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Sunday, 24 October 2010

Five Reasons I Need to Go Back to Rio de Janeiro

Written by Leah Eades
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Rio de Janeiro was the city where I ended my seven month trip, and perhaps that is why I feel I have unfinished business with the place: I didn’t feel like it was really time to leave. Or, maybe it was any of these reasons:

1. When booking our ticket we thought “Great! August! Summer!”.... This was in the Southern Hemisphere; it was winter when we got there.

Yes, we didn’t really think about that whole tricky hemisphere thing. I mean, you’d just assume Brazil would be warm, wouldn’t you? Well, it’s not. We had two days of sun during which we sat on the beach sipping coconuts and praying we’d get tans (we didn’t) so that we wouldn’t have the embarrassment of returning home after our epic journey with the same pasty skin we left with (we did). Also most of the major sights in Rio (going up Sugarloaf Mountain, seeing Christ the Redeemer, paragliding onto Copacabana Beach) require sunlight and clear skies. Hence, we slipped into living a life of luxury...

2. I didn’t get a full Brazilian Wax.

So, instead of being cultural, we thought “When in Brazil...” and went to a nearby salon. But then... it just looked painful. So I wimped out and didn’t go the whole hog. This trip to the salon marked the beginning of...

3. We finally snapped from months of tight budgeting and, with the end in sight, went mad.

Not only did we spend all our remaining money at Ipenema market and on far too much food (we not only returned home pale, but also fat). Feeling depressed, we decided to treat ourselves. And that’s how we found ourselves sipping drinks Rio2inside the iconic Copacabana Palace Hotel with the rich and famous. Not only this, but after hours of demanding to be brought more complimentary snacks by the disgruntled-looking waiters, we snuck into the hotel to look around. Upon leaving, we decided to visit the next door H. Stern jewelery shop. Here we were promptly mistaken for guests and offered a free transfer to and tour of the H. Stern diamond headquarters, which we accepted.

The next day we got all dressed up and accepted our chauffeured taxi to the HQ, where we got shown around and then allowed to try on diamonds in a private consultation before being asked if there was anything we’d like to have put aside (there wasn’t). Then we were offered a free transfer to anywhere we liked, and so...


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