“THE GIRL FROM IPANEMA”

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Morning! I believe that there isn’t a problem which a cup of coffee cannot solve. I drink two of them – just in case, and a glass of fresh orange juice. I am dressed according to business etiquette. This includes a shirt, a jacket and a knee length skirt – dark blue in my case and terribly boring, hence. I am headed to the office and I am in a hurry… or so it seems. On the way to work, however, something happens. Something which any keen mind, refreshed by caffeine and vitamins, doesn’t miss to register and analyse.

I am in a car which I am not driving. I am in a cab, so to speak. The driver is listening to some radio, which at some point starts playing “The Girl from Ipanema”. My favourite song by Antonio Carlos Jobim comes as a lifeboat, which saves me in a moment of sheer boredom. So, both of us become happy. The driver, who doesn’t listen to the words of the song, smokes a cigarette and enjoys the bill which I am about to pay in this traffic jam and for me, “The Girl from Ipanema” transforms into an idea which takes me away from my seat in the cab, from the date and time of this very day and, to a certain extent, blunts the odour of the stale cigarette smoke.

The action takes place in 1962. The girl from Ipanema was tall, sun-kissed and had long brown hair. The story tells how almost every day the girl passed by Veloso Bar in the famous south district of Rio de Janeiro. There, the singer and his friends saw her every time. Despite all the playful teases towards her, she always looked ahead, never turned her head and made her way in a seductive step. Not even once did Jobim dare talk to the girl, much younger than himself, but he fell in love with her and so his most famous song was born. A lot of girls thought that the song was dedicated to one of them. They all wanted to be the girl from Ipanema.

The song is long gone and I am still in the cab. The driver lights the successive cigarette and asks me if I want. What does he want me to want?! I don’t want it, obviously! I don’t want to be the girl in the yellow cab, in a blue suit, in a grey office! I don’t want to feel the smell of burnt tobacco and wasted time!

I want to be the girl from Ipanema. I want to forget about the confined space of the office and the cab, I want to forget about the suffocating cigarette smoke. I want to go to the corner of Veloso Bar, I want to write all this on a white sheet of paper and forget about the damn traffic jam on the boulevard which I didn’t want to go through.

That day I was late for work – the fault was mine! I had got out of the cab at the red traffic lights and I walked. I walked the way the girl from Ipanema used to. Tomorrow I am walking again… walking to work, walking back from work… only a month and a half left. And I also have a ticket to Rio, obviously! I bought it during the lunch break that day when I heard my favourite song in the morning. I also bought two bossa nova CDs and I convinced myself for yet another time that if a person feels comfortable, they have to act… they have to get out of the cab, for instance, or imagine and do something different. They have to listen to their favourite song, find out about its story and make it their personal adventure. There is a countless number of facts which could follow up if you listen to one single song or simply to your inner voice.

Impossible ideas and dreams do not exist, so get out of the cab, dress in colour and do what you want to do… and walk, of course. The way the girl from Ipanema would do it before turning into a legend!



Text: Stefy Stoeva

Photo: BGNES

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