Foodie Day And Brazilian Favela Parties!
Hanhwa and I used to be able to stay up all night and wake up with no problem after one hour of sleep. But I think with our age, it gets harder and harder for us to do that... we need our 8 hours of sleep! This morning it was a struggle to get up, especially since it was raining out… But when we finally got up around noon, we decided to spend the day on the beach with one of Baidy’s friends name Felipe (he’s a local in Rio). Every time we plan to spend some time on the beach, something prevents us from it… like the rain. While sitting on the beach, it started to pour down so we took shelter under a yellow Skol umbrella drinking a beer. We felt like such fatasses because while we were hiding under this umbrella drinking beers like two fat girls, there were handfuls of people running… in the rain! Brazilians are so fit!! I wish the American culture was the same way!
While waiting for Felipe, Hanhwa and I decided to grab a snack and found this pretty crowded place… we decided to try it! Apparently it is a very famous steak house in Ipanema and it definitely was famous for a reason! The food at Garota was AMAZING. We had the picahna, which is a very tasty fatty meat grilled on a hot plate served with little side dishes of Pico de Gallo, this weird dirt texture flour, French fries, and rice. Felipe showed up at the restaurant while Hanhwa and I were devouring our food… Such a cool guy though! He took us to Ipanema beach for some drinks and we just talked to get to know each other some more.
Once it started to rain a bit again, Felipe took use to this famous Brazilian beer place called Devassa. We tried all the beers they had and they were all fantastic! Today was seriously a day filled with lots of beer and food… because right after beer we decided to go to Santa Teresa to try Mocqueca, a famous Brazilian fish dish for dinner.
We went to this cute place called Sol Renatural. It was decorated with nautical wooden furniture with fish artwork along the walls. It definitely was the best place to go to try this fish dish. We had the gambas dish (shrimp) and the mocqueca and both were amazing. The sauce had a strange gelatinous texture, which was something I had to get used to, but the taste was perfect! While exploring Santa Teresa the day before, Hanhwa and I found a little bar that we wanted to try down the street, so the three of us decided to go there for a couple of beers. It was a bit strange because we were drinking beer in front of a… church? Hahaha. I love how in Rio, everyone stands outside of the bars and socialize with other people. It is always lively and with a friendly atmosphere at these kinds of hole in the wall bars.
All three of us were so full, so we decided to walk off our food back down to the main city of Rio and Felipe took us to another bar that he really enjoys. They had all these little pastries that I will for sure try next time I am in Rio, but looking at food after our dinner made me want to barf haha. We had a great chill day with Felipe eating like foodies and drinking beers, but by about 7, Hanhwa and I were exhausted… we needed our 7PM siesta.
After our siesta, we woke up to a group of people at the hostel going to the Favela party… Favelas are so called “dangerous” neighborhoods in which thousands of Rio citizens live… They are run down half built homes in which people actually live. The windows are blue tarps covering the holes in their walls, there is no water heater so each home has a tub at the roof to heat the water using the sun, there is no trash system in the Favelas so it smells terrible whenever you drive by, there is a really dodgy lighting system, and honestly looks like some third world country, but Favela residents do not pay for rent, utility bills, cable bills, or taxes. Because of how unregulated these favelas are, drug dealers and the mafia reside in Favelas, which of course brought a lot of crime within these areas. Before I came to Rio, I heard of the notorious dangerous favelas and many people told me to just STAY AWAY… but even knowing that, Hanhwa and I wanted to go to the damn favela party! So off we went!
Two tour guides came to pick us up from the hostel in taxis and while we were heading up into Vidigal Favela (literal translation meaning the City of Gods), our tour guide was telling us how safe the party is… Apparently it is safe because the Mafia owned the party venue and they are not too fond of weapons or drugs at the party. Also within this Favela, they filmed the shooting in the City of Gods movie… Wow way to re-assure us (not!). Also, while the tour guide was explaining to us how safe it was, a lady on a scooter with her little boy in the back slips on a water puddle on the street and both fall off… the boy is screaming his head off, the lady had blood dripping down her face, and her bike on the ground… That scared the shit out of me and everyone else in the taxi… The taxi stopped to see if everything was OK but decided to drive off since there was not much we could’ve done… Wow, what a first impression of the favela! With that accident just happening and then watching along the streets and the buildings, I was frightened! This area looked like the ghetto parts of how I imagine Mexico to be… It was seriously quite a first impression for me as we were driving in the taxi… I don’t really get scared of many things, but I was worried for a bit of our safety.
We finally got to the venue and we walked into basically a huge empty warehouse made into a club. There was basically a VIP section for us gringos, where we were on a balcony viewing down onto the club. We were advised to not get drinks with ice since the water was questionable, so we just got buckets of cheap beer. The venue was filthy and when we walked into the bathrooms, we were reminded right away, “Yup, we’re in a favela” haha. Some of the stalls had no doors, some toilets still had shit in it for who knows how long, everything was broken… but even then, we all had a great time!
Brazilian funk music if not the same kind of funk that we know… Brazilian funk is all about that bondas (ass, ass, ass!). It was amazing how gifted these Brazilian’s butts were. I have never seen booty shaking that amazing before. Hand stand, while booty popping. Head spin while booty popping. One leg up in the air and STILL booty popping!!! Holy shit! That is talent right there! I never even knew butts could move like that hahaha.
Worry of our safety completely disappeared since I was having such a fun time at this favela party. We made friends with Reid, from Canada, and group of Australians (forget their names). As a group, we just danced the night away failing miserably at the booty dancing, but it definitely was an experience that I am glad I got to live. Hanhwa and I are now very fond of Brazilian Funk music. I will go home and train my bonda (ass) to move that way the next time I come to Brazil!
At around 3AM, our group was gathered around and put into taxis back to the hotel. We were promised that we could try Rio hot dogs so Hanhwa, Reid, and I were SO EXCITED for these so called amazing hot dogs. But the tour guide forgot and just took us straight back to the hostel! RUDE! So the three of us decided to make a quick stop to Burger King… They were slowly closing the door, but I was screaming “NOOOOOoooOOOOoOoo!!!” while running to make it before the employee closed the screen door. The worker started to close the door faster jokingly… but we made it! We were the last customers hahahahah. We had a BK connection with our friend Reid.
SO overall, today was a day and night to remember… I even have a souvenir of our favela party… I wore white sneakers to the party, and they were NOT white when I got back… Forever they will be my favela shoes