The weekend is over and real life is taking over.
I didn’t make it to Arpoador for sunset on Saturday. We managed to find a station with 3 bikes so we could ride to Ipanema, but we got a pretty late start and realized pretty quickly it was going to be even more difficult to find 3 getting home. The beach is always packed on weekends like this one. On the return, we took our time exploring Ipanema a little bit to look for a station off the beach in the hopes it would be lesser known. Mostly we walked around and got jealous about how nice Ipanema really is. You can sense the difference in wealth. Eventually we gave up and took a van home, but I have hope that it’ll be much easier to use Bike Rio during the week. What a systems problem… how many bikes should each station have? Which stations have the heaviest traffic? What times of day are the most popular? And the least? I’m sure they’ve got data on all of it. It’s enough to make any systems engineer go insane!
When we got back home, Keia and I found out that our new roommate had arrived! Her name is Marina, she is our age, Brazilian, and an engineering student as well. We’re actually really excited that she only speaks Portuguese, because we’ll be forced to practice our speaking. That night we stayed in, talked to family, and took it easy again.
Sunday was a new day to enjoy the beach. This time we predicted the bike situation and just stayed close to home in Copacabana. Marina joined us in the afternoon, and later on the three of us girls went to a Catholic mass at a nearby church. It was nice that they essentially had the entire mass written out in a pamphlet they gave you as you walked in. I could understand most of what was going on, but I think a lot of that has to do with the traditional ways Catholic masses are run. It’s really interesting that no matter where you are in the world, they tend to follow the same pattern and have the same general prayers. It was kind of comforting in that way. After the mass, Keia, Joe and I went to a studio in Catete to hear our friend Luciana’s band rehearse! She is the lead singer and they do mostly rock covers, both of English and Portuguese songs. They’re premiering their stuff for the first time later this month, and we’ll all definitely be there.
Today I got up and went for a run and then jumped in the ocean. Keia and I spent most of the rest of the day on the beach, and now we’re home getting ready to go to our second class at ENCE. The rest of the week will be a little more intense, since we’ll be adding in Professor Orlando’s class on Tu/Th and will probably have homework to do. I think it might be hard to put our noses to the grindstone again, like they are constantly at UVA, especially with the shore just 4 blocks away. It doesn’t quite feel real yet, but I’ll check back in toward the end of the week.