Day 18: More food and discoveries in Rio

The 3rd day in Rio was rain but it still had lots to offer.

We made our way into the Centre of the city.
Our first try at the subway. It was easy to use, safe and clean.
Yes, it was, except as a Japanese, I could not take notice of this.

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近すぎるでしょ!!!
In Japan, we are used to people standing behind the Yellow lines and line up orderly in 3 lines so we know exactly who is first. But this was a funny sight for me because this looked like chaos to me – which it really is not.

So today’s highlights:

1. The Rio De Janeiro Cathedral
By far, the most interesting church I have ever been!
it looks like this from the outside.

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Looks like a pyramid doesn’t it? We thought it was an art museum or something and was caught by surprise when we looked in. No words does it justice to explain so you’ve just go to see. See from here.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

And for those of you that won’t jump to the site, see some of the photos here, but it just doesn’t do it justice.

Inside, there is 4 walls with long stretching stained glass reaching from the bottom to the top. The colors are the most beautiful RGBY colors on each wall and the sun shining through inside for a breathtaking holy view. I would have really loved to listen to the choir sing here, the 4 walls would work so amazingly for the sounds I’d think. It was so interesting, I could have sat there for hours looking up.

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Here is the entrance. Look how small Aco looks next to Jesus.

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2. Fun Foods – Coxinah

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This pointy cutie pie is sort of like a pointy stuffed croquet. It is a street food commonly seen snack/ pastry at kiosks and cafes . There was a chicken salad sort of thing in the middle and around it is a dough texture batter that is lightly fried. It is cute and delicious and so far, but this is my favourite.

3. Dinner with a local

We had an excellent dinner with a Carioka – a Rio local Rafael introduced to me by my good friend from college. – Thanks Hisae! I love this trip because I am making so many new connections being introduced through friends and its really the best way to meet people!

Rafael took us to a nice local eatery called Bodega Belmont in Copacabana and boy, the food was excellent! Its always great to leave the ordering up to the locals.

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This my friends, is heaven on a plate.

The yellow stew-ish shrip dish is called Muqueca – salt water fish stew in coconut milk, veggies and palm oil. It has a delicious complex flavour and so good!

Of course there is the Falafel and rice and steak and fried potatoes and guess what the green in?!

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It is Broccoli Rice! Hello my new favourite carbohydrate.

But the best part of the night though was being able to talk and understand further the people and culture of Brazil from a local (in-between his sudden yelling at the TV for soccer). What he loves and feels proud of Brazil parts that he thinks they can do better – he is also a returnee, having grown up in different part of the world, it was interesting to hear the perspective from a local / but with an international mind set.

Particularly a point of interest for me was the work ethics of Brazilians, which I have heard from several different sources and have started seeing touring around. My impression so far is that service is not one of their best characteristic so I don’t see people go out of their way to help out or serve you and it takes a while to get them to do it – which is very different from Japanese service, but once they put their mind to helping you, it seems they are into it and will help you out well and happily. Also, it takes at least three takes to get what you want usually, help, orders, the check. But hey, they might also have something important to do, so just continue asking.

He also explained the difference between Rio and Sao Paulo  – which I take to be the difference between like NY and LA, Tokyo and Osaka, and regions up north – more relaxed and slow – like Miami / Okinawa. The must dos and must tries in Brazil and S. America.

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Thank you so much Rafael! I’ll be back!

4. Lapa – We made our way into this area famous for the bars and the restaurants for music and art.
Rio Senarium – Live music and dancing in the historical building.

Cheers! with Caiperina

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Rio Scenarium

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We saw the Samba Step for the first time and man,  those steps are fast! Its like having 2-3 steps in the time one usually does one. Of course I tried to imitate but I’m pretty sure I looked silly like a kid that wanted to pee – but happily. But I loved the vibe and the energy! I will practice my steps until Carnival next year!

Three amazing days in Rio and I have fallen in love.
There is so much more to explore, but it is time to go for now.

We are off to the north to Itacare for some beaches and surf!

Chao Rio!

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