NPR

Rio Carnival: When Brazil Lets Out Its Mysterious 'Inner Chicken'

"There are people who go through life until they are 80 or 90 years old, desperate to let out their chicken. They die without doing so, which is a mistake," a Carnival reveler says.
Revelers celebrate during the Carnival street parade of the Bloco das Carmelitas in the Santa Teresa neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last week. Source: Mauro Pimentel

You can buy a remarkable number of items on Copacabana Beach just by sitting on the sand a few yards from the Atlantic waves, and waiting.

Without leaving your beach chair, you can purchase a piece of cheese, a kiddie pool, a blanket, a skewer of shrimp, a string bikini, a selfie-stick, a tropical shirt, a pineapple or a coconut.

Be under no illusions: Copacabana is not merely a beach. It's a giant, restless market, staffed by vendors who drift around in steaming heat, flourishing their wares at the multitude of near-naked basking bodies.

That's why I went there this week. I needed something. The stores

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