Back in Rio, and I took a taxi to the city in hopes for catching some more rays and relaxing on the sand. Terrible luck, as it’s all cloudy, hardly anyone is on the beach, but it’s still nice and warm.. I met Gabriella and Andrade on the beach, and though a huge language barrier kept us wondering what each other was saying, there was enough communication to enjoy each other’s company. I’m now heading back to the airport in a bit to catch my LONG way home.. Rio de Janeiro, to Sao Paulo, to Houston, to Atlanta, to Chattanooga. Mom, Dad, when are you getting a condo in a major US city??
When Joe and I arrived back to the apartment, we were standing in water. Somehow, the sink was plugged and water was barely dripping, but I guess from having spent an entire afternoon at the beach, the water accumulated enough to fill up the entire sink, flow out into the bathroom floor, on into the foyer, down the foyer to the living room along the edge, under the closet, and right past the bed. The entire length of the apartment was covered! And, the floors were marble-granite, so they started showing wetness. I was worried we werenÂ´t going to get our deposit back, but we started cleaning up the mess with all the available towels and such. Since JoeÂ´s flight was at 7, he wanted to make sure to leave on time, so he left at 4:30, it was a quick goodbye and I headed back to try to mop up more water. At 5:00, just as I finished mopping up as much as possible, the doorbell rang for the check out… which was about 30 minutes earlier than I expected. So, they said they would come back and give me some more time to pack.
Right after I finished packing, he came back and did a check through of the apartment. I was so scared that if he saw the discoloration of the marble, that he would investigate more, like the puddle underneath the bed or closet!! But, all was checked ok, and I got the deposit back! WHEW! Then, off to the airport I went! Chao Brasil, and Hola Argentina!
As Joe and I were on the beach, we met a guy named Rodrigo, who happened to be in the same transition as I–he’s moving away from having lived in Rio de Janeiro for the past 5 years for school and work, and now getting his MBA abroad in Belgium. I think it’s so great to see so many people doing cross cultural exchanges–It made me even more excited about my upcoming coursework in Sydney.
So, we invited Rodrigo to sit with us on the beach and his Swedish friend Patrik joined–I introduced myself in Swedish and caught him by surprise. We had a great afternoon chatting before we needed to head out for lunch and back to the apartment to finish packing up and make sure that Joe got to the airport on time!
Tonight, we headed over to Ipanema for dinner at a restaurant we had previously walked by a few days prior. It was really a great atmosphere, and sitting outside was really nice. While we were trying to see what items were ACTUALLY available–we had asked for about 3 items already to no avail, Thomas and his crew walked by! What a coicidence, so we had them join us for dinner. Everyone was very nice, and they just finished their degrees in Germany, and each one of them was going into consulting.
We had a nice dinner and enjoyed the company, and then decided to head out after our amazing desserts of chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream, and flambÃ© bananas. YUM!
Today we spent the majority of the morning and early afternoon at Copacabana, which I think is less of a nice beach than Ipanema. After Joe rearranged his travel plans to stay until Sunday, we had our lunch and sat on the beach for a while before we noticed that there was no haze today! So, we decided to take a taxi to the Metro station and head for the downtown area again to take some pictures of the most historical area of Rio– near Cinelandia, there’s a huge plaza called PraÃ§a 15–we saw the grand Theatro Municipal–We wandered around the streets, but Rio’s downtown doesn’t seem the safest area for pickpockets and such, despite the loads of Police everywhere. Everytime I took out my camera, I was warned by a passerby to keep watch out–so, we didn’t stay long in the area. We headed back to the train station, and boarded our subway back to Copacabana.
Half way back home, we ran into Thomas, a german guy whom we had met a few days later randomly at the Corcavado. We met his friends and talked about what he had been doing during his visit–he was having a good time as well, and who knows, maybe we’ll run into him again soon!
So, a funny story we heard from Thomas was about one of his Canadian friends who went horseback riding. When he got on the horse, the horse took off and ran as fast as he could and wouldnÂ´t stop. He was freaking out and the owner of the horse was saying in Portugese, Puxe! Puxe! (Which is pronounced, /pooÂ´shuh/ like push) so he kept hitting the horse and Â´pushingÂ´ him. The word puxe is in fact PULL, and empurrer is to push. How confusing!
