Wednesday, July 13, 2022

I like Rio de Janeiro

Aff and I visited Rio de Janeiro. I had a feeling of awe as soon as our plane circled the tree-covered hills and landed on an airstrip next to the ocean.

Rio has a plethora of sidewalk and outdoor dining, which is convenient during the pandemic. 

We stayed at an inn run by a German ex-psychologist. He started visiting Brazil in 1991 and loved it, and then opened the inn in 2009. Like many Germans, he valued being punctual and organized in our interactions. At one point, he needed repairs from a Brazilian repairperson, who had a much more relaxed relationship to punctuality. Every day, the Brazilian repairperson pushed back the appointment by another day. It was interesting to see the clash of the two cultures. 

Rio also has great bike lanes. We did a 7-hour bike tour that covered 25 miles across the city. Nearly all of it was on bike lanes. 

Our bike guide was Brazilian and grew up in Germany between ages 7 until after college graduation. Similar to the innkeeper, he also was a German/Brazilian blend of cultures. The bike guide moved back to Rio after college because he missed the ocean and nature. 

I noticed that the Rio population is diverse, which I liked a lot. Our bike guide told us, "The Brazilian passport is popular as a fake passport because there are so many ethnicities. No matter how you look: Japanese, Black, German, you could be from Brazil." 

I would like to return to Rio someday, for a couple weeks. There is rock climbing within the city, for Aff. Food and hotel prices are quite reasonable. We could take a boat to nearby islands, and also go see the Amazon forest and Iguazu waterfall.