There are places, which can possess you. Rio de Janeiro is the second place after Wadi Rum, Jordan, which entranced me with its beauty and vibe.
The couchsurfing: 20 days, 5 hosts: Hilton, Felipe, Tiago & Bruno, Vicente, Ivana. Five angels, who I sincerely thank for the trust and hospitality while I was walking around the city 9 hours per day in search for a job.
I was looking for one thing, found another. I've been only hearing about him since he is the best friend of a great portuguese friend of mine. I was supposed to host him in Sófia in his round the world trip, but I missed the chance. Each of us knew the other tru the stories of our mutual friend but couldn't recognize each other when i went for a third time in a hostel in Copacabana to ask if there is a chance to work ... until we asked one another for our names. Rio was all about the madness of the carnaval, the exceeding sensual dynamic of the street, the language that I finally uncorked out of me, the stunning beauty of the city and the feeling of freedom in it.
And at the same time Rio was all about André.
Playful fate. The hostel, which finally took me for a job on the 21st day of my arrival was 5 minutes away from André's hostel and to be easier there was a cheap boteco in the middle to get drunk into when both of our shifts ended at one and the same time in the afternoon.
Ipanema beach. The beaches in Rio are not vast as those in the North. They are overcrowded and the water is freezing. But the people are beautiful and the view is unforgettable – mountains from all your sides while you are sitting on the beach, watching at the huge island in front of you, ploped into the ocean.
Great people I met in Wave hostel, where Cass and Sophie were my closest friends.
The pre-carnaval was already the most I had seen in terms of city night life. But the 7 days of the carnaval itself blew any pre-carnaval impression away. The most out-of-balance time I experienced in my life. 7 days Rio never closed eyes, never stopped playing music, never put normal clothes, never stayed sobre. 7 days full of gold cloth, gold piss and colorful feathers.
Found an opportunity to visit several times the groups in sambódromo during the pre-carnaval and once during the carnaval.
Lapa. It is the neighbourhood with jazz, samba, bars, beer and caipirinha on the street. Again, it is not just a place where people meet up and drink. It is a whole neigbourhood where people meet up and drink. The tourists everywhere around the city are a lot but somehow Rio assimilates them and they are not that obvious. Lapa gives the impression of an almost totally local venue. Local boys bring instruments to play on while local girls dance around them. No one has a shame to flirt in a direct, very direct way.
I was soaking Rio up like a sponge. Pushed myself to the limit. Days melted into weeks, weeks into months. I was constantly drunk and tired. The blocos (street parades, where a track with musicians and dancers is followed by the dancing crowd) started at 10 AM and finished at 6 AM. I was sleeping few hours a day, trying to maintain consciousness at work and keeping it on out in the streets. Basically, I was living in the streets of Rio. Sleeping in a dormitory second-floor bed didn't give me any personal space for reading, resting or doing whatever in peace. If not sleeping or working, the street was my home and the sand was my sofa.
And that is how I abused myself. At one time felt that I had to go away from Rio or i will die there.
I recalled the same time last year, when I was fasting in a desert tent away from people, artificial light and noise. And even I know that more is yet to come, a thought in my head uttered: “God gave me everything”.