It’s raining again, damn! It hasn’t stopped raining for days. Normally this wouldn’t bother me because I like the rain, especially on a warm day where even the most mature individual is tempted to jump into a puddle. Today, today is my last day in Rio de Janeiro and I’d like to say my upset stomach was over my uneasiness of leaving a place I’ve called home for four months or that it’s because I am returning home only to be handed a piece of paper that says I’m capable of teaching. Teaching, ha! You would have thought that 23 years of life, four of which backed by a college education, would have taught me not to do six shots right before I leave the bar, after I already reached that ‘feel good’ point. Lesson learned, at least for now, but their are more pressing matters, like the rain.
Kind hearted Brazilians, a drunken Englishman and a girl named Death in the twist and turns of my visit to Shenanigans Irish Pub located near the beaches of Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro.
This is not the type of story you might often hear about in travel tales, because who wants to admit to going to a touristy spot where nearly everyone speaks English and it’s almost indistinguishable from some place back home, minus the collage of accents. Truth be told I didn’t mind this place when I wanted a stout beer or just didn’t want to struggle so much to communicate with whoever filled the bar stool next to me. I was never homesick during my 4 months in Rio but I was communication sick- that is sick of communicating with the same people all the time because they were the only English speakers, well fluent ones. If you have traveled along side someone, you probably have had this moment where it isn’t that you are tired of the person but need a different type of conversation, perhaps a different perspective. So let me tell you a monkey’s tale of three very different experiences, all of which helped shaped my outlook on Rio’s Cariocas.
Where should I start off my travel lifestyle? Truth is I can’t afford to start off on my RTW trip bouncing from one place to the next on a monthly or weekly basis. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean my furry little butt needs to be stuck in the Midwest. The way I have things planned out is that I start my Masters in Education earning my Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) degree this August and finish up by 2012. Yup that’s the goal, 2012 is when I break free of the mild mild Midwest; you won’t be hearing Will Smith boogying to a track about this part of the country. Many of you are thinking why wait? Travel now, you don’t need the TESOL. These are all true but there are a few other factors that I need to take under consideration.
After reading through an article on Yahoo, Reining in Rio: Not Everything Goes at Carnival thanks to The Trip Chicks on twitter I was amazed at the changes to the Rio I once knew. Granted this little monkey only spent 4 months living there but that is long enough to call a place home. What I read from the article makes me question what my former home will look like once I return to visit. As Marcus Paulo Reis was quoted in the article saying, “They’re trying to get rid of the grit that gives Rio its flavor.” The grittiness that get’s in your shorts when swimming is not a good thing, but this is a different kind of grit that they don’t show on the postcards of Rio.
I was really excited about traveling to Peru for a lot of reasons, one of them being Guaraná. Yeah, I know you are thinking, “Pop, of all the things you were excited about traveling to South America for, the first post you make about your trip to Peru, is over pop?” Why yes, yes it is and there is nothing you can do about it. The truth, there is a dark side to this story, not a lie but merely a misunderstanding – a sad, sad misunderstanding.