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Published: September 30th 2017
The Real - given Brazil's reputation, I expected a picture of Pele or a Brazilian bikini model on it.
Geo: 51.0451, -114.063
Yolanda made me laugh with a recent comment about my jet-set lifestyle of travel. Hardly ... to me, the term jet-set suggests something out of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, with Robin Leach and his champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Cruising the Mediterranean on a yacht, soaring across the sky in a private jet ... that isn't me! I'm the scuzzy unshaven backpacker who sits on the beach drinking a beer and eating a sandwich! Welcome to the Lifestyles of the Bored and Aimless!
Some luxury is perhaps welcome on this trip after the past few days - the yellow fever vaccine knocked me on my ass in a bad way. Apparently it's a live vaccine, meaning that you actually get infected with a mild case of it in order for your body to develop immunity - not pleasant. I had plans to take a capoeira class before leaving for Brazil, in order to get into the mood for the country - no such luck, as both the Monday and Tuesday night prior to leaving were spent shivering in bed. It's just as well - my lack of coordination likely would've resulted in some injury to myself, perhaps a twisted ankle or broken arm. Or even worse - being arrested for assault after accidentally kicking someone in the face while trying to execute some ill-fated capoeira moves.
Hopefully this case of the yellow fever goes away soon, as this could result in a terrible 16 hour journey to Sao Paulo. But apparently, yellow fever isn't even the biggest health risk while in Brazil, at least according to the travel clinic. The nurse who administered my vaccines told me "The biggest risk you'll face in Brazil is actually STDs. Make sure you bring condoms. LOTS of them. Make sure you use them. ALL the time. Because you WILL get propositioned. A LOT. But if you're worried after getting back it's ok, because the STD clinic is just down the hall." I kid you not, this little discussion actually took place, and I laughed my ass off as this little nugget of advice was dispensed to me. I felt a bit like Jim in American Pie, getting sex advice from Eugene Levy. Only Brazil ...
STDs aside, this should be an amazing trip - thanks to Patricia, this is the first trip I have ever done in which I haven't needed to do any planning. It helps having a former Brazilian travel agent as a friend, especially when visiting a country as vast as Brazil. The expectations are high from all I've heard about this sure-to-be fabulous country - it better not disappoint!
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