Tuesday, January 13, 2009

cidade maravilhosa

28 December 2008

After teaching the German how to play Shithead, and after a group of us consumed 8000 caipirinhas, I went to a street party downtown. I've found myself saying 'Mein God' a lot, I suppose when you hang around a German, you do this.

There was an Ozzie who came with us who was off her bloody rocker. She ran into the sea fully clothed, and that was the most conservative thing she attempted all night.

Downtown Lapa, near the centre is bypassed by this massive aquaduct of arches, where people come and drink and dance openly in the streets. It’s great, but one has to prepare.

I found this nifty little pocket in my jean pant. Fuck yes, I’ve had these jeans for months and can’t thank Top Shop enough for their ingenius mini-pocket creation I've only discovered now. I can roll my notes up and slot in my key and that’s all I need, hands-free.

Plus 1 x disposable camera.

Fuck I’m a sensible bitch.

I must say, I’m kind of saturated by Americans now. Luckily the ones in my dorm are hilarious and normal, but I’ve been inundated with whining yankiness on this trip, which is why the German and the Brits come as a slight relief.

Americans are also loud and have this habit of sticking out like a great big gaping aching thumb – no wonder foreigners have a rep of getting mugged here. Anyway the street vibe is great – just mass socialisation on the streets. Food, hippies, caipirinhas and hot night air.

Bear in mind we only went at 2:00am. That’s when shit starts in South America.

Got into this super local jol, filled with samba dancers. It’s mesmerising shit, can I tell ya. The drums are but banging away and some dude is talking Portuguese rap into a microphone and everyone’s feet are on LSD, moving super fast.

Any attempt at trying to dance like them would’ve had people crying tears of mirth and saying, ‘Dude, do it again. Show these people what you think the samba is.’ So I kind of flittered about on the sidelines.

Still in love with this place, Christ [of the Redeemer.]

Went to a club. This was interesting.
For one, I swear they were playing Portuguese electronica. It’s almost terrifying to listen to, then you just have another caipirinha.

It’s hot, thumping and farking sweaty in there and everyone is pushed right into your face. Every five seconds your ass is groped or you’re pulled by a Latino guy who tries to lunge.

These folk are gung ho.

They ask you to dance, and I declined until this dude just pulls me across a bleeding pool table and shows me how to bossa nova or something. ‘Obrigada, thanks, cool, bye.’

Oh no. He was back. Ah shit.

Again tries to show me how to bossa nova like that chick on Ipanema that people sing about.

Leave to go and take a slash. Come out and he’s waiting outside the ladies. Ah shit.

‘You kiss me now?’
‘Nao. Desculpe. But most definitely not.’
‘I’m married.’
‘So am I.’ (Shows me ring)
‘Listen here you adulterous ham [I didn’t know the word for ‘pig’ so called him a ham…]

You don’t need to move in the clubs. Everyone’s bodies and the doof doof of the electronic funk Portuguesa just bob you along in the crowd.
Everyone here is just oozing sex. People are graunching about ten times more than at vomit pits back home. Everyone wears very little and public displays of hectic sensual affection are just part of the vibe.
They’re so comfortable with it, how refreshing!

The problem is, they have this bureaucratic queueing system in order to leave a club. As you enter they hand you a piece of paper, where the barman ticks the boxes of which drinks you had. On leaving you pay. So you have to queue.
Come 7:30am – we were in the queue.

And I nearly punched a bird.

See, me and my fabulous new Brazilian mate (who runs the hostel), the German and the wayward Ozzie and I had our places in the line. When these two Brazilians shove me out of the way.

Never push me and scream obscenities to me in English or otherwise a foreign language when I am drunk without having your head ripped the fuck off.

I’m just saying.


She shoots back:

It was close.

I slept for a total of two hours.

28 December 2008

Waste not want not, what a peach of a day, I will not lie in. My head feels like it’s been hit by the sharp end of a mallet, but fuck this I’m going to the beach.

I met up with two of the coolest characters I’ve yet to meet on this trip: two Brit girls.
They were fabulous, and they wanted a tan and a dip in the ocean as badly as I did.

We walked the twenty minutes to Ipanema to fry our bodies and tan our posteriors. Look, men here pack a lot of Johnson. What in those tiny shorts. But women let it hang all out too. I’ve never felt so sexy or uncellulite-conscious in my life. Nobody gives a continental.