So after I bid farewell to Joe, I headed out to Eclipse for dinner and then to the street market on Copacabana to look for any souvenirs–Right when I went in, I saw Melissa and Jackie right in front of me! They told me that Joe had just called them and said he missed his flight, and that he was heading back into the city. So lucky I saw them! So we walked around, and I got a couple of souvenirs, and we headed back to Melissa’s apartment to wait for Joe to arrive. We chatted and after a while, Joe arrived and told us his saga of being driven around and around..
After that, we headed to Eclipse for Joe to get some food, and then the girls arrived to get us for the birthday party of some of their uni friends. We went to the club Bunker 94, but were unimpressed with the people in line and the music, so Joe and I opted to not go in. We then called it a night and headed back to our apartment–which was a convenient 2 blocks away. :)
Today, Joe and I headed for Ipanema yet again to get some sun. Today is JoeÂ´s last day, so he wanted to go get a pair of Brazilian jeans. We found some great jeans, but as usual, they donÂ´t have my size. Anyhow, the weather was great, and we had a nice time at the beach. For lunch we headed for the sushi restaurant that we had seen the previous night as we were waiting for the girls. They had a lunch buffet that was ok, nothing stellar. We then headed back to the beach and soaked up more rays before it was time to get Joe back to the apartment to finish packing. As time flies, we got Joe a taxi just at 5:40pm for his 7:05pm flight–So, just in case, I wrote a notecard with our address on it–as IÂ´m not very confident heÂ´s going to make it! Tonight I have plans to meet up with Melissa and her group of friends to go out for a birthday party tonight–should be interesting!
Before Joe and I headed out to shop, we ran into Nick and Sidney, two guys we met previously, and then in Ipanema, we ran into Rudolf who was on our tour to Ihle Grande. It was funny, because it’s beginning to feel like we’re part of the city if we go out and run into people we know.
So Joe, Melissa, Jackie, Melissa’s roommate and I all went out to dinner together. Joe and I had gone to Leblon to shop for some jeans, to no avail :( We met and then walked a while before we took a taxi to our destination of a very cute restaurant with chic design. We had a nice dinner, and learned how to call waiters/waitresses with this cat call psteuuu. It’s how Brazilians politely call for service–something we’d be smacked for back in the states– so interesting! We had an excellent time chatting, and then headed to CafeÃna for dessert. It was chocolate overload.
After our outing, we headed back towards Copacabana in a taxi, and at red lights, he would just drive through. After I asked Melissa what was going on, she said, Rio set up a law that allows you to go through red lights past 10pm because of hijackings late at night?!
Today, we headed out to get some shots of some areas around Flamengo and Botafogo, as from the car rides, we’ve seen some really pretty architecture that we wanted to revisit. We started at Copacabana and headed for the subway station. As we were boarding our train, a girl next to us started a conversation and it turns out she had just been living in Australia for 6 years, and just moved back to Rio 5 days ago! She was really interesting and happy to be back in here home country.
We stopped at Botafogo, and headed for a few sites that were listed on a map I was carrying, we ended up at the PalÃ¡cio Guanabara, where apparently there was a protest. We took some pictures and headed to our next stop on the map, but the street we were following seemed to disappear and change names–so we stopped and asked a woman, Christiana, if she could point out on the map where we were. Instead, she offered to take us with her to the Botafogo Praia Shopping Mall, which we were happy about, as we were hungry for lunch. Along the way, she enjoyed practicing her English, and we talked a little bit about where we had been, where we were going, and what we thought of Rio.
We bid farewell to our new friend at the entrance of the mall, and we headed straight for the Eateries on the 8F. There, we sat outside and overlooked the Botafogo Beach and PÃ£o do AÃ§ucar–too bad there’s haze, because there would be some great shots!
For lunch, I had a great chicken, curry carrot, and rosemary jelly sandwich with potato salad. It was so good! We then got dessert at a creperie and shopped a little. We went to take some photos of some earlier sites, and then headed down to see the Museu dos Teatros, but ended up at the CemitÃ©rio SÃ£o JoÃ£o Batista–here we got some excellent shots of Cemetary crosses with the Favela backdrop–quite impressive.
As it was approaching 4:00pm, we decided to head back to get a shower and call Melissa and Jackie for dinner–we will head over to Leblon for dinner with the girls tonight. Chao!