tania again, a couple years later someone told me that she was working in the sex trade in Switzerland and was buying a house for her mother in Florianopolis. The old woman thought that she had found a great job as a secretary there.