Sunday, June 8, 2014

     In the year 2010, a man set forth on a journey to 3 continents, and over 20 countries, with 1 goal at hand, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. For this trip to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, I must give credit to my original travel Capitan, Jeff Hintz. I've followed his tracks many a times to places I've never really considered going to, well, except Amsterdam. In 2000, we spent a semester terrorizing Oxford university, where it all began. On the weekends we would try random trips where ole' Captain Travel would take us; Edinburgh, Munich, Brussels to name a few. (5 mins pass as I flashback...k)  In Jeff's trip to World Cup 2010 he passed through Peru to see the wonder and energy of Machu Picchu. I followed on my own trip shortly after in November that same year.
     Fast forward to now, Eu sou aqui (I am here) in copacabana. In true form, my Dad asked me if I've met Lola yet...
My first day, Saturday the 7th, I arrived at 830 am. I was picked up by a taxi driver that knew the host's place where I would be staying at. It took us about 35 mins from the airport to get to the apartment. After getting settled in to my top floor apartment where I am renting a room, the view from the penthouse is nice. I can see Av. Nossa Senhora De Copacabana below, which is 1 block from praia (the beach).
I did not waste any time to head to the 11am jiu jitsu class just 2 blocks away at Fight Zone.
     I was early to the class, where I saw a black belt rolling with kids 1 at a time. It turned out that Saturday had no instruction, but open mat aka sparring. I was timid, using what Portuguese I knew, to introduce myself. Meu nome e Jemell. I was able to get by more conversation with gestures and talk to those that knew engles well enough to fill me in on what I didn't understand. After 4 rolls, I was done. Next class is Monday at 1030am.
     Later after my nap, I met an ex-pat living in the same building as me. I tagged along with Thomas to a posh shopping strip, literally equivalent to the Beverly Hills of Brazil. On the same street as Louis Vitton, Gucci, Armani, the dude needed to buy Nespresso cartridges at the Nespresso Store. This store was dedicated to selling Keurig like packs for his machine. This machine, which I brought with me from the US, costs $100 at home. In Brazil, it costs $645 Real or $285 UDS. That mark up is consistent with all things sold here. Anyways, the place was packed, we had to be called up like the DMV, only you're buying boutique little cups of coffee. I found this amusing, only because of course it's something I would get into, but also it's a good way to find my bearing with a somewhat local.
     Sunday: acai for brunch. Woke up late, I slept for like 14 hours. I think it's because of the combination of jet lag, and Benadryl to combat my growing number of mosquito bites. After finding a Starbucks, ordering the usual, I walked to the craft market or as they called it "hippie fair". I bought about $20 worth of trinkets and put them in my nap sac. I headed to to the beach and walked aimlessly for about 90 mins to the end. To where they're erecting a venue where people can watch the matches on the beach, along with a fan expo to buy shtuff. Along the way home, I grabbed a slice of pizza and a guarana (gwa-rah-nah) which is pretty much the best soda in the world! @ Evan Kiley! Walking on, I also stopped at the market below my building to buy ingredients to make sandwiches, which, I am enjoying at the moment. And that leads to the now where I await to watch Game of Thrones. No land is too far for young Gibson to watch the last 2 episodes. I bid you ta' bom. ( well/good) 
copacabana beach

                                       behind those bars are where they make jiu jitsu beasts

hippie fair

spot that badass crossing the street

acai com banana

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