Brazil. How long have I been waiting for you? Too long indeed. Now I finally found myself at the airport in Rio about to be picked up by the man of my dreams. Only that I wasn’t dreaming at all – it was just my dream finally coming true. I was fully awake and still unable to believe it.
Soon we were off to Buzios, a bit outside of Rio where we were about to stay next. Driving through Rio I was already amazed. So many colours so many mountains. Just marvellously beautiful. It didn’t even matter I got sick on my way and lay down with fever the first four days. Because when these days were over I could finally enjoy the city at the fullest.
Buzios the city of statues and Paralelepípedos. The second one being my favourite portugese word of all times. It literally means cobblestone and is not even that useful to know but I still liked to funny sound of it. And you can impress any portugese speaker telling him you know it. There also were statues everywhere – I even found Brigitte Bardot. The bronze statues are places alongside the beach throughout the city. You can even find some fisherman with their nets at the sea placed directly in the sea. Of course, statues and Paralelepípedos are not all there is to Brazilian culture. I should know – I learned from the best. From a real carioca – someone born and raised in Rio.
Food. Kind of the most important thing when you go abroad. Well, Brazil won’t disappoint you there. Tropical fresh fruits in shapes you didn’t even see before. Green coconuts which were completely new for me. I guess we Europeans only know the brown and hairy ones we get in our supermarkets. Cheap mangos, starfruits, bananas, passionfruit – I was in fruit heaven. Acai bowls and all the fancy food we would buy a fortune for cheap and ten times better than at home. So, trace the roots of your fruits you won’t regret it.
Roots and Nutella – and never mix it up. So, I got quite a bit of an insight in Brazilian culture and what can’t you miss getting to know another country? Exactly, their roots. And nothing describes the concept of roots versus Nutella better than comparing their drinking habits. Trust me, to really be accepted you want to adopt the concept of roots as well. So, let me explain it a bit further. Being roots means you drink every beer at every temperature out of a plastic cup while eating fries and listening to a drunk song. Whereas a Nutella beer drinker doesn’t drink corn beer, his beer has to have a solid 6°C temperature and eating fries with it would be a no-go – rather would he eat it with fish or fine meat. One glass for each beer of course and analysing the taste is also a must. So, you can decide now which concept suits you best. For me it is clear – you should always stick to your raiz (roots). So, join a few Brazilians to try out their cheapest beer and you’ll get a lot of the brazilian lifestyle.
Cachaça. If we’re already talking about drinking, let’s stay there for a bit. Cachaça, the typical rum of brazil. Strong and definitely effective, but also delicious. Especially if you find a home-brewed one they sell in tiny shops all around the city. It’s also a perfect souvenir to bring home. Of course, Cachaça is also part of their most famous Cocktail, Caipirinha, which definitely guarantees you a fun time.
Another thing I really likes in Buzios were the rocks. Yes, rocks. At least I am holding a special memory of them as I managed to fall off one while climbing to the top. I even kept a scar on my back as a souvenir. However, it was worth it. The view up on the rocks is amazing. I was directly facing the sea with the waves hitting against the rocks underneath and the salty water splashing up, floating the lower rocks completely. Reminding us of the incredible power of the sea. Trying to keep up with Brazilians you have to climb these rocks as well – even if they will be jumping over them so easily while you might be scared of your life trying not to trip and fall.
Buzios by night. A stunning view. Gazing over the sea, watching the boots lying at the haven. A lot of expensive beach clubs we couldn’t afford at the promenade. Just sitting around under palm trees and streets made of paralelepipedos drinking cheap beer directly out of the can was completely enough. During the night the city was full of life as well. Reggaeton playing in restaurants, a lot of people out on the streets, eating, singing and dancing salsa. A lot of popcorn stands out on the streets, the salty-buttery scent of corn filling the air. Not a lot of light out on the streets, the city was appearing in a dim- orange light. A perfect end to a lot of perfect days. But it wasn’t the end of my stay in Brazil for sure. That stay had only just begun.