Day 1 in the New World

This package (and its 5 attached luggage pieces) has been delivered safely to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Writing the blog has made me obsessed with making observations and so I’ve had a very busy journey and arrival so far. Just took a walk on Copacabana Beach and had time to relax a bit and gather my thoughts. And so they are:

Observation 1: Men are everywhere

My hopes for yet another upgrade to business class crashed and burned when I arrived just in time to board my flight to Houston and to my surprise, found about 50 people, mostly men, mostly 35-45, white american, in line ahead of my for priority boarding. I guess everyone had the same idea.. Things became clearer as I was eavesdropping on a conversation between the two very handsome and tall American guys, sitting on each side of me (lets call them “white sneakers” and “fancy cowboy boots”). They were both going to Macaé. Pre-salt oil business. Which also explained the other category of male passengers – the rednecks: besides the affluent Houston businessmen (probably former MBA’s), the plane was full of men in their later thirties, early forties, all equipped with a huge beer belly, an army print baseball hat and baggish jeans, barely containing their top weight. Interesting mix.

Observation 2: Some people travel way more than me..

White sneakers and cowboy boots were also discussing various airline service quality and crazy 24-48 hrs trips they made across the world (Russia, China, Australia…). I think it was some kind of a competition.. whose trips were more exhausting. I could definitely relate.

Observation 3: Some things are way better than they seem to be on the surface

The line in immigration of course then, was super long, but moved very quickly, which definitely scored the Brazilian Federal Police points with me. They are way better than the London Heathrow airport torturers, who call themselves a developed economy. Of course, since I had more luggage than the queen of England, I got pulled over in customs but then almost got a marriage proposal from the middle-aged customs official who was impressed with the fact that I was studying portuguese and more focused on asking me if I had a boyfriend and that I will marry a Brazilian, than actually inspecting my bags. LIKE!

Observation 4: Beaches and good weather are good for the male gene pool

Later on when I was walking down Copacabana beach, towards Ipanema, I figured that this customs guy was making some sense. Handsome fit men were everywhere.. jogging, stretching, having a drink with friends, etc., etc. Not so much can be said about the women I encountered (perhaps the attractive ones exercise indoors). I liked the balance. I celebrated it with a Coco frio, while sitting and watching the view of dusk over sugarloaf.

Observation 5: I am about to become a professional complainer

The only bad thing that happened today was my promised apartment, which actually turned into a 5 star hotel, which encompassed my 1 star room, style Motel 8. Window facing the wall, moldy furniture, dirty carpet and a strong chlorine smell that just wouldn’t go away (maybe someone died in there and they had to disinfect…), were just some of the main features. I was hugely disappointed and thankfully managed to at least switch it to one that didn’t have a smell or a carpet, but tomorrow I will have to go and plead for accommodations that are more suitable for this princess. I think I will go crazy if I stay at this place for 2 more months (as it is booked now).

Tomorrow I undergo medical exams. Lets see how this goes. I already have my urine cup ready! 😀 (point of difference in Brazil vs. USA: here you are supposed to bring your own sample. This is what I call outsourcing).

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