I immediately regret this decision

Trip Start Jan 26, 2007
Trip End Feb 06, 2008

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Sunday, February 11, 2007

Once again, apologies for the lack of caps, granny and other grammar well-wishers. the shift key is spotty. Well, had a great time tonight, for the most part, other than being very tired and sore, getting back to the hostel at 630am. The reason for the Anchorman quotation above is that I thought I had signed up for a fatboy slim *concert* in *centro*, the rio business district about 3 miles north, when really my ticket was purchased for an all night *rave* in *riocentro*, which is an hour south of the city by cab. took us 1.5 hours... in a crappy VW bus taxi for which we paid 4 reais each (2 bucks). Most of my danger senses were going off on the walk to the bus when I learned of all these truths, but it turned out to be a very safe, although extremely repetitive techno beat, trip.

The partners in crime were 9 other folks, 3 british girls, 2 british guys (one was very impressed when i identified him as a scouser from liverpool), a french guy named lionel who was the ringleader for the trip, a girl from holland named ana lucia (cooler than the LOST ana lucia, whom i despise), a belligerently drunk and embarrassing new zealander, and a very quiet israeli guy.

So I was the Yank. This is becoming a pattern, although itīs a strawman situation because all I have to do to impress anyone is not act arrogant or invade their bags or something. If I know anything at all, Iīm impressive. So this is fun.

Enough rambling, it is 640am. We went to the rave, there was a lot of repetitive drum-n-bass until 2am, when fatboy finally came on. Openair field with about...... 5000 people. probably a solid 400 of which were foreigners. Fatboy Slim puts on a sick show. Even some folks I know who hate repetitive boring music (which constituted the other 6 hours of the night) would have liked Fatboy Slim. He played some classic brazilian songs and then added cool loud beats to them, did a rendition of sunshine of your love by cream, which was very well done... basically lots of fun. Fast-forward to two hours later, I am tired and want to leave but everyone has deserted me because they are all drunk (becca, guess what, i didnt even drink at all! still don~t feel comfortable enough to really do that, esp on this rave trip). So i went on a half hour search through the crowd and the loud repetitive beats (how does an entire nation not get tired of this, hour after hour, week after week? as the scouser put it, īthis is simple musicī). Finally found Lionel the ringleader french guy who has been skipping around shirtless for 5 hours straight. tell him i am leaving with the other 3 british girls and the scouser.

we negotiated for a cab, which was fun, since i figured out i can basically speak spanish and it will sound like very broken portuguese - so i was chief negotiator (50 reai back to copa, took us a half hour since the taxi driver ran all the lights, awesome). Now I am sitting here typing this post. As a PS, Rio is a gorgeous city. From Christo Redentor atop Corcovado, it is stunning, as well as a bit depressing... Favelas grow like weeds throughout the city, and the apartment buildings aren~t all that inspiring either. The city, I think, survives Brazilīs terrible economy and corrupt politics and crime due to its awesome geography. From the other landmark, pao de azucar, the view to the mountains, with the city creeping up into their cracks and peaks, renders you speechless - until one of the 500 tourists or cariocas (rio city dweller) bumps into you trying to get a good shot on their digital camera.

Anyway, things are fine. I miss home a ton. Tonight at the concert, I spent a good 80% of the time thinking about the different people I would rather be hanging out with instead of quiet israeli guy who ditched me. But, I suppose it~s all part of the experience. Thanks, everyone ,for your emails, and sorry if I don~t respond very quickly, but I promise to try.

Please, though, email me with questions, comments, or hellos - it helps. Traveling is great but it is greater to hear from the people you have known and loved in life.
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leepnet on

don't read this grandma
man a couple days in and you're already at the 5k-person rave parties. thank you for spending a half hour typing up your impressions, i love it. but it appears to me that you've missed the point of brazil: big booty aw yeah. which is to say, when will you type up a full analysis of shapes and sizes?

went flyering the frosh dorms last night with isaac and buster for tree week. it starts a week from monday. we heard that 5 dudes and 2 chicks are thinking about trying out. i'm doing the jenga stunt on monday at lunch as promo. then wednesday house meetings we're doing this cockfighting skit in chicken suits. aight easy-e, keep 'em coming.

mjcmd on

hi from a luddite
Hi, Eric--
I am just loving your travel log--what a great vicarious experience! But I have to ask for a few definitions: rave, fatboy slim, scouser, and favelas.
You are sooo wise not to get drunk when you're in a place you don't know and need to get back to somewhere else.Keeping your wits about you is really important when you're in strange surroundings.
Especially when growing up in LG, Stg, and going to school in Palo Alto isn't exactly a baptism by fire into street smarts.
I also have to tell you, Eric, in complete candor, that you are incredibly brave to be doing this---the thought of going to this loud music venue [I share your dislike of repetitive loud, over-brassy Latin music--I just don't get it], with a bunch of pp I don't even know, much less want to hobnob with, is pretty abhorrent.So good for you--you got some brass cohones, kid. Keep up your guard and thanks for taking the time to write such interesting, thoughtful, and comprehensive accounts of your travels. You'll meet some friends soon and be less lonesome and homesick. Maybe you'll even meet the girl of your dreams!
Keep on truckin'
Love you,

aussiemum on

You are warming up nicely...
Hey Eric, You aren't missing a beat! Like you, I loved looking down on Rio from the tops of those huge 'thumbs'. Have you been to the beach yet?
Tomorrow you head back to Sao Paolo and on to BA. Have you heard from Antonio?
M x

gdadamson on

A great start
Eric, you write great letters--keep them coming.
It's wonderful to see that you are off to a very fast start to your travels. There are ups and downs to everything that happens. The ups are the good times you will remember forever, the downs are the character-building experiences that will make you stronger forever--so you win both ways.
You should be very proud of your common sense at the rave. Drink or drugs make you lose judgment first, and that is your biggest attribute in any situation. So until you are with people you can really trust, and that will happen, be smart the way you are. It will also allow you to learn more and gain some good experience quickly.
I didn't tell you before you left, but I know the biggest challenge of this trip will be the least dangerous, and the least interesting, and that will be lonliness. I know that from my experience. But I also know that is what will give you the greatest growth as your intellect, emotions and spirit work out your response to your environment. So look at it as a gift, an opportunity, that you will not have at any other time in your life. You will also learn that not having to answer to anybody doesn't seem like such a great thing all the time, and your gratitude for life and family and all you have had will grow and always stay with you. This is all part of the wonder of travel. I promise you the year will go faster than you can imagine, even though now it seems stretched out way before you. Enjoy every day, 'be present' and have lots of fun. We love you and miss you very much. Have a good trip to Buenos Aires.
Love, Dad
PS I am in Chicago at 7:20 AM Monday. I have been traveling 31 hours from Chandigarh, India and have about 6 more hours before I get home!

nater5blades on

effing in heaven
I like your comment about just having to shut up or know ANYTHING and you're a cool American. I'm glad that makes you happy:-) Also, I would give much to hear Fatboy Slim's 'Sunshine of Your Love.' Your stories are awesome, dude.

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