A few days in Rio De Janeiro and a little small accident!
Well, this weekend was a long one, there was a holiday on Friday, which means there couldn’t be a better chance to go to Rio.
On Thursday night I was still in BH, it was a friend’s birthday and we bought tickets to a party supposed to be “incredibly good”. The party (called Camarim) happens once a year and has several shows of famous Brazilian singers. Obviously I didn’t know any of them, the one thing I know is that they were singing sertanejo and then funk, two typical kinds of music around here, none of them very good but funny to hear only once or twice.
Anyway, I went with a group of friends, they rented a “Van Escolar” to take us there and then bring us back, because the party was in a big warehouse a little outside of town. The few Portuguese in the car were obviously laughing about the situation – going to a party on a school van?!?!… Weird, but as we got there, we realized how normal that was, the streets were FULL of school buses everywhere, all looking exactly the same.
I got home early in the morning I packed my things and went to the bus station.
I stayed at a Brazilian friend’s house, Fábio, who I had met last time I visited the city through a very good friend we have in common. Anyway, he was super nice to me, treated me like I was part of the family. I stayed in his flat in Barra da Tijuca, right in front of the beach, with him and his parents. His friends also kind of lived there; they were always at the house.
It was great to stay with all of them, and have a little taste of what a Brazilian family is. There were people coming in and out of the house at every minute, there was always someone playing music, with the guitar, the drum or just singing. Even when Fabio had to leave, all his friends stayed with his parents. The vibe was great, they had like a small Barra community, everyone lived near by.
The weekend was very good to rest, we had very full days and at night we didn’t do much, which was great for a change. They’re all very healthy, they don’t drink or smoke tobacco, they don’t eat meat, they do a LOT of sports and they’re very into music and yoga. They are kind of spiritual, very relaxed and extremely nice and funny. They can honestly make everyone around them happy and cheerful!
On Saturday we went to the beach, it was cloudy but felt good to be there. Some of them were kite-surfers and took the kite to the beach. Of course everyone decided to try, including me. We all rode the kite in the sand, without the board and without going on the water. I had been watching all of the boys trying it and seemed simple and easy, so when my turn came I was very relaxed, thinking it would be a piece of cake.
I started holding the Kite, but soon it lifted me really really high. I don’t know if it was the wind blowing stronger or the fact that I was lighter than them, what I know is that the kite lifted me so high that I flew 4 meters high and 50 meters long. I had never felt so frighten in my life. It was only a matter of seconds, but I remember being up in the air and thinking ‘shit, I’m done’, and then realizing that I had to find a way of landing without getting hurt. I knew I couldn’t land with my feet or I would break my legs, so I reached the sand with my arms.
Thank god nothing serious happened. I only had a few scratches in my arm and a huge headache because I hit my head really hard on the floor. In the end, when they all came to see how I was, I couldn’t stop laughing, not just because the jump was kind of funny, but mostly because I was very scared and nervous. Lesson taken: never try kite surfing without an instructor!!!!
On Sunday after going to the beach I had a late lunch in Fabio’s house. It was a big occasion; his sister-in-law is one of the participants in the show The Voice, so the whole family and friends gathered to watch the show on TV. Even though the show lasted for an hour, the lunch was still on around 10pm. Because it started raining, we spent the afternoon at home. They all played some kind of instrument so they were making music the entire time. Although I didn’t know any of the songs, I had an amazing day, and I loved to meet all of those guys. It’s incredible how much they made me feel at home the whole time I was there!
At night we went to Baixo Gavea, the famous neighborhood, full of bars, where most people go for a drink or two. Also, I went to see a great theatre, called “Água de Beber”, about the Capoeira dance and how it was created. Apparently, during the era of forced labor in Brazil, slaves had their own conflicts but their owners didn’t want them to hurt each other. So, as a solution, they started battling without touching, so that there was no proof of fight. Later on, the slaves who were able to run away and hide in the forest, formed small tribes who continually kept Capoeira alive, and gradually turned it into a game/dance instead of a way of fighting.
This weekend in Rio was very very good. Even though I didn’t visit any touristic places, I had a great time and I felt like I had a real Brazilian experience. I met the nicest people, who gave me a couple of very nice days in a different city!!!