Sometime last June, while visiting Rio after a business trip in São Paulo, my mother-in-law took me to a very special place.
She took me to the mall.
Now, new readers might understandably judge me on this basis and consider such a trip somewhere between a gross affront to all world travelers ("You crossed the equator to go to... the mall?") and an incredibly unmanly capitulation ("You crossed the equator so that... your mother-in-law could take you to the mall?"). Long-time readers know better: 1) My mother-in-law is cooler than any of us and 2) me going out of my way to go to a shopping mall is a truly Nixon-goes-to-China moment.
Now, within this mall is something you will be hard-pressed to find in the U.S.—something that the various needling do-gooders and joyless regulators would never allow to widely proliferate in the country that at one time held freedom as its highest-order ideal.