So this post is a follow up to the post I wrote a few months ago on the subject of being unsure about wearing speedos in Brazil (if you missed it, here it is).
After almost four years here, one afternoon I impulsively decided to bite the bullet and buy a pair. I was walking along the beach in Rio when I spotted a guy with a makeshift swimwear stand on the beach. So I wandered over, pointed out a pair of dark blue trunks (the type that Daniel Craig can pull off. If it’s good enough for Bond then it’s good enough for me!) and two minutes later I was a member of the elusive speedo-owners club!
I knew that buying them would be the easy part though; the most daunting challenge ahead of me was wearing them out in public. When I returned to the beach the next day with some friends, I already had my speedo on underneath my shorts.
I was ready!
After we’d selected a place to laze away the afternoon I put down my bag and slowly slid off my shorts.
At first I felt pretty naked standing there with the light sea breeze touching up against my exposed inner thighs. I won’t lie to you, for a few minutes I even felt a little indecent. But just like that I looked like any other sunga wearer on the beach, and just like that I didn’t feel nearly as conscious as I was expecting. But thinking about it; what did I actually imagine would happen?
Did I really expect a beach full of people would stop what they were doing to look over, point and stare at me? Or that a conga line of guys in their speedos would dance around me in celebration that I was now one of them, all against the backdrop of a marching band and fireworks? Well of course none of these things happened. In fact, nobody so much as batted an eyelid at me as I stepped out of my board shorts (and my comfort zone).
On reflection, wearing a speedo wasn’t nearly as big a deal to anybody else but me.
As a Brit, having wet Bermudas clinging uncomfortably to my body after swimming in the sea was just something I considered to be a part of the beach experience, and so too was the chafing that came with them. But as I left the beach afterwards I thought about how surprisingly comfortable I’d found them.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no intention of taking them back home to the UK with me to scare everyone over there. But when in Brazil on the beach, doing as the Brazilians do wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected it to be!