Friday, June 20, 2014

Rio: looking back.

Rio was a blast. Looking back on my trails blazed, what an amazing time. It was nice being away from home and making a much more simple schedule of going about your day. World Cup should also be called; World Holiday time. Everyone is on holiday. And a holiday it is indeed. For many of us here in Brazil, we're still on holiday.

On average my days were like this. Wake up aroun 8-9, Starbucks to have the usual.
Now, at this point I had a choice to make: train jiu jitsu at 1030am, or wait for the 7pm class. 1 day I did both, and that was brutal. At every class, there would be at least 5 black belts training, not teaching, but practicing with everyone. The first day there, honestly, I was nervous, my Portuguese comprehension was tested quickly. But not only that, I was out of shape to say the least. Even the lower belts had amazing technique that seemed effortless. But I tried hard, I persisted to show up, I took a lot of beatings, disguised as lessons, and learned. Everyone had different styles, and strengths that I realized could help my jiu jitsu game immensely.
It was also tough to train 2 a days because I only had 2 kimonos with me so I had to plan my laundry accordingly. Which brings me to my next task, laundry. I had made friends Bobby, an expat, that runs this tourism office/money exchange/laundromat owner from queens New York. His business was called Blame it on Rio 4 travel, (dot com, where applicable). They got to know me well I'd say. After i would square away my housekeeping, I would walk down copacabana beachabout 1.5 miles, or a 25 min walk (1 way), to the FIFA fan fest. Somedays I would walk there 2 times a day. I got a little jaded from the sun and sand after the first 3-4 days of going there straight. Actually I felt sick for about 72 hours, probably because I've been getting so much sun and not drinking enough water. Just an achy and stuffy nose illness. After the 3rd day of being sick, I took some tylenol which made me question why I hadn't taken it sooner. Kicked my symptoms out of bounds. #soccerpun. Anyways, that's what my days were like.
Food? The only thing memorable was this late night sandwich joint called Cervantes. The night of the Italy vs England game, the crew I was with had got lost and found this place. Which was great because I've been wanting to try his place when I read about it in the lonely planet guide. You may have already seen it pictured on ig and fb, the filet, cheese and pineapple sandwich I had devoured not 1 but 2 of those bad boys. It was pricey though, about $12usd each. They're about the size of 2 Hawaiian host squares. Nice tho.
The last night in Rio, I had the elusive churascharria where they bring the carne out on the swords. The picanha, was really good. Just as good as fogo de chau in LA but still nice to have while in Brazil.
I had acai quite a bit. I did learn, that like olive oil, there are different grades of acai. First press, to some basic, "here ya go" kinda of stuff. Usually if it's too sweet, it's no good. I will continue my acai trials, so far no winners yet.

For now, you're gonna have to do with out photos. The amazon is not so high speed internet friendly. I know, first world problems. I'm having a blast! I'm going to split this up into 2 but, what you can expect in the next blog is Manaus where I am at now. I'm awaiting the USA vs Portugal match taking place on Sunday here. I hope all if you will watch, I'll be wearing my Team USA Olympic jersey that Kobe wears.  Hope all of you are well as a bid you boa noite.

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