ARRIVED SAFELY IN RIO

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After a 20 hour journey I landed in Rio de Janeiro this morning at 5 am local time. The flight was fine, my ambitious plan to work on the plane failed because I have slept trough most of it, luckily  that has left me with no jetlag at all. There I was again, after four years on the Galeão Airport. Getting out of the airport it was like I hadn’t left Holland at all, it was raining like I have never seen it here, but often see at home in Amsterdam, this is winter in Rio. After getting in a taxi I found myself chatting to my taxi driver João the first 2 hours of my stay in “Cidade Maravilha”.  The drive should take about 40 minutes, but the bus drivers are on a strike again and everybody travels by car because of it. And did I mention it rained? For some reason (bad infrastructure) rain slows everything down in Rio. The strike is not the first this year and is because of the prices of the busses. When I left four years ago the price of a bus ticket was 2,20 reais. It is now 3 reais and you pay per bus just to get in, not for the distance you travel. It is quite a lot of money especially when one bus doesn’t get you where you want to be, but you need to transfer once or more. Arriving on on location on top in the Santa Teresa area it was still raining, João helped me with my bag and gave me a discount because I was “gente boa” (nice people) and wished me luck with my project. I still had to climb some stairs towards my friend Axel his house that is located in the Pereirão favela. A hard climb with my luggage, but I won’t complain. The people that live here do this every day, also when it is 45 degrees. Arriving at the house that has the best view over the Pão de Açucar (for the first five minutes, after that it was in the fog and I haven’t seen it anymore) immediately made me forget the climb. It was great catching up with Axel in the favela’s local bar over black beans with rice and an Antartica beer. When I asked him what had changed the most since I left in his opinion I was surprised to hear his answer. “People are depressed, the positivity that was Brazils biggest charm, is gone”. After this lunch I spent doing the necessary stuff like unpacking, organising my equipment and polishing my toenails (a girl with unpolished toenails in Brazil is close to naked), wandering if I will go out tomorrow I will feel the depression he was talking about.

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