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Published: June 13th 2014
I slept during the whole 4 hour flight from São Paulo to Fortaleza. Not a single person around me on the flight spoke English. When me and JC got into Fortaleza I met his friend, Marcelo, and Marcelo's cousin JP. JP drive us to a restaurant called Ordones. I are fried goat and a mixture of cheese, rice, and beans. It was a delicious meal. JP then drove us to my hostel, Hostel Terra da Luz, and I checked in. The place is really clean and there's 3 triple bunk beds in each room. The husband of the owner, Nico, is pretty cool. We were talking about games we like to play and he really likes chess. I also found out that the reason he likes chess is because he played it all the time with his cellmate in a Belgian prison, where he was for a few years under an attempted murder charge. I also met Chris, from San Diego, who decided to come with us. JP drove us all to Marcelo's apartment where we met his mom. At this point I found out that lane lines don't mean a damn thing in Fortaleza. Motorcycles are really popular here and they weave through the cars. Also after 22:00 all of the red lights are treated as stop signs, which is illegal, but its so motorcycle bandits won't carjack you. I took a shower and we all freshened up. Marcelo took us to a bar called Cervejeiro's and we met his friends. BTW the stereotype about how attractive and curvy Brazilian women are is spot on. The vast majority are like that. A bum at the bar asked us for some money for watching our car. After the bar we went back to Marcelo's to change from flip-flops to shoes. We went to a club called MOVE and had a few. JP and JC got hammered and we had to help them get back to Marcelo's. JP wanted to drive and kept calling himself Paul Walker. We took a taxi. On the way to Marcelo's we dropped Chris off at the hostel.
This morning I woke up at around 9:00 and JP drove me back to my hostel. I took a short nap from 10:00 to 13:00. When I woke up I went and found Chris. We took a taxi through the favelas to the FIFA ticketing center in the SE part of town. I forgot to bring my passport, but they took my license, which was a huge relief because if they didn't I would've wasted a R$45 cab ride. We went to Praia de Iracema (beach) and OMG IT WAS AMAZING!! The sand was a little more coarse than usual but the ocean was blue and comfortably cool. There were some really good looking people on the beach and in the ocean. We didn't stay there long though. Since we hasn't eaten since the day before we thought eating before the game was a smart idea. On the way to a restaurant we got mixed into a protest and I saw 15-20 fully suited up military police with tactical gear and shotguns. Some of the protesters were throwing M80s at the cops' feet. To get out of it we ducked into the FIFA Fan Shop. There was a lot of World Cup merchandise there, but no USA jerseys. We kept walking down the street and spotted this fast food joint called Habib's. I had some fries and the smallest, most disappointing, watered down coke I'd ever had. I tried this food that was like a calzone but with different bread and it was filled with some type of BBQ, boiled egg, and a cream. I also tried a food that had the circular dough base of a pizza, but with BBQ as the only thing on top. The dough seemed to have lime flavored bits all in it. I would give it a 5/10. It seemed like there were only Brazilians and Costa Ricans at the FanFest. The FanFest was a sectioned off part of the beach with a huge TV to show the game. Since the opening game was Brazil v Croatia, the crowd was really into it. I'm the only one that cheered for Croatia. The atmosphere was amazing! Especially when Brazil scored a goal. There were probably about 1,500+ in the crowd. During halftime the TV showed riots in São Paulo where crowds were destroying store fronts and flipping cop cars while police were using tear gas and billy clubs. The game ended 3-1, but everyone not Brazilian thinks it should've ended 2-2. Me and Chris walked back to the hostel and talked to Nico about a tour. We met another Chris at the hostel who happened to graduate a year ahead, and from the same high school as old Chris. We had all heard that McDonalds in other countries has different menus so we walked to the McDonalds down the street and I got a McItalia. Apparently everyday they have a different special burger for every country in the World Cup. The meal wasn't that great. I'll be staying away from McDonalds for a while. When we got back to the hostel we convinced everyone to watch the NBA finals.
I'm meeting a lot of people here and it's really fun! The language barrier is tough but not too bad.
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