First Impressions: Rio de Janeiro

22 Mar

Unlike most of South America, I’ve seen zero stray dogs! There are quite a few dog owners here, but it could be due to our location, might not be representative of the rest of the city.

Traffic in Rio is baaaaaaaaaad. And I thought LA traffic was bad. Nope, I think Rio is worse. We unintentionally booked flights flying into busy cities (Rio and Buenos Aires) during rush hour. We weren’t in a rush to get to our accommodations or anything but still it sucked to sit in traffic for that long.

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Rio is fruit juice (suco) capital! Anybody who knows me well knows that I loooooove fruit, so I am in heaven right now. In the laste 12 hours we’ve had mango, pineapple, watermelon, orange, and coconut juices. Can’t wait to try more flavors. Must do some translations tonight.

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Less Brazilians smoke compared to those in Peru, Chile, and Argentina. In Argentina pretty much I was inhaling SHS (secondhand smoke) at least every 15 minutes while out in public and sometimes continuously for even longer (no joke!) and here it’s maybe every half hour so far. I think it’s sad when I see mothers/fathers/pet owners smoke right in front of their child/pet. Makes me wonder how much SHS they are exposed to at home. And in related news just very recently, Brazil will ban the sale of flavored cigarettes. Awesome! Thanks to my old colleagues/Facebook friends for keeping me in the know!

Just when I was picking up my HS Spanish again, we had to switch to Portuguese. For some reason, ignorant me thought that Brazilians would have some knowledge of Spanish. Nope. Wrong again. Traveling is knowledge!

Taxis are metered and very reasonable. Kind of nice to not have to bargain for once. It only cost us $33 to get from the airport to our digs in Ipanema. The ride was at least an hour long! A taxi ride in LA used to cost us $22 for a 10 minute ride from LAX to our old house!

Rio doesn’t have the best reputation for safety. So we’ve taken some extra precautions like leaving our jewelry and watches at our place, and we only carry photocopies of passports on us. We also try to only use our big camera in very touristy areas, such as the Christ the Redeemer statue. We didn’t even bother bringing our camera to dinner tonight. All other times we try to be on our guard and to walk in very public areas. We are staying in a pretty safe and public neighborhood, but better safe than sorry!

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I used an awesome iPhone app called Photosynth to create this shot. Basically you take a bunch of pics and the app stitches them all together pretty seamlessly.

We’re here through the weekend and then on Monday evening we’re on a flight to Tokyo!

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2 Responses to “First Impressions: Rio de Janeiro”

  1. Uncle Raymond March 22, 2012 at 8:13 PM #

    Wow … so much excitement, food, drinks, culture, etc. It all sounds great. Enjoy the weekend before the jump across the pond.

  2. Yusing March 24, 2012 at 1:00 AM #

    Make sure you check you credit card account when you leave! Credit card numbers are stolen a lot (which is why they always swipe your card in front of you instead of taking it away). Still, someone at my (fancy) hotel stole it and made fraudulent purchases after I left. Oh, and if the taxi driver claims the meter is broken, he is lying! They will charge you double. Refuse the ride and get out!

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