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Published: February 24th 2017
Another beautiful hot day and all we can think about was jumping into the nearest body of water we can find. In our case, it was the Atlantic. Jon rents two lounge chairs and an umbrella and I buy myself a thong bathing suit...priorities
. All these body types look exactly like mine: big boobs, small waist, finished with bubble butt. I feel like the women here are my long lost sisters. There has to be some Brazilian in me, the resemblance is uncanny.
A thin, dark skinned man comes up to us holding a pole that hangs cigarettes and beach towels. Jon buys a pack of smooths and lights one up. The man looks directly at me and asked,
“Yeah,” is it that obvious?
“Like to buy some weed?”
In that moment, I was a cat at the sound of a tuna can opening. “Yes. Let me see it.”
He pulls a pack of tin foil out of his backpack and opens it up. It was the seediest, stemiest weed I had ever laid eyes on. If it weren’t for the familiar smell, I wouldn’t have believed it
was weed at all. I look up at him with disappointment,
“It’s no pretty like American marijuana, but still good.”
The weed selling cigarette stranger seemed honest enough. I'll take the shitty quality as a convenience fee. “We’ll take it!”
One apple-bong later, we were smoking chimneys. And yes, the weed smoked as well as it looked…garbage. But, whatever...guess that makes me a weed snob.
Our hostel is located in the historic district of Rio, a safe and fun area of the city. Highly recommended! The only problem: no air conditioning. Being the Florida-native that I am, I handled the heat with ease. Jon…not so much. Honestly, I’ve never seen a man sweat like that. The crown jewel of the place is its view of Rio. The hostel is built on the side of a cliff, so the back porch housed chairs overlooking the entire city of Rio, and, of course, Christ the Redeemer. We met a Brazilian woman named Andy. She is a chef living in the Netherlands. On the veranda, she told us her horror story of arriving to Brazil.
“It was cold, hard, and pressed against the back of my
head. A gun. The second I got out of the taxi. Broad daylight too!”
“Where were you?” I ask.
“What did they take?”
“Everything. My phone, my clothes, my passport. I’ll have to go to the embassy tomorrow. You must be careful here, it happens to everyone.”
“We know,” Jon and I say at the same time, “You are probably the tenth person to tell us."
“Well, they are right. Brazil is a beautiful, beautiful city, but very dangerous.”
“Are there any places in particular that are more dangerous than others?” I ask.
“They all have scum. But stay far away from the favelas. Far far away. They will kill you without thinking twice.”
Wonderful. Jon read my frightened face and changed the subject.
“So you’re a chef?”
“Yes. I am.”
“You must cook for us tonight! Do you have plans for dinner?”
“No I don’t. I can cook. I would love to cook.”
“I’d like to learn,” I chime in, “My cooking could use some guidance.”
She really put her cooking skills to the test. Andy even taught us
how to add alcohol to the vegetables to light them on fire. Quite a show. Two hours later, we sat at the table full of food. Food incorporating every color under the sun. Platters of red and yellow peppers, salads of green, and chicken cooked to perfection. It became a meal for the entire hostel. A house full of strangers became a family over chicken and veggies.
While we were eating, we could hear different parts of the city below spark up with music and lights. Samba from the beach. Salsa from the historic center, hip-hop and bass music from the favelas. The city looked so peaceful from our height. Hard to believe the horrors that happen just below.
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