Sunday, July 3, 2011

Welcome to my travel blog.

Julia Roberts will not appear in this blog.  I guess I should start by discussing the big purple elephant in the title.  The whole 'sans love' thing, yeah? So, here's what.  I travel.  I look for myself in different places.  I dream.  I think.  But mostly I eat.  In fact, this should really just be a food blog.  But it's not.  I also pray.  Sometimes they're just the ones where I close my eyes and talk to God, but they're prayers nonetheless.  And sometimes I search for things (like myself).  But not for cheesy, dramatic love.  I like love, but I love like.

So this blog is more like a single Girl Gone Mild tale of nothingness.  It's not special.  And I'm not special.  I'm just a sharer. So I'm sharing.  Plus, this is an easy way for those that actually ask what I'm doing out here to keep up with the goings on at their own pace - and to skip past the boring stuff that occurs in mouth to mouth conversation.

Who Am I:
I'm a student.  I laugh when I say that.  I'm a PhD student - which makes me laugh even harder.  Like... really? Why? What do I plan to do with my degree? Awesome.  I'm glad you asked.  I plan to frame it on one of those wooden plaque thingies and make it look really nice. Yup.  That's it.  Glad we got that out of the way.  I suppose I am/was also all of these things at some point as well: creator, writer, dancer, actor, teacher, thinker, exhibitionist.  Sometimes I still do some of those things.  Sometimes I don't.  Moving on.

Where am I now:
I'm in Rio.  Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

I'm here studying Portuguese.  Originally, I planned to do research in Brasil, so learning the language and being able to speak well were actually a necessity.  Now, I think my research focus is starting to shift.  But I'm here studying Portuguese anyway because, well, it's Brasil.

About me?
I'm not a blogger.  In fact, I'm pretty bad at this.  I listened to The Weeknd to get me started.  It helped (but I dunno why).  Anyhoo, I'll start here.  First, I've been to Rio before.  In fact, I spent two months here last summer, so I feel like I know my surroundings pretty well, and I'm just picking up where I left off.  Sidebar on 'picking up where we leave off': a lot of times people say to me 'gosh, I wish I could travel too,' or 'how do you get to travel so much?' To them I say, you can travel, and I don't 'get' to travel - I just do it.  I sublet, and I go. We often think about everything we'll be missing out on while we're gone - work, family, friends, relationships, etc.  Well here's what I've learned - things stay the same.  Disappointingly so.  You return from a long trip or move expecting people and things to be different.  You might even expect drastic changes to the point of anxiety, or maybe even fear.  And when you return home, folks are still sitting in the exact seats you left them in.  And those jeans you forgot to wash before you left are still at the bottom of the hamper.  Don't let fear of 'missing' something stop you from doing things.  Because the only thing you miss is the opportunity to do things.  So go somewhere.  You can always pick up where you left off... especially since things probably won't change much.  In fact, I'm always anticipating change, and always mildly disappointed. Anyhoo... where was I?  Yeah, so I'm back in Rio which, btw, is very familiar.  There are, however, a few new faces of students and staff at the language school, which is cool.  But I do still feel like I'm playing a vicious game of 'life rewind' where other people move on, and I travel backwards.  Well whatevs - I arrived today, and I'm gonna see some stuff I didn't see last time.

This is a travel(ish) blog, so I should talk about my flight, right? (I told you, I'm not a blogger).  So I flew Delta 'economy comfort' on the ATL to RIO leg.  The problem with Economy Comfort on Delta is that it's new.  This means that everybody and their 3 children want it, and so the entire section is completely occupied.  Whereas the people in the main Economy cabin are spread out over 2 or 3 seats getting their full sleep on, us faux bougie folk paid extra for more leg room, more reclining, cocktails, and movies, but are less comfortable because every seat is taken and there's nowhere to spread out like in regular economy!  It's worth it if it's a full flight in the main cabin, but if it's full in Economy Comfort, and kinda empty in regular Economy, TAKE THE REGULAR and get the full spread out over 3 seats situation.  For real.  Most uncomfortable 'comfort' seat ever cuz I couldn't poke my butt out like I wanted to without making the man next to me also become uncomfortable in his comfort seat.

Anyhow, we arrived a little late. I got my bags, went through customs, went to the ATM, and took a cab to my new crib.  I found this crib on Homeaway, btw, and it's awesome.  My Rio roommate, another student from school, had arrived a day or two earlier, so she was there when I arrived.  After a few hours of unpacking and trying to work out the internet, we walked to the Sunday market.  It was cool.  There was a band playing in the street with one guy playing guitar, one guy playing drums, and one guy doing a solo on a comb.  Yup.  A comb. With duct tape or something on it.  It was interesting I guess.  The market also hadn't changed from the year before, or the year before that.  We then went to get something to eat at Felice Cafe, whose prices have changed for the worse! Geez.  Was good, but I won't be going back to spend a grip on grilled chicken.  Anyhow, we hit up the grocery store on the way back to the crib.  Got in the house, did stuff online, and then headed to Casa Rosa.

Casa Rosa is a cultural centre in Laranjeiras whose history is pretty different than the now.  Currently, they have cultural events and classes. It's pretty cool - live Samba band on Sunday evenings, multiple rooms to dance in with DJ's, full bar(s), and they serve feijoada (but you don't have to eat it).  They have events and classes throughout the week.  If in Rio, I definitely would suggest checking out Casa Rosa.

So I think in this first 'travel' blog, you've actually learned a few things. First: Delta Economy Comfort - only worth it if it's not completely booked, or if the main economy cabin is completely booked.  Second, Homeaway is a great place to find a monthly sublet, although I did have a friend come to verify the place first!  And third/last, Casa Rosa is a place to look into if you're in Rio.

I'm not sure how this blog will work, but right now we're just on day one.  I'm thinking I might just post the interesting pics and goings-ons of the day.  Maybe some eating. Maybe some praying.  Probably not any loving.  They say I'm too prudish.

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