Monday, December 14, 2009

Last day in Rio

The last day ( Sunday) in Rio was much like most of my time in Brazil: It was pissng down with rain. With the help of a rather charming artist, I wandered around the "Ipanema Hippy Market" and bought a painting. I'm not sure why its referred to as a hippy market as it seemed a pretty standard collection of stalls.
There was far less of the usual crap on sale; more original paintings and carvings than kitch. I always associate "hippy" with bearded, dope smoking bums who have confused being lazy with protesting and "sticking it to the man". I didn't smell any dope in the air and most of the people seemed more cheerful than angry. Not a tye-dyed shirt in sight.
It was a cool way to kill an hour and I had delightful company.
As I said, the weather was crappy with rain spitting down on and off and wind blowing over an empty Ipanema beach.
To Brazilians this feels like bitter winter weather.
Given its supposed to be summer that's a bit of a bummer. I feel sorry for tourists who picked the past week to get their Rio experience. The beaches were pretty much empty and the sun was elusive.
The locals weren't enjoying themselves.He looks cold doesn't he?
Yes he does.
He was shivering so much that even the image stabiliser on the lens couldn't cope with his shaking.
There's a problem with this icy image:
To me the rain felt like a warm shower and the wind didn't give you a clammy chill but dried out your clothes.
How would these guys cope with a Canadian winter?
Much has been said about the Rio crime problem and I have no doubt that there are challenging issues to contend with. At the risk of inviting bad luck on my next visit, I have to say I've never felt unsafe in the city. Sure I've been careful , listened to and taken the advice of locals, but I've never felt the sense of menace so part of the fabric of places like Jo'berg or Mexico City.
Not sure why I felt the need to say that except the place has had some bad press lately and I wanted to put down my own experience.
I'm sitting in Heathrow having arrived from Brazil via Madrid and am waiting to catch a flight to Dubai. All in all this first part of my journey home is about 30 hours.
I'm in Dubai overnight then catch the red eye to Hong Kong.
Yep, I'm tired, but then I'm always tired right?
My colleague Gareth just sent me an email telling me it's raining in the desert and everything is flooded.
I must have really pissed off weather gods.
Stay well everyone

1 comment:

Lucia Robinson said...

to be honest, I don't fell very comfortable to leave comments on your blog ...
my words distill a great admiration for you, though I try to hide it. and you make me laugh hard!
so it is inevitable to make some comments about this day was very special .... maybe one of the most important days of my life. it has left a memorial in my room!
Hahaha! I also never understood why this open-air market carries this name: "hippie" and your definition of it is sensational! People who confuse laziness with protest. In Rio ?! Really?!
Have you heard the "marijuana march" in Rio? So, there's some narcotic around... Maybe the cold breeze took the smell away...
Is there more bourgeois than the residents of the neighborhood of Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro?...Which I adore... Salve Tom Jobim e Vinícius de Morais!
And after your sarcastic comment about how cold my countrymen was shacking, the weather gods were angry with you rightly Haha! Thank God you carry good lenses...
And they made me used to the north weather... really love it all.

Oh! Fluminense, your team in Rio is the champion of Rio's League of Soccer.


Te amo. The "charming artist"... ;)