SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL - (Opinion) The sound of drums and amplified singing in the street below my São Paulo apartment, even a week before Carnaval, is a noisy reminder of the need to escape, the annual ritual.

It’s as much a mental exercise as a logistical one and certainly not the choice of the vocal majority.

A good Brazilian friend and colleague was adamant that the best – in fact, he insisted, the only way -- to celebrate Carnaval was with a glass of good pinga or grappa in one hand and the ‘off’ button of the television remote in . . .

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