Bom Jia from Rio De Janeiro!
After nearly a month of preparation I’m finally off on my next big adventure: Brazil. I’ve got a backpack full of quick-drying travel gear, an arm full of Yellow Fever vaccine, and a cell phone full of Family Guy episodes for those long cross-country bus rides. From 10,000 feet and below-zero temperatures in the Colorodo Rockies to 100% humidity South American summers. From soft-spoken geisha to ostentatious and wild samba dancers. Now that’s what I call a contrast.
After a short layover in Panama City I arrived in the Marvelous City just after 10pm yesterday, so aside from the inside of a taxicab and a grand tour of my hosts’ home in Copacabana Beach, I’ve yet to see a thing of Brazil. For the next week, until my 3 travel companions arrive from Norway and the US (via Sao Paolo), I’ll be staying with some friends with whom I’ve communicated regularly but haven’t seen in over eight years. Then on the 4th I’ll head up to Salvador for the last few days of Carnival and the beginning of my trek inland. At least that’s the plan.
During the last few days before leaving LA, I actually started feeling quite nervous about this trip. Literally dozens of people had told me “It’s going to be amazing, but BE CAREFUL – I know so-and-so who was robbed at gunpoint in Rio;” or “I can’t even tell you how dangerous Brazil is; you’d better watch your ass day and night, and don’t carry ANYTHING of value.” But now than I’m here, my apprehension has been almost completely replaced with excitement. Even without stepping outside the front door I can easily sense the new (and very tropical) world that surrounds me. Colorful birds squak from the lush peaks just a few miles from my window, and people buzz around below chattering in a language I cannot understand. The smells that pop up every now and then remind me of the raw humanity that sometimes escapes my view back home as I drive past the dozens of Mercedes and BMW’s that fill the streets of Beverly Hills between In-N-Out Burger and Coffee Bean. I truly have no idea what awaits me today over this next month, but one thing’s for sure: this is going to be great.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for updates to the travellog over the next month or so!
(P.S. This is my first post written entirely via cell phone. It’s an incredible pain in the ass…but I’m hoping that’ll change once I get used to this little bluetooth keyboard 🙂 )