Friday morning brought Portuguese class, as usual, and the successful completion of the first week of our course. That day we all eagerly anticipated our first night really going out in Rio. A group of our friends were going to a horror themed costume party in Centro near Lapa, so we joined the list too. We met up at the apartment of the other UFRJ exchange student whom we’d met the night before around 11:30pm and realized very quickly it would be a much later night than we were used to. The boys got zombie-makeovers and we girls just chatted in portuglish (Portuguese-English) for a while. Arriving at the club two hours later, I thought surely we’d missed all the action and things would be dying down, but we found the place raging and packed full of people. Downstairs was popular music from the states, so Joe Keia and I had a good time screaming “Call Me Maybe” at the top of our lungs (hey- don’t judge, that song starts to sound catchy again if you’ve been a hemisphere away for two weeks). Upstairs on the roof was a mix of salsa, samba, and forró (another Brazilian dance style), so we got a good introduction to all kinds of moves. Around 4:30 we walked over to Lapa, which was still crowded with people milling about in the streets. Realizing how tired we were, we all took cabs home not long afterward. It feels good to be making some friends.
Saturday afternoon we had plans for churrascaria (Brazilian barbecue) with Professor Orlando and 3 UFRJ students- two of whom have plans to come to UVA with us in the Spring! The way churrascaria works is this: everyone sits down at a table together and orders sides and drinks. There is a buffet bar with more salads and odds and ends, but the main course- the meat, sizzling off the grill- is brought around by waiters to all of the tables and sliced right on to your plate, all for a flat rate (~$22 USD). The first one I tried, picanha (from the lower back of the cow), was fantastical. I honestly think that was the only time in my entire life I was genuinely happy to be eating meat over anything else I love to eat in this world. Not being a vegetarian anymore was worth it. We tried cut after cut of cow, pork, lamb, even chicken heart (not my favorite.. but surprisingly not awful). Lunch lasted over 3 hours.
I woke up with some sort of cold or flu Saturday morning, so by the time lunch was over the fresh shower/advil combination that had been keeping me with it was wearing off. I slept and rested the rest of the evening and through the night while Keia and Joe went to explore Lapa with the same group of friends. It sounds like they had a lot of fun again. I’m still not quite 100% so I’ll be taking it easy until class tomorrow. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from our night out or from lunch! I’m sure we’ll do both again soon 🙂