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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 Three: Street Samba and Cachaça

USA | Monday, 3 January 2011 | Views [507]

The people in Brazil are instantly endearing. At first Rio´s few English speaking locals may turn off travelers looking for an easy time. It´s really ironic because one of my main reasons for not being the biggest fan of the city when I first arrived was how very Americanized it seemed, from KFC and Citibank right down to the Golden Arches.

Still, having encountered a few friends here at a party for Couchsurfers (see my last post) I decided it would be worth it to see things from the point of view of some of the locals. Totally worth it. First, a few disclaimers... Since I am typing this post a few weeks after these events, I have long since forgotten the way to pronounce many of these words correctly so forgive the stumbling in the videos. 

I also usually do all the camerawork, and its handheld. So bear with me on the video quality. I spoke to a friend the other day at a hostel on Ihla Grande (more on that later) and realized that I have long since the beginning of my trip lost track of days (I can only hope I remember when my flight home is) so the titles and dates and times in my posts will be, shall we say, fluid... Finally, I realized that writing all of my posts is a much bigger time and internet connection commitment than I really can make. As a result expect many more video posts, with a bit of introduction and probably some larger posts about specific issues or cultural aspects (in the works). Okay, so thats pretty much it...

As for this adventure I met with some Carioca amigas for a street Samba in Centro (Rio´s financial district and city center). Cordão do Bola Preta was our destination as it is a very popular street during Carnivale, and for good reason. Along the way, I had my first churrasco, essentially seared beef from a cart. The ubiquitous snack is cooked over open coals on a grate, dipped in some kind of light herbs and veggie concoction and sprinkled with Farafo (a popular brazilian grain like cornmeal) and made popular by the cattle driving gauchos in the south of the country and continent. I sipped my first shot of Cachaça (a sugar alcohol made of fermented cane juice and served with honey and ginger, popularly, the main ingredient in Caipirinhas) and enjoyed some great music in the street before visiting the spectacularly diverse Lapa district. For culture hounds, Lapa is the place in Rio where I most felt the African influence, especially in a dance called Zungo, like the Nina Simone song. The Cariocas, even a bit drunk, were very friendly and posed and danced for my camera all night. They also kept saying I looked like some Brazilian soccer player, but that may have been the Cachaça talking...

Though most of these delights (drinking, meat, dancing) can be found in any of Rio´s many Churrascaria´s, bars, and per kilo restaurants, for my money, the best of all three are found in the hot sweaty Centro nights... Enjoy the video posts...

More links aqui... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_onSbYbwLY, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLsq3ueGS0Y, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4CSmk3Z0Ko, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0wzCU5j5QM

Zungo demo coming soon...

Tags: cachaça, centro, churrasco, cordão do bola preta, farafo, gauchos, lapa, samba, zungo

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