When I booked a trip to Brazil, I had no idea what I was in for (a treat). Rio de Janeiro is the most amazing city I have visited. As I said to my parents, who thought it was a good idea to create a metropolis on a mountainous beach front? I don’t know, but I’m glad they did, ’cause it’s really damn cool.
It should come as no surprise that we once again ditched our classes for more important things, so Wednesday afternoon I literally skipped out of Argentine Literature during some presentation I didn’t care about, smiling, running home to grab my suitcase (la la la la!). I could gush, but I feel it’s more appropriate to give you excerpts from my journal so you can get all of my raw emotion (lolz something I’m sure you were trying to avoid…)
“Why see the world when you’ve got the beach?
Oct. 3, 10:38pm
Tonight I am sitting at EZE international because our flight to Rio was delayed a couple of hours. While this isn’t ideal, we killed time eating medialunas con jamon y queso, drinking a bottle of wine, and playing “Never have I Ever”. It was a good game for once, revealing and intimate. I’m a little buzzed, or was while we were going through security 40 minutes ago (there was no line and I was allowed to bring a water bottle through… I’m excited yet concerned).
Now, I’m sitting by the charging station, yawning and listening to Frank Ocean.
(Note: here I forgot to keep writing/wrote lots of explicit secrets I can’t write online. Sooooo, the flight went well and we had really awesome food – we flew the Dubai line, Emirates, which I recommend. They wear cool hats. Back to my excerpts though..)
“Rio De Janeiro
Arrived at Hostel at 5am. The flight on Emirates was really nice – weird to hear the instructions in Arabic though! Also, the languages spoken were Arabic and English – no Spanish, which was medio raro. So, we arrived at the airport and no ones ATM cards worked (i.e. we didn’t have money to pay the taxi. Luckily he agreed to take us anyway. Julia thought he was “coked-out”, Alexa thought he was drunk, and I thought he was normal. We arrived at Z.Bra, which was really modern and fairly clean. We pretty much collapsed and slept for two or three hours. We woke up at 8am, and had some free assorted fruit and cornflakes. I tried to drink the coffee but it just tasted bad (not sure if this was a Brazil thing or a hostel thing, probably the latter).
Anyway, we got a move on and went to the ATM and then Copacabana beach. Alexa’s ATM card still didn’t work (this was especially unfortunate because she owed me $500 and I didn’t bring any money). We bought coconut waters on the beach and I purchased a bathing suit top (the bottoms scared me away – they’re thongs.) It was especially nice because the people literally bring you anything you could ever want on the beach (food, drinks, shopping). We got some color (THANK GOD) and Julia and I swam to a sandbar and played in the water. I cartwheeled and got sand and some especially salty water in my eyes: obvious success. After the beach, we showered and went to a Japanese place for lunch. I got fish and noodles, which was kind of like tuna steak. Eventually we hopped into a cab and went to the “Cristo” (Christ the Redeemer). It’s one of the wonders of the world (at this rate I will probably see all of them). I’d say it’s Statue of Liberty sized. You take a trolley up the mountain (and feel like its going to come of the rails) and then climb the stairs to the ultimate top. According to Julia, it’s the 7th largest Christ in the world (what the hell are the other ones…???). Sadly, I know none of the history except he lost a finger after being struck by lightning a couple years ago.
Afterward, we went to Sugarloaf mountain, which is right in the middle of the harbor and overlooks the whole city. It’s kind of a lump of a thing, not really a mountain, more of a random peak. We watched the sun set from up there, and it was breathtaking to say the least. (Basically, GO TO RIO BEFORE YOU DIE — and eat a “pastel de camarones”).
Upon returning to the hostel, the shit show of our lives exploded (obviously we were just waiting around for it) and we couldn’t find transportation to Buzios (the real place we were supposed to go on vacation, 3 hours outside the city). We ended up going back to the airport and then taking a transfer to Buzios. After two hours freezing our asses off in the air-conditioning of the bus, Alexa woke us all up, telling us we were there! We disembarked with all of our things, and kind of just stood there, wondering why we were at a gas station… turns out we were not even close to Buzios. Good.
Around 2am we arrived at our next hostel and settled in. Our Israeli suite mates invited us to a party but I was busy snuggling a blanket that fifty million other people before me had snuggled too.
DAY 1 (in Buzios; Friday)
We didn’t wake up until 11am, which meant we missed the complimentary breakfast (I was obviously ripshit). We got ready and went to a buffet place for lunch on the way to the beach. We went out on this big dock and jumped in and swam around. julia and I swam to this little island and Alexa layed on the dock while we explored caves and tide pools, cutting our feet on barnacle-covered rocks. Nothing like a casual barefoot rock climb to start your day. I was really worried about the shark factor but tried to play it cool. After all, there were penguins so I tried to tell myself the water was too cold… (UNTIL I DID MY RESEARCH! dumb lemon shark.) We spent the afternoon in a sandstorm on the beach, each looking like we had severe dandruff because of the amount of sand in our hair … mostly this happened to Alexa since she is the only Brunette. Don’t worry, I had her back, I told her it looked really gross.
