a week in Rio

13 Mar

It’s been a relaxing week in one of the coolest cities I’ve visited yet.

I haven’t really done much; just kinda taking it one day at a time.  I haven’t even gone out that often but I cant help but feel like I really like this city, which surprises me.  I didn’t think it would have that affect on me at all and I thought I would be on to Bolivia in just a few short weeks.

The first few days were well spent on the beach.  I chilaxed hard with full view of Rio’s mountains all around me.  Sipping on beers and catching a tan amidst a sea of string bikinis, I found myself asking if it gets any better than this?  I also learned to navigate Ipanema’s huge waves and I’m currently on the lookout for a boogie board rental.

Wandering around the city center was awesome as well and it sent me straight back to midtown, Manhattan.  I found myself day dreaming as my body went on auto pilot, walking past thousands of people, and stopping only when the sound of a speeding taxi snapped me out of it.  It was just like I had done for years during many a relieving lunch hour at home.  It felt right. Something Buenos Aires lacked was a busy commercial district with wide sidewalks and a sense that people actually went to work.

I also checked out a soccer game between two local rivals.

They didn’t allow any alcohol in the stadium but that was probably for good measure anyway.  The fans were going to go absolutely nuts with or without beer.  Drums beating, flags drawn, the stadium rocked to the chorus of fans stomping their feet and clapping their hands, chanting slogans I could not understand.

My team, the first seeded Botofago was the favored corner but actually lost 4 to 1.  Oh well, it was pretty cool anyway.

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Some people might’ve come to the game more for cheering than actually watching it.  One chant that called you to take off your shirt and wave it about you (seen blurred above) was particularly fun, and reserved for only certain parts of the game.

I noticed this too: For most of the game, the fans never booed and when their team did something obviously bad, the cheering only got louder as if to say, “its alright, we still love you, heres some energy, and now go get em.”

I also checked out a local funk party in some old industrial building on the outskirts of town (not my cup of tea), as well as a few movies.  The theaters here are really cool. Some of the smaller ones feel really intimate, filled with cafes and good food.  And the best part, they also serve beer!

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