Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Copacabana beach

Taking the bus to the beach was an experience in itself, it happens that in the bus stop there are already 10 other buses so the bus driver speeds up and does not stop unless you spot the bus from the distance, wave and the run for about 50 m to where the driver manages to stop, run in the middle of the street full of cars and jump on the bus! I missed more than 5 buses till I understood the strategy I needed to adopt!

The beach was simply beautiful, it was covered in mist at the beginning but after a while you could see the mountains and the rocks surrounding the beach. The sand is almost white and the ocean is pretty. There are more beaches in Rio, a total of 70 km of beaches! Other famous one is Ipanema.

The Copacabana neighborhood is lovely, lots of "summer" buildings, coffee places and restaurants, shops. I am looking forward to exploring it more, I left today in a bit of a hurry as it started to rain. I was lucky the rain chased me, even if I stayed only under the umbrella I am pretty red now so by tomorrow I will start having a more "chocolaty" Brazilian look:).

Had a lovely lunch in Tijuca, I spotted yesterday a small restaurant, not too fancy but the food on the plates looked amazing and it was amazing. Was a bit difficult to order since I have no Portuguese but I managed to get beef with fries. Of course, beef with fries means beef with fries and the rice with black beans sauce plus something like a kind of flour mixed with butter, don't know exactly what is it but I have noticed it's an important ingredient of any meal.

Of course, I went back to the fresh juice place and got a mango juice, yum!

Started to take learning Portuguese seriously, have a good book with lots of audio material, fluency here I come:)!

Day One

Huge breakfast by Taciana, I was most impressed with the bananas which had a fabulous taste, I did not know bananas can be so delicious!

Went with Alex to the Centro to sort out some documents stuff and get a CPF number, one number I cannot do without. I almost felt like home as we were sent from one place to another continuously and nobody knew anything and how long things are suppose to take:)! I was pretty happy though because we got most of things done, now I have to wait to be told when to come for the next step.

Centro has a vintage look, tall building and a busy feel.  Lots of surprises around every corner, like coconut water which looked like water and tasted like sweet water and a coconut desert which was simply delightful.

One interesting thing is that there are no bus tickets/daily tickets/monthly tickets, one pays the bus fare on the bus, there is this lady who guards something like a door and once you pay she lets you in.

Friendly people everywhere, ready to chat and share stuff like this lady on the bus who starting from seeing a man and a woman fighting on the street (lovers fight) told us some story about her family. I did not understood much as my Portuguese it still at 5 words I learned yesterday but what she said seemed at least interesting.

Lunch in Tujuica, where I have learned that rice and a sauce of black beans is the centerpiece of the Brazilian cuisine. Had a gorgeous mango fresh juice which I promised myself will have everyday! I love mango and as I have heard that in Brazil mangoes grow in trees:) I think I might have chosen the right country!

I am still amazed of how I simply moved to Brazil as if going around the corner to buy a bread, it's a funny feeling of surprise and curiosity about all the things I am going to experience! Am thinking of going to the beach today, seems like the right thing to do, the document saga will continue tomorrow so time for Copacabana beach:)!

Day Zero

6 AM
Bucharest: -20 degrees;
10 AM
London: 2 degrees;
10 PM
Rio de Janeiro: 22 degrees!

Two planes, an ocean, 17 hours and a few "where am I going" tears:) later I was in Rio!

Alex, a future colleague and already a precious friend waited for me at the airport an we went to my temporary accommodation, a cozy flat in Tijuica. Taciana, my lovely host,  has a "coffee with milk" dog and a friendly 18 years old son.

12 AM
Rio de Janeiro: sleep.