Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Rio de Janeiro

I met this Brazilian guy who works as a subsea engineer during a course. We asked him how is his salary. Well we know for a fact that subsea engineer usually makes big bucks. His answer was simple without lacking of wisdom. He said he has no complaint for his pay.

Relating back to my work trip to Brazil, I reckon it that I has no complaint for whatsoever. Company paid for my flights, hotel, transport and some courses, and I've got some time to make my own travel checking out a place so internationally acclaimed, Rio de Janeiro. Perfect deal...Well, all goals acheieved, both the courses and the travel.

I had my first Brazil visa back in 2013, unfortunately the activities in Malaysia picked up that I was retained in the country to support the ongoing operations. Disappointingly, I thought that I'd have no luck this Latin America Country. Nonetheless, I still wish for it.

It did come back again, and came so swiftly that I got notified of the flight booking short of 24 hours. Well, I was anticipating it, but didn't expect so short a notice given, that I had to travel back to KL residence, bought some USD, packed my baggage and etc, all in less than 10 hours.

Got to Rio de Janeiro after more than 24 hours of flight, including layover at Dubai Airport. Tired, excited and jet-lagged.

What is fun about the trip is that we were completely taken by shock that most of the people around us don't speak English, not even simple one two three. Imagine that buying a meal at McDonald is already a big challenge, no joke. So yea, I bought an apps on my phone to learn some Portuguese.

On the first Saturday, I joined a couchsurfer, Cristina and went on a Caminhada de domingo (Sunday walk) at a conservation park to meet some other Brazilian couch surfers and see some plants. After that we went to a lake and did some kayaking and stuffs. What is interesting here is how I managed to find the assembly point before we convoyed to the park. As informed by the receptionist at hotel, I took the intercity bus at 1 real per trip to Lagomar. I absolutely had no idea where exactly to meet, but I took my chances. So yea I found them at the petrol station in front of Baker Hughes. Lol...it's an adventure considering that I don't speak Portuguese and know nothing about the place which is notorious with crimes.

Third weekend, we were down at Barra de Tijuca for a 5 days course. I exhausted my weekend doing the very things every tourist here will do. Visit to Sugar Loaf mountain, downtown of Lapa & Selaron stairs, Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach, Christ of Redeemer at Corcovado mountain. Again, the traveling part is completely adventurous and fun. Yes I got lost too many times. Thanks to Google Maps.

It has always been a wish of mine to selfie with this international icon, the Christ of Redeemer. Nothing to do with religion, but it adds to my collections and yes finally I've made it crossing half way across the globe to Latin. An accomplishment for sure. Btw, it's one of the new seven wonders. I was up there at from day light till night fall, witnessing the statue got lit up, as well as the city of Rio. It was just amazing, completely worth my wait.

A canvas painting that I bought at Copacabana Beach. It has to be due to a regret that I've had that I didn't buy a real nice spray art when I was at New York city. I was quoted 900 reais initially. But I bargained it for 100 usd + 50 reais. 

One of the most interesting here is the Brazilian Beach Culture, everyone is in their swim suit and do all kind of activities along the beach. 

Some Brazilian beers...


Brahma and zero...



Next up will be Sao Paulo and some Northern cities if I am back again. And of course, Puerto Iguazu Fall, Argentina and Macchu Picchu, Peru.

Finger crossed.