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Just Like the River I must be vain.To see something no one has must not be possible, unless you change you're perspective...

Day the First: Standby to Lose Everything

USA | Wednesday, 29 December 2010 | Views [816]

I´m not one to complain (it´s my New Year´s resolution), but...

Of course, my flight to Charlotte was delayed. I arrived at the O´Hare in Chicago to discover that even though I got there around an hour before my flight was to leave, I was luckier than my companion. Badgers (my nickname for my friend from the dairy state) showed up a full hour before me, but I was able to book the last seat on an earlier flight to connect to Rio. Being the altruist I am (again a New Year´s resolution) I valiantly gave up my seat and my partner and I flew standby like a lesser Batman and Robin (I´m Batman).

On arrival in Charlotte I had been told to pick up my bags at the jetway. Sounded easy enough. We were actually ahead of schedule and my next connection (the flight to Rio) wasn´t leaving for an hour and a half. I planned to grab my bags, grab some food, and lounge the minutes away. This proved difficult as uppon exiting the plane I discovered the bags had either been moved or coated with some type of invisibility formula. I waited in the baggage claim for around an hour before my imminently boarding international flight forced me to head out. A cell phone call from Badgers forced me to leave my baggage in the same hands that had already proven themselves untrustworthy. Nevertheless I left my bag and sprinted through the security gate, and down the concourse to flight gate B12.

The missed call message on my phone and relatively calm waiting area reminded me that our flight was actually departing Gate D12.

Breaking in my new hiking boots with a sprint from the former to the latter gate, I eventually made the flight. After some nonsense about not having a reservation I basically entered as a personal guest of the Brazilian President, and spent ten hours being kicked in the spine by two brazilian boys and their father on a flight in my newly assigned "comfortable" seat.

We arrived to find our bags had decided to vacation seperately, and would probably arrive the next day. The taxi ride was enjoyable as I got a chance to see the Favelas (local slums) and Sugar Loaf mountain. As we caught a glimpse of the Christo (Rio's iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue) our taxi took us through one of Ipanema´s towering big brothers, the series of verdant mountains that surround the crescent beach. Unfortunately for me the anti-malarial meds I started hit me just then and I spent the remainder of the ride to our hostel trying not to flip inside out. I had nearly caused an international incident with our driver by losing a ticket for the ride, so I thought it best not to ask him to roll the window down or stop for air.

The address to our hostel proved to be some kind of clever decoy and we wandered around until someone pointed us in the right direction. It was an enjoyable walk though and we followed it up with a dinner of chicken and vegetables and Suco Manga, a smoothie-like mango juice that tasted very fresh. Next we explored the beach and promised to see it tommorow then tried to walk back to our hostel as fast as our flip-flops could carry us when the blue sky got all pissed and gray. Finally the day ended as our hostel worker/bartender fixed us a pair of Caipirinhas, a cocktail of sugar cane, rum and lime. It was probably the strongest mixed drink I´ve ever had.

God, I can´t wait for tommorow.

Things I learned in Rio so far: 1. If somone hands you a ticket, keep it. 2. Doxycycline is from the devil. 3. Suc0 is awesome. 4. Caipirinha is Portuguese for "hangover".

Peace. I´m goin to get one of those Coconuts with a straw in them. (Videos Coming Soon...)

Tags: brazil, caipirinha, christo, doxycycline, favela, flight, ipanema, rio, sucre, sugar loaf


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