Deprived of income because of the coronavirus pandemic, Roberta Machado walks the streets of Copacabana, a tourist district of Rio de Janeiro, to sell flowers aboard a Ladybug transformed into a traveling garden.
“My house has always looked like a florist’s shop, with lots of flowers and plants everywhere,” the 51-year-old Brazilian told AFP.
“I had to find a way to make a living, so I chose to do one thing that I love and bought this car,” she adds, proudly pointing to her pistachio green Volkswagen Beetle, a 1969 model, his year of birth.
The least we can say is that it does not go unnoticed.
From the passenger compartment to the hood, including the trunk and the sunroof: the entire vehicle is covered with orchids, roses, sunflowers, daisies and other flowers sold to residents of the neighborhood.
A true festival of scents and colors, which brightens the streets of the district and attracts the eyes of passers-by under the spell.
– “Cute flower” –
Roberta Machado’s Beetle is most of the time parked on Avenue Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, the central artery of the district of the same name, but it also happens to roam the streets for home deliveries.
Like millions of Brazilians, Roberta Machado’s life has been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic.
A month ago, she was working in a completely different industry, renting rooms to tourists. She also had shares in a wig rental business that closed.
Her traveling flower shop was named “Lia, linda flor” (Lia, pretty flower), in tribute to her mother Lia, who died in July.
Every morning, Roberta spends over an hour carefully storing the bouquets and flowerpots on her Ladybug bought the night before or at dawn at the wholesale market. Every detail counts for the perfect visual effect.
Leila Autran, who works in a travel agency, often buys her flowers to offer them to elderly people in her family who remain confined to Rio, one of the cities most affected in Brazil by the coronavirus.
“Roberta has managed to overcome adversity to create something beautiful,” says this regular customer.
mp-jm-lg / pt / ahe