I am sitting at the soccer academy with my feet up watching the kids play a friendly afternoon match. There's a woman next to me who keeps looking at my feet. It's not a look of envy (though let's face it, I have cute feet) or even a smirk at my silly (yet comfortable) sandals.
It is because I am the only woman in Brazil who does not 'fazer as unhas' or do my nails. Folks, nail care is a zillion dollar business here in São Paulo. Most of my Brazilian women friends head to the salon every week to do their hands and feet. Now, I do have to comment that both services are a lot cheaper here than they are in the US: in my local, not-fancy, salon, it is US$25 if you do both services together. Still, I have no patience for that.
I will go once in a while to do my nails but I do it for the fun rather than thinking the manicure will last more than 10 minutes in my dog and kid-filled life. The white-clothed ladies are always full of info on the novela (soap opera) or exclaiming over local stories. They also get a great giggle out of my gringa accent and wonder at the fact that I would ever choose Brazil over the United States, which they clearly see as one large shopping mall.
Soon I have to get my "beach feet" on. Until then, it might be best for me to keep using my closed-toe shoes.