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It’s official, my next flight is booked: I’m going to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! Woot! I’m completely ecstatic about this next trip. Honestly, I never thought of going to Rio in 2015, but a Brazilian friend of mine invited me so I jumped on the opportunity to discover the »Marvellous City ». Between the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, I think 2015 is just perfect to slip between two crowds.
I already began to make the list of things I want to learn and things I want to discover in Rio.
What I want to learn in Rio de Janeiro
I always try to learn things from my trips. I like to let the culture pass through me and let a new place makes me grow. It turns out there are few things I want to learn from Rio de Janeiro.
1. Basic Portuguese
I must admit I cheat for this one, because I’ve already began to learn some basic Portuguese. Even if I go see a friend, I’ll be alone for a part of the trip while he’ll be doing things on his side, and people have been very clear about it: it’s rare to find English speakers in Brazil. So, if I want to be able to enjoy my trip and get by myself, I need to know the basics.
If you think Portuguese is like Spanish… well… yes and no, but mostly no. The pronunciation is absolutely not the same, but you do have some words that are the same, such as the verb »to eat » which is »comer » in Portuguese and in Spanish. If you say »I eat », it will be »Yo como » in Spanish, and »Eu como » in Portuguese. But, majority of the words are completely different.
I’ll stop my Portuguese lesson right here! Ahah! For now, it’s not too hard for me to learn because I speak French and basic Spanish and I can relate to this knowledge for some Portuguese words.
I already know how to swing dance, and I was planning to learn some Samba while I’m in Rio. Speaking with my friend, it turns out that I discover a much more interesting dance called forró. I never heard of this dance before!
It’s danced in pair, with the man leading. The term forró is a derivative of forrobodó, meaning »great party » or »commotion » and is also a genre of Brazilian music coming from Northeastern Brazil (According to Wikipedia).
…I really don’t know if my booty can do that.
Update post-trip: I took a fantastic Samba Class!
3. Playing Cavaquinho
I’m a ukulele player already, and I can’t wait to try the cavaquinho. This instrument, which is very important in some Brazilian music such as choro, resemble a lot to the ukulele. Both have four strings and can be tuned in the same way : G-C-E-A.
What I want to discover in Rio de Janeiro
Another important part of travelling is to discover and try out things we don’t know.
1. Brazilian Cuisine
If I say Brazilian Cuisine, what do you think of? Me: Nothing. I know nothing about Brazilian cuisine. Going to Rio de Janeiro is perfect to change that!
So, according to my Lonely Planet, I should taste a feijoada: a stew of beans with pork or beef, and served with rice. Have you ever taste it? Any recommendations?
For sure, there is one thing I absolutely want to taste: cashew. Not the nut, the fruit! Did you know that what we called the cashew nut is actually the seed of the fruit? I learnt it recently. Cashews come from Brazil, so it’s THE place to taste it fresh.
Update post-trip: I discovered Brazilian Cuisine with Eat Rio Food Tour. It’s only on-demand, so you better ask for it!
Being more a nature girl, I was happy to learn that Rio de Janeiro have the world’s largest urban forest. The Tijuca forest is a national park where you can find hundred of species of plants and wildlife, and where you can see Rio’s most popular attraction: the sculpture of Christ the Redeemer. I plan to take a day off from the city and go walk in nature.
A trip to Rio wouldn’t be complete without the beaches… Look at this beauty!
Right now, this is what I expect from my trip to Rio. The rest will be dictated by joy and improvisation…
Is Rio de Janeiro on your travel list?
The featured image is by Digo_Souza (Creative Commons)