You think you got Speed?

Trip Start Jan 09, 2008
Trip End May 15, 2008

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Okay, so it took about 20 hours to get from Florianopolis to Rio De Janeiro and it wasnt too bad, cause i slept most of the way. Usually its a struggle to sleep on the bus because of the bumps and stops. However, this one was pretty good. The more and more time i spend in Brazil, i realize that i am spending lots of money. This is probably the most expensive country in South America. Its hard to believe because there is so much poverty here and only 1 percent of the population owns all the land here. The gap between rich and poor is probably one of the widest gaps for the world. Most brazilians say its solely because of corrupt government and business, which drives a few to succeed and many to suffer.
Rio when we arrived was really beautiful because the weather had just turned and looks like it will be a few good days ahead of us. For the first day was spent walking around Copacabana and Ipanema, which are the most famous beaches in Rio where most locals and tourist go. The sand is soft and the water temperature is just like hawaii, but there is some trash floating in the water. Nonetheless, the brazilian bikini was out with full force on a hot sunny weekend day, which made most men and myself very happy. I tried a tropical drink called Acai which is made of a berry found here in Brazil which is very nutritious and full of vitamins. its a quite pleasant drink to have on a sunny day.
For my second day, i also spent most of it at the beach, but at night we went to this Favella Funk Party, which is apparantly a party in a Favella where locals and tourist can drink and dance together. After a roundabout way with our tour operator we finally arrived at this so called Favella at about 12 midnight. I looked around at this Favella and it didnt look that bad. The buildings look like they would hold up in a windstorm. I saw worst in philippines and cambodia. Here we got into a club where there was an upstairs and downstairs. Upstairs was for all the gringos and some richer locals. We had our own bar and dance floor. It was cool, but the real fun and action was on the first floor cause everyone was downstairs and with the mix of gringos and locals. it was really fun especially as we had more drinks. The locals were really happy to see me cause i was the only asian in the entire club and everyone was high fiving me as i entered the dance floor. it was awesome. We had to leave at 4:15 cause the party was over. i probably could have gone longer, but our tour guide reiterated to us that he was leaving and i didnt want to get left in this neighborhood. So i jumped in the van and passed out on the way home. it was a fun night.
The next day, i shrugged off the hangover and went on a city tour. We saw most of what Rio is famous for,
1. The Famous Christ de Redentor, which is one of the new 7 wonders of the world. Its an amazing feat but I dont agree with this classification. I could probably name ten places that are more impressive than this statue on a hill. Ankor Wat, Teotihuacan,Tical,....get my drift.
2. Maracana Stadium where the famous rio team la flamengos play.
3. Sambodromo which is where the famous Carnival is held.
4. Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio
5. Pao de Azucar or sugar loaf mountain. we are suppose to end the day at sunset here, but like all tours we missed it. it was still cool cause i got some good night shots of rio.

it was an amazing day of sights and we saw so many things in so little time. I would recommend the tour cause it includes all of the tickets to enter these places with little hassle.
So far things had gone well and i really have a good feel of the city with the limited time i have had here. Unfortunately in Ipanema i did have a bad encounter with a local who tried to demand money out of me. He just came up to me and said ¨where are you from?¨ i replied hawaii and then he demanded my money. i knew this was the case cause i was alone and walking in the streets. he was a bigger set guy so i knew i could outrun the fat fuck. So i knew not to let him get to close, so i picked up my pace before he asked me that question. Once i heard money i just dashed and i heard him swearing at me as i left him in the dust. I dont want to judge rio with this one incident. All i have to say is watch out when taking money out of an ATM and go with someone. Dont go alone and dont do it at night. Luckily he didnt do anything more than demand the money. Had i seen a gun or weapon, i would have happily handed over what i had, but i knew odds were in my favor to outrun this pajero/fucker. all is good and i learned my lesson without consequence. So i could just see Coach Lorenzo (my bball coach from high school) yelling at the guy, ¨you think you got speed? you cant catch aaron cuz he got speeeed!!¨ hahahah!!!
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Leandro on

Hi, I'm Brazillian and I've met you in Peru. You're right, Redentor is not great, but that election happened on internet, and brazillians are very active on net! hehehe. And you had luck, because Rio is really dangerous for tourists.

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