The Astounding Travel Adventures of a Miraculous Fellow


I Love You, Rio de Janeiro
September 22, 2008, 8:26 am
Filed under: Brazil
Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro. One the most marvelous cities on Earth.

Sure, it’s horribly dangerous. Sure, there are terrible slums that are stacked right on top of all parts of the city, rich and poor. Sure, the inequality is astounding and disturbing.

But, holy shit, is it still a beautiful city.

Lush rolling mountains dot the hillsides, and drop right into the clear blue Atlantic Ocean. The Pao de Azucar — a huge, cliff-sided, granite rock — sits right in the middle of the bay. A giant Jesus statue on top of one of the mountains overlooks the city saying “Hey Brazilians, I can see you sinning. But it’s cool, I couldn’t be mad at you lovable rascals.” And of course, there are beaches that stretch for miles and miles, full of scantily clad Brasileiras that don’t really mind a blond-haired, blue eyed foreigner is pretending to take pictures of the ocean, but really snapping photos of their hindquarters.

Pao de Açucar -- A Big Ass Rock

Pao de Açucar -- A Big Ass Rock

Now, however, for the first time in two months, I am traveling alone. My travel buddy, Pat, left. I am alone. So alone, so cold. Darkness seems to envelop everything. I lost a solid wingman, a good translator, and a technically-sound drinking partner. He was “Goose” and I, of course, was “Maverick” (although he seemed to attract the more handsome ladies an unnervingly disproportionate amount of the time)…but fuck that, this is my story, so I’m Maverick. In fact, he’s not even Goose, he’s just some air traffic controller at the fighter jet school. Yeah. That’s it. If there’s ever a “Top Gun 7: Out of Control Love Traffic” maybe Pat can be the star and win all the female air traffic controllesses…but I’m not bitter.

Anywho, now, as a solo traveler in Rio, I did what anyone else would do. Find some people to go out with, and meet some Cariocas (women from Rio). And this I did. I headed out with some Germans that I met in Salvador a week earlier, and hit up Rio’s crazy party part of town, Lapa. This place is right next to a favela, but the danger of the area only adds to the excitement of the giant clubs. Upon entering, the place was full of a 15 member band, and one thousand Brazilians, whose body parts were swinging wildly about in what they call “Samba.”

The Beach in Ipanema...Wait, what's that on the left?

The Beach in Ipanema...Wait, what's that on the left?

Now, as far as I can tell, Samba dancing is physically impossible for non-Brazilians. The first time I attempted it, I dislocated both of my hips, ruptured my spleen, exploded both of my kneecaps, and somehow managed to burn off one of my eyebrows. After a couple weeks in the hospital, this night in Lapa was my chance to try again. I realized now that Samba is not my most fluent dance step (clearly, for me, this is the “Smiling Slow Roger Running Man,” a combination of the Roger Rabbit and Running Man, all performed in slow motion with a big shit-eating grin on my face) but in order to meet the locals, I had to do something. So I just started running in place, then managed to blend in a couple of steps from the “Funky Chicken,” all the while whistling a song I thought could pass as Brazilian Samba.

Jesus and I -- The Gruesome Twosome

Jesus and I -- The Gruesome Twosome

Surprisingly, this was sufficient; I think not so much for being mistaken as a Samba dance move, but mainly because it drew the attention of local Cariocas who wandered over to see: 1) why there was a dying antelope flopping around on the dance floor; and 2) why it was whistling “Who Let the Dogs Out.”

Alas, one Carioca got close enough to get tangled in my flailing limbs and was forced to dance with me until the Jaws of Life were found to release her from my flesh trap. But, as time went on, she took a liking to this simple-minded foreigner, and started teaching me slow-mo Samba.

Unfortunately, teaching me Mandarin Chinese in 45 minutes would have been simpler than teaching me Samba, but this little vixen stuck around through constant toe crushings, until we ending up doing routine dental checkups on each other with our tongues.

Oh, to be in love with a 21 year old Brazilian woman. While solo travel can be difficult for some, Rio de Janeiro can much it much, much easier on a man, as it’s one of the coolest places on Earth. Although, in reality, hanging out with a 21 year old Brazilian could almost even make Caracas into one of the coolest places on Earth.

Almost.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Happy Birthday, Gf!

Comment by Chris

Hi Jeff,
it´s me, Tobi, the on from the german “cap-group” leaded by rubber neck (rio). Last weekend Hugo, Max, Freddy and me were partying in Heidelberg. Missed you there…
hope your doing fine
see you Tobi

Comment by Tobias

I like your Caracas metaphor at the end!
Thanks for a good read.
Caitlin

Comment by caitlinmcc27




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