Today felt like a long, productive, tiring day.
Got up at 9am to see an apartment. It ended up being really nice, but a little expensive. A few blocks from the beach, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, nice kitchen with an oven, brand new everything. The cheapest and smallest bedroom was still 1,400 reais (~$710 USD), but it was locked so I couldn’t see it. I’ll be going back tomorrow morning to see it..
Met up with fellow grantee Nick, since we’re both looking to buy some jiu jitsu gi’s. Walked to 2 stores in Copacabana that sold Torah gi’s. About $115 for a gi. Not terrible..! Decided to wait.
We also visited a few Loja Americana’s to see if anyone would help me cut a prepaid phone SIM card to size, since the iPhone uses a smaller size chip than the standard size. No luck. Copacabana Lojas are too bourgeoisie to do somethin’ so janky.
At this point we were hungry, so we sat down at a Kicê Suco. It’s, what.. Day 10 in Brazil? And I haven’t tried açaí yet…! Crazy. Here we go..
The açaí turned out to be very good. Around $3.00 USD for 300mL. It’s typically made with guarana syrup since it’s not very sweet on its own. I thought it was quite tasty! And supposedly it’s supposed to give you a lot of energy.. Not sure I felt that part though.
Then we were still hungry, so we split a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich.
I had to go to Mutações (an eco-friendly, organic, recycled, blah-de-blah hippy/bourgie women’s store) to get another Mooncup, since I lost my last one and didn’t want to get one shipped to Brazil. Apparently this is the only store that carries them in Rio, and one of their stores happens to be just a 15 minute walk away from our apartment! :) So of course we walked along the beach on the boardwalk.
On our way to Mutações, we passed by a jewelry shop that Nick recognized as being owned by his friend’s friend. We stopped in and chatted for a while with Monica and Miguel, who were so nice. Nick called up his friend back home, and put them on the phone with each other which was so sweet. Miguel sent us off with little jeweled parting gifts, and said to come back if we ever needed anything.
Then I got my Mooncup from Mutações. YAY. I love this thing.
At this point, we’d been walking for quite a while in the sun, so we headed back to my apartment. I heated us up some roasted chicken, carrots, and rice that I’d made the night before, and we had a nice little mini-lunch. Magali was not excited to have a stranger in the house..
We then made our way to Centro, which is (from what I can tell) the dirty downtown area of Rio, to go to the store that Nick went to to get his iPhone microchip cut to size. I bought a pre-paid chip for my iPhone from TIM (1 of 4 major phone companies in Brazil). Though TIM has the worst reputation for cell phone coverage, the price is right: $0.25 USD per day for unlimited data, $0.25 USD per day for unlimited texting, and $0.13 per day for unlimited calls to other TIM phones. Calling phones with other carriers is, however, a bit pricey. I’m not worried though — I’m pretty much only texting people (I hope)! All in all, the phone chip itself cost 10 reais (~$5.00 USD) plus I added 27 reais (~$14.00 USD) since it’s a prepaid phone. If I only use data each day, this should last me more than a month! Seriously, this is like the cheapest iPhone plan EVER.
Then we walked around Centro.
We stopped by his apartment )which is actually a couchsurf so he doesn’t have his own keys) but couldn’t get in as his roommate wasn’t home yet. So, instead, we decided to go see an apartment that he was interested in renting, in Gloria (another neighborhood in Rio). To get to Gloria, we had to walk about 20 minutes. That’s fine, my feet are just KILLING me at this point. But totally fine.
We passed by a park, where we were stopped by adorable mewing..
My heart hurt to see this kittens out in the park. Where is their mama?? Why are they in a park?! Wtf. I wanted to take them home with me so badly.. :(
Upon arrival at Nick’s prospective apartment, we met a guy named Jonathan Shaw (apparently he’s a big deal) and his assistant. Jonathan is an active AA member who owns several mansions in Rio, and is currently turning one of them into a home for recovering alcoholics. He used to live in this apartment a long time ago, and may I say it is VERY well decorated..
On our way back to our respective homes, we were greeted not by the warm weather we expected, but by a torrential downpour and high speed winds. MY FAVORITE. Not really. It was so bad that the subway staff had to sweep the water out of the way of people trying to get on and off the stairs/escalators.
At first I tried to wait it out, so I ate a bit of a snack…
But..then it took too long after I’d finished my food, so I bought a plastic rain cover and ran for it. Well, that’s a lie. I couldn’t run since the water was up to my knees, so I waded my way through 7 long-ass blocks back home.
I’m tired and my feet hurt..! But at least I have a phone now. I feel like a real person again, now that I have internet everywhere I go. :)
Also, this happened:
– Chaves* died???????
– No, HUGO Chavez.
– Oooh, shit you scared me!
“Chaves” here refers to the main character (photo here) of the Mexican TV show El Chaves del Ocho, which was not only wildly popular in Mexico, but in Brazil as well in the 90s. According to my roommate Berna, both the main character and the show were beloved by all during her childhood.
João: In thousounds of Brazilian houses, including mine.
Rodrigo: I cried for 5 minutes and in the end it was just an impudent communist hahahahahaha
Talita: hahaah I thought the same thing!