People suck face on the tiled promenade, and everyone has that attitude of, ‘My ass is large, I have a belly, and my tits are hanging everywhere. AREN’T I BEAUTIFUL??’

Ipanema is a gorgeous beach, slightly ever so slightly more upmarket than Copacabana. But both definitely credible of world class beach rank status.

Anyway being Brits, they had no idea how to handle the sun. Shame, when we returned they were two little hobbling lobsters who had to soak in tubs of yoghurt for two days thereafter.
Hello sun stroke. I just got a tan. Again, South African experience leads me in good stead.
They were a hoot though. ‘Where’s my phone, Caroline?’
I d’no.
‘D’you fink it’s on the table?’
‘Yeah maybe. I d’know vough. I haven’t seen it eivver’
‘D’you fink I should get it.’
‘Yeah maybe.’
'Peas does your hangover feel as vough someone shat in your mouth?' (Actually, yes.)

I immediately loved them.

Two friends travelling through the party cities of South America, looking for a good time.

We discovered juice bars. Every corner serves organic, tropical, juicy fruit concoctions and for a pittance. Juice like you’ve never tasted – sweet and amazing; God nectar basically.
Then there’s
acai. Classed as an A Grade ‘super fruit’; cocaine in comparison to the kiwi. A berry native to Brazil, this shit has known to cure cancer and my hangover was history after five sips.

Hangovers suck more ass than a donkey exodus to Posterior City. But this baby was history. And from that day on, I had three acai smoothies everyday. In fact I think I told the Brit Girls tro rub it on their sunstroked skin. It’s cold and sludgie and maroon-coloured and tasty and wonderful. You eat it with a spoon.

[Fuck I miss the stuff. Acai is a crazily incredible fruit. Five days later after hard partying and general Rio cavorting, I flew home healthier than I’ve been for years. The stuff shaved off two years of my life, I swear by it. I mowed through gallons of the stuff.]


Paula said...

Hiya Peas. I prefer the Brits as well; their English is halfway close to mine and I am rather uptight about the way people speak English (Cape Town schools were rather anal about crap like that)

But it sounds so cool. Apparently backpaking South America is the shit. I am calling my OVC as in quickfast (i like to travel alone for some odd cadenza)

Well, have a good day :D


Peas on Toast said...

Paula - it's so funny you say you like to travel alone. For me it was a big step out of my comfort zone - I've always travelled with a mate or boyfriend or a group. So this was all new for me, but I must say I enjotyed it so much. You mix much better with other people, you don't have to consider anyone else but yourself and your eyes are more open...if that makes sense?

You'd love South Am, also because everyone is super friendly in the hostels and uit's not difficult to get around (you will be taking a few buses though...) ;)

Paula said...

Peas. Annonimity is my thang. It allows me to practise accents. It completely makes sense (what you said); plus it allows you to explore a place uninhibited; there's nothing you can hide from you I suppose.

I don't mind busses... would make me feel like I was a part of the everyday culture; blend in et al. :P Plus there's more to busses than a tour where destinations are set and time limits... grrr.

South Am sounds amazing. My parents went there for a while but I wanted to go and explore the scene myself. The way you pay for drinks is of poarticular interest to me; I'd love to give a bar owner the 3rd degree about how it works.

I'll have to sign up for basic portuguese now... how much should a person know?

Peas on Toast said...

Paula - exactly! I loved the time with my Dad, but it was a totally different chapter being in Brazil by myself. I think having the experience of travelling alone before you'll be absolutely ace. The only other times I've been alone were when I lived in France and even then I had a family, and on business trips. So your experience will lead you in good stead.

Portuguese there sounds different to the European version, so I suggest if you're there for an ample amount of time, get a Brazilian Portuguese book and learn the basics. I'd say most people don't speak English, but you can get by if you can't form complete sentences :) So the basics like 'where is the bus', 'how much' and cordialities - memorise those before you go!

Eileen said...

Hey Aunty Peas, you can buy Acai in SA at any of the Global Wrapps franchises (quite a few in Joze, or online at www.decadentacai.co.za.
Just sayin.

Peas on Toast said...

Come on Eileen.


Guess where I'M going for lunch - thank you so much!