Friday, 30 November 2012
1st day in Rio. Actually I'm writing on the second day. Wow. What a shock. Way different culture, etc. here. Not a lot of 'rules' here but it works. Life is "like, whatever". No worry, be happy. Oh, there are traffic rules but at times some lane lines and traffic lights are merely suggestions. The taxi ride from the airport to the hotel in morning rush hour traffic was crazy. It's a mad house. My friend Luci met me at the airport and interpreted for me. I'd never made it very well without her. Most cars are small 4-door sedans so they will squeeze in between lanes when the chance comes. You stick the nose of the car in front of someone and they let you in that lane. They miss each other by inches but there rarely is any accidents or much horn honking. It's the way they drive. And the small motorcycles and scooters swerving in and out are everywhere. Again, never saw an accident and they miss cars by inches. I know how to ride cycles but it'd take a lot of courage and quick decision-making skills to ride here. And the people. OMG what a lot of people. It's a BIG city. And they walk like they drive...left, right, down the middle of the sidewalk, slow, fast - it doesn't matter. You look ahead and find your place to avoid walking into someone. Pedestrians have no rights until the light changes. Even then you have to watch. And their language - Portuguese. Wow. Not like anything I've heard. Not close to Spanish. Sounds at times like German, Spanish, and French mixed. I was a total loss at first but after a day I just spoke English and pointed to what I wanted. They don't care and we seem to work it out. Very few signs, menus, etc. are in English. They just don't seem to cater to Americans. I suppose as I get more confident it will get better. My hotel for the first 2 nights was fine. Great location - 6th floor, corner room, super view of Copacabana Beach. Very old hotel needing some cosmetics but they have everything a person needs. Moving to my timeshare-trade tomorrow at Rio Othon Palace, just a couple blocks up the beach. Looks like a very nice place. I guess this is day two also, but, more later. Walked probably 7-8 miles today. Tired.....more later.
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
I suppose I should change this blog's name since I'm not going to Belize this time. But Google has taken over and I'm not sure how to edit Blogger. Besides, I'm at the Panama airport, tired, and using their slow-ass wifi. This entry is "heading to Rio". Counting 4hr+ layover, 2 flights and 6 time zones, I will get into Rio at 745am Thur - about 24 hours after leaving LAX. Actually, the trip has been rather smooth, so far. My friend Roger dropped me off at LAX around 530am and check-in with Copa was a breeze. (Not bragging, but it does help to be part of their Premier Club for preferential treatment and clubs along the way.) No lines through TSA security but did have to take everything out of pockets to go through their new machine. Just feels weird undressing and dressing, so to speak, in public. Oh well. It's what we have to do. I'm at the Panama airport Copa lounge and starting to feel zombied. Didn't sleep well last night anticipating trip and up at 345am. Slept some on plane but still not nearly the same. Eating and drinking too much in the lounges and on the plane doesn't help but it's free so why not. This lounge was crazy busy when I got here around 6 their time (3hrs ahead of LA) but now has settled down. One more rum drink and try to nap. Johnny Walker doesn't seem to be as popular here as in San Salvador but they like their rums, which are pretty darn good.