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Scenic Route "One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change". ~ K. Hathaway

Another week: more exploration, more comfort

USA | Thursday, 11 February 2010 | Views [381]

I'm settling into things now, feeling more comfortable in my skin (tan and blending in now), speaking portuguese (progressing although less rapidly than I had hoped), and with the city (the basics have been mastered so onto the fun stuff...)

When I first arrive in a city like this (6 million people with a metro, soooo many bus routes, and a plethra of stores that you must get the essentials from), it takes about a week to get my bearings.  I did some things wrong - the wrong bus caused a longer walk, I didn't get my fruit weighed and marked with a sticker by the guy in the produce section before taking it to the register, I did allow the hairdresser to "style" my hair for an exorbant amount (drying it costs extra)...  but you live, learn, and head out the door to do it better the next time.

More pictures of what those strrets look like can be found here  file:///Users/Maggie/Pictures/iPhoto%20Library/Modified/2010/The%20streets%20and%20things%20I%20see.../IMG_0551.JPG

So now that I have an idea of how to do the essentials (re-charge minutes to my cell phone - $R17 for 90 minutes; shop for the best produce at the Horti-Fruiti; get a pastry with vegetables and not just meat for breakfast - "Um pastel de frango, quejo, e verduras"; re-charge my metro card for a week of transport to and from school so that I don't have to do it at quarter till 8am - when everyone in the city is trying to do the same thing and the lines are 30 deep...) I can start having fun!

I went on a different route from my school (escola) today and found an outdoor shop.  This lead to the realization that not only electronics are expensive in Brasil - the climbing helmet I just bought before coming to Brasil ($65 USD) costs $R428!  So, I am very glad I brought everything I needed for climbing and may end up having anything else shipped home and then re-shipped here!  So, if you come to Brazil be prepared to buy leather and meat cheap and electronics and equipment at exorbant prices...  Now this could just be Rio - it is a similar size to NYC with an inflated cost of living when compared with other places in the country - but the problem that I expect to run into is that other places do not carry the items at all - for any price.

The people are wonderful, however, and give the huge city a welcoming feel.  Tonight I attended a meeting for climbers - one of the 7 clubs in Rio - and met many wonderful people; tomorrow I attend a Rotary meeting which the president of the Rotary Foundation will be in attendance at as well - and will meet more wonderful people.

Ate mas! (Until more!)

Tags: the city life

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