So, we left Rio for Buenos Aires this morning, after many a kerfuffle involving an unwarranted all-nighter, our flight being 40 minutes earlier than expected, that being alright because in my paranoid state we were at the airport 3 hours early already... This update is mainly to say what we did in our last few days in Rio, and reminiscing has made me miss it so, so much. I am really sad to have left Brazil; I know that BA is going to be incredible (we already have a plan to go to the zoo tomorrow) but knowing that my fragmented Portuguese is now supposed to be obsolete is making me quite disoriented.. I keep on saying 'obrigada' instead of 'gracias' and 'desculpe' instead of 'lo siento'- people seem to laugh at my language confusion considering my Portuguese is pretty much as awful as my Spanish.. Oh well, ten days to learn!
Anyway, Rio. Last Tuesday night we went to a club called Melt in the Leblon area, free caipirinhas from 10 till 12 and amazing 90's hip hop and R'n'B- what more can you really ask for? Considering it's nature as a seedy looking sports bar/club, our hopes weren't exactly very high when we got there. However after many hours of Dr Dre, Tupac, and Nelly played alongside standard club music, we were pleasantly surprised and ended up having a lovely night.
On Thursday we went to see Christ the Redeemer ('Cristo Redentor')- we queued up for a long time to get the tram up Corvocado mountain to see it but the wait was definitely worth it. The tram ride took us on a scenic route through the forests of the mountains and touched the outskirts of Tijuca National Park. It wasn't just a tourist tram either, although each one was jam packed with gringos; it was also a genuine mode of transport for people living up the mountain and in the forests, which was something I found quite interesting. When we got to Christ, it was at least 30 degrees and filled with people who, like us, had come to take advantage of the suddenly beautiful weather (it rained a lot from Sunday to Thursday). The sculpture is very grand, and incredibly impressive, but I was disappointed to find out that it's purpose was purely for aesthetic reasons: although supposedly also a symbol for the centenary of Brazilian independence, it ultimately was created in order to show Brazil off as a cultured nation and as a 'world player'. Slightly anti-climactic in comparison to the grandeur of the statue itself! But still, it was amazing to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and deservedly so.
This now takes me to Friday, when we set off with no expectations whatsoever and ended up having one of the best days so far. We went to the Lapa steps in the morning, famous for their originality and for their ever-changing appearance as the tiles are constantly replaced to give them an air of eternity. We ended up meeting the artist himself, Selaron, and were invited into his studio. It was in here that we saw truly how much of a tortured genius he is: on the one hand you have his ingenuity and talent in creating the Lapa steps, and then on the other hand, you see his madness when you get to his studio and see the best part of 30,000 of his paintings, all of himself as pregnant in different scenarios.. But it was a real honour to meet him, and his craziness was actually something I think we found quite endearing about him. After this unexpected detour, we went to Flamengo to go see an Andy Warhol exhibit at Oi Futuro art gallery. This exhibition showed his attempt at breaking into TV through his programme, Andy Warhol TV (where he seemingly interviewed celebrities in a very 70's Graham Norton sort of way), and through experimenting with soap opera. It was a really interesting exhibit, but poorly orchestrated as the sounds from the different videos weren't separated so you couldn't distinguish what voices went to what video. But on the whole, we had a great day.
So, since then nothing much has happened; just relaxed on the beach in Copacabana up until we left this morning really. I will update on our stay in Buenos Aires, but am so tired at this point that I don't think I can write a thing more!
As always, missing you all massively.
All my love, Vick xxx