Road Rage in Rio & a Visit to Saara

8:00am – Aerial Class at Devoar

I got up extra early this morning to try out a new aerial/circus studio that opened in Botafogo — Devoar. While my class was supposed to be taught by Mariana Medina, it was actually subbed by Gladys, a really sweet aerialist currently in her first year at the National Circus School in Rio de Janeiro. It’s apparently a 4-year program where students don’t have to pay. They only accept 10 students a year. So cool!

Class started at 8am, and lasted for 90 minutes. Since it’s so early and the school is so new, I was the only one. Yay private lesson, yay for a free trial class! :)

We stretched for 20 or so, did a bit of warm up and conditioning on static trapeze, followed by silks. I’m so out of shape, it was embarrassing. Just 9 months ago I was able to do at least 10 straddle ups from a dead hang no problem, and I couldn’t even do one today! I couldn’t complete the full invert to straddle.. So, so, so sad. I’m aiming to be able to do this again in 1 month. We’ll see how it goes!

We were trading aerial drops by the end of class, which was lots of fun. Everything is called something different here of course. Oh, except a hipkey. A hipkey is still a hipkey in Portuguese (“chave de quadril”). However, a same-side knee climb is called a French climb (“subida Francesa”). I guess actually that name is easier than saying “same-side knee climb” haha.

Overall I would’ve preferred to have Mariana teaching the class, or someone with far more experience, as I’m not a beginner aerialist. I still have 2 more aerial gyms to check out before I decide on which gym to settle with. :)

Devoar, new aerial gym in Botafogo. Decent height!

Devoar, new aerial gym in Botafogo. Decent height!

10:00am – A Visit to Saara

Gladys told me that I could buy aerial silks (as well as almost anything else) at “Saara,” a huuuge outdoor marketplace in the downtown neighborhood of Centro. So I got on a bus and headed there. (In case you’re curious, here’s the official webpage, which looks like it was last updated in the 90s.)

Saara is HUGE. Like really big. Like, 4 by 5 blocks big. Here’s a map of the marketplace. However, it seems to be mostly “discount” shopping. I was looking for a water bottle, and found a couple of stores that sold them — but they were all really cheap (which is fine), but also seemed to be poor quality. I bought two, just in case.

Saara, the giant sea of a marketplace in Centro.

Saara, the giant sea of a marketplace in Centro.

While at Saara, I had some lunch and some açaí. This time, I asked for açaí without guarana syrup — just to see what it would taste like. Verdict: Man, it sucked. It was like eating thick water-favored slush. Now I know that guarana syrup is the secret to it’s great taste. Without it, it really doesn’t really taste like much of anything, and the consistency is slightly less thick and more watery/icey. It was not enjoyable.

Açaí with no guarana syrup. You can see it's a little less thick than usual.

Açaí with no guarana syrup. You can see it’s a little less thick than usual.

After that, I decided to head home.

11:30am – 2 Traffic Accidents in 10 Minutes!

Little did I know I was about to witness to craazzzyyy public bus accidents in the span of 10 minutes.

First accident: Around 11:45am, as I was walking towards my bus stop, I saw two buses fighting for the same lane in an intersection. A female bus driver and male bus driver are both driving down Avenida Passos (in Centro). Both are trying to get into the lane on the left. Both of them eventually have to stop in the middle of the intersection because neither one of them can merge into that lane since they’re blocking each other — at this point their buses are literally right next to each other, the fronts of the buses pointed in, and less than a foot away from each other. The female driver sticks her head out the window and starts yelling obscenities at the other driver (among which, “vai tomar no seu cú” was definitely used, translation: go take it up the ass!). She then proceeds to drive straight into the lane, but fails to turn sufficiently to the right to create space between their buses. The side of her bus skids along the side of his, breaking the rear view mirrors, and shattering a bunch of glass. A pile of broken glass is left in the street after the 2 buses drive off.

As I walked away, I saw a few police men down the road looking towards the scene, unsure of what to do. What the hell? Isn’t there something to report?

Second accident, just a few minutes later, after I’ve gotten on my bus: Almost the same situation I believe, except this time I’m in the bus (unfortunately) and I didn’t hear any obscenities (also, unfortunately). I didn’t see what happened exactly, since I had just paid my bus fare, and was busy putting my wallet away in my bag, with my head down. The woman next to me later told me “Another bus hit ours.” I remember hearing a loud crash that sounded like lots of glass exploding and shattering. A second later, I’m shattered with shards of glass. The bus driver stops the bus, kind of looks around at the glass on the floor, but doesn’t say anything. After a few moments of stunned silence, a passenger behind me gets up and asks “Is everybody okay? Did anyone get hurt?” We all look at ourselves and at the passengers next to us. I ask the woman next to me if she’s okay, she says she’s fine. After a moment, the guy sitting in front of me, in the first row of seats closest to the front of the bus, gets up and looks down at himself. We can all see that he’s been cut with glass on his neck and chest and that he’s bleeding. Someone asks him if he’s okay, he responds “Yeah, I’m fine..”

The bus driver continues to drive for a bit, and it seems like we’re just going to be on our way. However, after a few minutes, he stops at the side of the road where a lot of other buses are gathered. He gets out, and walks down the street behind the bus, not having said a word to anyone still at this point. It looks to me like the bus no longer has a rear view mirror on the right side as well.

After a moment, the bus driver comes back and opens the back door for passengers to get off the bus. It seems that another bus on the same route will be taking us.

The entire time, I don’t hear one word from the bus driver directed to us the passengers — nor do I ever hear any passengers complain or make a fuss. This was perhaps the MOST bizarre thing to me. If I were in NYC, my fellow passengers would be angry and upset. They’d be calling their lawyers to see about suing the city. The guy with the cuts would DEFINITELY be suing the city.

I’m not exactly sure what any of that is an indication of, but it definitely doesn’t make me feel particularly safe!

I ended up consulting with a few people, one a doctor, to see if I should be worried about any unnoticeable injuries from car accidents. The main thing that can happen is soft tissue/muscle injury, usually caused by something like whiplash. I’m going to take it easy today and tomorrow and see how I feel. Eesh!

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One response to “Road Rage in Rio & a Visit to Saara

  1. Pingback: Another Bus Accident Leaves Me with Little Faith in Rio Transportation | RayRay in Rio!·

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