You need it to keep up with all of the movement.
The last couple of days have been rather slow, as the middle of the week tends to be. With the weekend on the horizon though, things seem to be picking up again and as everyone knows, an açaí a day keeps the doctor away (and your energy up). Two days ago Keia and I spent the afternoon on the beach in Copacabana. What with our sarongs and teeny bikinis we thought we might be able to blend in amongst the locals dotting the shore, but nearly every vendor there walked up to us to try and make conversation or sell their wares. After a while we asked whether it was our bathing suit bottoms or the homework we were doing that gave us away as foreigners. Apparently no one does work on the beach. It was a dead give-away.
Yesterday afternoon we napped through the rain and then went to a small corner restaurant where we ate probably the best meal we’ve had here so far. Simply meat, and rice, and beans, but we were just glad we didn’t have to cook it. Slowly but surely we’ve been getting tips and making mental notes of the affordable and delicious places in town. We met up with Kevin for the weekly Couch Surfing event at the quiosque (pronounced “kiosk-ey”) on the beach. It turns out the event was canceled, but lots of people (including some we had met last week and another student who will be taking classes at UFRJ this semester) showed up anyway. It was a really great, friendly environment to sit and chat and get to know people in the area, whether they were transient or not. I recently posted to the couch surfing community about getting a weekly volleyball game going on the beach, possibly starting this weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Today, Keia and I tried to find the climbing gym our friend Drew told us about. We thought we just missed him at the metro so we ventured to Botafogo together (barrio just north of Copacabana). People there were very friendly, and we asked about 12 of them for directions to the gym, but nobody could point us in exactly the right direction. We narrowed in on the place and once we found it, we realized why. It was simply a door on the street that led into a tiny little gym which happened to be closed when we finally found it. The trip wasn’t a loss, though. We know now that if we ever get homesick, there is an 8 story shopping mall around the corner that has a Starbucks, a Salad Creations, and a rooftop restaurant overlooking the whole bay. Now that we know where to find the gym (and that it only opens after 5 during the week), it won’t be so difficult when we make the next trip back.
We have lunch scheduled for Saturday with Professor Orlando (from UFRJ) and a Brazilian student who studied abroad at UVA two years ago now. Joe agreed to give us a couple of surfing lessons soon, and Ribamar promised a proper samba session on Sunday. It was a chilling 70 degrees here today, so I hope the weekend warms up and we can make the most of the beach.
Abraços e Beijos!