After some serious sand exfoliation, we went to this little restaurant/bar kind of place on the water (everything is on the water) and drank huge caprivodkas for $5USD. I was pretty much living the dream. Afterward, we walked to a different beach, where I fell asleep in the afternoon sun (despite the sand). Dumb Alexa woke me up saying we were going to explore the town, when in fact she took us on a wild goose chase to some really local areas. After listening to me complain about being tired and kind of buzzed still, she admitted to attempting to map out a route to run in the morning. At that point, I sat down.
Eventually, we relocated the town center, had frozen yogurt and then returned to our buffet place for dinner. We all took naps back at the hostel, and I was woken up around midnight being told we had to go out because everything would be closed Saturday for elections. I told them to go without me but after everyone had been yelling for an hour I figured I was solidly awake and should just go. We ended up at this place called “The Ush” or something similarly stupid in an attempt to be trendy. It was literally the worst environment I have ever been forced to drink in. It was an assault on my well being, I actually thought I would pass out if I had to listen to the obese “band” bang on the keyboard and drums over regular songs playing. Like I’m sorry (actually not at all,) but at least bang to the beat.
To complete the night, we were followed by an overly aggressive drunkard who we ended up screaming at.
Julia: “LA CONCHA DE TU MADRE! HIJO DE PUTA! You go that way and we go that way (with hand gesture)!”
Drunkard: “I sorry, no speak English”
Me: “No me importa! GO AWAY!”
There was a bit of a language barrier. We sought refuge at a crepe place where one of the waiters was able to translate for that idiot. By 4am, we were back at the hostel. Basically the moral of the night was that I am always right.
Day 2 in Buzios : Saturday
Managed to wake up for breakfast today so that was a good start. We ended up going on a 2 1/2 hour boat tour for $15 USD that included FREE WATER (and snorkeling)! It was a great way to spend the day, and the professional photographer loved us (our money) and quickly one “quick group photo” escalated into a full on photo shoot on the bow of the boat. I mean, obviously, I hated it, all those people looking at me, the attention… I could really only handle it for about 28 frames before calling it quits.
After docking, we headed back to the dessert stand and our oceanside bar for, obviously, desserts and more caprivodkas. The day passed slowly, and we sat watching the sunset over the mountains. For dinner that night, we went to Mr. Brads, this mexican kind of place with live music and costumes. It should come as no surprise that I was pulled from my seat at the back of the restaurant to dance on stage with our waiter. After dinner, this occurred again, and another waiter taught me an elaborate Salsa. I can’t wait to tell Jose, my tango instructor. He probably won’t understand… In other news, $35 USD got me 3 beers, veggie fajitas, chips and guac, a tequila shot, and a caipirinha. Needless to say, we walked home on the beach, laughing and telling secrets, as I’d imagine young, drunk girls should.
Today we took a water taxi to a Praia that started with an A…
We saw so many penguins, which made my day because they’re my third favorite animal after elephants and turtles. The babies swam like two feet from the shore, wiggling their little butts hehe. Nothing too eventful happened today, because the goal was to spend the entire day on the beach in an effort to get some color. There was drink service, which was nice. Instead of reading my Literature book, I started rereading the third 50 shades of grey (yea you caught me, I missed the boy a little…). No more than 5% into it, I fell asleep and got severely burned, so it’ll be a while before he will be able to see me again anyway. For dinner, we went to a third buffet style restaurant, called Boom. It was really good – I always feel bad though because I sneak-eat food before they weigh my plate (today it was sushi). Then we got froyo, but I liked Yogolove better. Now I’m here, rubbing aloe all over mi cuerpo.
(^^^I just wish I was more eloquent. Clearly my life is centered around food.)
Day 4 in Buzios (MOnday):
“This is just the coolest city in the world” -Alexa (about Rio)
I ask my friends what we did monday (as I am backtracking since today is tuesday), they’re helpless. I’m being told regret is a useless emotion, this in the same breath as “I should’ve sprayed the duty-free perfume in my armpits.” Take it for what it’s worth.
Anyway, yesterday we woke up, ate breakfast, showed each other the men from our pasts on Facebook, rubbed more aloe on each other, then eventually left the hostel. From there, we went to the returned to buffet place #1, where I fed my left-over fried fish to a stray kitten. Since we were all sunburned, we walked around the town shops, trying on things we couldn’t afford to buy (don’t worry, pictures to come). For me, it was some sexy one pieces and a silky blush nude tie cover up. For Julia, a floor length black dress with a cut out back. Alexa tried on a really great pair of black platform booties that she 100% could have afforded (I’m mad about this.. not that we can share shoes anyway, she literally wears a kids sizes). When the endorphins from purchasing things started to fade, we decided to supplement our afternoon by going to our seaside bar. I’m sure you already know how this went but I’ll give you the play by play: 1. get tipsy and order another 5 rounds of drinks 2. complain about our lives and their impending doom which in fact all relates to the imminent problems from our childhood 3. swim with penguins 4. get nervous about sharks feeding at dusk and return to land. It was a pretty typical afternoon in Buzios. Who would have thought the night would be a million times crazier….”
If you can believe it, the night was so outrageous I have been forbidden to blog about it! GASP! Don’t worry, when I write a tell all book or become a resented reality TV star I’ll tell ya what my friends really did on our last night in Brazil. 🙂