RIO EXPLODING

Where I missed the football ambiance of the World Cup on my first day of the World Cup, during the past two days I got into it very much. Everywhere I walk there is football, supporters and blurring screens with all the games.

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On Friday the Netherlands were planned to play, but I was going to the Cidade Policia, so the chance that I would get to see some of the match was very very low. Like I wrote before, I was going there to look at a meeting of the Civil Police. They have been negotiating with the government for salary changes and changes in their contracts. The responsible governor has already agreed, but keeps on postponing the actual meeting to sign the laws. The result of the meeting was that the Police officers will give him till the 30th of June to sign. If not, they might go on strike, during the World Cup. It was a very interesting meeting, on an important subject. After an hour or so I started to realize I might have a chance to watch the match of the Netherlands. The meeting finished at 1600, the time the game started. One of the inspectors offered me a ride home. In the car he pulled out his revolver and put it under his leg, being able to grab it any time. In my time here I have seen guns, but I’ll never get used to it. Doesn’t matter if the gun belongs to an officer or a drug soldier. On our way I received a message from my WC-app: Spain-Netherlands 0-1. Noooooooo! Getting back, I could not reach my friends, so I went alone to the bar around the corner. By the time I sat down and the waiter gave me my beer I saw van Persie flying towards the ball, whoehoe! I was the only Dutch in the bar, but everyone screamed and jumped off from their seats! I guess I do not need to explain that it only got better after that.

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This weekend I am be travelling between north and south. Yesterday I took the metro that takes 55 minutes, to have a chat with Hugo about the second match. We talked for half an hour on the station. There seem to be some problems in the neighborhood where I want to photograph the second match. After the chat he made a call and today I will be going back to confirm, hopefully. The weather was great yesterday, so I went to the beach for the last hour. On Rio’s beaches you have small huts that rent out chairs and umbrellas, when I was living here I always went to the same hut “Muvuca”. It has been four years, but when I arrived the lady (Claudia) smiled “Stef! Where did you go? You disappeared!”. Welcome home, now that is hospitality….. Because the metro to the beach had taken me 1,5 hours, the sun was gone after half an hour and I started to get cold. Friends were in Copacabana at the “Fiva Fun Fest”, a place  built on the beach, it can host a lot (something like 3000) of people. In 2010 I watched the World Cup finals there, not the best memory ever. I love walking along the beach though and I went walking there, 4 kilometers along the beach, 4 kilometers filled with football and football fans. Rio is exploding! The small beach bars, the beach, the fan fest, so many people. Although I enjoyed watching England – Italy there, I don’t think I will go back, just too much for me… This morning it was time to flee the craziness and do something I love a lot in Rio: cycling in Floresta da Tijuca. Exercise, best views over the city, and normally on top of the hill I take a shower under the waterfalls, but today it was too cold for that. And back to work now. Hopefully I have some good news when I come back from Zona Norte.

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