Rio. Wow. I am currently running on about 3 hours of sleep which, to anyone who knows me, means I should be a walking zombie right now. Surprisingly though, I have been on sensory overload these past few days and I don't feel sleepy at all yet. I will now attempt to summarize the past few days.
So, aside from letting me cook Thanksgiving dinner and being an amazing host, he also has guitar hero. For those of you who don't know, it is a video game where you simulate playing a guitar to different rock songs. It is really fun and we all bonded over are varying abilities to rock out. :)
We also have recently discovered a fruit juice smoothie made from an amazon fruit called acai (pronounced a-sigh-ee). It is a deep purple in color and is delicious. It is full of energy and packed with all kinds of vitamins etc. All was well and good until we took a moment to look up the nutricional information online one night. In 100g of the stuff there is MORE than 500 calories and 35g of fat. Woah! But that's can't be worse than a cinnabon back home, right?
So, with all of this newfound energy we decided to try our luck at go-karting with some other members of the rio couchsurfing community. It was fantastic. The track is IN a big parking structure for a grocery store similar to a super walmart. So, in already humid Rio we suited up in go-kart armour, got some quick instructions on the 8 different colored flags they might wave at you during the race and their meanings, put us in the cars and off we went! About twenty minutes later we emerged from our cars, dripping in sweat. Humid Rio + go-karts in a poorly ventilated parking structure + plastic seats + pseudo ninja masks, helmets, gloves, neck support and a vest + 9 go-karts =some VERY sweaty kids! We all had fun though, minus Rahima who described the experience as "terrifying". Somehow I never realized go-karting was so strenuous. My arms are actually sore today!
Then the late night tradition continued the next night when we went to a samba school. Rahima was a little tuckered out so Daniel, Fau and I headed out to what I can only describe as the most energy-filled room I have ever been in. It was crazy and a total overload of the senses. We left about 2:30 or 3:00 and then I headed out to Ipanema to meet up with a friend from childhood (Jason. Yes, Galeria.) who now lives there and who I hadn't seen in over 10 years. (Am I really old enough to say I haven't seen someone for that long? Weird!). He is a pastry chef in Rio and totally understood my love for my solid wood rolling pin that I got in Peru the first week of my trip and haven't managed to mail home yet. I guess I don't pick the most sensible off all souveniers! But I digress. He showed me pictures of his two adorable little girls and we drank and talked and watched the sun come up until about 7am. Funny thing is, Ipanema is on the beach and up until that morning I hadn't even seen the beach because of the fog and rain. So on that particular morning from standing in one spot, I got to see the beach, the Christ up on the hill, sugarloaf, and Jason. Who knew about all of these good things that happen in the morning!?! Oh...probably those of you who don't usually sleep right through it like me! :) Needless to say, by the time I fell asleep at about 8:30am, I felt totally and completely content.
And it didn't stop there. I woke up a few hours later, feeling like a kid the first day of school. So, loving soccer I have always wanted to go see a game somewhere where soccer is REALLY appreciated. We tried to get tix in Argentina, but they were about $100. But in Brazil, we got them for about $15. Let me repeat that...I WENT TO A SOCCER GAME IN BRAZIL!!!! Daniel's team, Flamengo, was playing and it was awesome, even though the other team came back to tie it up on the end. I got a jersey straight off anmd by the end could even sing/chant along with some of the cheers. Fans are really fans there. They stand the whole game and cheer and cheer amd cheer. And they all do it together with coordinating hand movements and voices in synch...something we americans would never be capable of!
After the game, a bunch of us headed to a little local bar and enjoyed good company and a beer rocket on our last evening in Rio. I promise to put pics up soon, but at the moment this blog is all via blackberry. :)