Rio, day 2: Wandering Juice Drinkers

It’s weird to realize it’s already been what – three weeks since we departed Rio? – and I’m still unable to finish my Brazilian diaries. On one hand, it’s six full days of very diverse experiences; on the other – no historic events occurred at that time.
I guess I felt mentally exhausted and overloaded by all the incoming information in these recent weeks. And more and more is arriving; and more and more ideas of posts to write and things to share.
So on day 2 in Rio me and Rachel decided to give up all the cultural and hiking stuff and just go to the beach. I suggested Ipanema, but we agreed to meet Pricilla, the local journalist, in the metro next to Copacabana. We were very surprised to find that the station we were going to was closed for renovation. Figuring out the local metro wasn’t easy at all as we spoke no Portuguese and no one spoke English, although sometimes random people freaked us out by approaching us and asking if we needed help in English. In time we started to appreciate these attempts to help us, but at first we were quite confused.
On the way to the metro we actually got lost; we followed the map, but, as it turned out later, walked right past the metro entrance – it wasn’t standing out a lot. But I made us stop at the first juice place I saw – oh that feeling when you make a first sip and feel the taste of freshly squeezed mango on your tongue. I mean, in how many countries can you have such a luxury – for less than two bucks?
We figured our way and landed on Copacabana instead of Ipanema. At that time we already knew we wouldn’t find Pricilla, so we walked to the beach and I tried to swim. May I tell you – the water was disgusting. Dirty, cold and smelly. Really cold, except for the very upper layer, warmed by the sun. I covered some distance and was very glad to get out and just relax on the beach. I felt sorry for Rachel because she obviously couldn’t fit herself in the beach culture with her super pale skin and a mindset that sun was evil and generally bad for you.
I spent some time relaxing under the evil sun and then took pity on Rachel, who was just standing on the shore watching the people – she didn’t bring any towel to lay on. So we made our way to the random nearby pizza place (with juices) and had a nice lunch there, finished by a weird local cake that’s covered in crusty little candyballs. Then walked out, crossed the street, and got more juice. Then reached our metro stop – Uruguayana – and got more juice. Walked through the market, that reminded me a lot of that half-legal market we used to have in Moscow; everything was sooo cheap. We wandered around and finally got lost, so we got more juice. As you understand, juice was the answer to everything. I think that day we got about six glasses each – mango, and guava, and acai, and orange, and guarana (oh guarana! Having more caffeine than coffee!) I don’t usually consume caffeine, and that drink was nuclear. Miraculously, my organism let it slide and I felt fresh and energized instead of getting high blood pressure and a headache.
We succeeded to find ourselves on the map and get back to the port. Intellectually speaking, we accomplished nothing that day; but we were exhausted and spent the evening just relaxing in the ship pool (so much cleaner than Copacabana!) with a bunch of friends and thus finishing our big juice day.

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