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April 09, 2009




Good on you for living the dream. Everyone who loves Rio must have an abiding memory of arriving there. I went there in 2004, not knowing one person.I didn't want to be a backpacker. I wanted to live in a place, make real connections, and learn their language. I left 4 months later with a a gaggle of new friends, a tan, a spring in my step, and ever-growing sense of appreciation for Brazil.

I left the UK and arrived at the international airport on a crystal-clear, November morning. My taxi driver (radio cab) was friendly and honest and that first ride into town is seared into my memory. The first time time I saw Cristo, nestled above a soft duvet of morning cloud, my heart missed a beat. Yes I remember the favelas in the zona norte, the raw, red earth around the shanties, the ragged street kids hawking candies in the middle of traffic. I gazed out from the tinted windows of the cab, wondering if I was in danger. But the lights went green and we pulled off into the traffic heading downtown.

As we rolled by Gloria and then Flamengo the gorgeously incongruous shape of the Pao d'Acucar loomed up on the left. We drove through Botafogo, and past the University with its avenue of royal palms and institute for the blind, making a right into Urca. Here the houses were beautiful, the gardens verdant, the trees in blossom. I got out of a taxi at my new place at the foot of the sugarloaf and felt instantly at home.

O Rio - uma cidade excitante demais. The love affair was begun. The pale european became a Carioca for a while.

Now, thousands of miles away, I think about the place every day.

Ter saudades faz parte do gostar.

- Matt

Ray Adkins


That sounds like a beautiful "love at first sight" story...


wow, what an amazing story! sounds like a good adventure. so i wonder how spontaneous your trip to brazil was? and how long you've studied portuguese for before going?


So that's the impression the Argentinians have of Rio, huh? interesting!

I'm from Pernambuco, so I can't wait to read your impressions of my home State.

Nice picture, btw

Paul Dryden

"largely unimpressed" by buenos aires culture ?! pshhhhhhh

ps - ipanema beach house... what memories... ja ja


Vi sua foto e vai aqui mais um termo para a sua lista: você é um pitéu !!! abs


Hello! I like to read how someone ended up somewhere :)
I felt the same way about Vancouver, it was love at first sight.

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