Tuesday, June 10, 2003

First day in Brazil!

Well, I've made it safe and sound to Rio.  I arrived around 11 a.m. this morning (or about 9 a.m. K.C. time) and met up with my friend Noel in the airport.  We then called a couple hotels from the airport, found the best deal, and caught a bus to Copacabana.  We had to walk a couple blocks from the bus stop (gotta love those suitcases on wheels) but are now staying in a lovely (though extremely small) room at Hotel Canada, which is two blocks away from the beach. The room is about $16 a night per person and really does qualify as a hotel room (rather than a hostel) as it is equipped with a full bath, fridge, a/c, etc.  In fact, it’s quite a bit nicer than the $300 plus room in NYC Mark and Lynnette treated me to on our last hurrah before I left them for greener pastures in KS.

I’ve already explored the area, purchased a watch from a street vendor for approximately $3.50 and found this lovely internet shop which offers a full hour of internet access for 4 Reais (about $1.33).  I’ve also found the local bookstore (only a block away from our hotel) and am already in trouble.  You wouldn’t believe how many wonderful books there are available in Portuguese!  Well, maybe you would, but it was like walking into heaven.  An entire store of foreign language books (not that they’re foreign here, but you get the idea).  I already had to resist purchasing the entire Harry Potter series in Portuguese (although I did allow myself to buy the first one), not to mention the Lemony Snicket and Junie B. Jones series — I never even made it to the adult section.  I decided the kids’ section was more than enough temptation for one afternoon! I’m thinking I may be able to read the newest HP book before going back home after all.

What else can I tell you?  Tomorrow I will embark upon my quest to make contact with the children’s organization here in Rio (seeing as I’m now required to fulfill those research commitments I made in order to receive the grant money that brought me here!)

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