THE CITY OF THE CARIOCAS AND THOSE LONG AGO DAYS OF MINE IN RIO BY KAYODE ODUMOSU (2)

CONTINUED FROM LAST POST

However, before we went to Cabo Frio we had gone through certain work and entertainment in Rio. For instance we holed up at a hotel at Ipanema which is supposed to be the best beach in Brazil. But we came to another hotel on Copacabana where the board meeting took place. After the board meeting we had lunch at a place called Churrascaria Palace which was a few blocks away. At night we went out to experience the night life of Rio including the samba-dancing place called Plataforma 1.Even after we had finished all business in Brazil I was allowed to spend a few more days before taking another flight on my own to Paris for another Board meeting by the same client My total experience of Rio was penned down ( as a half travelogue and half poem) in the hotel the night before my departure as follows:

THE CITY OF THE CARIOCAS

Restaurante Giratorio on Rua Santa Luzia
Gave me my first food and wine in Rio. It was beautiful
Followed by a visit to the Maracana that magnificient stadium
Then lots more delicious meat and music at Churrascaria Palace

Avenue Princess Isabel leads you to the opulent Hotel Meridien
But on your way the boys from the favelas stare at you. Welcome to Rio!
Safely at the hotel you ask about visiting Sugar Loaf Mountain on Urca
But the mention of cable cars in the air freezes your blood and you decline

So you asked about the Carnival months and schools to cover up your fears
They told you with glee that you can watch samba at Plataforma 1 instead
So there you go later in the night to see and take part in dancing samba live
And there you see visitors from races all over the world having fun without care

If you are a Bishop try to avoid Avenue Atlantica on the side away from the hotels
The Copacabana promenade is out of this world with temptation to spoil your meditation
For ordinary human beings like us sometimes we laugh and at other times feel embarrassed
Here everything goes and nothing surpasses those in bikinis or surprises revelers

Rio is incredible with exotic meals and shopping spread all over the city
But your hand can be cut if the favela boys ask for your ring and you delay
These “area boys” make you remember Michael Jackson but they don’t care about you either
They are patient and watchful and will slash your bag open before you can blink an eye open

Then you have Botafogo, Flamengo, Leblon and other less known beaches
And you ask yourself whether God created Rio for board meetings or for carnivals and holidays
The jewelers and their shops do quick business here both honest and dishonest all day long
Just like the beautiful chocolate-skinned carioca girls said to be in ratio 7 to 1 of their men

You can’t but marvel about your delicious potato salads and amazing menus
The clean surrounding of your hotel and the constant ‘Obrigados’
Also you wonder about residences without walls or barbed wire fences
And you ask yourself the obvious question ‘where are the favela boys?’

You also remember tunnels and tunnels cut deep into mountains to link parts of the city
Beautiful landscapes and green lushes when Dubai was still a kid dancing to the samba of Rio
The spectacle and the accompanying thrill of The Maracana need to be felt and not just read
The intensity within the stadium on a match day is the same as the night life of Rio

See Rio and come alive-not die. See the numerous clubs and the innumerous shows
There are precious stones all over the city for you to spend your dollars on
You can change your wedding bands if you wish cause the prices are fairer
But again be very careful cause the favela boys may just be waiting around the corner

Perhaps you have seen lots of rainbow colors on favela houses and their steel bands
But as you move towards the bridge that takes you on the way to Cabo Frio
You can’t but notice decorative houses with beautiful facades of ceramic beside the road
The arts and their handicrafts in their forget-me-not shops are uploaded with catholic religion

You then remember the Ifa and Ogun chants at Plataforma1 said to have originated from Bahia
You also remember the dancers in colorful costumes and what the bus guide said about the girls of Rio
And the offer that if you were single and wants to have a Carioca bride you should please stay back in Brazil
Was she joking or just doing her well-rehearsed job? Anyway was i a bachelor?

Lest I forget, i became an instant millionaire a score and ten years ago in Rio
Just by converting my dollars to cruzeiros as was done by all members of the board who came for the meeting
But instead of the clubs, the wine, the girls, the lights waiting to suck out my millions from my pockets
To Saara market I went the following morning to shop for my wife, children and a few samba records for myself’

That next day I was on my way to Paris by Air France and that was the end of my first visit to Rio.

TO BE CONTINUED

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