His: Bye Bye Cariocas!

Thank you all for sticking with us through episode 1 of “An Idiot Abroad / Lost in Translation / Naked and Afraid.”  The first international leg of our journey has come to a close and we’ve made it in once piece!  We are in Sao Paulo, Brazil now and sharing our final thoughts on Rio.  

Our last 5 days in Rio were incredible.  We finally felt like we got a true vibe for Brazilian, or specifically Cariocan (Rio natives) culture.  We ventured out to Samba School and a soccer match at Maracana (World Cup Stadium).

Samba - Samba is a Brazilian dance that basically involves men and women moving their legs and feet insanely fast, while remaining relatively still.  It’s magical and mesmerizing to watch, it’s like putting both of your legs in a paint mixer and somehow managing to make it look elegant. Here’s an example - this video is Not safe for work, because apparently you have to be naked to do the samba correctly.  We went to the team Salgueiro's school, the second best Samba team in the world, they compete in Carnaval

We tried doing samba as some locals encouraged us to, but we looked like a newly born calf trying to walk for the first time rather than 'humans on a dance floor.'  We were not au naturel, like the aforementioned example video, so I’m pretty sure that’s why we couldn’t get it right.  Next time :).  If you follow along on Instagram (you better!) you would have seen Adrienne being picked up and twirled around by a “dancing queen."

Samba culture is probably the coolest thing about Brazil to me so far and one of the best nights that we had there.

This is the place and same event that we went to, but it’s not our video.

The Football - Maracana, is one of the most famous stadiums in the world and it used to be the largest - before FIFA downsized it with their “upgrades.”  This is where they played the 2014 World Cup Finals.  Brazilians do hate FIFA - there’s graffiti all over that says “F**K Off FIFA” and “Go Home FIFA” but they still stand behind the sport that they love above all.  Our football experience was watching one of the hometown favorites, Flamengo.  As a foreigner, you basically just stand there (the whole time, they don't sit down...ever) constantly singing songs that you don't understand at all, but belting away passionately like you're in the Knockout rounds on The Voice.  It's just like going to a match in England -> you don't understand the words, but you scream it with more conviction than Rocky trying to get Adrienne's attention.  We went there with our new instafriend @BrunnoPessoa and a few of his fellow Cariocas who graciously hosted us at their house for the pre-game.  Thank you soo much Bruno, Maria, and Ilke!! Eu sou Flamengo!!


Lastly, I decided to more formally memorialize our travels.  I mean, we aren’t lazy (bite your tongue!) but I think based on our experiences, I could write a pretty awesome lazy traveler's travel guide.  Lazy travelers, your prayers have been answered - here is a list of the bare minimum things you need to know to have an amazing time in Rio: The Bare Minimum Travel Guide to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

You’re welcome.  Stay tuned for more of us, this time in Sao Paulo, Brazil!

His: Welcome to Rio - Você fala Inglês?

"The smell of burning gas when the water first hits your body. The buzzing glow of a flame next to your face."

Not a description that most would use to explain a peaceful morning shower, but this, is Brazil.  The water is heated next to your head before you’re blasted with a necessary escape from the sweltering heat, so this is no country for the pyrophobics.

Rio de Janeiro, in the first 30 hours of our experience, is a dirty, colorful, beautiful, and majestic city scattered unforgivingly across this unique natural landscape of beach, mountain, rocky outcrop, and jungle.

----Apparently this is how my novel of our trip would begin---

On our first evening in Rio we walked the famous Copacabana Beach, wading through pandering locals attempting to hawk zipper purses, jewelry, trinkets, and of course cocaine and weed.  To avoid the constant sales pitch, we quickly found ourselves at a beachside cafe eating unidentifiable fried objects and guzzling the famed caipirinhas, which are fantastic.  We took a quick stroll along the beach and called it early.

The following day we returned to the streets to seek out some English speakers in hopes of a nightlife sherpa.  After roaming Ipanema, we saw an asian guy and a white guy walking towards us - "Now that's GOT to be an english conversation!"  Nailed it.  Perfect english, perfect recommendation.  Off to Copacabana for some cocktailing!

So with the success of English-spotting in Ipanema, we decided that it is our fastest route to a good time, and so the game of constant racial profiling began.  Only about one in twenty people that we’ve interacted with have spoken any English, so brushing up on your hand gestures, pointing ability and a bit of Portuguese is highly recommended if you ever make it to Rio.

…now back to us on the street.  Racial profiling in Brazil is REALLY HARD because Brazilians come in basically every shade tan, brown, and black. Blonde, NFL apparel, Asian, Fanny pack, Overweight - all key tools in our American racial profiling arsenal.  A few caipirinhas later, our failed hunt turned into a vision of hope as the word “like” was faintly uttered by a passer-by.  YES!!!!!!  Adrienne, go, go, go!!!  Two young women - one hippied-out and the other a guaranteed midwesterner - shout, shout!!  

Enter Susan and Andrea and a story of an amazing night out that opened up our eyes to the real Rio...for another time.  Watch a preview video of where our night went here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FqRsb7aRgM  (Apparently Adrienne drank some awkward juice just before this video because she seems lost. Apparently.)