River of January (Rio De Janero)

Trip Start Jun 08, 2010
Trip End Sep 07, 2010

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Sunday, June 13, 2010

Getting There

    I got to the Atlanta airport 3 hours early  to avoid the hassle of worrying about missing my flight.´ Low and behold the Atlanta airport is more efficient then goo0d ol SFO.  I was checked in, and past security within 20 min. of getting to the airport. Despite the fact that this was pretty impressive for an international flight, my since of aw was put on hold by the fact that I had two and a half hours to sit in the terminal and wait for my flight.  Fast forward threw a beer and a conversation with my mom, I had arrived at the gate to discover that my flight was delayed for another 2 hours, giving me another 2 hours to kill.  Furthermore this Delay would give me a 10 minuet window to make my connecting flight threw Charlotte.  I spoke to the airline and they said that I had plenty of time to make my connecting flight.  I got a Newsweek, and waited nervously. 
    My connecting flight was very important, and I was willing to jump threw some serous fire hoops to make it.  I had planned to meet with Josh (my cousin who I was traveling with),  furthermore I'm sure the airline would try to say that it was my fault that I missed my international flight and not re-book me (5 minuets is enough time to walk thew an airport that I had never been before and find a gate on the other side of the airport..Right?!?).  I finally got on the plane, when we were on the tarmac the flight was delayed another 15 minuets for some last minuet.  I now had -5 minuets to get to my connecting flight. luckily I am a fast runner.  When we finally landed the plane slowed down but I didn't´t.  I ran threw the terminals and made what would have been a 10 minuet walk in 3 minuets.  The best part is that I made it to the gate right as they were closing the door.  Out of breath I took my seat next to my travel compadre´ and we laughed.  I didn't have any more airport problems until we landed. 
    When I did I had found that while I ran fast but my bags did not.  I waited at the carousal until it stopped and then still nada.  The airline told me that my bag got left.  I was not angry.  I had already morned the loss of my bag before my trip.  This was under advice of Jedi master Matt on the eve of my departure.  ``Look at that bag, just morn it´s loss right now and you will be just fine when it happens.´´  Thank you Matt.

The City
    Rio di Janero is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen.  There are lush green mountains with massive cliffs and houses along everyware on the basses of these mountains.  There were breath taking white sand beaches wherever the land met the ocean without any cliffs intersecting the water.  And then there were the drop dead gorgeous women that inhabit the city,  I feel in love and had my heart broken at least a dozen times a night.  There were 300 year old colonial buildings that were just poetry to the eyes, but on top of the tallest mountain was a 30 meter statue of Jesus Christ, which josh has dubbed ``The Big Stone Bastard.´´  The only problem that I had with the city is that it rained real hard when I was there (still had fun dancing every night).
  We stayed at the Che´ Largado hostel in Impínima.  It was a lot of fun but I saw a poster for a tour into a Flavela in Rio.  I had no intention to take one of these tours.  The favella´s of Rio are a big problem in the city.  Rio for the most part is a first world city with all the amities of modern living in most parts (we stayed in a very nice part of town).  The favellas are not the case.  As we drove past a few on the Freeways we saw dilapidated ghettos with tin roofs and trash littered all over.  Those arias reminded me of some of the worst parts of Afghanistan that I had seen. They are ruled by drugloards, not the local police. My longtime friend Gustavo (who came from Sau Palau just to meet with us) told me that the police do not go into those neighborhoods unless they are in heavily armored convoys.  The only thing that keeps those aria´s from breaking out in an all out civil war is the fact that the Federal government has not used conventional military forces to subdue the arias.  Even the most hardcore ´ghettos´ in the US never come near this bad.

Good ol´Gus and Josh

     In high school I had a friend who was an exchange student from Sau Pallo Brazil.  He was the guitarist in my high school band.  His name was Gustavo.  He had come to Rio De Janerro to meet up with us.  Good thing that he did.  Nether Josh or I was able to speak Portuguese so Gus was a big help with us this weekend.  Now Gus is a sooth speaker when we were in high school and speaking English.  He was a master in his native toung.  He was our voice and local driver for the weekend.
    Josh is my cousin.  I have known him my entire life.  He is a very smart guy and keen observer.  He is working on a degree in Neural science from UW Milwaukee.  Just the type of person who I would want to travel with.

The Night Life

    The two nights We spent in Rio we went out.  The first night we went out to Lapa which was fun, but we had to be on constant guard.  We went out in a large group of people from the hostel.  We wound up in a cheap night club on the second floor of a corner building overlooking a busy street.  They played crappy hip-hop which played the same crap that they play in top 40´s hip hop clubs in the US.  It was a huge contrast to the place we went the second night.  Gus got us into Club Nooth, which was in a high class neighborhood.  That was a cool club which played decent house and other mainstream electronic music.  The girls at this one were a lot more classy then they were the first night.  Better yet most of them spoke English and were happy to practice on some US Gringos.  We all had a great night, but Josh and I were particularly popular.

The Food

    The food was to die for.  We went to a Brazilan BBQ on Saturday.  Brazil is not a good place for herbivores.  Meat is on the menu everywhere.  For those who thought that bacon wrapped pulled pork was a decadent meal at fire drums (Pixie), you need to go to a Brazilian BBQ (also known as a Churrascaria).  We had some really fine meat.  I am talking to perfectly smoked pork ribs, slices of steak that just fall apart in your mouth and taste like liquid silk flowing across your taste buds.  They bring them out on squires that they slice off peaces of meat for you.  Overall it was very nice.  The most exotic thing we ate was BBQ chicken hearts, which were some interesting meat.  Other meals have included an assortment of great sea food, beef strognoff, and a flet minion with bacon wrapped around the side which just made me cry tears of happyness.  If food alone could make me happy I would never come home.

The Kizzie

Yes folks the toilets here kinda flush in the opposite direction.  For the most part it flushes straight down the bowl due to a different design then we have in the northern hemisphere, but if we had the same crappy design for our crape rs, rest assured they wold be flushing clockwise (opposite of what they do up north).  To put the corollas effect to scientific experiment I filled a sink with water and let it drain.  What do you know all those scientists were right and it drained clockwise.  Score one for Canadian creationism. 

Lessons Learned

    1) Never grow too attached to your bags while traveling.

    2) The laws of Newtonian physics can be broken by airlines.

    3) I can get by with a little help from my friends and the little toiletries bag that the airline gives to people who's bags they lost.

    4) The US does not know what a real Ghetto is.

    5) Decadence is on the tong of the beholder.

    6) They really do flush the other way down here (sorta).

Next on Capt. Alien´s Southern Fried Adventure

    - Eric and Josh venture threw a Brazilian bus station to find that I didn't lose my guidebook.

    - Florianoplis; the good the bad, and the drop dead sexy.

    - Crash course in Portuguese

    - The best dam seafood I have ever had!!!

    - US citizans smokeing Cuban Cigars

   Stay tuned.....
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Sallie George on

Doncha' mean beach BUNS! Baby got BACK!

Betty Lyrenmann on

Thanks for the update, Eric! Say hello to my elusive son! Hope your adventure continues to be exciting!

Mom on

Smuggle one of those Cuban Cigars for your dear mother!

Emily on

Sorry your bag got left behind Eric-- I hope it caught up to you eventually! The time I flew through China to Thailand it took a full week before I could go retrieve mine from a nearby island airport. This is one reason the super serious backpackers never check a bag. (Pack lighter/smaller, then this way you never lose your bag.) I can't seem to usually accomplish this myself but its a great strategy.

Sounds like you are having an awesome time!

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