Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Welcome to the Crazy Train(zinho)

There's a little piece of entertainment here that is every bit amazing as it is structurally dangerous. Have I mentioned that there's very little to do in our city? Oh yeah, I just wrote three blog posts on the singular children's park/nature reserve. The trainzinho (there are two or three actually) is a ride that drives around the city blasting music and blinking neon lights. Think double decker bus with only two seats and an invitation to certain death. The walls are chest high and there are polls to cling to. It's really more like a party bus met a welding torch and continued on its way. 

It's actually pretty fun. The bus drives around the city blasting funk, popular Brazilian hits, and English dance hits at whatever volume a thousand megaphones is. It's R$2 to ride and lasts somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour (I've never clocked it). Of course my kids inevitably fall asleep because despite the noise and lights, if they're in a moving vehicle for more than six kilometers, they're out. 

Last night's trip came with a bonus act in the form of a very drunk man and woman. I saw the blow up coming and I was in full mama bear mode. We were on the second floor, but at the very front there are five steps that descend to something like a lowered observation deck. It's a popular spot for girls to grab the poles and show you everything they're working with. We noticed one woman who was really going the extra step and giving us a free anatomy lesson. Then I noticed the guy she was with. Or who was trying to be with her. She alternated between dancing and sitting. When she was dancing, he was slapping her ass; when she was sitting, he was grabbing her arms. 

We sat down because the kids were getting tired and the couple sat down in front of us. I saw him grab her upper arm and she shrugged his hand off. I was trying to size them up at this point to figure out their relationship. Was this a drunk couple just being obnoxious? Are these two strangers and is he preying on her? Then he grabbed a handful of her hair at the back of her head. She pushed him off and put a water bottle to his face yelling, "DRIIIINK DRIIIINK." The bottle wasn't so far away from us that I couldn't tell it was alcohol. At that point I thought they must have been a couple who got on the trainzinho and drank way too much and now they were experiencing the melodramatic outcome. Mind you, children are on this ride. It took every ounce of me not to reach forward and hit this guy when he pulled her hair. But, when I'm with my kids, their safety comes first and I can't involve myself in something that might get them hurt. I did wonder when security would show up. Apparently someone had already thought of that, because security jumped in front of them about ten seconds later. Then shit hit the fan.

Drunk guy grabbed drunk girl by the back of the hair again and dragged her out of the seat. Oh hell no. I screamed "STOP!" in Portuguese and everyone else who was paying attention started yelling at them as well. Security tried to grab the guy and he pushed the woman down the stairs onto the observation deck. This ride is all metal, guys, and she landed on her back/neck/head. Okay now is actually when shit hit the fan. Security was pushed out of the way as another passenger knocked drunk guy into the seats in front of us and started punching him anywhere a blow would land. I screamed stop again and pushed Alessandra onto the floor so the back of the seat in front of us would become like a guard for her. I reached across our seat and put my arm over my nephew and son to block any blows from coming their way and to give them a sense of security. Drunk guy's hand was clinging to the seat back in front of my face and I worried that either the blows or his body would cross into our seating area.

Then everything erupted. People ran to the back of the trainzinho, but I was blocked in by the seats. Without having any idea where these people came from, I looked forward to see five or six guys straight up beating drunk guy's ass. He was now lying on the floor in front of the seats and being kicked and punched from every direction. I couldn't see past them to where the girl fell and I worried that she was seriously injured. Very quickly, more security came and dragged drunk guy down to the street where passengers continued to assault him. After a few minutes, security grabbed the woman and carried her off, a guard carrying each limb. She was drunkenly rambling about being kicked off the ride, but security had had enough of the bullshit from both of them. I thought they really should have driven to another neighborhood to drop her off. I was concerned that drunk guy would continue to attack her in the street. I couldn't see what was happening behind the trainzinho after they were both off, but I believe the irate passengers disembarked as well to finish doling out their street justice. After a few minutes, the trainzinho bolted forward and we continued the ride as if nothing had happened.

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