Brazil has a lot of poverty, and although the favelas are a good distance from the tourist-laden beach sides, the kids and young adults know that where there are tourists there is the almighty dollar. So we were walking along enjoying the beautiful view and one of the kids walks up to me and while pointing down at my shoe says, “Sheet, sheet, sheet.”
I look down at my shoe and there was bird crap on my brand new kicks. I’m thinking, just my luck, but I’m also relieved I didn’t get it in the face or something. So a few minutes later another guy with a makeshift shoe-cleaning thingamajig comes up and asks to clean my shoe. I ask how much because I figured he was destitute and made a living anyway he could. I think he said four reals, which is pronounced, “hay-ice.” I’m not sure if he said four, I just remember it was really expensive for a shoe clean, but I paid him anyway and kept it moving with a clean shoe looking up at the sky for more seagulls and where there next points of attack might be.
Souls of Mischief “Medication”