The domestic flight from Sao Paulo to Rio this morning was surprisingly painless. I took a taxi with 2 other people from our hotel, and it ended up costing about $6.50 each. When I got to the service desk, the guy was so nice: Not only did he offer to change my flight to an earlier one that happened to have extra seats, he even waived the surcharge for my baggage being over the weight limit! Then, when I went to go through the security check, I discovered that there was literally no one waiting to go through it in front of me because you aren’t required to remove electronics or liquids from your carry-on bag, nor are you required to take off your shoes. Crazy. It took literally 15 minutes for the whole process, from the moment I got out of the taxi to the moment I got to my gate.
The flight itself was about 45 minutes and I got to see Rio from above as we descended… O HAI RIO.
As I was walking out of the airport, a taxi driver offered me a ride to Copacabana for 51 reais (around $25). Nah, bro. Instead, I got in line to catch the normal yellow taxi (they’re yellow here too!) and ended up paying 30 reais instead (around $15). #littlethingsthatmakemefeellikeimnotatouristeventhoughiam
Arrived safe and sound at Berna’s door. Tudo maravilhoso, cara. Berna is so sweet. She’s letting me stay with her in her family’s apartment while her mother is away in Italy. They own the place, so it’s hella affordable, especially for such a convenient location. Let me break it down: Her apartment location is 20 minutes from downtown Rio by subway, 2 BLOCKS from the Copacabana beach, and 3 minutes walking distance from 2 grocery stores, 5 pharmacies, and a bajillion juice stands and restaurants.
Berna showed me around the neighborhood a bit after I arrived. Had a bit of lunch at the pay-by-weight restaurant across the street. Not bad, not terrible. The chicken here is generally tasty, though the vegetables.. not so much.
We also went to a fresh juice place and I tried a “suco de abacaxi com hortelã” (pineapple with mint) – this was surprisingly delicious. Who would’ve thought that those two things would go together? It’s friggin’ gooood.
It was a little overcast, but we took a short walk to the beach as well, and she got a fresh coconut. In typical tropical-country style the guy cut a hole in one of a giant coconut with a small machete and inserted a straw. Afterwards, he cut it completely open for her so she could scoop out the meat. I’m not crazy about coconuts, but fresh coconut definitely tastes better that than coconut water crap we have in New York. Blech.. That stuff tastes like plastic. This stuff does not! :D
We putzed around back at home for a bit (this seems to be a reoccurring theme…), and then decided to go to the grocery store. MEAT IS SO CHEAP HERE. It was like $2.00 for 3 decently-sized chicken drumsticks. (Wait.. is that how much it costs in the states?) I roasted those chicken legs and threw in some carrots, cooked up some “couve” (which is like their version of kale I think, but not quite like the kinds we have in the US) and heated up some rice. Ta da! First home-cooked meal in Brazil.
After a satisfying dinner (though I oversalted the couve juuuuust a tad..), she did dishes, and then we watched Chaplin. And now I’m sooo ready for bed.
..Oh, also. Her cat doesn’t like strangers.