Seven Waves for Good Luck

“Carlos is a diamond dealer,” Harriet said. She was looking at me in the mirror over her dressing table and dabbing her forehead and chin with a powder puff. “They all are. I must have told you that already. But don’t let them intimidate you. They all just inherited their daddies’ businesses.”

It was New Year’s Eve and we were standing in front of her dressing table, the little leather-seated bench pushed aside to make room. It was still afternoon but we were already dressed for the evening: white dresses, high heels, sparkly earrings. We wore white because that was the custom in Brazil, and we had adopted all the local customs: complaining when beer was not served cold enough, having long Sunday lunches with too much food, wearing jewelry to the beach. I had only been in Rio six months, but since meeting Harriet, I had begun to fancy myself practically a local.

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