Saturday, 17 March 2012

Twenty-six hours later...

I wrote this, like, the day after my first blog and decided not to post it straight away in case I looked, you know, SAD, but now it's a few days out of date but I can't be bothered to turn it into a megablog about everything that's happened since, so here you go, an insight into my emotional, physical and spiritual state two days ago.

So flight day was a strange mix of amusement and irritation – ultimately I wasted a day fannying around in a suburb of Madrid, but given that it wasn’t (exactly) my money and given I was technically at work, it’s alright as a one off experience type of thing, I suppose.

Anyway, perhaps inevitably I ended up drinking something like seven beers before my flight to Sao Paulo, which may or may not have been a great idea in the classic sense, but did probably help when it came to conking out for pretty much the whole of the flight’s duration, which I surely did. In this I was aided considerably by the woeful entertainment – the new Adam Sandler film ‘Jack & Jill’ and ‘One Day’, which I dimly remember being about a bunch of American actors pretending to be Oxford graduates or something. I watched fragments with the sound off during limited moments of consciousness: I suspect having it muted helped somewhat – my imagined plot of ‘Jack & Jill’ is surely better than whatever’s involved with the real one (it was actually kind of avant garde), and while whatever really happens in ‘One Day’ is probably better than my guess of what was going on, I doubt it was so much better as to give me more genuine satisfaction than sleepily sneering at what I imagined to be their accents.

I finally arrived in Rio 16 hours after I was supposed to via a connecting flight from Sao Paulo – the whole thing is entirely ridiculous, especially in light of the fact the only reason I didn’t just get the direct BA flight from London the day before was that it got in 'too late', but my luggage completed the odyssey on time and unscathed, so horses for courses really.

So within three hours of arriving in Rio I was checking my emails at the Time Out Rio offices in Copacabana, prior to heading out for lunch with an Englishman named Doug who worked at Time Out Rio, and who I was going to lunch with on the grounds we shared a nationality. Is that brilliant? Or awful? It lacks a certain rugged tang of adventure, maybe. We went for a buffet where they charged you based on how much the food weighed in total, regardless of what it was, which seems very democratic.
After that I wandered down Copacabana Beach, which certainly lacks ‘20s glamour but was, you know, pleasant. The views are incredible, mind… if you transported Rio to, say, Lancashire, it’d still have a certain something to it: on a very first impression it seems to have a sort of air of cultural, social and ethnic intermingling that you just don’t get in a lot of other places (though they could all loathe each other, I dunno). But yeah, the light is very bright and the colours all feel very vivid, even the bits of tarp and clothes hanging up look like jewels in the daylight. And the surrounding! Big cliffs covered in rainforest, gorgeous, seemingly uninhabited islands!, sea the colour sea is supposed to be. It’s good stuff.

Then at about 5pm the hitherto perfect day erupted into apparently the first serious rain they’ve had here in about a month. Apparently there’s plenty more where that came from, too… Hostel pleasant but relatively quiet, save for a party of Germans I’m probably not DYING to ingratiate myself with. I am quite knackered and do have interviews to conduct next two mornings, so maybe for the best. There are two cats in this hostel, which have that weird thing that all foreign cats do, where their faces are all long and their bodies are all tiny... sometimes I worry that we the British get cats wrong, which is certainly something borne out by every cat I’ve ever lived with.

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