The Big Jesus II

Trip Start Aug 20, 2007
Trip End Jul 04, 2008

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Monday, November 12, 2007

Rio has cast a spell on me. I canīt leave. I have been based in Ipanema. The beaches are gorgeous and most have surf. The city is nonstop action. Delicious food is available 24 hours a day.The people are beautiful and extremely friendly. Why should I leave too soon? I mean, what other major city can you walk with a surf board under your arm after a surf, find yourself with too many options for a cheap feed, and some of the best people watching in the world. I often found my self posted up at a corner restraint talking nonsense with the local crew that BBQ there every afternoon. They just BBQ and talk nonstop. They seem to know the whole of Ipanema. Itīs a good thing because I have met lots of interesting folks through them who were pleased to share some time with me. Either to practice English or just try to talk to me. With my spanish I was able to the point across by changing the ųsted to`voceī and so on. The languages have many similar words which helps me out.
I found out about a soccer match while killing time at the corner store. You may have heard about the obsession that Brazilians have about soccer. I have seen this at Maracana Stadium in Rio. The Flamengos is Rioīs soccer team. Red and black is all you can see when you enter the largest stadium in the world(if not it should be. I donīt want to double check this fact, maybe the one is Spain is bigger. But it would be hard to believe.). Itīs a mad house. The crowd of 87,000 plus was screaming and shouting nonstop. In the states we know two chants. USA, USA, USA.... and We will, we will rock you. Thatīs about it. The cariocas(people from Rio) all knew dozens of chants and songs that they would sing in unison as if cued by an invisible conductor.They one goal that was scored triggered canons to be blasted, fireworks shot off in the stadium, smoke was everywhere, and the Brazilians where going mad house hugging and kissing each other like long lost family. Since I got my tickets through the hostel, I was with about a hundred plus travelers all be herded to and from the stadium with big Brazilian men. I would have been robbed for sure if I went by myself. I have been told that drunken masses of Brazilians is a haven for thieves preying on tourists much like my white self. After that evening I do confirm that Brazilians are fanatical about their football. Now I can check that off my list.
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