Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rio, The Marvelous City, is aptly named.

Some pics and a video thanks to my buddy, Mattis.

Rio is an incredible place, it definitely lives up to all of my expectations. Brazil is one of those countries that has always captured my imagination. It brings exotic images to mind of the Amazon, beaches, and beautiful women. To be here now and see it all confirmed is really cool.

the city itself is a mix of old and new, with skyscrapers sitting right next to stone buildings that are hundreds of years old. There is also a striking mix of poverty and wealth. The city is long and narrow, crowded between the beaches (which are beautiful) and the mountains. The further from the beach you go up into the mountains the poorer it becomes. The flavelas, or shanty towns, are very dangerous and home to extreme poverty. But only a few blocks close to the water and you have beautiful tree lined streets and lifestyles very similar to the USA.

Speaking of which, the people here are amazing. They are really outgoing and eager to talk to you , even if you have no common language! Portuguese is tough to understand as unlike Spanish, it is not phonetic. It sounds a lot different than you would think looking at it written. There are lots of sh and z sounds and they speak pretty fast, making it difficult to pick up words. However the natural friendliness of the people tends to make communication no problem.

It seems like a lot of the people here are really into fitness as well as everywhere you see people jogging, cycling, playing volleyball, soccer, or footvolley (volleyball with your feet). Most of the guys go around shirtless and most of them are ripped! The girls as has been said a million times, are very beautiful as well. The people here also LOVE to party. They go out early and all night, usually until the sun comes up.

Last night we went out to a part of town called Lapa with a group of 25 backpackers and had a great time. The entire section of town is one great big party, with people walking the streets drinking, eating street food, going into and out of bars and clubs. There are Samba bands on the street and people dance anywhere and everywhere. It felt like a festival there were so many people, but its like that every Friday and Saturday night! We had a great time dancing with the locals who like Colombians, are very good. The culture here is very exuberant and it seems like everyone loves to live.

Mattis and I also went out with a local named Rafeal who is a friend of a Brazilian guy Mattis met traveling in Russia named Luciano. Rafeal took us to a great club not knowing us from a can of paint and introduced us to all his friends and gave us the VIP treatment just off of the good word of his buddy. That is pretty typical of the people here.

We are going to do a tour of the city but it has been raining during the day for the past few days, unfortunately. We also plan on going to watch a soccer game tomorrow night which should be really fun. After that, we wrap up our time in Rio and head up to Salvador for Carnival which if normal life here in Rio is any indication, should be insane.

I will upload some pics tomorrow.


Lisa in Louisiana said...

Wooow that video was awesome!!!! It was just like being there!! Hey man - your arm!!!! looks like you met with the pavement somewhere somehow!!! well, thanks again for the photos, video and update. Have fun - be careful (said with a mom voice).

Zee said...

It is GREAT to see you two in the same picture again!

It's obvious you are having a great time, be careful and make some great memories.

As always, I am happy for you but OH SO JEALOUS.

Love and hugs from your middle aged admirerer!!


jesstheonlyartist said...

decided to leave a comment since I haven't in a while... watch out old man - you are going to wear out before carnival even starts! *haha*

Glad to see you are doing good.

Maggie said...

"It sounds a lot different than you would think looking at it written."

It certainly does! My grandparents are/were from the Azores, and about the only thing I remember from loud dinner conversations taking place with their 6 children and my 30-some-odd cousins in the room are the terms: "mais fica" and "cala boca."

"Mais fica" being "more for me," which my grandmother would use on me when I couldn't finish my linguiƧa and rice. I always thought she was saying "marshfika," and I assumed it had something to do with marshmallows!

"cala boca" I only heard on one or two occasions, and even though I didn't know the translation at the time, I caught her drift by the look on her face :)

Looking back, I'm sorry I didn't try and learn it from them when I had the chance. It would have been something interesting to have under my belt, especially since it IS such a difficult language to learn and understand.

Have fun, be safe at carnival!

Reecius said...

Brazil is amazing! Such a wonderful country, and thanks for the well wishes and safe whishes. So far I have met nothing but incredibly friendly people and am wondering if there is anyway I can stay longer!

John Gamble said...

I liked the Lapa vid. Really gives you a good taste of what's going on.

I noticed you stopped the posts. Are you still in Brazil?