Rio remains a mystery to me. At least the inner depths of its culture. I was there a few years ago for two days. Yes, I know two days in one of the world’s most fascinating cities is not enough time and I realize that now that I’ve been there and saw basically nothing- not for lack of trying though. In my defense, it was cloudy and wet the 48 hours I was there and to top it all off, the Christ Statue was covered in scaffolding. I was told it was pointless in going up to see the view as all I would see was a thick fog. Try as I might, I couldn’t see anything that I wanted to check off my “to see” list. I’m still trying to get back there to see what I missed.
See, lots of clouds
Despite the clouds and the damp I did get to experience a few things there like the Favela, also known the shanty town, and a few impromptu soccer games on the beach. And through these small experiences I got a sense of the drastic opposites that make Rio culture what it is.
- The laid back attitude mixed with intense energy and athleticism. Everyone in Brazil seems to be incredibly fit and I couldn’t find one unattractive person my whole time in the country (which amounted to about two weeks). Brazilian people are just plain gorgeous.
- It is also a place that never seems to sleep yet it seems almost tranquil at times. There is always something going on, yet at the same time it just feels like any other city with its ebbs and flows.
- The extremely wealthy and the extremely poor. I spent a few hours in the Favela and witnessed how many of Rio’s inhabitance survives from day to day. From the highest point, I looked down at the the housing for the wealthy and down at their expensive shopping and personal boats. The contrast was staggering.
What I like most about this video is the color and the movement. It really encapsulates everything that I had experienced and what I had had assumed about the place- not that any of my assumptions were proven correct after visiting. It’s a place that still kind of scares me for its energy and the unknown that I have yet to discover. Someday, I will return to experience it all again.