Monday, August 17, 2009

Some Random Impressions of Rio

Taxi drivers are proud of their country and love to explore some of the more indirect routes to places around town. Unfortunately, most do not speak English, which makes it difficult to appreciate why we often travel in circles to reach our intended destination.

People here make eye contact a lot more frequently then back home.

The Portuguese language is a more melodic than either English or Spanish, and the intonation reminds me of Italian. For example, cheese in Spanish is “queso,” pronounced kay-so, but in Portuguese it is spelled “quejo” and pronounced, “kaaaaaaaaaaayssshoooooww” with an impish smile.

Whenever someone poses at the Christ the Redeemer statue, they crudely mimic the statue’s pose in the foreground, often with a goofy look on their face.

People dress a lot like they do in coastal towns of southern California: Flip flops, jeans, t-shirts. We don’t stick out that much. It is not uncommon to be approached by someone speaking rapid-fire Portuguese assuming we are local.

People stand, rather than sit, on seats at soccer games.

While we're on the subject of soccer, people will start singing and chanting and clapping before the players arrive on the field, and will not stop until the players have left the field.

One of the things I like best about this country is that I am many thousand miles away from Erwin “Bene” Benedicto. I hate you Erwin! I hate you I hate you I hate you!

But damn! An acai shake really does his the spot after training. Seriously.

It is perfectly acceptable to run red lights after ten o’clock.

If you're not catching waves on the Venice Beach break, you probably will not catch them in Brasil.

Women love showing off their rear ends, no matter the shape or size, and where U.S. American women would cover their rear ends with a long shirt, or sarong, Brazilian women proudly expose their hindquarters to the world. This includes the beach, where swimsuits directly translate in English to, and I swear I'm not making this up, "Dental Floss." (Fio Dental)

When a car breaks down blocking a lane, the driver is expected to stand thirty yards ahead of his car making a “beat the gypsy” motion with his arm to indicate that the lane is blocked.

Watching some dude hack off both ends of a coconut, bore a hole, and insert a straw into the meat makes it taste awesome.

There may be more spectacular beaches than prainha, but I haven't seen them.

After training now at perhaps six or seven different academies in both U.S. America and Brazil, and after experiencing many different styles of teaching and learning, it really doesn’t make a damn bit of difference what you do to train. Some schools focus on live sparring, some have difficult warm ups, some focus on technique, but it seems that no matter where I go, people get better at roughly the same rate. The style here is different. People tend to favor slightly different techniques, I've encountered things I haven't elsewhere, but the end result is a wash, as you can tell that the Brazilians are unfamiliar with some of our techniques.

The King has jotted some stuff down, and called it a night without even making the effort into producing a decent and entertaining narrative, and feels somewhat sheepish.

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