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BRAZIL | Saturday, 14 February 2009 | Views [1121]

Me, Gabriel, Natalia and Mishko in Rio

Me, Gabriel, Natalia and Mishko in Rio

Ahhhh Brasil (and yes, it is spelt correctly),  a country where there is no lack of different dance styles, everyone says ´hello´ to strangers, and soap operas with vampires and people with supernatural powers are extremely popular. It is a place which seems so civilised in the way that people enjoy their lives without working themselves to death and really take advantage of their time off, but then also so uncivilised- men grope women in the streets... and I was shocked to see that when this happened to me, other men who were standing around just watched in silence! I guess it makes me appreciate many Australian men now, as even the smallest of blokes would (in general) stand up for a woman and tell the other guy to back off!  
I have found Rio De Janeiro, quite a different experience. It seems to be a place where people are both of extreme happiness, and yet also extreme arrogance. I shall give the following personal experiences as examples, although many foreigners I have met are also feeling these very same vibes. After spending a great final day in Sao Paolo with my friend Ricardo, who took me to the park and to a Samba School to watch the Carnival rehearsals, I decided to stay the rest of my wait for my passport in Rio. And what a pain this passport has been to get... such a pain that I am not even going to say one more word about it!! I recommend anyone who loses their Australian passport to apply for a new on in Argentina! So anyhow, I get to Rio, I get on the bus, and the first thing I see is the bus ticket woman smiling dancing in her chair, listening to music from her headphones! She greeted me with such kindness and bubbliness that I felt that all of the people of Rio were going to be just about as kind... I was wrong. About a week later, I was on the metro train and people were packed in like sardines. When the metro stopped, everyone barged out of the doors, and although it wasn´t where I had to get off, dragged me with them out the door. I was about to loose my balance and fall, when one man, twice the size of me (who definitely had enough space to walk past me) saw that I was struggling, but instead of helping me, he ran and barged into me with a great laugh!! I was disgusted by his lack of manners and cold heart, but at least one other girl on the train gave me a reassuring look as if to say ´Yes, he´s a bloody rude idiot!´     
I have met some great people in Rio now, including Natalia and Gabriel, who I got in touch with through a friend of mine who I met in Sao Paulo. They put me up in their house for more than a week, and although I didn´t have the faintest idea of who they were or what they did in life, or even what they looked like, I have ended up making some great friends, who are also in the film industry! I have met one of Natalia´s friends Ada, who I will also soon be staying with for a while, and a few other couchsurfers and random Brazilians also... one who is a publisher, another who is a musician. It is so easy to meet people here! Especially on the beach, where it is always jam packed on the weekends and there are always rows of groups playing at their soccer skills at the waters edge.
I am really loving Rio!!

Tags: brazil, passport, sao paulo

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