5 skills you gain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Moody Rio watched by Cristo Redentor
Rio is one hell of a city, one which is everything you thought it would be and strikingly different in other ways.

We spent a enjoyable 4 nights working our way through everything we possibly could and had a great time. We’re certainly glad we visited, though I don’t think we’ll be rushing back to visit again.

At the end of our stay, we realised that we had grown a new set of skills which were handy for our first stay in Brazil.

1. A sensational Portuguese accent when saying ‘obrigado’. 

Making an effort with the local language is always a good plan, but I think I’m starting to get to the stage now where I say obigado instead of thank you. This will definitely continue to be a handy skill for the remainder of our time in Brazil.

2. The ability to sniff out cheap and tasty food.

This is definitely a developing skill. I’m very much still having the odd food disaster where things are not quite as tasty as they look. I will totally keep this skill going to keep the price of this adventure down to reasonable levels.

3. A head which rotates just about 360º

Rio is certainly a city with it’s problems, and while the heavy police presence is definitely comforting, you still need to be smart and keep a roving eye on your surroundings. To this end I’ve developed the ability to scan around constantly for danger like a meerkat. I don’t think I’ll hang onto this skill once we leave South America.

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4. The ability to negotiate Brazilian public transport

Public bus to Corcovado and the Botanic Gardens, boarded and paid for like a pro? Check! Memory of which bus numbers will take me back towards Leblon and Vidigal? Check! I definitely want to expand on this skill and use it all over the world. Buses and metros are so cheap and generally pretty quick too.

5. The ability to relax in stressful situations

Looking for your ticket desk at Rio’s main bus station? Not relaxing. Wandering through the favela with all your possessions on your back? Not relaxing. The bus conductor barking at you in Portuguese as you desperately process what he is saying by way of the little high school Spanish you remember? Not relaxing. At least until you have been to Rio and let it wash over you. Eventually, I gave up on feeling stressed. There was no point. This is definitely a skill I want to hang onto for when we move to Shanghai. I sense it may come in handy.

What did you learn in Rio? Have you been there? If you do want to go, what things are you desperate to see?

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