Mom, If I Turn Into An Alien… I’m Sorry

Throughout the duration of my time serving as an IRP archivist, I have been ridiculed by a few other bloggers who shall remain nameless (cough, Kendra, cough) for “blogging too much.” Well, I assure you, that will soon change. We transferred hotels two days ago, leaving the safe, touristy little neighborhood of Impanema that we had all become accustomed to, moving to a hotel on the beach of Cocacabana. While this beach is much nicer than the first (as it should be, given the rooms are $600 per night as opposed to $250), the Internet is $40 per day (yes, 40) or 50 cents a minute. Needless to say, I will be blogging much less than before.

I did, however, find a quaint little Internet café (see photo to the right) near our hotel, so rest assured, I will still be blogging.

Despite the outrageously-priced Internet, everything else about our new hotel is great. We have a gorgeous view from our room and from the pool deck one floor above, and I think the gym has the best view of all (see photo album below). Oh, and I thought the brunch buffet at our last hotel was amazing… until I came to this one! It has everything – eggs, bacon, waffles, sweet breads (and no, I’m not talking about cow stomach), kiwi, mango slices, plantines, coconut cake, 6 kinds of juices, and the list goes on. Basically, this hotel has everything our old hotel didn’t have.

I know I said before that everything in Rio is expensive, but I did forget to mention that there is one exception – cervejas. Translation, beer. (Yes, that is one of the two Portuguese words I picked up. That and “Obrigada,” which means Thank You. Hey, at least we’ll walk away making the Brazilians think Americans are well-mannered drunks). Beer might run you only 3.5 or 4R at a nice restaurant. But there is a catch – most beer you order off a menu comes in a glass containing no more than 8 ounces of liquid. Chris Wienback – our resident Brazilian – explained it to us this way: “Brazilians don’t like their beer to get warm, so they serve it in small glasses.” As much as I would love to say that Americans serve their beers in pints because we really like drinking warm beer, I think the better response is that we simply drink our beer faster and, consequently, much more of it.

Otherwise, things are still going great here in Rio. Unfortunately, though, I think I’m coming down with Tim Friend’s cold. In a rampant search for NyQuil tonight at a local pharmacy, I entered the store and asked, in my finest PortSpanGlish (Portuguese + Spanish + English … yep, made that one up all by myself!) “Yo obla English?” (Ok, so I really don’t think that resembles Portuguese OR Spanish at all, but rather some English form of Alien Language). No one behind the pharmacy counter spoke English, but a customer in line says to me, “I speak English. Can I help?” So I tried explaining what NyQuil was and she stared back at me very confused, and then grabbed a pack of 4 strange-looking pills out of a basket from on top of the counter and said, “here, this is what I buy. This good.” Reading a package that read “Multigrip” (???) I readied myself to ask several more questions, but then stopped myself and just bought them. I have no idea what I bought, but I guess I’ll find out if they work soon! Mom, dad, Drew, if I turn into an alien, I am so very sorry.

Otherwise, we’re all prepping hard for the final presentations we will give to a few ROCOG members and agencies tomorrow afternoon. We did our run-throughs for Lisa this evening and all went great, so now we’re all anxiously awaiting presentation day tomorrow! And of course, the big steak dinner celebration that will follow.

~Andrea

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