This is why big, expensive buildings like Shopping Iguatemi, our local upmarket shrine to over-indulgence, has a big, expensive and meticulously maintained pavement running right around its six square miles of mercantile floorspace. (Yes, I know it's not really that big, but I couldn't find the exact size when I needed it. But it's big, okay. And it has a lot of pavement.)
And that's assuming all those different pavements really are as well maintained as they're meant to be. Sadly, I have come across the odd one or two which could, perhaps, do with a little smoothing out at the edges.
To be fair to the Brazilians for a moment, and as you know from my blog about gardening a few weeks ago, battling to keep nature in check is something of a full-time job out here. It only takes a few weeks of lazy maintenance before the Atlantic rainforest has overpowered your pretty little lawn or you have an entire food chain competing for first dibs on your rubbish. So it's no surprise people out here are so obsessed with cleanliness. They like their bodies to be clean. They like their houses to be clean. And clearly, they like their pavements to be clean as well. Speaking as a filthy foreigner, I say yeah, okay to the first, up to a point to the second and really, get a life to the third. Honestly, I don't need my pavements to be spotless and germ free.
But I would like them to be easier to walk on.
Come and join me for a stroll down my street