More Rio

I went out in Lapa again last night. Went to a bunch of places, the first of which was a samba club meets pool hall. When going out in Rio, after you pass the metal detector and the pat down, you’re given a card that looks quite a bit like a turnpike ticket. If you lose this ticket while you are still inside, you might as well have locked your keys in your apartment because it’s going to be a shitstorm and to get out you’re going to have to pay the lost ticket fee, which could be up to 100 Reals. When ordering food or drinks, you present your ticket to your server, and they mark off what you’ve ordered. To leave, you get in the long cashier line and they figure your cover (if there is one) depending upon the entry time on the ticket, as well as the rest of the bill. You have to show your receipt at the door to be allowed out. Needless to say, when in Rio, you keep track of your shit- after all, this is not Williamsburg.

Later in the evening I found myself in a conversation with a Brazilian man, who must have been no less than 70 years old, concerning old New Order vs. new New Order. This is a conversation that in Chicago would no doubt make me throw up in my mouth a little, as it would most certainly be a recital of some pitchfork tainted nonsense. However in Brazil, it’s quite the opposite. This was just an old guy in Brazil that likes to sit in front of his little restaurant and drink his beer and listen to music from Manchester.

Just as I was beginning to think to myself that the crime problem here is blown out of proportion, we were told this morning by the guy at the hostel that a hostel down in Lapa was stormed by a group of guys with machine guns and handcuffs and robbed of all their electronics and money last night. As I sit on the hillside patio overlooking Lapa and downtown Rio, there are quite a bit of firecrackers going off, some much more powerful than others. One can only wonder how many of these aren’t actually firecrackers.

This is my street in Santa Tereza. The bonde (the cable car that runs up the hill to Santa Tereza from Centro) runs directly in front of the place.

This is the view of Centro from my walk up the hill.

I walk down this hill to a big staircase, which cuts off the switchback in the road and cut directly to the street that takes you into Lapa. The last block, which I refer to as the gauntlet, after the staircase is the sketchiest part of my commute to the bus. At night it would be quite naive to walk up the hill alone, especially considering that a cab would cost no more than three dollars.

I went to the top of Corcovado today, which is the big mountain with the Christ statue. Getting there involves a 30 minute tram ride through the rainforest in Tijuca National Park. It’s actual rainforest, with monkeys and canopy and all that. A group of samba kids jumped on the tram half way up and played music for the rest of the ride. The view from the top is absurd, there is nothing more that can be said.

Looking south at the lagoon and Ipanema/Leblon.

The cluster of buildings to the left is centro. I’m staying on the far side of the hill that separates the two clusters of buildings.

I officially have an address in Buenos Aires for March. I’ll be living in a 10th floor studio a two blocks from the Oblesico on Corrientes Avenue. Still not sure where I’m headed on Saturday when I no longer have a bed here. The guy who runs it mentioned the possibility of sleeping on the couch in the living room, so I suppose if I want to stick around Rio a bit longer I could. Regardless, there is a lot more to see in the south of Brazil and I have to be in BA by March 5th.

Time for food and then off to Lapa.

This entry was written by brett, posted on February 19, 2009 at 4:42 pm, filed under Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.


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